*右二為李將軍 General Li, second from right
Master of the High Seat of the Way:
When Yan-wu took refuge recently in Taipei, he looked up in awe at the Master's inconceivable Dharma power. When the master was on the High Seat this disciple had a sudden awakening to the meaning of “The Mind's Lamp Is Eternally Bright.”After taking refuge, a tremendous thougth of compassion remained in my mind at all times for about a week. Because of that, this disciple had a further awakening to how sever desire. This desciple further realized why it is that most people , when reciting the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, add on the words, “Greatly Kind and Greatly Compassionate.” It is because those who cultivate in this way must not only maintain a heart of kindness, but also must maintain compassionate thoughts. From thoday on this disciple will at all times cultivate and maintain the words “The Mind's Lamp Is Eternal Bright,”because upon awakening to the mind's lamp, this diciple has been totally filled with good thoughts. These thoughts are truly as the Master desceribes,“understanding the mind and seeingthe nature.”Would the Master say it is appropriate for me to diligently cultivate in this way? If the Master would give but a line or two of instruction, this disciple would be most happy.
At the refuge ceremony when the Master was on the High Seat speaking Dharma, Yan- wu noticed that the Master first appeared to be a Bodhisattva, and then appeared to be a great General. Then these two appearances began alternating in rapid and endless succession while at the same time his Dharma fingers opened out in a compassionate gesture and closed up into a fierce fist again and again without cease. Yan-wu became totally enthralled and absorbed in watching this and suddenly had the awakening to the mind's lamp. After the ceremony was finished this disciple asked those of great virtue who had been in attendance if any of them had seen the Master manifests such Dharma appearances. No one had seen them. Yan-wu alone had seen them. Again, how fortunate!
After the Master finished speaking Dharma he instructed his disciples: "You should bear what others cannot bear; yield what others cannot yield. Even if you are beaten or scolded you should bear it and be yielding." After that instruction he asked, "If someone were to scold your Maser what would you do?"
At that time, Yan-wu was muddled and unclear and blurted out in reply, "Laugh it off."
The Master said, "What if someone wanted to kill your Master?"
This disciple immediately answered, "Use my strength to take action." The meaning being that this disciple would die in the Master's stead. Because the ceremony for taking refuge had been long, it was feared the Master was too tired, and so it was too inconvenient to ask for instruction at that time.
After this disciple left he realized that "Laugh it off' was not the way to be patient and yielding. This disciple should have said that he would try to explain the doctrine to that person, and if that person still did not understand, then this disciple would "shake out his sleeves and leave," that is, he would have nothing more to do with him. It would not be appropriate to scold that person in return. And if someone wanted to kill the Master, upon further reflection, that answer was also not right. This disciple should have said he would try to reason with the person or would use his strength to protect the Master. If he could not sufficiently protect the Master, then he would die in the Master's stead. After Yan-wu thought this over, he wrote a note and told how these two answers were incorrect, and what he felt he should have said, and tacked the note on the wall of the Zhilian Hermitage (the temple where the Maser had spoken Dharma and transmitted the three refuges) to let those of great virtue examine it and judge for themselves. This disciple doesn't know what the Master would say about this.
When the Master departed from Taiwan, Yan-wu went to see the Master off. Because he observed that others just gave the Master a brief bow Yan-wu did likewise, and thought that he had done the right thing. But then Zang Guan-en arrived and made a full prostration before the Master. Seeing that, Yan-wu realized his mistake, and immediately tried to correct it by making a full prostration before the Master right there and then. The reason for this breach of etiquette was that this disciple has not cultivated, nor has he had much opportunity to be in the presence of the Triple Jewel, and so he does not know the rules. Adding to that the fact that he is a coarse person, these were the factors that contributed to the mistake. Because of his previous mistake, after Yan-wu finished his full prostration before the Master, his back broke out in a profuse sweat and he experienced total and endless shame! After he returned home, he knelt before the Buddha at the altar in his home and painfully chastised himself further. It is still difficult to forget. This disciple doesn't know if the Master will extend his compassion to forgive this disciple's vulgar lack of clarity. Having been a disciple for such a short time, Yan- wu has already made so many mistakes! As he writes, this feeling of regret remains with him still. It is impossible to say how agitated and regretful—how deeply sorry he is. It is concerning these matters that Yan-wu has written the Master, and respectfully bows.
Compassion and peace,
P.S. After the refuge ceremony this disciple wrote out the four words "The Mind's Lamp Is Eternally Bright" on a scroll and has airmailed it to the Master by way of remembrance.