Amazing causes and conditions

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Zhao Xiang rong     Time:2018-03-18 22:41:40
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From a class of Master XianQing, the author associated with the great causes and conditions of the LongQuan Monastery, the great Master XueCheng, the LongQuan community, and the great aspiration and vow.

The class taught by Ven. Master XianQing on Jan. 06th, 2018 is mainly about the lecture made by Ven. Master XueCheng on the Eve of Chinese New Year in 2006. During this class Ven. Master XianQing said the main purpose of studying the series of lectures of Ven. Master XueCheng could help us understand his mind, his great aspiration and his practices clearly as well as help us keep pace with him as possible as we can.

Ven. Master XianQing also reviewed the contents of last two classes, namely the lectures of Spring Festivals made by Shifu in both 2003 and 2004 respectively.. The main contents of the former are the undertaking of the Great Path, the undertaking of the Great Teachings of the Buddha, the undertaking of cultivation and practice. The main contents of the latter are the education of the Buddhists and lay Buddhists. Buddhists educate Buddhists, lay Buddhists educate lay Buddhists, the advanced one helps the lagged one, the lagged one keeps on going. 

Today’s class is totally about the lecture made by Ven. Master XueCheng on the Spring Festival of 2006 which includes the greatness of the wisdom and fortune journey, the vastness and extensiveness of the great patriarchs’ vow. The qualities of the great leaders are great wisdom, great fortune and great virtues.

The humor manner not only makes the class of Master Xianqing to be acceptable and to be perceived more easily; but also help all the students do self-reflection to realize their misconducts. The hall is full of laugh all through the class time and this is the best proof. What the far deeper impression left on me was the vast and great vow of prominent monks. The causes and conditions are amazing and beyond anticipation on my part. 

First of all, the cause and condition of rebuilding the the Longquan Monastery were a wonder. CaiQun, a lay Buddhist, firstly found the desolate Longquan Monastery and repaired it basically. Later she encountered Ven. Master XueCheng by chance and was very delightful to offer this monastery to Shifu. Acceptance or not depended on the causes and conditions. Shifu saw the historical signs with over thousand years like Jinlong Bridge, ginkgo trees and Jisheng Pagoda, when he reached the Phoenix Mountain of Beijing. Luckly, he was willing to accept it. So that Longquan Monastery could open to the public again on Apr. 11th, 2005.

If there were no such causes, where should we go for prostration? Where should we show our respect to the Buddha and honor the Buddha? How could we struggle to find our great teacher with the guidance of our little good virtue? Where could we find the purity land in our mind?

Secondly, having chance to listen to the great teacher and to practice accordingly is also an amazing cause and condition. I once took refuge in the Three Jewels in the FaYuan Monastery, and the great teacher was Ven. Master YiChen. I finished reading three collections of essays written by Ven. Master YiChen. There is a sentence in his essay puzzling me. It said that one would be wealth when he or she was on the Great way. The same sentence has also been read in the biography of Ven. Master TanXu. In the year 2014, I joined the teaching and practicing system of LongQuan Monastery with the help of my fellow volunteer friends. When I read the three steps of life, three books written by Ven. Master XueCheng, I always have a confused thought that its author must be Ven. Master YiChen. The two great teachers are very similar. Ven. Master XueCheng also remarked that food and clothing exists on the Great Way, and the Great Way lies in the food and clothing. When teaching the Great Treatise, Ven. Master RiChang told us that all our fortune and good virtues are obtained from the Three Jewels. Today, in this class, Ven. Master XianQing also told us: “It doesn’t matter no offerings now because you will pay your lives to Three Jewels in the future.” These different great teachers uttered the sentence with the same meaning in diverse perspective at different times. I understand a little about it at last, our fortune and good virtues indeed come from the Three Jewels. If there were no emptiness, there would be no diversity. If there were no sunshine, no air, no water, there would be no plants growing, no foods. Without these, how could we survive? Without these, how could we reflect on the lives? Without these, how could we gain insight? Without these, we’ll have no doubts and no chance to achieve enlightenment. All these derive from the Three Jewels. The Buddha is always telling us the truth through everything after he achieved the perfect nirvana. Everything reflects the truth. 

Thirdly, It is also a kind of profound causes and conditions to join in this community and to practice with others in the monastery as well as to benefit others through self-improvement with good dharma in secular world. We come from different places with different backgrounds and different English levels. Nevertheless, all of us are willing to devote ourselves into spreading Buddhism all over the world, which is same as the aspiration of Shifu.. Being lay Buddhists, we should pass the positive energy down to the others in the secular world through our practice. Although we are painful, puzzled, or confused, we are striving to overcome the afflictions. Because the practice itself is suffering indeed, we could not feel the great beauty of the Buddha Dharma before we achieve the utmost enlightment; the only thing we can feel really is suffering. As Ven. Master RiChang said the practice is definitely suffering, because it is the adverse of the flow of birth and death. But we have a community, and we will come into a community generation after generation, this cause and condition is the greatest one.

Fourthly, changing the secular hope into the great aspiration and vast vow is also a great cause and condition. Ven. Master XianQing said the great vow of our shifu was to help others to attain achievements, while he has made great achievements firstly. Considering ourselves, do we have similarities with our great teacher? I cannot speak for all of us, so personally speaking, there are not so much similarities. I don’t have such aspiration and vow. I am a good person in the secular world only. When encountering those annoying people, could I have the ability to help him achieve success? The answer might be not. The only thing I can do for him is not to make trouble. In the daily life, I always cite the words of our Shifu to encourage me: Forgiving is the way, after your inner peace fully attached, nothing is unforgiveable. So let’s anticipate that one day we can surpass all the barriers in front to look into the far distance and soak in the beauty of the peace in mind. Could we have the same praise on the beauty of the Buddhism and the mind arises from the bottom of our heart to benefit all other beings?

One very hot summer weekend afternoon, we studied and practiced together diligently. It is so hot that we were all wet with sweat. During share time I asked a question “Did we learn Buddhism in the earlier lives? If so why we know nothing about it and why we practice so hard now?” another fellow practitioner said “Yes, we did so. And we should have been in a same group that life. That’s why we stay here all through a hot weekend afternoon”. Now, I am very thankful for the greatness of causes and conditions, and I hope the links between I and the monastery, the great Mahayana teacher, the fellow practitioners become stronger, which will make me stay with the great Mahayana teacher, stay in the monastery, stay in the community, walk on the correct stages to the perfect nirvana.

Tags:causes and conditions, Master XueCheng, Master XianQing

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