洞水逆流 師嗣其慧 從那邊來 開此五位
寶鏡當台 圓照萬類 虛玄無著 豈究竟會
我告訴你我旅行的過程。這個禮拜四，三步一拜從英國回來，已經是十點半了，我這個沒有出息的師父，見著這麼多有出息的徒弟回來了，也就樂以忘睡，不是說樂以忘憂，不記得睡覺，所以就和他們講話，講、講、講，從十點半講到早上三點半，把他們弄得也沒有睡覺，把我自己嘛，也沒有覺睡，那麼彼此都是半斤八兩。於是早上四點鐘就出發了，到什麼地方去呢？坐我那個老爺車就到西雅圖去。兩個人開車，一、二。二、一。一、二。二、一。他說；你開和我開一樣的。他說：對了！你開比我開得好。兩個人就互相謙讓開車，所以兩個人在車上都沒有機會睡覺，所以一直從四點鐘開到晚上七點半，到了西雅圖，就十六個多鐘頭，晚上沒有人來，也沒有事情做，到了早上八點就出去辦事，十點半回來，餵腦袋，吃中飯了，這個腦袋不餵，它就要哭了，說：哎呀！我需要gas。人要gas就給他加上點油鹽醬醋啊，還有飯、麵包之類的。加進去了，他就說得其所哉了！於是乎十二點半就去Marble Mountain。你們知道以前三步一拜從三藩市拜到Marble Mountain有一千多個miles呵！拜了幾年我不知道。那麼到那兒看看那個山。然後四點鐘回來，就開車到溫哥華去，在溫哥華，晚上十點半又出去做一點事情，十二點半回來休息。
The Master was a son of the Huang family of Fu-tian. In his youth he studied the Confucian teachings. At nineteen he went to Ling-shi “Magic Stone” Monastery in Fu-zhou and left the home-life there. After he received the full precepts, he went to study under Master Dong-shan “Cave Mountain.”
Master Shan asked him his name. “It’s Ben-ji,” he answered.
Master Shan said, “It’s a ghost!”
The Master replied, “Well, then, it’s not Ben-ji.”
Master Shan recognized him as a deep vessel for the Dharma. Master Ji became his teacher’s room-entering disciple. Several years passed; he bade farewell and was about to take his leave.
Master Shan asked him, “Where do you plan to go?”
He replied, “I will go to the place that is unchanging.”
Master Shan said, “How can there be any ‘going’ to the place that is unchanging?”
The Master replied, “That ‘going’ is also ‘unchanging.’” Then he left.
Afterwards he taught the Dharma at Yi-huang on Cao Mountain. Students congregated like clouds. He further established the “three fallings,” the “four prohibitions,” and the verses on the positions of “King and Minister” (referring to the Five Positions of the Cao-dong School), further enhancing Master Dong-shan’s original purport.
In the year
xin-you (901) he asked the monastery manager, “What day is it?”
The answer was, “The fifteenth of the sixth month.”
The Master said, “Tomorrow I’m going to resume my journey.” The next day he burned incense, sat upright, and entered the stillness. He was buried at Western Hill. His posthumous title is “Source of Certification,” and his stupa is called “Blessings Perfected.”
A verse in praise says:
The water of the Cave [that is, Dong-shan, “Cave Mountain”] reversed its flow.
The Master was heir to his teacher’s wisdom.
He came from a distant place and set up the Five Positions.
A jeweled mirror was raised up high above the platform.
It perfectly illumined the myriad kinds of beings.
Being profound, mysterious, and itself unattached,
How could it be discerned by willful intent?
The school of Cao-dong is a combination of the teachings of Patriarch Cao-shan (Cao Mountain) and Patriarch Dong-shan (Dong Mountain). Dhyana Master Ben-ji’s name means “originally still.”
The Master was a son of the Huang family of Fu-tian District. His lay surname was Huang.
In his youth he was a student who studied the Confucian teachings. At nineteen he felt everything in the world was illusory and meaningless so
he went to Ling-shi “Magic Stone” Monastery in Fu-zhou and left the home-life there. After he received the full precepts, he went to visit and
study under Master Dong-shan “Cave Mountain.”
