In cultivation one must endure some bitterness.
If one only eats honey,
one will never become enlightened.
A reminder from the last issue:
Dhyana Master Wen Dzai, the 65th Generational Patriarch of the Tsao Dong School, left home when he was young. Reading Patriarch Xing Xiu's sentence, "I came back to find my father gone" he had a sudden enlightenment….
Before he finished asking-- before Master Wen Zai had even finished his question, Patriarch Wu Fang could tell that he was just intellectualizing, that his mind did not genuinely understand. His mind's light had not penetrated thoroughly. He still had not reached the summit. He was still using the conscious mind to try to get at it. And so the Patriarch decided to help him out a bit. Patriarch Fang dealt him a blow on the face.All of a sudden, "Pow" Dhyana Master Wu Fang slapped him across the face. With that blow, the Master's conscious mind was empty--severed. And so in cultivation one must endure some bitterness. If one only eats honey, one will never become enlightened. After being struck by Patriarch Wu Fang,the Master was shocked and attained an awakening. Suddenly the myriad thoughts were all empty. He suddenly penetrated to the depths of the Dharma.
He spoke this verse: Then he spoke this verse.The slap on my face. All of a sudden he hit me on the face. It was just like lightning, like a spark. It came that fast. The blow he dealt me was just that swift. If I had thought at all, I would have fallen into the second or the third truth. It would not have been the primary truth. A flash of lightning is fast, and so are sparks. The place where my body and life had been, disappeared without a trace. There was no place to put my body and life. No more attachments. Nothing was a problem anymore. All false attachments were cut off. What was it like?
The lotus flowers bloomed in the dead of winter. In December, it's impossible for there to be lotuses, blossoms, but now in this time of cold, the lotuses have bloomed. This means that while we have this body, which is a temporary combination of the four elements, subject to birth and death it is not easy to realize the fruition of a sage. However, now he has realized the fruition.
Later, at the end of the Jeng De reign period, he responded to the Emperor's edict and went to Shao Lin Monastery to be Abbot. At that time, the Master received a command from the Emperor to go to Shao Lin Monastery to serve as Abbot.People gathered like clouds to study with him. Like clouds gathering, the people from the four directions came to study the Dharma with him, gathered like clouds. A day never passed when he did not speak the Dharma. He spoke Dharma and lectured on the Sutras every day. Not a single day passed without him speaking.In the year of Jya Shen of the Jia Jing reign period, when the Master was over seventy years old, he made a hut and retired to the Thirty-Sixth Peak to pass his latter days. When he was seventy, he made himself a straw hut and retired there to spend his remaining years of life. Bear's Ear Mountain has thirty-six peaks. He made his hut at the top of the thirty-sixth peak or maybe at the midpoint.
A verse in praise says:
Out of the blue a thunderbolt pealed:
A slap on the cheek!
The lanterns laughed.
A bare-trunked tree sprouted anew.
The clouds cleared and the sun blazed down.
Within the raging fire, lotuses blossomed.
Where the mind’s light penetrates forth
The seas dry up and the mountains collapse.
Out of the blue a thunderbolt pealed: He was standing there talking and suddenly he was dealt a blow, just like a thunderbolt out of the blue. A slap on the cheek!The blow landed on his face. At that timethe lanterns laughed.Lanterns are insentient things, but they smiled and were happy. This refers to how sentients and insentient alike attain the Wisdom of All Modes. At that time a bare-trunked tree sprouted anew. The tree trunk was bare; there was no life left in it. But it sprouted anew--and brought forth life. This refers to how, at that time, the Tsao Dung Sect was old and on the decline and it looked as if there was no one to carry on the lineage. But then a Dharma son was born. The clouds cleared and the sun blazed down. After that, the clouds disappeared and the sun, at high noon, was white and brilliant.
To be continued