我們金山寺比丘、比丘尼、優婆塞、優婆夷，很多的，這兩位善知識是誰呢？這兩位善知識，一位是果逾，一個就是果道。他們今天在 Garberville 那個地方搭巴士趕回來參加我們這個禪七；等到打完禪七，他們再恢復他們的三步一拜，去祈禱世界和平去。因為頭一次打電話來，我問他們參不參加這個禪七，他們說聽招呼。是不是？那麼今天又打電話來了，說這回不聽招呼了，要回來打禪七，問可不可以？我說是歡迎之至，特別歡迎。
This year's Chan session is different from past sessions. First of all, we have a good advisor from Hong Kong with us. "Why is a good advisor from Hong Kong coming to our Chan session?" you ask. I'll tell you, it's not that he has not attended Chan sessions before. He has been in Chan sessions, but now he's come to see what a Chan session in America is like. He wants to see if it is very beautiful. [Note: The Chinese name for America is 'Beautiful Country'.] So, all you Americans should be nice and beautiful. Don't show your ugly side. By your ugly side, I mean things like breaking down in tears during the session and crying "How can I possibly endure this? I've got to leave! This is impossible!" If the good advisor from Hong Kong sees that, he will laugh so hard his front teeth will fall out.
Secondly, there are two other good advisors. They are not from Hong Kong, Taiwan, or New York. They are from Gold Mountain Monastery. Who are they? You know them very well, and so do I. Before I tell you who they are, you feel they are very rare. Once I tell you, they will seem very ordinary.
"We have a lot of Bhikshus, Bhikshunis, Upasakas, and Upasikas at Gold Mountain Monastery. Who could these two good advisors be?" you wonder. One of them is Guo Yu, and the other is Guo Dao. Today, they took the bus from Garberville and have come back in time to join our Chan session. After the Chan session, they will resume their Three Steps One Bow pilgrimage to pray for world peace. The first time they telephoned, I asked them whether or not they were going to attend the Chan session. They said they would do as I told them. Today they called again to say that they were not going to follow instructions, but were going to return for the Chan session. When they asked for my permission, I told them they were most welcome to join the session, but that they must get enlightened.
Everyone should make sure that they do not miss the opportunity to join this year's Chan session. You must recognize your original face. If any of you fail to recognize your own face, don't think about leaving Gold Mountain Monastery. You'll be locked up in this jail.
That's a general introduction to this year's Chan session.
Tell Guo Yu to go buy more ginger. During the Chan session we will boil ginger soup to drink in the morning. I still have some ginseng left, so I will offer everyone ginseng tea. That way, no one will have to engage in false thinking about stealing ginseng. Today somebody gave me some Tongan fruit, which I will offer to the assembly during the session.
During the session, we need not hold the full morning and evening recitations. The Three Refuges ceremony will suffice. We also need not hold the meal offering ceremony or recite the offering chant at the dining hall. We will just go over to take our meal, and once we finish we should immediately return to the Chan Hall to do walking meditation. After the head of the assembly finishes his meal, he should strike the wall with the incense board, giving the wall more to "eat," so to speak. The Sutra lecture will be replaced with an instructional talk at 7 p.m. during the session.
In most places, traditionally, there is a "resting" sitting period, usually from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., during which anyone who wants to sleep may do so, either sitting on the Chan bench, or returning to their own room. This year, we can also have this expedient. We didn't have this during the fourteen-week Chan session. This year, if we allow people to sleep for an hour during that time, perhaps they will not doze off so much at night. All of you should look into it and see if you want to try it out. It doesn't matter to me. If you want to sleep, go ahead. If you want to stick to the old way, you can keep on sitting. It's up to you. I'm just making a suggestion.
Did we use to have a Sutra lecture on Sunday during the Chan sessions? I don't remember anymore. During this two-week Chan session, we won't have a Sutra lecture on Sundays. We will simply concentrate on attending the session.
During the period from 9:30-10:30 in the moring , we can also have some instructional talks. Everyone should discuss it and see whether you can take turns giving talks. Find out who is willing to speak. If no one is willing, then we don't have to have talks. Anyone who's willing to speak may give instructional talks. However, during a Chan session, instructional talks are considered an interruption. So, it's fine to have them or not to have them.
Limitless doors of compassion,
equal to the number of living beings,
The Thus Come One universally purified
and regulated in the past.
For that reason he is able to bring benefit to the world.
This is the understanding of the Spirit Raising Up Twigs.
