想吃cottage cheese（一種乳酪），那麼現在若有一點 cottage cheese
Winter at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
「我沒有啊！」「沒有，怎麼沒有了呢？」「我怎麼知道啊，I don't know 啊！」庫頭說：「這不行啊，我們得要去見方丈和尚，go to
talk to Abbot。」
們買著吃。」只要你想cottage cheese 就買 cottage cheese
[during a Chan session] one person represents the whole assembly to
perform the meal offering and to bow to the Buddhas. It is not that the
whole assembly bows to the Buddhas together, or recites the Buddha’s
name together, or attends the meal offering ceremony together. Before
each period of silent sitting, one person will come up, open his/her
sitting cloth, hit the hand bell, and represent us in bowing to the
Buddhas. A Chan session is more strenuous than a Buddha-recitation
session, because it is the time to train ourselves in smelting a Vajra
indestructible body. You will notice that many things in this world are
accomplished by training. You can train yourself to do things that
originally you could not do, such as going into outer space. Astronauts
train in order to be able to do that. If they did not go through
training before they went into outer space, then they would be unable
to bear the environment. After training, they can bear it. Astronauts
are trained to go into outer space. We, however, are training to reach
“outer” enlightenment, not outer space. We also could say that “outer”
enlightenment is great enlightenment. Space comes forth from that
enlightenment. “The space that arises from within great enlightenment
is like a single bubble in the entire sea.” Space, which is within
great enlightenment, is no bigger than a bubble on the great sea. How
vast enlightenment must be! Therefore, here, we are not training to go
to outer space, we are training to reach “outer” enlightenment.
During a Chan
session time is precious, and it is especially important that we not
waste even a single second: Every one of you should be working hard on
developing your skill. If you just let the time go by in vain, then of
what worth will all the bitterness you have already undergone be?
Therefore, those of you who haven’t run away should work hard. Those
who have run away can come back. All of us can work hard together.
Since we are
working so hard here, I am sure that the gods and the dragons and the
rest of eightfold division of ghosts and spirits will come to protect
this Way-place and help you accomplish your karma in the Way. Do not
look down on yourselves. Whoever becomes enlightened will end birth and
death. Once you end birth and death, then everything is perfect.
Don’t waste your
time like you did during the Buddha Recitation Session. Don’t be like
my disciple who, during the last few days of the Buddha Recitation
Session, began to have false thinking. What about? She was thinking
about stealing ginseng tea. You do not need to steal ginseng; I will
give it to you now to get rid of your false thinking. But once you
drink it, you should work hard and seek to become enlightened.
Whoever becomes enlightened will know the face he had before his mother
And we will grant that he is comfortable, clear and cool.
My disciple is
rather embarrassed that I have mentioned her false thinking, and she
also felt that it was hard to translate my comment. Well, it is just
because it is not easy to translate that you need to translate it. When
we have faults, we should let others know about them. If you don’t let
others know about them, your mind will still be entangled in that false
thinking. When everyone knows, she will not dare have that false
thought again. Someone else has been thinking about the fourteen-week
meditation session several years ago when someone thought about eating
cottage cheese, and now he thinks it would be nice to have some more.
Oh! You don’t want to admit to having that false thought? Well, if you
deny it, if you are not honest, then maybe in this Chan session, you
will not be able to work as hard or as well as you might otherwise.
You say: “Well,
if I can’t gain any benefit from it, I might as well leave now.”
If you want to
go, go ahead! I won’t keep you here. Better that you go quickly.
ginseng?” “What is cottage cheese?” are like “Who is mindful of the
Buddha?” Everyone try to get the taste of that.
up now. Let’s start this Chan session. Everyone walk as you please,
without any particular order. You may walk at random and strike up
false thinking at random. Because yesterday Guo Zhou said that the
rules were stated too clearly, I am now making them less clear.
In Gold Mountain
Monastery’s Prajna Hall— The arena where Buddhas are selected— beings
from the ten directions gather.
Whoever becomes enlightened will know the face he had before his mother
And we will grant that he is comfortable, clear and cool.
Strike up your spirits! Bring them up! Bring them up! (chiiii!
chi! chi! chiiii!) “Walking” is exercise. By walking this way, the
movement stimulates our circulation. When we sit, we try to reach
stillness through quieting the physical body. Then we will be able to
bring forth genuine wisdom and liberate ourselves from birth and death.
This is the very best Dharma door to cultivate. Don’t be casual about
Master: [I say this] because last year Guo Dau wasn’t here.
Guo Yu also wasn’t here. Guo Su wasn’t here either, is that right?
Master: Were you here for last year’s Chan session?
I was here.
Master: When did you come?
Master: April of last year? April of this year? Was it April
of last year?
The year before last.
Master: The year before last? Well, since you were here, do
you remember how many people attended last year?
