Adoring the marvelous
mountains and waters of Zhejiang,
Dhyana Master considered its scenery beautiful,
like that of
Yosemite. It's quite wonderful that the Chinese
people in California
transliterated Yosemite, known for the scenic beauty of its mountains and
waters, with the Chinese words meaning "excellent mountains
and beautiful land." Thus
he, Dhyana Master
in Zhejiang. At which mountain?
At White Cliffs.
The character for "settled" is an allusion to birds flying
to their trees at sunset and settling down to rest. Dhyana
Master Jingfu settled down at White Cliffs to live and did
not go elsewhere. Since he was a cultivator of the Way,
in just a few years'
time, he gathered a large following. Many admiring
students flocked from every direction to convene beneath his
Dharma seat, in order to inquire from him and receive his
instruction. He wrote
A Compendium of Dharma
Lineages. He explained in detail the lineages of the
various sects in that book, which
won him widespread
renown. His fame spread throughout the country.
Monks from the four
quarters quickly flocked to him as the hundred streams flow
into the great ocean. Later,
showing signs of a
slight illness, he entered complete stillness. His remains,
his ashes, were
housed in a stupa
to the right of the monastery.
A verse in praise says:
Hearing the Master's name-
Chiming jade and resounding brass.
Listening to the Master's words-
Flashing lightning and roaring thunder.
Brilliant were his eyes;
Empty was his heart.
Matchless was he, admired by all-
Majestic as a divine dragon.
Hearing the Master's
name of Dhyana Master Jingfu-chiming jade and resounding brass. This expresses that his
achievements were outstanding. He was able to merge the
accomplishments of various teachers. In the original quote,
the word "proclaiming" instead of "resounding" was used and
referred to the opening notes of a piece of music. "Chiming" refers to harmonizing the sounds.When a
Chinese symphony performed,usually the resounding brass
instruments would open the piece, hence the phrase,"
proclaiming brass".When the "eight sounds" were all
playing,each sounding distinctly,jade and stone instruments
would be used to harmonize all the instruments so that they
resonated together to the end of the piece,hence the phrase,
"chiming jade".It's the same principle in our Buddhist
ceremonies,for example,where we always begin with the bell
and end with the da qing,the large,bowl-like instrument. Mencius in the past used the
phrase"chiming jade and resounding brass"to praise
Confucius, who had collected and absorbed the great
scholarly accomplishments of the various philosophers.
Here,the text praises Dhyana Master Jingfu for having
studied with numerous masters and acquired the essence of
their teachings. Thus, hearing his illustrious name was like
hearing the rumbling of thunder;that's how renowned he was.
Listening to the Master's words,to the Great Master's teachings,was like experiencing
and roaring thunder-a scary experience.
Brilliant were his eyes;his eyes were full of spirit and seemed to glow.Empty was his heart. However,Dhyana Master Jingfu had a very open
mind and no attachments.He saw everything as empty,yet was
not attached to emptiness either.
Matchless was he,admired by all.Everyone looked up to him,but no one could catch up
with him.Majestic as
a divine dragon.He had the awesome demeanor of a
spiritual dragon-you can see its head ,but not its
tail;people could not fathom his loftiness or profundity.
Another verse says:
Asking who am I? I am who?
sought in vain for his donkey while riding upon it!
Mount Bo and Mount Bian he climbed with difficulty.
Five Peaks and Nine Peaks he ascended with ease.
the beautiful White Cliffs,he built his aranya
And nurtured his brilliance among the flourishing green
Jingfu universally transformed the trichiliocosm.
Mysterious and magical-the divine dragon's transformations.
Asking who am I? I am who? He investigated the meditation topic,"who is
mindful of the Buddha?""what is my original face?"
sought in vain for his donkey while riding upon it!It
was as if he were riding upon a donkey without realizing
it,and searching everywhere for his donkey:" Oh, where is my
donkey? Where has it gone?"He went looking everywhere for
it.Instead of turning his attention inward,he went out daily
searching, searching, searching...but could not find his
original face(his true identity).Thus the verse says"in
vain".He wasted his time and squandered his life in vain.His
search was fruitless.So,cultivators of the Way must know how
to let go of things and not get attached.Then
see their original face right there. If, however, one
emulates the dumb bird that only knew how to carry the pear
but didn't know what it tasted like, then one is no better
than the dumb bird!
Mount Bo and Mount Bian he
climbed with difficulty. This is an
allusion to a verse in the
Book of Odes about
someone climbing a hill to gaze in the direction of his
parents, recollecting the advice his parents had given him
when he set forth on his journey: to strive to make progress
without ever resting. Dhyana Master Jingfu diligently heeded
the instruction and admonishments of his two teachers,
Masters Boshan (Mount Bo) and Bianshan (Mount Bian). No
matter how difficult it was, he never slacked off. That's
how diligent he was.
Five Peaks and Nine Peaks
he ascended with ease.
Due to his hard work, Dhyana Master Jingfu became
accomplished very quickly. Whether it was Elder Five Peaks
or Venerable Nine Peaks (Jiufeng), he was able to catch up
In the beautiful White
Cliffs, he built his
In the "Yosemite" of White Cliffs, he dwelt in the
mountains and propagated the teachings. As more and more
students flocked to him, his place soon became a large
monastic community. An
aranya is a pure Bodhimanda where people can cultivate.
And nurtured his brilliance
among the flourishing green bamboo.
Verdant bamboo grew abundantly in the mountains. In their
midst, he concentrated single-mindedly on his practice and
nurtured his light.
Dhyana Master Jingfu
universally transformed the trichiliocosm. Don't assume
that he only taught those disciples who studied with him;
his influence was very profound, vast, and far-reaching.
Mysterious and magical-the
divine dragon's transformations.
Dhyana Master Jingfu's state of mind was as mysterious,
profound, and unfathomable as the ten thousand
transformations of a divine dragon.