Posted by Master (188.8.131.52) on October 30, 2000 at 00:08:51:
The Zhan (meditation, or Zen) school in Buddhism stresses "the
direct cultivation of the Mind and seeing your own original nature
to attain Buddhahood". The most important thing in this doctrine is
"to see one's original nature". At the very beginning, when Buddha
Shakyamuni held a flower and smiled, Buddha Kasyapa become
enlightened. Later, the doctrines passed on to Ananda. By the time
of the 28th Patriarch in India, Buddhidharma was selected, who
came to China and established the Zhan ( or Mystic School), and
he became the first Patriarch in China. Among the six patriarchs of
the Zhan sect, the last patriarch, Hui Neng, was very noted for his
development of the doctrines. The Zhan sect reached its heyday
during the Tang dynasty, with Master Ma Zu at the head, who
advocated "seeing one's original nature to attain Buddhahood".
By the last years of the Song Dynasty, the Zhan Sect developed
into a practice of studying enigmatic phrases as advocated by
Master Gao Feng. (There is usually one enigmatic phrase in a
mystic question, to which the answer is not based on logic or
inference, but on some enlightened wisdom.) Gradually, the
doctrine of "seeing one's original nature" was changed into "written
Zhan" or "verbal Zhan", indicating a sharp decline of the Zhan
sect. The studying of enigmatic phrases was splendid (for example,
there are 1700 so-called "public cases" published in which witty
but mystical dialogues are recorded for teaching purposes.), but
the true meaning of the enigmatic phrases is beyond ordinary
To make your own nature appear, you have to understand the
doctrine and engage in actual practice. It should be remembered
that our True Nature is our Original Nature that transcends the
actual form. The true nature we are talking about now resides at
the Heavenly Heart (the brow-point); it is our "true face" which
remains at the eye-brow chakra when the soul enters a rebirth.
The spirit of consciousness resides in the heart down below, that
is, the heart of flesh and blood, covered by the lungs. The spirit of
consciousness is also called the "heart of dust". (Dust here refers
to objects of the sense organs, which cause evil passions to arise in
the heart and afflict it.), or it changes alongside the changes in our
consciousness, such as unhealthy thinking, unwholesome ideas,
the seven feelings and the six desires, stubborn views, or one-sided
insight. It panics when taken aback, gets angry when slandered,
saddens upon hearing some beloved one has passed away, and
becomes intoxicated with beautiful women. These are the
functions of the spirit of consciousness.
This writer often says that there is a suitable metaphor about the
relationship between our true nature and the spirit of
consciousness. The two are like two gods-the true nature is a good
god, a Buddha, while the latter is a Mara, a devilish god. They are
in a constant struggle for superiority. If the spirit of consciousness
gets the upper hand, it would bully the True Nature and incite it to
act with murderous intent, stopping at nothing. Such a person's
True Nature is muddle-headed, whose light cannot focus at the
Heavenly Heart. The person will definitely go to Hell in the nether
For people who practice meditation or concentration, their True
Nature will reveal itself and stay at the Heavenly Heart, whose
light will conquer the spirit of consciousness. The True Nature
usually appears during concentrated mediation, with a strong beam
of light to control the spirit of consciousness. This light focuses at
one point, and has spiritual powers and self-mastery, making
everything ready for Buddhahood. This "art of meditation" has
remained secret for thousands of years.
I always feel that, in this world, human beings are very much like
mayflies, with an extremely short life to live. If they crave for
pleasure, enjoy themselves to their hearts' content in the morning,
but pass away in the evening, then life is indeed as empty as a
bubble. Without their true nature ever appearing, they go on and
on in the cycle of the six forms of existence, with countless
rebirths and deaths, deteriorating with the passage of time. This is
why I often advise people to practice. Without practicing, you
have only a very short life to enjoy, as a mayfly does, rendering
life insignificant or meaningless.
Today, I want to point out this following in particular:
The Heavenly Heart is the Land of Mind. The Land of Mind is
the Pure Land. The Pure Land is the Land of Buddhas, where
our True Nature resides.
The True Nature is the Spiritual Light, which is innate Qi (chi,
or vital energy), which, in turn, is Tantric method, where
Luminosity (enlightenment) resides.
The Inner Alchemy in Taoism-"taking the spiritual light for its
use", takes "the Pure Land as its Refuge", and takes "the semen"
as its basis. To put this in more detailed terms, the spirit relies on
the spiritual light at the Heavenly Heart while the soul relies on the
spirit of consciousness at the bodily heart. We have to cultivate the
spirit to sustain the spiritual light, so as to conquer the soul and cut
off consciousness. In ancient times, the secret method for Taoist
cultivation was to use the spirit to subdue the soul. In other words,
use the True Nature to subjugate consciousness. In this sense,
Buddhism and Taoism are closely connected to each other.
