枯木生花歎奇哉：就像枯槁的木頭又生出了花，這是很奇怪的事情，這是不容易的事情。所以今天這個 lecture 就是這樣子，希望我們大家都枯木生花。
(continued from last issue)
The Ghosts of Impermanence replied,"Ah! So you don't want to see our boss. In this world, there is only that sagely monk whose teeth you just knocked out with your recitation beads, that Buddhist patriarch, to whom even our King Yama must bow when he meets him. If he wants to let you stay, and not let you go, then our boss cannot do anything about it." Shen Gwang listened and exclaimed, "Ah! This is the way out. All of you, please wait a bit. I am not going to see King Yama just yet. Wait until I've seen this Indian monk, and then we'll see." Hearing this, the Ghosts of Impermanence said, "Alright! We can postpone your invitation to the party." Shen Gwang was now very anxious, so anxious that he only put on one shoe, and stumbled in pursuit of Bodhidharma. As Bodhidharma was going on his way, he encountered a small incident. What incident? He saw a man's pet parrot. This parrot recognized Bodhidharma, and as soon as it saw Bodhidharma , it said, "Mind from the West, Mind from the West, please teach me the way to escape from the cage." Bodhidharma replied, "To escape from the cage, to escape from the cage, stretch out your legs, and shut both eyes. This is the way to escape from the cage." The parrot listened and thought, "Aha! This means I should pretend to be dead." So he waited until his master returned, and stretched his legs out and shut his eyes, feigning death. Each time the master returned, he would first go to see his pet, for he loved it very much. He wouldn't see his wife or children; he had to see his pet first. When he took a look, the parrot had its legs stretched out and its eyes shut. "Oh no! What happened? Who killed it?" So saying, he opened the cage and stretched his hand in to hold the parrot. Its body was still warm to the touch. "Oh! It probably just died. Looking at it from the left and right, thinking it was really dead, he opened his hand. As soon as he opened his hand, Trrr! The parrot flew away. Once the parrot took flight, there was no way it could be caught it. So that was the trick to get out of the cage. Bodhidharma's journey took him all the way to Bear's Ear Mountain in Henan Province, where he sat facing a wall for nine years. Shen Gwang also chased him there, and knelt by him for nine years. So it's said, "The myriad dharmas return to one, what does the one return to ?" Shen Gwang didn't understand, and chased after Bodhidharma. Kneeling for nine years in front of Bear's Ear Mountain, he only sought a way to escape Yama. One day, after he had knelt for nine years, the snow fell two or three feet deep, reaching up to Shen Gwang's waist as he knelt. He then requested Bodhidharma to transmit the Dharma to him, so that he could avoid seeing King Yama. Bodhidharma asked, "What do you see falling outside?" Shen Gwang answered, "The snow is falling." Bodhidharma then asked, "What color is the snow?" Shen Gwang replied, "It's white." Bodhidharma said, "When you see red snow falling, I will transmit this Dharma to you." Shen Gwang thought, "Now I'm stuck, for how can red snow fall from the sky?" He thought and thought, and suddenly an idea popped into his head. Seeing a precept knife hanging on the wall, he took it and hacked off his arm. The blood gushed forth like a spring. The severed arm turned all the snow crimson. He showed this crimson snow to Bodhidharma, saying, "Look, Venerable One, now the snow is red." The Venerable One took a look and saw that he had chopped off one arm, and thought , "Ah! I have not come to China in vain this time. Although I've lost two teeth, you've lost one arm. We are even now. Alright! I will transmit the Dharma to you." After Shen Gwang had received the Dharma-transmission, he said, "Venerable One, my arm is in great pain, and my mind is also hurting. Please soothe my mind for me." Bodhidharma said, "Fine, show me your mind, and I will soothe it for you." Shen Gwang said, "I cannot find my mind." Bodhidharma said, "Okay, I have already soothed your mind. Since you have no mind, how can there be pain?" Hearing these words, Shen Gwang became greatly awakened. Thus he became the Second Patriarch of the Chan School. He had only one arm—probably the left arm was gone, leaving the right arm so he could still write. So this is
Bodhidharma faced the wall.
The Venerable Yen forgot his life for the Dharma. Dhyana Master Dz Yen made visits everywhere, first calling on Jau of Jyang-ywe and Rang of Syi-an, and later visiting Dhyana Master Tswun Jwo. These three Dhyana Masters were famous in their time. I believe he visited quite a few less well-known Masters as well. He forgot his life as he sought the Dharma everywhere. He didn't mind giving up his life.
Jwo bestows the teaching and he spills out the ideal in his bossom. Dhyana Master bestowed the Dharma upon him, teaching and transforming him. Now as we are all here lecturing the Sutras and speaking the Dharma, we are also giving Dharma. You give a little, I give a little, and everyone gives some Dharma, so this is a wonderful Dharma Assembly. Whether you speak well or not, you should all resolve to come out and speak. Then in the future we will gradually have many people who can speak Dharma. When I first came to San Francisco, only one or two people came to hear me lecture the Sutras and speak Dharma. Now there are eight or ten people, which I feel is quite a lot, and I'm very content. Since we came to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, each day several dozen people come to listen to the Dharma. If I am not here, they are very disciplined and still listen to tapes. You could travel the whole world, yet not find another Way-place propagating the Dharma in this way. Now after Dhyana Master Dz Yen received the gift of Dharma and teaching from Dhyana Master Tswun Jwo, he was able to realize all the wisdom and ideals in his mind, without obstruction.
The gu-poison has difficulty entering, so why spit it out? If you reach this state, why do you need to spit out the gu-poison? In the past, people poisoned Dhyana Master Bodhidharma six times, but he didn't mind; there was no problem—he just ingested the poison, and didn't spit it back out. The idea that "one must be able to swallow it as well as spit it out" doesn't agree with the meaning of "Even if I meet with a knife's point, I am always completely tranquil. If I am given a poisonous drug, I am still totally at ease." That's why Tswun Jwo said,"You're just looking for trouble in the world. Why spit it out?" There's no need to spit it out. If you're not afraid of it, why bother to spit it out? It's enough that you don't get poisoned.
Sweet dew pervasively nourishes and develops bright talent. The sweet dew Dharma water pervasively nourishes people of potential talent. When Dhyana Master Dz Yen speaks Dharma, he can train many heroes and talents of Buddhism.
The Chin Mirror hangs on high, reflecting all categories of beings. This Venerable who studied the Dharma with such humility and understood the true meaning of Buddhism, was just like the Chin mirror suspended high up, shining on all the mountains, rivers, and the great earth, the roads and buildings, sentient and insentient beings, flying, swimming, and crawling creatures. He would illuminate
all categories of beings. He taught and transformed both sentient and insentient beings, speaking the Dharma for them.
Flowers bloom on withered wood, and people sigh, "How rare!" This is like dried wood on which flowers grow. This is a strange and rare event. Today's lecture is also like this. Hopefully all of us can be like the dry wood that grows flowers once again.