Reminder from last issue:
Dhyana Master Xiaoshan certified his accomplishment and transmitted the Dharma to him. Afterwards, he secluded himself in Mount Conggu.
He hid in Bingshan for twenty years. Bingshan was probably a place that looked like a warehouse. He lived there for twenty years.
He did not have any contact with the world. You should all understand that this means he didn't exploit connections with worldly people. It doesn't mean that he didn't even see left-home people. If he didn't see any other left-home people, then he would be living alone in the hut. Then why does it say that "in the year of Wuzi in the reign of Wanli, he suddenly told the assembly"? Where did this assembly come from? Therefore, from this we know that although he lived alone in a small hut, there were probably many other left-home people living in that Way-place. But he simply didn't want to exploit connections or form any kind of relationships. He didn't want anything. Every one of us should clearly realize the fact that he wasn't greedy, wasn't fighting, wasn't seeking, wasn't being selfish, wasn't benefiting himself, and wasn't lying. When you carefully observe the greatly virtuous and eminent monks of ancient times, you'll find that they all achieved their success through these six great principles. They didn't achieve success by being lax and careless. If you stuff yourself until your stomach is about to burst and say that you can cultivate, I won't buy it. Whatever faults we have, we should sincerely change them. We should not be careless and sloppy, and yet still regard ourselves as really great. What's so great about you? Any time King Yama summons you, you must go. You don't have control over your birth and death yet. So he lived in Bingshan for twenty years and didn't have contact with the world.
During the Ming Dynasty, in the year of Wuzi in the reign of Wanli, he suddenly told the assembly. He said to the assembly, "There is something I must finish." In my whole life, there is only this one thing that I haven't finished. Now, I want to finish it. It is not that this is an important thing or an unimportant thing. It's just something I want to finish, something that I want to make clear.
You all have to know. "You all" means many people. There were many left-home people present. What is it that you all have to know? After he said that, he didn't say another word but holding his fist up, he asked, "Understand?" Do you understand or not? Is it clear? Do you know? He was asking the assembly.
The assembly was silent. Everyone played deaf and dumb, not knowing what he was up to. They were speechless. Basically, it was a very normal thing. He raised a fist and didn't say it was a foot, so that was okay. As for a hand, there was none to begin with. He raised his fist, but there was nothing at all. Nothing at all means to "sweep away all dharmas, and be apart from all marks." Everything is empty, so don't get attached to anything. When he raised his fist, he was playing smart. It didn't mean anything; he just did it to test everyone's wisdom.
Because the assembly didn't understand him, again he rapped on the desk once with his fist, making a loud noise. Then he said, "Hong! Hong!" This is a word found in the mantras. Does it have any meaning? It could be said to have limitless and boundless meanings; it could also be said to be meaningless. He said, "Hong! Hong!" wishing to cause the assembly to become enlightened at that time, to see if they understood. So he said, "I have finished it for you." I have already finished this matter. That means, "Be apart from the mark of speech, from the mark of conditions of the mind, and from the mark of literature." It means all dharmas have been swept away, and all marks have been left behind. There is nothing left.
Then he entered the stillness. After he finished saying those words, he entered the perfect stillness. How could he do that? That is because his skill had been perfected. He could live if he wanted to, and die if he so desired. He was free to do whatever he wished. If his skill hadn't been perfected, he wouldn't have been so free to come and go. So this proves that Dhyana Master Changzhong had some skill.
His stupa was built at the foot of the mountain. This place could easily be seen and was a little higher than the flat ground, like a foothill. He had lived to be seventy-five. He had lived to the age of seventy-five years.
→To be continued