I would like to point out the following in particular:
The Land of Mind Taoists cultivation is the method of the Pure
Land Sect in Buddhsim.
The Spiritual Light Taoists cultivation is the method of the
Tantric Sect in Buddhism.
The Breathing Practice Taoists cultivate is the method of the
Zhan sect in Buddhism. (Breathing is, in fact, the True
For Taoists to retain the semen is like Buddhists following the
precepts. With abundant semen, the spiritual light can focus, both
the Land of Mind and the Pure Land will be solidified. In Taoism,
this is called "the crystalization into a saint"; in Buddhism, it is
"rebirth into the Pure Land" or "attainment of Buddhahood in the
present life". In my own meditation, I can quickly make the spirit
light concentrate at one point. This ability comes from long-time
It is like a hen sitting on her eggs-the mild
heat accumulates until the chicks break the
eggshell to see the world. I tell my readers
with great sincerity that if you practice
meditation for a lengthy period of time, the mild heat will
accumulate and the True Nature will show itself. This is not a
question of belief or doubt, rather a question of whether you
practice it or not. The appearance of the True Nature is like the
little chicks breaking the eggshell to put out their heads. When
Taoists realize the Way, they see the True Nature.
How is it that the spirit and the soul are respectively attached to
the True Nature and Consciuousness? Let me explain as follows:
The spirit is Yang (positive, male, light), a gust of clear and light
air, residing with the True Nature. They soul is Yin (negative,
female, dark), a gust of foul, devilish air, residing with
consciousness. If the spirit is strong, you go to Heaven to be a
Buddha. When the soul wins over, you go to Hell to be a ghost.
Taoists practice hard in order to exhaust the Yin, the soul. When
the Yin soul is depleted, only "Pure Yang" remains. Patriarch Ln
Dong-bin (Northern Song Dynasty) achieved "pure yang" by this
practice and became a celestial being.
I once visited some lineage master of Buddhism.
The master said, "You are a Mara of the heart."
A believer in Yi Kuan Tao criticized me, "You are a trying
Some lay men pointed at my nose, saying, "Superstition!"
Some jealous people shouted at me, "You spread fallacies to
However, how would they know the truth; there are not many
people in the world who know these facts, and I am one of those
in the know and the most real one at that. Facing a thousand
accusing fingers I secretly practiced and practiced. Following the
Pure Land teachings, I chanted Amitabha without interruption, and
practiced without distracting thought, for a rebirth in the Buddha
lands. Following the visualization method in Tantric Buddhism, I
used the spiritual light to conduct an empowerment. Following the
Zhan sect, I cultivated for the revelation of the True Nature and
got to understand all the Buddhist teachings, with nothing left
I take all things I saw in meditations as incarnations of things;
knowing all, I was neither moved nor joyous.
Once I met a handsome, spiritual child, standing before me with a
lotus in his hand. Holding the lotus, he was standing on a lotus
seat, dressed in celestial clothes, with a Holy crown on his head.
"Where did you come from, lotus child?", I asked.
"From the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds."
"It's a long way from the Western World. What have you come
"To deliver the sentient beings."
What if they don't see your point?"
"All depends on their causations and conditions; at least one or
two of them may have such conditions."
The child was not angry. He then jumped up and entered my
crown, nowhere to be seen.
Thinking it over, I finally understood that I came from the Maha
Twin Lotus Ponds, in the rebirth of a lotus child. That
good-looking lotus child is no one but my True Nature. In this
way, the True Nature is me; I am the True Nature. The Buddha is
me; I am the Buddha!
That session of meditation gave me profound revelation. The lotus
child came to this world to deliver the living beings, to set up the
Ling Xian Sect to recruit all sentient beings, both the intelligent and
the dull, who have the necessary conditions and causations to
study Buddhism and get to the other shore. Those whose karmic
conditions are not very favorable can come and go as they like.
Salvage one if only one can be saved; salvage two if two can be
saved, all depending on karmic conditions.
In my previous life, over my head was a white umbrella covering
auspicious clouds, with great-mirror luminosity, and I was wearing
a red crown with strings of pearls and precious stones, holding a
great Wisdom Seal in my right hand, a blooming Lotus Seal in my
left hand, a white lotus flower between the thumb and middle
finger, a string of prayer beads hanging upon my chest, ornamental
pearls, jade, gems and other precious stones all over the body. I
was covered by a luminous celestial cloak, standing on a white
lotus, the whole body radiating strong light, majestic looking from
head to toe.
This fact told me that I have made up my mind that I have nothing
else to desire except salvaging the sentient beings. I am indifferent
to worldly things. My life is one of cultivation and salvation of
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