Another verse says:
The old dhuta practitioner maintained the Buddhadharma
Both in the western region and the eastern land, he proclaimed the Mahayana.
He always sat and never lay down,,
Emulating the Venerable Master “Ribs”.
He never hoarded many robes and kept his eyes shut tight.
The letter delivered a thousand miles had only blank pages.
All heated arguments are merely empty talk.
Outstanding among his peers, he was a true dragon and elephant.
Living beings relied upon him to cultivate the
The old dhuta practitioner maintained the
Buddhadharma. If one is able to cultivate the
dhuta practices, striking up one’s spirits and being courageously vigorous, one can maintain the Buddhadharma and keep it in the world. If no one truly cultivated, the Buddhadharma would become extinct. Therefore, wherever there are true cultivators of the Way, the Proper Dharma is present. But wherever there are none, the Proper Dharma dies out. This holds true for communities as well. If there are people in a community who truly hold the precepts, who do not fight, are not greedy, do not seek, are not selfish, do not pursue personal advantage, and do not lie, true Buddhism can be found there. But if you still fight, are greedy, seek, are selfish, pursue personal advantage, and lie, then how are you any different from ordinary people in the world who do not cultivate? If you are still seeking fame, fighting for position, and struggling for power – stirring up a lot of trouble – that is not the way to perpetuate Buddhism in the world. If one understands the Buddhadharma, then one will not contend with anyone. If you examine history from ancient times to the present, you will see that other religions have all kept armies and engaged in religious wars, but not Buddhism. That is because Buddhism advocates liberating the living and prohibits killing of any kind. Buddhists never keep armies or fight with anyone. That is the difference between Buddhism and other religions. If Buddhist disciples within Buddhism fight, are greedy, seek, are selfish, pursue personal advantage, and lie, how can they deserve to be called Buddhists? One should truly understand what a Buddhist ought to do; that is the way to uphold the Buddhadharma.
Therefore, it is necessary for people to cultivate the
dhuta practices. Among those ascetic practices, there is eating only one meal a day, which means one does not eat in the morning or in the evening. One takes a single meal at noontime. Also, one only possesses the three robes, a bowl, and a sitting cloth. One always keeps the three robes with one: the five-piece robe, the seven-piece robe, and the host robe. Furthermore, one does not lie down to sleep, but instead sits up at all times and never lets one’s ribs touch the mat. If one lives outdoors, one either sits beneath a tree or in a graveyard. No matter where one lives, one’s living arrangements are extremely simple, and one is not greedy for enjoyments.
One also refrains from drinking nourishing beverages after noon. Not only does one not take any solid food after twelve, one doesn’t drink nutritious liquids such as cow’s milk or soybean milk, or eat chocolate. All such things are included in the stipulation. It’s not the case that one doesn’t eat regular food in the afternoon, but eats chocolate. To do that is simple deceiving oneself. Chocolate is even more nourishing than rice; and it’s expensive. It may also be fortified with vitamins A, B, C, and D, and lots of other nutrients. Those kinds of foods are currently available everywhere, and if one eats them, one won’t feel hungry even if one does not eat any regular food. Therefore, one should only take one meal a day at noon, and only possess three robes, and so forth.
The main point in cultivating dhuta practices is not to be greedy. Whatever it is, one should not want a lot of it. As soon as one has a lot of something, that is greed. That’s why Master Shibei only possessed three robes, a bowl, and a sitting cloth. If he had extra clothing or extra anything else, he gave it away to other people. Basically, one should not accumulate things. One should not want anything at all. That is the meaning of
Both in the western region and the eastern land, he proclaimed the Mahayana. He propagated the Dharma of the Great Vehicle, that is, the jewel of the great teaching.
He always sat and never lay down, emulating the Venerable Master “Ribs”. Within Buddhism, there was the Venerable Master Parshva (“Ribs”), who was called that because he never lay down, and so his ribs never touched the mat.
He never hoarded many robes, and kept his eyes shut tight. Dhyana Master Shibei wasn’t greedy for lots of clothes. For him, a five-piece robe, a seven-piece robe, and a host robe were enough. And he always kept his eyes closed. He didn’t look at people, and he didn’t talk very much.
Dhuta cultivators don’t chat with people all day long, exploiting opportunities and setting up connections. He never did that.
The letter delivered a thousand miles had only blank pages. The Master sent a letter from over a thousand miles away to Xuefeng, but when Xuefeng opened it, there were only blank pieces of paper inside. The meaning was, “Originally there is not one thing—so fundamentally there is nothing to say.” To invent a story and try to get someone else to understand it is superfluous and unnecessary, isn’t it? Although it is superfluous, the purpose is to cause people to understand that all is superfluous and unnecessary.
All heated arguments are merely empty talk—with no reality to them.
Outstanding among his peers, he was a true dragon and elephant. Dhyana Master Shibei was an outstanding person, a dragon and elephant within the Dharma—which means he was an extremely wise teacher.
Living beings relied upon him to cultivate the paramitas. People everywhere took refuge with him and learned from him the Dharma of the Paramitas, the methods for reaching the other shore.
The End of "Dhyana Master Shibei of Xuansha"