A few years ago, I went to a renown Zen Dojo to practice as a lay Buddhist and began my journey of Zen Meditation. Besides the daily onerous farming chores, at times, I took part in meditation which turned out to be a sleepy session. Other times, I listened to the CD of an old monk. I thought that was all about Zen meditation and I was disappointed. Subsequently, I noticed a few Buddhist nuns acting oddly. I was then told that it was due to various problems occurred during meditation. These nuns remained mentally deranged as they did not have any correct guidance and cure to help them. I was horrified whenever I thought of these side effects of meditation. I was worried that I would become one of these nuns considering the way I practiced my meditation which was full of sleepiness and did not know really what was going on. Seeing these nuns every day while I practiced my meditation, I felt immense pressure – what had gone wrong for these nuns? How could Zen meditation lead them to this state of life? I was completely puzzled…
I remember well, once, during a seven-day retreat, the lead master of the session was grumbling that when the old master at the temple became critically ill, he should not have been rushed to the hospital for emergency rescue, instead he should have stayed and chanted the Buddha’s name beseeching to gain rebirth in the Western Paradise. The lead master questioned why to let him linger on his last breath? Wasn’t it painful? Many people who were present at that time agreed with the lead master that the death of the old master was not to be regretted and he should not have been sent for emergency rescue. I was stunned and found it hard to accept. There was something wrong in that statement. Although I am a lay Buddhist, I raise this question to myself that when one is in a deep state of coma, totally unconscious, can one still gain rebirth in the Pure Land? Can one still do just like what The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra says, to chant 10 times Amitabha wholeheartedly? It is impossible! Logically, it is not feasible.
Later on, I learned that there was a monk who made a wish to perform a three-year retreat Zen meditation and vowed that if he did not realize his true nature after the retreat, he will return to secular household life. Three years flew quickly and the result was… truly heartbreaking.
After being bashed down by these series of events, as a lay Buddhist, I lost my enthusiasm. I felt like I had entered a dead end. I felt lost. I did not know where I was supposed to go. I asked myself what the meaning of becoming a nun was when one does not have a meaningful purpose in mind. Unwillingly, I was about to give up and return home. At this crucial moment, I came to listen to the dharma discourses of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. It was like a beam of strong light striking through the dark. All my disappointment disappeared into thin air. At that moment I was determined to renounce myself, and without much longer my wish was fulfilled.
These are just my worldly personal experiences, perhaps I have not even embarked on the Zen meditation journey, but my experiences did reflect some problems faced by some Buddhists during their meditation practice, cultivation, or Buddhist learning. I was fortunate to read The Concentration and Visualization – Essential to Attaining the Path written by Pamu and The Great Dharma Of Zen which was posted over the internet and was transmitted by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. I have finally received a complete teaching which helps me to realize what Zen meditation actually is. Moreover, for example, by reading page 216 of Expounding the Absolute Truth Through the Heart Sutra by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, I realized the problems of those mentally deranged nuns. It was caused by their attachments to the illusions emerged from the Manas consciousness which made them believe that the illusions were true. They did not understand that “Everything with form is illusory and false.” and eventually they entered a diabolic state of mind. The grumbles from the lead master during the seven-day retreat did not make sense at all. As stated in the article, The Buddhist Disciple Yu-Sheng Zhao Received a Dharma Transmission Which is True and Not False. If one can perform the dharma as H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III did so that the Yidam, Amitabha Buddha will appear on site and fetch the deceased to the Western Paradise of the Ultimate Bliss, of course, then, the emergency rescue will be unnecessary. However, did the lead master have the required level of power? In addition, the pitiful monastic who had returned to household life did not know that there is the ultimately holiest Buddha Dharma which can open one’s crown in two hours. The opening is as wide and deep as an egg. The consciousness is free to enter and exit the body. One also can practice outside of the body in complete freedom. Realising one’s true nature is in a near future.
On recollection, what a pitiful group of nuns I had met. They longed for true dharma and liberation, but because they didn’t come to know the true dharma, because of incorrect guidance and teachings they had received, because of their own attachments, and many other reasons, they cannot attain accomplishment and reach liberation. These kinds of tragedies are still happening, which is heartbreaking. The best dharma is from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, but many living beings are not able to hear it. We have seen some fortunate ones who had the opportunity to come across the true dharma but because of their karmic hindrances and various pressures, they are not able to listen to the true dharma. Therefore, they lost their opportunities to reach liberation from the cycle of birth and death. For this, I can only deeply sigh as I strongly feel that the correct dharma of the Tathagata is truly rare and difficult to encounter even in hundreds and thousands of millions of kalpas. I am glad that I have the fortune to respectfully listen to and learn the dharma discourses expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.
A humble disciple－－WanEr LingXi
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