While the Patriarch Sits Facing the Rock Wall,
The Dharma Master Seeks to Repent
He caught up with Patriarch Bodhidharma, only to
find him sitting in meditation facing a rock wall. He was turned
toward the wall and not speaking to anyone. Seeing the Patriarch there
in meditation, the Dharma Master knelt down and did not get up,
saying, "When I first saw you, I did not know that you were a
patriarch, a sage. I hit you with my recitation beads, and I'm really
sorry. I am truly remorseful. I know you are a person with true
virtue. You are a noble one who cherishes the Way. I am now seeking
the Way, the Dharma, from you."
Patriarch Bodhidharma took one look at him and
said nothing; he remained sitting in meditation. Dharma Master knelt
there seeking the Dharma for nine years. Patriarch Bodhidharma
meditated facing the wall for nine years, and Dharma Master Shen Guang
knelt there for nine years.
We cultivators of the present time sit for a
while and then begin to feel aches in our waist and pains in our legs,
getting very uncomfortable. All of us should reflect on what it would
be like to kneel for nine years. How comfortable would that be? How
All of us should reflect on how those of old
could kneel for nine years seeking the Dharma. We of today can't
endure nine days or even nine hours without feeling it's impossibly
bitter and terribly uncomfortable. Some of us also think: "In the
morning I don't get breakfast, and at night there's nothing sweet to
drink." All sorts of such false thoughts arise. Comparing ourselves
to those of old, how do we feel?
Do you feel concerned about Dharma Master Shen
Guang? He knelt there for nine long years. Probably some of you are
thinking, "Incredible! Kneeling for nine years like that, Dharma
Master Shen Guang's legs must have really hurt. It must have been
much worse than the leg pain we experience sitting in meditation.
Nine years is a long time." Someone else may say, "He must have run
away." Let me tell you, he did not run away! If he had run away
after he had knelt for nine years, all the effort he made would have
been wasted. It would not have been worth a penny. Therefore, he
would rather have knelt there until he died than to have run away.
"Patriarch, if you don't transmit to me the Dharma for avoiding King
Yama, I will not get up under any circumstances."