Monday, January 16, 2012

Characteristics Of Chan

Okay, Amy, 

I'll try.  This is a tall task and may hinder someone, if read in the microscopic fashion.  These were originally written into two volumes of text books in Chinese titled, "Characteristics of Chan".  Not only they are a bit cryptic, but also not enough examples to illustrate each one precisely.  The best to realize and witness them is to sit and observe our existence - our interactions with nature.  I will try to translate the 600 pages into one page for your reference.  Like all sutras, please read beyond words.  Please also note that these are not seven separate characteristics.  They also interact.

1.  Characteristic of Motion - grows, surpasses, adapts, evolves.  i.e. we grow from kids to adults.  so are plants and animals, our relationships, our health, the planets.  The state of all galaxies is a static state of perpetual motion and interaction.
2.  Characteristic of Equality. i.e. water, air, sun shine, life force, wisdom are provided regardless. Each living being is equally provided with the same from the environment without discrimination.
3.  Characteristic of Balance. i.e. ying and yang, day and night, moon and earth, left and right brain, mind body and spirit, people to people, hot and cold, solar system. No balance, it will crash or be absorbed.
4.  Characteristic of Integration.  Each galaxy, each sub-system, human groups, family is an integrated system. A comet,  a third person of a relationship, or a new employee, needs to be integrated to survive.
5.  Everything possesses the same characteristics.  Everything created by nature is embedded with these same characteristics and survives accordingly.  Any deviation away from it risk its survival.
6.  Characteristic of Peacefulness.  Whether in the desert, or deep sea, everything is peaceful and calm. When it is not, it is an alarm to survival.
7.  Characteristic of Fulfillment.  If it does not fulfill or reciprocate to the environment it is in, it can not survive. In others every sentient beings has a purpose in the grand scheme.  It is needed and has a purpose for it to be there.  If not, it could be absorbed.

In short, these are the characteristics necessary to survive.  Be mindful of them helps us to live with ease and joy.

Do feel free to change these labels, add more or delete some, or interpret anyway pleases you.  Just avoid judgement or measurement of its accuracy.  They are not the Ten Commandments. 

When any of us are in sync with the universe, all characteristics merge into one automated response from our heart.  And this is the key.  If you prefer to call "heart" our "nature", that's okay too.

Words are for reference only.  Like reading sutra, avoid "attachment to dharma".  Enjoy and have fun.

Head Teacher
86th Generation
Order of Chan

On 1/13/2012 8:11 AM, Amy Lemmon wrote:
I would love to have you share: "Everything in the universe functions according to this set of principles.  My teacher has identify seven of them.  If you are interested, I can share with you." Thanks!
With peace, love and kindness,
Amy Lemmon
Blog: Six Flower Mom

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Practice of No Mind - IV

Happy New Year to Everyone,

Upon reading the subject line, that you might think that this post could be some kind of organized or structured text from some book.  Actually they are just spur of the moment notions arising from within.

Yes, arising from within is actually what I like to share on this New Years Day.

As you know the three principal practices of Buddhism is Precept, Meditation and Wisdom.

Precept or discipline is a practice to surpass our habits -- habitual food, habitual thoughts, habitual actions.  Or in blunt terms, our additions and our self-serving notions.  This practice is like detoxification.  This practice feels somewhat like suffering through "cold-turkey" conditions. :-)

Then we awake, we're purified, we become anew.  We enter into a state of pure awareness.  Some call this state of being absolute detachment from all forms.  It is like a meditative state in our everyday life.  It feels calm and peaceful as well as joyful.

In this state of pure awareness, we are more able to be in sync with the wisdom of the universe, some call it the Heart of Buddha, the true cause(s) of all phenomena, the law(s) of nature.  It is manifested according to the nature of the universe, or our self-nature, or Buddha nature.  At this stage, we become clear to all causes and effects.

What for?  To fulfill every encounter in our lives at each and every moment, so that the karma of each phenomenon is eradicated.  Then..

My Teacher added a fourth practice - the practice of Liberation.  Liberation of our spirit, the most elusive and abstract concept in the universe.  Yet it has always been there, without beginning or end.  We practice to let our spirit sore beyond the boundaries of our body and mind.

When we purify our karmic hindrance of our body and mind, then our spirit is liberated, then we are able to witness the truth of the universe and awaken to our true purpose of existence.

On this New Years Day, I wish everyone to be liberated from within  and be enlightened in this life time.