even more difficult to believe

by Bhiksu Heng Kuan


In November 1972 four Sramaneras from Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery in San Francisco traveled to Compassionate Good Temple to take part in the precept platform and receive the complete precepts of the Thousand Buddhas.  The group was led by Dharma Master Heng Shoou and included Dharma Masters Heng Pai, Heng Ch'ao and Heng Kuan. They arrived at the precept platform on November 18th.

The leader of the group, Dharma Master Heng Shoou, has had unusual abilities for a long time. He has often had premonitions of events, which were actually to happen, and has been able to see events unfolding in other places. When he began to study Buddhism these spiritual powers began to increase and take on a clarity and precision of focus that one would not think possible. But whether or not you think it possible is just a matter of your thinking, which has little to do with the facts of the matter. So let's leave your thinking behind for a time, the space of a few paragraphs, and explore some new possibilities, possibilities which a man has made actualities through his own hard work.

The factual account of how Dharma Master Heng Shoou first entered samadhi and began to develop the mental functions, a task which few men have had the perseverance to accomplish, is contained in the 16th issue of Vajra Bodhi Sea. Since that time his powers have developed and increased with daily practice of Buddhist cultivation: meditation, mantras, and the like.

On the way to Compassionate Good Temple in Taichung, Dharma Master Heng Shoou watched the trip unfold before it happened. It was as if it had all happened before, and at the same time he watched the actualities of the journey in advance all the way. When he arrived at the temple it was exactly as he had expected it to be, and he met many people who were immediately recognizable as someone he had previously known, including many of the novices who were to receive the precepts at the same time.

A few days' after the group arrived, it was discovered that there was time to meditate for an hour or so in the evenings, and Heng Shoou began to sit. As soon as he sat down he was able to see all over the extensive temple grounds. Whenever his spiritual eyes opened and allowed him the super-vision, the opening was preceded by a special state: sounds, visions and the like.

Previously when he had sat in meditation and one of his spiritual eyes had opened, the vision was grey, and occasionally indistinct. This time it was like having plain vision, but plain vision extended and what is more the focus was sharper and everything appeared in its normal color. He was able to see all over the temple, everywhere in the compound of Compassionate Good Temple.

Once before the Novice Precepts were transmitted, the great assembly had been kneeling in the Buddha Hall for hours. Suddenly Heng Shoou was aware of his teacher, the Abbot of Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery in San Francisco, standing behind him. His teacher returned once again that afternoon and Heng Shoou felt greatly encouraged, and everything in his mind cleared up. Heng Shoou said that he was often aware of the presence of his teacher around the temple.

One day he sat down in his room to get some rest. All the while he had been able to see the spiritual eyes in the center of his forehead: a large vertical elipse in the center; two smaller elipses on either side of it; and two larger masses out around the vicinity of his temples. Not long after he had sat down to sleep a sudden and brilliant white light exploded in his head, two inches from the forehead and three inches down from the top. It slowly moved back into the center of the head to the point where the five eyes described above intersect. At this point the light became extremely intense.

The intensity continued unabated for a long time, and then the light slowly started to transform and dissipate. In its place he began to see events and people all over the world, and tuned-in on old friends in their

current activities. This was similar to ones he had had earlier, but the light was of a different flavor, heavier and more dense. He saw people in America, at Gold Mountain Temple doing things. He left the realm of the

Precept Platform that day while he sat in his quarters behind the Buddha hall.

Soon there was another change as his thoughts became substantial. Each thought created its own form, which immediately manifested as a reality: as soon as a thought was born it would become a phenomenon. Can you say that there is a difference between the mind and the dharma realm?

This phenomenal appearance of thought forms went on for several days, and for several days Dharma Master Heng Shoou continued to have the supervision just described.

After a few more days had passed he noticed a further change. Previously the spiritual power of the flesh eye allowed him to see everywhere in the temple compound at the same time, but he could not see through obstructions. The images of the flesh eye, which is one of the larger masses on the side of the head described above, seemed to appear I a certain part of the head, on the left side. When the eye opened it was similar to a movie camera panning a scene, taking in more and more of the surroundings; until the eye far surpassed even the most modern of cinematic techniques, and Heng Shoou was able to view the entire compound at one time.

But now the vision shifted from the side to the front of the head, and with this shift the opacity of obstructions vanished, and he was able to see the inside as well as the outside of objects simultaneously. He could see everywhere in the temple grounds and in all the buildings all at one time, without focus or attention...rather the state was one of pure perception, a field of perception. The field of the flesh eye sees obstructed phenomena, and operates just like our human meat eyes, except that its field of vision is larger. But when his vision shifted to the center of his forehead, he could see all planes and dimensions of an object without obstruction. For example, he was able to see the front, insides, and rear of buildings all at the same time. His vision developed during the precept platform, and became more subtle and clear.

The Precept Platform closed on December 19th, 1971 with the transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts. Following the ceremonies, Dharma Master Heng Shoou led his party to Hong Kong for a short visit with Hong Kong Buddhists and especially Dharma Master Heng Ching, his elder Dharma Brother who was lecturing the Heart Sutra at the Buddhist Lecture Hall in Hong Kong.  After this visit Heng Shoou led his group back to Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery in San Francisco, where they are presently cultivating and establishing the proper Dharma in the West.

Well, it is nearly time for you to begin your discriminating thinking again.  But before you do, you should realize that the potentialities of mind realized by Dharma Master Heng Shoou are not available only to a privileged few but can be obtained by anyone who is willing to do the work. And the way to start the work is to leave your discriminating thinking wherever it is, and not pick it up again.