Sunday, March 13, 2011

What to do?

Hi Ed,

Valid comment. Sorry that I sound like an old hippie parrot.

Chan is all about doing and not talking. After all, it was "without words and outside of religion." My Teacher teaches Four simple practices....
Purity - purity of body and mind. Meaning meditate. Chan meditation detoxes our body and rid off dirty chi, tune up our internal organs and their interaction, de-stresses and energizes. As we focus on our chakras, we detox our habitual thinking mind, enhances "total" awareness, not mental awareness.

Wisdom - as we are purified through Chan meditation, we gradually learn to detach from all forms in our daily life. All forms includes events, opinions, logic, theories, people, etc. Our heart begins to shine through. Compassion rises. Notion of self drops away. Four Noble Truth and Twelve Causality could be witness. Reaching Nirvana, or end of our own sufferings. (Do ignore any Buddhist labels, if you prefer.)

Perfection - we learn to harmonize the world, using other people's values and dictionaries to solve their issues and not imposing our own. This is the Bodhisattva practice of Six Perfection. We will then realize at the end of day, it is us who benefits also. This is the stage of growing our lotus from mud. Buddhist call this stage accumulation of merits, or just living Chan.

Enlightenment - We are then on our way to reach Buddhahood through our willful efforts in ferry all sentient beings by physiologically bear their karma and process away.

Now back to #1. Our body is an illusion. It is composed of about 6 billion cells, each a living being. We begin this journey, by ferrying all our body cells to Buddhaland first, before we are able to help others. Therefore Chan meditation begins by humbling our ego, our physical body and meditate with the intention of helping every body cells. Meditate not for "our" health, not for "our" wisdom, not for "our" gain.

Let me know if any of this is not clear to you.

Thank you for granting me this opportunity to share.

JMJM
Head Teacher
Order of Chan

Some of us..

Some of us are awed by the power of digital tools - word, cloud, facebook, twitter, etc.

Some of us are happy to learn programs were built from languages such as C++, phython, java, etc.

Some of us are delighted to discover these programming languages require Window or Apply OS.

Some of us learned that Windows or Apple can not work without a firmware on a mother board.

Some of us realized that all mother boards were actually actuated by digital clocks.

Some of us witnessed that it is actually the electric current drives and supports these digital clocks.

Some of us are able to sync to the electric current.

Not just some of us. We all can.

JMJM
Head Teacher
Order of Chan

Can Buddha intentionally harm?

Since this question was not directly answered, let me give it a try.

About five or six years ago, I was in a restaurant order live fish. (Chinese are barbaric. I know. I know.) As always, the waiter brought one in a basket to obtain my approval. So I nodded. As he turned around toward the kitchen, an acute severe headache occurred within me for about 5-7 minutes. Hmm, then I remembered that another senior practitioner told me that's exactly what happened to her. And I recalled many similar incidents told by other dedicated practitioners in our school.

Gradually this incident was forgotten. About three months later, I ordered a live fish again, and this headache appeared again. I therefore no longer order anything live any more.

I am not an enlightened being. My Teacher is. His ability to detect and ferry karma is far greater than what I am able to experience or deliver.

Therefore, I have witnessed that anyone with enough purity in the "being" will for sure be hit with karma, especially those were initiated.Besides, enlightened being has no self. The entire focus, or heart, is filled with the suffering of others.

This is my witness.
JMJM
Head Teacher
Order of Chan

Experience Merit

Good Morning to All,

It seems to me that the concept of "merit" in Buddhism is seldom discussed in the forums that I was involved in. Yet it is a vital concept of our journey.

There are quite a few descriptions of merit in the Buddhist sutras. In the Chinese culture, merit is also popularly equated to "good deeds" or "elimination of karma". Some of us even interpret Buddhahood to be the reward for merit or as if merit is our report card.

Yet, these are all just descriptions. How do we directly experience merit? The following are my witness.

My teacher taught me that merit is the result and not the cause. We don't seek merit. Merits are just accumulation of deeds and only through deeds.

"Chan practice" is composed of "cleans, detach, enhance" of oneself and "sense, inspire, act" to others. The "cleans, detach, enhance" is in the human realm. The "sense, inspire, act" is in the Bodhisattva realm.

When we "cleans, detach, enhance" enough, we will naturally be able to turn our focus from ourselves to "sense" the needs of others and be "inspire" with wisdom and to "act" to resolve and help. As we become
purer, when we transfer our focus from ourselves onto others, our heart shines through with all its compassion and wisdom. In other words, our spirituality is enhance to a higher level, where karma will bother us less. Gradually, we live more frequently in the realm of the Bodhisattva and less in the realm of human.

All of us can experience this spiritual phenomenon directly. In the experience of energy or chi, I have learned that majority of our Chan practitioner are able to "sense" the discomfort of others after two to three years of dedicated sitting. Many actually become worried of this natural ability and afraid to get into crowded placed.

Actually reaching this level requires dedicated sitting to purify oneself. Anyone who are able to reach this sensitivity should be congratulated to and not be afraid. The fact of the matter is, the more we are able to sense, undertake and process, the more powerful our chi will become.

