Shengyen Ustadan: Dharma Neşesi ve Chan Keyfi (İngilizce)

Dharma Joy and Chan Delight

I. Methods of Practice

There are two kinds of practice methods:

 (1) Guidance of the concept: By using concepts of Buddha dharma to guide vexations of the mind, one may attain 'Dharma Joy'. Usually with the help of idea we eliminate delusions and attachments, and get rid of the self-centeredness. Whenever we meet difficulties and sufferings, with the conceptual guidance from the Buddha dharma we remove psychological pressure, burden and unease.

(2) Training of body and mind: To train body and mind by using 'method', mainly refers to sitting meditation, prostrating to Buddha, chanting sutras etc. These methods are able to help us to replace improper thoughts with correct thoughts; then gradually, correct thoughts unifies distracting thoughts, and finally they lead to no thought; thereupon the course of practice would attain 'Chan delight'.

II. Unification of body and mind

After eliminating distracting thoughts with correct thoughts, self-centeredness would return from a state of disorder to a concentrated state. When it concentrates, it will immediately start to conduct itself. When ‘concentrated mind’ becomes ‘unified mind’, then one will realize that his own existence is not important anymore. So called unimportance of self means, one and environment, other people and even body and mind are no longer confronting each other. Since they are not confronting, body has no burden anymore; against outside, one won’t hold any ambition or resistance; deep in the heart he or she will often keep a kind of peaceful, happy state.

In Sutras it is said that, in places and eras where there’s no Buddha dharma, if someone hears ghosts and gods or wise people say a halfway Buddha dharma, he can attain immeasurable Dharma joy. In our world, there are extremely many people have not heard Buddha dharma; dear all, you have not only the access to Buddha dharma, but you have already heard it for at least one week, although you may not be enlightened yet, but at any time you can use the Buddha dharma that you had heard to help yourself when dealing with all sorts of psychological and conceptual problems.

Since you practice under the guidance of Buddha dharma all the time, then you won’t experience any disappointment, suffering, sorrow, resentment or jealousy.

III. Understand Dharma Joy

The so-called Buddha dharma, what have you heard about it after all? Having heard Buddha dharma for seven days, you may possibly ask: 'How can we call ourselves happy? Can that one word make us joyful?' That’s because you have already heard too much in these seven days; but you can't come to understand instead, what is Buddha dharma. Just like the air we breathe everyday, but after all how much we can realize it is the air that make us experience our life and our personal existence?

Dear all, in these seven days you heard of ‘causes and consequences’, ‘causes and conditions’, ‘faith’, ‘confess’, ‘repent’? Also you heard of ‘to support’, ‘to make wows’, ‘to give back’, ‘to relax oneself’, and ‘to open gates of heart’? ‘Do not close gate of heart, do not block it firmly’ or ‘after you open the gate of heart, let all thoughts freely pass in and out’ etc., all these you have heard, are not Buddha dharma?

In fact, all these are outlines of the Buddha dharma; they can also be called the main holdings of Buddha dharma.

Believing in Three Jewels, you won’t lose your direction forward. Having faith in ‘causes and consequences’, you won’t blame gods and men or you won’t have your head turned by success. Believing ‘causes and conditions’, you won’t regard your sufferings eternal, you will think favorable events are matter of fact. Know how to use ‘mind of repentance’, you won’t have an arrogant mind, conceited mind, or jealous

We wow to ‘support’; what meant here with ‘support’ is to devote our body and mind to Three Jewels, by holding the Buddha dharma, accepting Buddha dharma, and contributing to all sentient beings. After devoting oneself, one's own problems are not important anymore; because all sentient beings are more important than oneself. When you can see all sentient beings more importantly than yourself, then you won’t be worried for yourself, certainly you will be happy!

Buddha teaches us ‘to lessen desires, to know what enough, to know to feel sorry’. Only by lessening desires and being content with one's lot few, one can keep his mind on studying and practicing Buddha dharma. And only by lessening desires and being content with one's lot few, one can really learn how to be sorry. After knowing to be sorry, one can repent of his karmic obstacles which come out of his past faults. Only after repenting, our hearts could be peaceful and happy. This is Buddha dharma; and there is ‘Dharma joy’.

As we put forth like this, events that can make us feel Dharma joy, are really too much. Sutra says: ‘Buddha dharma is hard to hear, today I finally heard it.’ In these seven days we heard a lot of Buddha dharma, although you have not experienced substantiality and emptiness of all Dharma yet, but to be able to hear the real Dharma of Buddha must be just an additional joy.

IV. Experience Chan delight

In these seven days, all of us practiced our body and mind. When you enter the meditation room for the first time, because your body had not adopted the Chan practice life yet, so there were a lot of obstacles, you felt heavy, painful, and uncomfortable. But, after training sitting meditation, muscles and nerves had been relaxed, the circulation of Chi in the body became unobstructed; this made the body produce a sensation of relaxation as if relieved of a heavy load. This kind of relaxed and stable sensation can bring to us the “Chan delight”.

That’s because being able to concentrate our attention by using the 'Method', makes our confused and disorderly mind gradually centralized, then unified or near to the unity. Then fluctuation of emotions and desperate feelings will easily reduce. You will experience your own life in a mood of full self-confidence and vigor, already clear and stable. You will always know what situation you are in; and also you will always know anytime you do your part, then you don’t need to worry about gains and losses of yourself and of others, you don’t need to be vexed, sad or anxious; isn’t it real “Chan delight”?

In these seven days, generally I taught you to “relax body and mind”, and you gradually became to be able to do it. Since you know the body and mind can be freed of tenseness and can relax, then you already experienced the beginning of “Chan delight”.

V. To know how to relax

When you sit in meditation, you can practice how to relax body and mind; and you can practice it any time.

After practicing method of relaxing for a while, you can relax the body and mind at any time.

The so called relaxing body and mind, is just want us to have a rest. When the mind has to have a rest, let it have a rest; and when body, muscles or nerves are tense, let them have a rest. If one can let mind and body get enough rest, then he don’t need use his brain to think, to see he do not need eyes, to listen he do not need ears, also do not need a body to feel , that should be so comfortable! In daily life, keep the body and mind stable, relaxed, it is the experience of ‘Chan delight’ too; so in our life circle, ' there is ‘Chan delight everywhere’.

This morning, I told about two words; one was ‘Dharma Joy’ and other was ‘Chan Delight’. These two words are inter-related and inter-connected with each other, you have already had at least one kind among them, so after Seven day retreat, I wish you all ‘any time Dharma joy’, ‘everywhere Chan delight’.

 

 

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