Limitless doors of compassion. Compassion alleviates the suffering of all living beings. There are immeasurably, boundlessly many doors of compassion. Exactly how many are there? Their number is
equal to the number of living beings. However many living beings there are, that's how many doors of compassion there are.
The Thus Come One universally purified and regulated in the past. "Thus Come One" is one of the ten titles of a Buddha. It means, "traveling the Way which is Thus, he 'comes' to accomplish Proper Enlightenment." Once upon a time, the Buddha cultivated all kinds of practices, causing them all to be pure and regulated.
For that reason he is able to bring benefit to the world. The Buddha is able to be of benefit to the living beings of the world.
This is the understanding of the Forest-Ruling
Spirit Raising Up Twigs. He has understood this liberation door.
If there are beings who see the Buddha but once,
He is certain to cause them to enter the sea of deep faith,
Universally showing them the Path of all Thus Come Ones.
This is the liberation of the Spirit Wondrous Sprouts.
If there are beings who see the Buddha but once. It is not easy for living beings to see the Buddha. It is even more difficult to get to hear the Buddhadharma. People who are able to go to a stupa or temple and see the Buddhas are people with tremendous good roots. Those without good roots have no opportunity to see the Buddhas, the Dharma, or the Sangha. The Triple Jewel—the Buddhas, the Dharma, and the Sangha-is not easy to see. If there are living beings who are able to see the Buddha or an image of the Buddha,
he is certain to cause them to enter the sea of deep faith. The Buddha will enable these beings to gain a profound understanding the Buddhadharma, which is as vast as the sea, and to bring forth deep faith. The Buddha, by
universally showing them the Path of all Thus Come Ones, enables living beings to cultivate the Buddha Path and realize Buddhahood.
This is the liberation door
of the Forest-Ruling Spirit Wondrous Sprouts, who causes sprouts of various kinds of pure faith to grow.
The merit and virtue accumulated in one pore
Could not be exhaustively proclaimed in oceans of eons.
The expedient means of the Buddhas are inconceivable.
Pure Leaves is able to understand this profound meaning.
The merit and virtue accumulated on one hair. Within a single pore, the Buddha can display the lands of all Buddhas throughout the ten directions. Ordinary people are unable to understand this state. The merit and virtue accumulated by the Buddha in just a single one of his pores
could not be exhaustively proclaimed in oceans of eons. Even in measurelessly, boundlessly, innumerably, unspeakably, unspeakably many eons, as profuse as an ocean, one could not finish talking about the merit and virtue in one of the Buddha's pores. Why? Because that merit and virtue is infinite.
The expedient means of the Buddhas are inconceivable. The expedient Dharma doors of all Buddhas cannot be mentally conceptualized or verbally expressed. The Forest-Ruling Spirit named Auspicious
Pure Leaves is able to understand this profound meaning.
"I recollect how the Thus Come One in the past
Made offerings to limitless Buddhas in lands like dust motes.
Before each and every Buddha, his wisdom gradually grew bright."
This is what the Spirit Resplendent Treasury has understood.
The Forest-Ruling Spirit named Overhanging Resplendent Treasury says,
"I recollect how the Thus Come One, limitlessly many eons
in the past, / Made offerings of various articles and money
to limitless Buddhas in lands like dust motes. / Having made offerings
before each and every Buddha, he became adorned with blessings and wisdom, and
his wisdom gradually grew bright and increased day by day."
This is what the Forest-Ruling
Spirit Overhanging Resplendent Treasury has understood. He understands this state.
The ocean of the actions of all living beings
Is completely understood by the World Honored One
in a single thought.
Vast, great, unobstructed wisdom such as this,
The Spirit Wondrous Adorned can awaken to and enter.
The ocean of the actions of all living beings. All living beings includes those born from wombs, eggs, moisture, and transformation. Every living being has his own behavior, his own karma that he creates, and his own thoughts. This is the process of becoming deluded, creating karma, and undergoing retribution. Creating limitless karma, one must undergo limitless retribution. All this
is completely understood by the World Honored One in a single thought. In a single thought, the Buddha can know the thoughts of all living beings. The
Vajra Sutra says, "The Thus Come One completely knows and sees the various thoughts of all living beings." There is nothing the Buddha does not know or understand.
Vast, great, boundless,
unobstructed wisdom such as this, / The Forest-Ruling
Spirit Wondrous Adorned Radiance
can awaken to and enter. He understands this state.
To be continued