He very much liked to sit in meditation, which he
did quite often. In order to urge himself on in his cultivation, he
vowed to go to that dangerous place. “Let’s see me fall asleep now!” he
said, positioning himself near the edge. He sat there for about seven
days without falling asleep; he didn’t dare! After all, his life was at
stake. Therefore, no matter what, he simply would not fall asleep.
However, on the eighth day, he could no longer
control himself. While sitting in meditation, he dozed off. As soon as
he fell asleep, he slumped forward and tumbled right off the edge.
Waking, he thought, “It’s all over. I’m certainly not going to come out
of this alive.”
Just then he gave up his body and mind. “If I must
die, then I will die. I’m not going to pay any attention; I’ll get
ready for the big sleep.”
When he had fallen halfway down the mountain, Wei
Tou Bodhisattva manifested his spiritual powers. From right there in
space, he dragged the Dhyana Master back up to the top of the mountain.
“Who is this protecting my Dharma?” the Master
“It is I, Dharma Protector Wei Tou!” came the
The Dhyana Master suddenly became arrogant and had
the thought, “You mean I influenced Wei Tou Bodhisattva to protect my
Dharma? Probably, in this world, there are very few cultivators who are
as courageously vigorous as I am.” And so he asked Wei Tou Bodhisattva,
“How many cultivators are there in the world who work as hard as I do
in their cultivation?”
“About as many as the hairs on a cow,” said Wei
Tou Bodhisattva dryly. “And since you are so arrogant, I’m not going to
protect your Dharma again for eighty thousand great eons!” So saying,
he took his jeweled pestle, rose up into space, and disappeared.
Dhyana Master Gaofeng Miao really regretted what
he had said. “Wei Tou Bodhisattva was protecting me, and I had to go
and get arrogant. That was really a mistake,” he lamented. Tears of
remorse began to roll softly down his cheeks. He cried for quite a
while before he gave rise to a renewed resolve: “I was cultivating
before I knew that Wei Tou Bodhisattva was protecting me. Why should I
quit cultivating now that I know he isn’t? I should cultivate whether
he protects me or not!” Then with great determination, he took his seat
on the ledge once again and commenced to meditate.
A little while later, sure enough, he fell asleep
and dropped over the edge again, plummeting down the mountain. “This
time, I’ve really had it,” he thought. “It’s all over now!” Suddenly,
he was hauled back up to the top again; he had been caught in midair
when he was about halfway down. “Now, who saved me this time?” he asked.
“It is I, Dharma Protector Wei Tou, once again,”
came the reply.
This irritated Dhyana Master Miao. “Old Brother
Wei, didn’t you say that you weren’t going to protect my Dharma for
eighty thousand great eons? Why did you save me again? Doesn’t that
make you a liar?”
Wei Tou Bodhisattva replied, “Your tears and shame
were very genuine; they canceled out eighty thousand great eons worth
of time. Therefore, I was obliged to come to your aid. Your one thought
of repentance took you across eighty thousand great eons!”
Why is this Sutra called the Wonderful Dharma
Lotus Flower Sutra? Because it is extremely wonderful, inconceivable.
It’s a state you have no way to see. If you use a telescopic lens you
can see things very far away, just as if they were right before you.
Without the telescopic lens, you would have no way to see that far. The
above story about Dhyana Master Gaofeng Miao proves that one thought
can transcend fifty small eons, or even eighty thousand great eons.
This is the same principle as looking at things through a telescope:
What is long can become short; what is short can be lengthened.
Didn’t I mention earlier that I renamed Hu Shi [a Chinese scholar who
advocated colloquial Chinese] Hu Nau (“troublemaker”), because he
talked and acted irresponsibly, like a child! He said that Venerable
Master Xu Yun had not lived 120 years. Now some ignorant people agree
with him and say he’s right. As soon as he sang, they sang as his
chorus. Even though foreign scholars quote him, saying, “Hu Shi said
so,” actually he is not knowledgable and doesn’t understand the Buddha
To be continued