Master Shan asked him for his name, “It’s Ben-ji,” he answered.
Master Shan said, “It’s a monster (jian)!” Jian means demon. Ghosts are dead people and
Jians are dead ghosts. So Master Shan said, “That’s a dead ghost.”
The Master replied, “Well, then, it’s not Ben-ji. A
jian is a jian and it’s not me.”
Master Shan recognized him as a deep vessel for the Dharma. Master Shan thought this lad was promising and thought highly of him.
Master Ji became his teacher’s room-entering disciple. Those who have received the Dharma transmission are called room-entering disciples, i.e. they have attained the mind seal dharma-door—they have received the robe and bowl [tokens of the transmission of the Dharma]. For example, the Fifth Patriarch transmitted his robe and bowl to the Sixth Patriarch. The transmission of the robe and bowl is called entry into the room. Master Shan transmitted the Dharma for several years.
Several years passed; he bade farewell and was about to take his leave.
Master Shan asked him, “Where do you plan to go?”
He replied, “I will go to the place that is unchanging.” The Master said to the place that does not change and holds to the principles. That is to say, no matter where I go it will be the same, being that there will be no change. It will be like that here with Master Shan. Wherever I go, I will not change the traditions of Master Shan. Everything will be the same as here.
Master Shan said, “How can there be any ‘going’ to the place that is unchanging?” Master Shan then asked, “Since it is unchanging, how can there be any ‘going’? Why do you want to go? You just stay here.” He actually didn’t want him and yet he didn’t want to say that he wanted him to stay either. That’s why he asked, “Where are you going? Where will you go after leaving here?” He meant that, after you leave the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, where else would you find the genuine Dharma? This is what he meant, but he didn’t want to say it. He put on a whole charade on purpose, which means that you can only understand by insight and not through words. He didn’t want [to see him leave]. The lofty monks of ancient times don’t want to see any good cultivator leave their temple. When I was with the Venerable Master Hsu, wherever I went he would say, “Oh! Where will you go in this time of chaos and war? Don’t go.” Actually, is there any place that is not chaotic?
So that’s why here at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) now, whoever wants to leave may leave; whoever wants to come may come. Whoever wishes to leave the home-life must know that the requirements are very high here at the CTTB. You must graduate from college and be able to memorize the
Shurangama Sutra. If you cannot satisfy these two conditions, don’t think of becoming a left-home person here. You won’t be able to enter even if you’re at the door. You are not allowed to enter the room. This is my style of cultivation. Do you know why? First, it is to hit you. Secondly, I have traveled too much these days to the point my legs got so numb and painful sitting in the car.
I’ll tell you about my trip. On Thursday, the one who did Three Steps One Bow came back from England at 10:30 pm, and I, this unaspiring teacher, was so happy that I forgot about sleep on seeing so many aspiring disciples return. So I talked and talked to them from 10:30 pm to 3:30 am. They missed their chance to sleep and I myself didn’t sleep either. We started on our way at 4:00 am. Where to? We went to Seattle in my old car. Two people drove, taking turns. One said, “It’s the same whether you drive or I.” The other said, “Oh! You drive better than I.” The two of them were too humble to ask another person to drive, so neither of them had a chance to catch any sleep. Driving from 4:00 am to 7:30 pm, it took us more than 16 hours to reach Seattle. No one came that night, nor did we have things to do. We went out to do business at 8:00 am and came back at 10:30 am. We fed our brain—had lunch. If the brain were not fed, it would cry, “Oh! I need gas.” When people need gas, you give them oil, salt, soy sauce, bread and rice, etc. After filling up, how happy they are! At 12:30 we went to Marble Mountain. As you know, a Three Steps One Bow trip of over a thousand miles was made from San Francisco to Marble Mountain! I don’t know how many years it took. So we went to take a look at that mountain. Coming back at 4:00 pm, we drove to Vancouver and went to do some business at 10:30 and returned at 12:30 to get some rest.
To be continued