As we become more powerful, the more karmic force of other we can process. The more people we can help. Actually, the more people will come to us, naturally and instinctively.

Merit is really just our innate ability to help others. The more people we can help to liberate from their sufferings, the more powerful our journey will be. And more we our spirituality is enhanced.

In short, merit is nothing but a description for a necessary section of our entire journey. Without "sense, inspire and act" to others, we are just rationalizing, or bluntly, having an ego trip.

Sutra say, "Respect sentient being. Absorb sentient being." In layman's language, "enter the mud to grow the lotus."

As my Teacher always remind me, "everything can be experience. Once you experienced it, it is yours. You become the sutra and the Buddha. Otherwise, it is just a bunch of words."

Thank you for your time to read this.
JMJM
Head Teacher
Order of Chan

Five Poisons

Dear All,

Since my last post, there was not any response. I assumed that my last post was not clear or foreign in terminology. Please allow me to elaborate.

There are ten realms according to Buddhism. The Human realm is the fifth from the top. The Bodhisatva realm is the second only to Buddha.

Bodhisatva realm is pure heart, which is pure compassion, pure wisdom and pure joy and above all karma.
Human realm is thinking in human terms, act in human ways with some self-interest and trapped in forms.

When our spirit is in the Bodhisatva realm, our heart is filled with wisdom, compassion and joy. We live based on the wisdom of the moment with harmonious intentions, because in this realm, our heart is one with the other without separation.

As soon as we begin to think, to analyze, to judge, our spirit drops right back down to human realm, we think, act with limited human knowledge/experience and self interest. We are then trapped in form. Sutra labels this state of being as reincarnation, for it is an endless chase of relativity.

When our spirit is in the realm of Bodhisatva, we are not affect by all the forms. We are able to penetrate to the veil of self defense. We are able to be connected to the invisible wisdom of the moment to harmonize the situation. Buddhist say to resolve all karma.

This is way I was taught, practice and witness the way to rid of the Five Poisons.

Just for your reference. Thank you for your attention.

JMJM
Head Teacher
Order of Chan

Five Poisons II

Good morning Mark,

I thank you for response. Now we have something to talk about. Otherwise, it can be boring just talking to myself. Since Harvey Sensei did say in one of his posts that sometimes our words could be like blades, I shall try to be a little more blunt, I hope you don't mind. Because we are getting into the nitty gritty area, where we are discussing the invisible while any delicate tiny imbalance will throw us off course by a mile.

"Hair width difference is like heaven and earth apart..." XinXinMing...
  • All I am doing is to trying to stir up some wave, (blade:wake up), because all words are illusory in the first place, including mine. Any agreement or disagreement is caused by our attachment to a particular way of living or believe or practice. Some are easier to communicate because the words are familiar. Some are difficult because the experiences are different. Chan is in essence a spiritual practice. Therefore instead of agree or disagree, just practice with our heart open and cultivate our awareness to be connected with everything. As you said, we don't do enough. But not enough in which direction? :-) 
  • True as you stated, in the practice, words or vibration of our conscious mind, hinders our connection to the present moment. Before we dig a little deeper into "present moment", l need to redefine two words, which are, IMO, critical in communicating our practice and witnesses. 
    • "Mind" means all mental work, all logic, all dharma, all thinking, all analytic process. We also call this "false self", or consciousness.
    • "Heart" means feelings, sensations, awareness, intention, focus, spirit, soul, or "true self".
    • Though they serve two different function but they affect each other.
  • Indeed as you say, the key in Chan is to focus on, in, at, with the present moment. If we dig a little deeper, checking with the sutra, where Buddha has recorded his journey, we may need to investigate "to what" and "with what"? 
  • Do we focus on the "form", or the "formless"? Based on the sutra, it is the formlessness we need to focus on. Then what is that? Our teaching and witness explains that it is the chi, the energy, the spirit, the connection to the wisdom of the moment with our "heart" without any tiny, microscopic vibration from our "mind". In short, focus on the heart of the universe and not its manifestations. 
  • After 2,500 years, there are too many versions of Buddha's teaching. Therefore in our school, we use primarily the Heart Sutra and the Diamond Sutra. Both Buddhist in terminology. 
  • Words I used, such as "realm, Bodhisatva" are just words. These are however actually spiritual state we can witness. Eileen called them "deeper", we call them "higher", they are still words or emptiness. Yet we have witnessed that all descriptions in the sutra can be experienced and witnessed. The key is in the practice.
  • I often wish that we have other words to use, which are more familiar with others. Yet at the end, it is still our mind making the final judgment. This is the sadness of our delusional mind. 
A side note, Order of Chan historically is also called the Order of Buddha Heart. Transmission is heart to heart transmission and not a transmission of words or teaching or understanding. (No different from the water crystal experiment done by Dr. Emoto.)

When we are in sync, we are able to accept all manifestations as is and clearly "connecting to" the "cause/wisdom/truth/dharma" of that particular moment.

Again, thank you Mark for your feedback. Now I am granted with this opportunity to share. I am grateful.

JMJM
Head Teacher