Uhh… I don’ t remember.
Master: Oh? You have all become “cultivators of the Way who
have no thought! That’s not bad! You all follow your teacher and do not
learn anything else except how not to remember anything. If you really
don’t remember anything at all, then you haven’t come here in vain. If
you cannot remember anything, then that is wonderful; that is the Way.
The Way is not remembering—not remembering anything at all.
The Master leading a meditation period in the 1960
Now I have a
story for you. Tiantong Monastery is located in Zhejiang Province. It
is one of China’s largest monasteries and can house over five thousand
monks. Dhyana meditation was conducted every year during the winter
months. “Dhyana in the winter; study in the summer.” During the winter,
meditation sessions were held; and during the summer, Sutra lectures
and Dharma talks were given. Why practice Dhyana in the winter? The
cold weather in the winter helps people work hard. When you feel cold,
you will want to work hard. How does one work hard? You have to turn on
your own personal heater and fight the cold--then you won’t fear the
cold. The colder it gets, the more energy you have. Therefore, when we
are conducting a Dhyana session in the winter, once you have turned on
your internal heater, not only will you not be cold, you’ll perspire!
And so now is the best time to investigate Chan. In warm weather it’s
easy to fall asleep. In cold weather, if you fall asleep, you will be
wakened up by the cold, and so it is not as easy to fall asleep.
Therefore, when we cultivate, we should not be afraid of the cold.
Long ago in
China, those who investigated Chan in the winter did not eat after
noon. What does “not eating after noon” mean? It means they ate rice
gruel in the morning and had rice for lunch, but in the evening they
did not eat anything. At that time, someone was working hard but
because he couldn’t eat at night, he felt hungry. Feeling hungry, he
began to have false thinking, “Oh! It is hard to bear the hunger. It’s
very uncomfortable.” Everybody felt hungry and started to have false
thinking. They said, “Ah! We could steal something to eat! Could we
steal Chinese buns? No, they are locked in the kitchen. Could we steal
rice? No, it is kept in the storeroom. There is no way to steal it.”
At that time the
weino [who is in charge of starting and ending the sitting periods] had
spiritual penetrations. Taking a look, he thought: “Oh! Everyone is so
hungry they are having false thinking about stealing food. This person
wants to steal ginseng. That person wants to steal cottage cheese. How
can we allow that to happen!” Then the weino thought, “I am going to
help them.” He used his spiritual penetrations to enter the storeroom,
where he took all the rice crust. Rice crust is the crisp layer of rice
at the bottom of the pot. In Canton it is called fanzhao “rice crisp.”
In the north we call it guogazi “pan crackle.” That’s a hard name to
pronounce. In a large monastery several thousand people were in
residence, so there was a lot of rice crust left each day. It wasn’t
the case that the rice crust wasn’t wanted, that it was thrown in the
garbage can and taken away with the rest of the trash. No, the rice
crust was kept and cooked with the next day’s rice and eaten. When many
people live together, if such food were wasted, it would amount to a
lot of waste. And so things were kept. Each day they kept the rice
crust in the storeroom. The weino used his spiritual penetrations to go
into the storeroom, grab a lot of rice crust, and set a piece in front
of each person. When the bell rang at the end of the sitting period,
each monk saw a piece of rice crust right there in front of him.
Stealthily each stuffed it into his mouth. Every person stole his bite
to eat. Here, we can steal ginseng and steal cottage cheese.
[To a disciple]
You said that we bought plenty of that, right? You may go to the
storeroom and steal it. Any one of you who has spiritual penetrations
can show them off. [To another disciple] Don’t lock the door, however.
If you lock the door, their spiritual penetrations won’t be sufficient
to let them get in.”
And so each monk
ate his rice crust and after eating it felt that it helped him use
effort--that he was able to work hard. The weino stole today, stole
tomorrow, stole the next day, and so on for many days until he had
stolen all the rice crust in the storeroom. The cook asked the
storeroom manager, “Where is the rice crust?”
manager said, “Didn’t you cook it in the rice?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“No? Then where
“How do I know?
I don’t know.”
Then the store
manager said, “This will never do! We have to go see the Abbot.”
together to see the Abbot. Abbot Mizu also had spiritual penetrations.
The storeroom manager said, “All the rice crust in the storeroom has
disappeared. We don’t know why.”
Abbot Mizu said,
“How could it have disappeared? Of course you cooked it and ate it, and
so it’s gone.”
manager said, “No, the rice cook said he did not cook it, but there
isn’t any in the storeroom either.”
Abbot Mizu said,
“Maybe it was eaten by mice. Okay, forget it!”
