"Perhaps he presided over the Way-place Assemblies of Great Bodhisattvas, or the Way-place Assemblies of the Sound-hearers and Pratyeka Buddhas. Perhaps he presided over the Way-place Assemblies of the Wheel-turning Sage-kings, and lesser kings with their retinues. Or perhaps he presided over the Way-place Assemblies of Kshatriyas, Brahmans, Elders and laypeople, up to and including the Way-place Assemblies of the Gods, dragons, the eight-fold Spiritual Pantheon, humans, non-humans and so forth. "
Just as the Spring rain in a California valley moistens and brings to life all the many kinds of trees, herbs, grasses, and crops, each according to its roots, so too does the Buddha's Dharma-rain bring to maturity the many kinds of root-natures of living beings, each according to its own capacity to hear and practice.
We transferred the merit of our day's work at sundown and hustled back to the skinny hamlet of San Simeon: two service stations, two horse ranches, six motels. I'm filling the water jugs and watching the headlights glide by. Heng Chau fills the gas tank and washes the road dust from hands and forehead. People from all corners of the world cross paths at the gas pumps. We take a moment to rest, to refuel, to recharge batteries, and move on.
April 1,2, 1978
Gold Wheel Temple: "L.A. Tune-Up"
The Master's teaching in L.A. is informal and open-ended. We sit on the floor of his room in the morning as people come and go—from meditation to real estate, politics to earthquakes, Buddhism to babies. Our instructions come in bits and pieces.
Master: "If the cause ground is crooked, then the result is confused. Cultivators can't have any self."
Monks: "Shr Fu, we sometimes run into some really tough people."
Master: "Don't cut off conditions with anyone. Be good to people. Use kindness, compassion, joy, and giving, even to the point of your own death. Always forgive people. Don't have hatred, jealousy, or obstruction towards others, or else when your retribution comes, it will be severe."
Many people come in relating their troubles and worries.
Master: "I don't know how to teach and transform people, so every day I'm ashamed and repentant. If I could teach, then you people would have lost your afflictions long ago."
We ask about bowing and meditation states. There's a hint of seeking responses in our eagerness. The Master steers us straight.
Master: "In cultivation, you've got to go towards the true in everything. One part true gets one part response; ten parts true get ten parts response. The response is not something you seek, it comes naturally by itself. Anything that comes from seeking isn't true."
The discussion turns to how to tell true from false.
Master: "In the world, if you're true, people say you're false. If you're false, people say you're true. It's upside-down." (laughter).
Someone asks about investing in real estate. The Abbot cautions against overextending oneself and thing brings the topic back to cultivation.
"In everything I do, I go one firm step ahead at a time, and then I never have to retreat."