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News from the Dharma Realm

by Kuo Jing

Master Hua lectures the Earth Store Sutra for rapt assembly.

August 2, 1978

Dear Friends in the Dharma,
There is a saying that "although clay dragons cannot bring rain, in asking for rain one must rely on clay dragons," to which we'd like to add that "although the self nature does not transcend the. Triple Realm, in trying to transcend the Triple Realm one must rely on the self nature", a rather offbeat way to capitulate the first leg of our journey, nevertheless a hearty feeling shared amongst the SABA Delegation to Malaysia.

We've begun a journey, which we are convinced, is propelling all those involved towards certain irreversible changes. Every gesture, every act, down to every single word uttered so far has been imbued with the spirit, which the Ven. Sri Dhammananda, Abbot of Brickfields Buddhist Temple (the largest Theravadan temple here) calls "this noble work."

Traveling with the Master and working alongside him, one is reminded, of the Bodhisattva in the Avatamsaka Sutra, who, residing in his Playful Roaming Samadhi, levels mountains and scoops up the sea. Meanwhile, as ho evokes these inconceivable cataclysmic changes within the three thousand great thousand worlds he does not disturb in the least bit a single hair upon the living beings of these countries. There is not a moment in which he strays from this Samadhi. And in the Lion's Invigorating Swiftness Samadhi', the Bodhisattva, Mahasattva revels in the Stillness of Constant Flexing, inspiring every conceivable transformation from his Cosmic Mind. All this because he has no trace of attachment!

So what does one do when one can draw so near to the source of the Teaching, when one realizes on a certain level, there is no longer the discrimination of teacher and disciple. More and more the, infinitely subtle sweet flavors of Mind to Mind, Heart to Heart communication manifest themselves for all of us.

In the end, nothing can be uttered. Words fail and thoughts balk. Traveling I with an enlightened master is so intense of one's normal, linear perceptions all together, parachuted as it were, into entirely new realms. Steppenwolf in Hermann Hesse's story is introduced to "The Magic Theatre: For Mad Men Only," after many trials and vigorous training in mental gymnastics. Common nagging thought are short circuited and the stream of talking with myself garbage which usually inundates one's mental pipelines are given an energetic flushing out by the lightning rod roto rooter of the Here and Now.

In a way cultivation is just that: guaranteed to lose your mind. But it/is in losing this small mind that we can become whole with the Pure Mind. In the Saha World one literally has to become "insane" in order to become sane again.

So we march through very full, very intense days, filled to the brim with events, faces, vibrations, and sounds. All these sounds tug at our heart strings, and we beam back. Underneath the massive, flowing tableau of ever changing electric shadows, the deep Mind's eye does not move. And it is here where the sound of sounds registers most deeply.

This is the first visiting Buddhist delegation to receive such an uproarious welcome from the entire state of Malaysia. 'Obviously the Buddhas, Bodhisattva' and guardian spirits are on our side again. Buddhist organizations all over Malaysia have joined forces in preparing this affair for over a year and we have been met with unanimous warmth and acceptance. As to the people's reverence for the Master, there is absolutely no doubt. In fact, a feeling close to are surges around him wherever he goes. There is something distinctly "sensational" in the Master's presence. From throngs of curious children to fervent Buddhist disciples, the Master adroitly elicits the same warmth, the same heaven-true-ness that is inherent in all beings' Natures. Most interestingly, Shih Fu behaves no differently here than at any other place or circumstance Whether he is amidst a crowd of 2,000 people, surrounded by hundreds of admirers and well-wishers, or-when he is alone inside his spartan cell at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, he just is. And now, night after night at the very auspicious Earth Store Bodhisattva Dharma Assembly, as the wonderful Dharma Wheel turns, the air is charged with that ineffable electric energy that arises from the proximity of a Great Hero's charisma of one who is not attached at all to appearances.

From the smoothness of the operation one can clue into the effort, tender loving care that has been put into all these months of preparation. Yet according to the Master's instructions:

The harder you work the greater the response. On an occasion when the Buddhas of the ten directions and three periods of time have all joyously consented to bless this Dharma assembly, many of you will experience auspicious portents, be they lights, sounds, or Earth Store Bodhisattva himself coming to rub your crowns."

We are only into the third day of the assembly, yet from the flood of questions and peculiar, "states" that many people have reported, this promises to be a panoply too wonderful for words.

The government which has in the past been tight-lipped to any religious mission except the officially recognized state religion, responds with uncharacteristic openness, with what must he called a "calculated enthusiasm." However, the press is going wild and so are the local people. The message of "One Buddhism, One Vehicle, One Family, and One Mind, the teaching that all religions are ultimately from the same source" this energy leaps Beyond any protocol. It is hard not to be moved by the spirit, for Grace illumines strange, hidden places.

Kuala Lumpur is only cur first stop, but if it is indicative at all of what awaits us in other Malaysia cities and other spheres, then we are in for some awakening, a revolution of the Spirit. As we are taught over and over again, real changes occur inside the Mind. External events mirror the kaleidoscope developments within all of us. And inside the universal Reality Limit of the Heart, the Lamp glows ever so bright.

Sincerely in the Dharma,
Sramanerika Kuo Jing


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