When the Abbot
looked into it: “Oh! It is you, weino. You act like that! Ah! You have
broken the precepts. You have stolen things. All right!” And so on that
day Abbot Mizu also went into the Chan hall to meditate with the
assembly. Sure enough, the weino went off to the storeroom to steal
things. However, he used his spirit—his spiritual soul—not his physical
body to go to the storeroom. His physical body remained seated there.
spiritual penetrations? He could bring things back with him just by
contemplating. He brought things back. But meanwhile Abbot Mizu had
stashed the weino’s physical body, still holding meditation posture,
under the meditation bench. When the weino who stole things returned,
he could not find his body on the bench. He looked about for it and
finally discovered it under the bench. He had to wiggle his way out
from under the weino’s meditation bench. As he was crawling out, the
Abbot said, “What are you doing coming out from under there? You are
stealing things in this monastery! You’ve stolen all the rice crust and
you are still doing it! You have to leave. You can’t stay here
The weino said,
“Fine. You can kick me out, but the monks in this assembly are too
hungry to work. If I have to leave, I want to request that you allow
these people a little something to eat in the evening.”
The Abbot said,
“Just go. That is none of your concern. Leave! I am kicking you out.”
"But if you
don’t promise to give them something to eat, I won’t leave!”
"All right! All
right!” Abbot Mizu told the weino, “After you go, I will give them each
two vegetarian buns.” Thereupon, the weino left, and every evening each
person got two vegetarian buns.
As soon as he
left, he used his spiritual penetrations to go from Tiantong Monastery
to Nanjing. Once he reached Nanjing, originally he planned to go on to
Guiyuan Monastery in Hankou in time for lunch. But when he passed
through the bustling city of Nanjing, he stopped to watch an opera.
Afterwards, he used his spiritual penetrations to go to Guiyuan
Monastery. At that time, the Abbot of Guiyuan Monastery also had
spiritual penetrations, and so he said, “Today a monk is coming to
lunch. We will eat first and then hit the bong. When he hears the sound
of the bong, he will come for lunch. And so first we eat and then we
hit the bong.” The bong is a wooden board carved in the shape of a
fish. When it is hit, the sound is “bong, bong, bong,” and so it is
called a bong. Why did the Abbot want everyone to eat first? It’s
because he knew that the weino had stopped to watch an opera in
Nanjing, and so he thought, “All right! Since you watched a show, I
won’t let you eat.”
After the weino
finished watching the show, he headed for Hankou. When he arrived, he
heard the bong and went to eat lunch. But he saw that all the people at
Guiyuan Monastery had already eaten. Everyone ate first and then the
bong was hit. He said, “Why aren’t you eating?”
follow the rules here. You should hit the bong first and then eat.”
“The Abbot was
asking why you went to watch an opera.”
thought about that and had nothing to say in reply, so he left. He went
directly to Sichuan. It is quite a long distance from Hankou to
Sichuan, but he reached there quickly by using his spiritual
penetrations. When he arrived there, he sat beneath two cinnamon trees
to meditate. Later he established a monastery there named “Twin
Cinnamon Hall,” which is also very well known.
This has been
the account of the weino who stole rice crust. We have among us one
shameless Bhikshuni who wanted to steal ginseng tea to drink. That was
why last night I told you all that I am going to give you some ginseng
tea to drink. Originally ginseng is not taken until the fourth day of a
Chan session. But now we have ginseng tea to drink every day, and so
you must definitely get enlightened. If you don’t, then that will prove
that you are ungrateful for my ginseng tea, right? [To a disciple] You
did have ginseng tea to drink this evening, didn’t you?
although there are not a lot of people, still, we have over ten,
perhaps over twenty people, who have come to attend this Chan session.
That’s much better than last year. In this Chan session, we should each
sacrifice our small self and perfect our great self. What does it mean
to sacrifice the small self and perfect the great self? I told you
today: resolving to steal something is an example of sacrificing the
small self. Stealing for the sake of giving to everyone else is an
example of perfecting the great self, of seeing everyone as the same—as
one. That is one way to explain it. Another way is to say that our
physical body is the small self and our Buddha nature is the great
self. The small self is living beings; the great self is Buddhahood.
The Buddha is the total substance with great function. Each of us
people, each living being, is a portion of the Buddha nature. Therefore
we must return that portion to the total substance and great function.
That is to sacrifice the small self and to perfect the great self.
And so today I
said, “Ah! If any one of you strikes up a false thought about having
something good to eat, I will buy it for you. If you think about eating
cottage cheese, then I will buy cottage cheese for you to eat. If you
think about bean curd, then I will buy bean curd. If you think about
cabbage, then I will buy cabbage. If you think about fried bean cakes,
then I will buy fried bean cakes. To sum it up, whatever false thought
you have, I will fulfill your wishes. And so, go ahead and strike up as
many false thoughts as you can. Keep having false thoughts every day
and we will watch and see when they finally stop.