圖 / 教育院編繹室文 / 文獻中心
Chan is Letting Go
Our present life is tied to the world of form and thought, and therefore produces rebirth after rebirth in Samsara. If we want to return to the world of the spirit, we have to do the work of leaving behind form, the work of letting go of our thoughts and notions. It is only when we are able to completely let go that we can enter the purity and simplicity of the spirit.
It is just like when I practiced austerities in the graveyard for so many years, persevering to the point of risking my life in order to realize the truth. So when we practice Chan, let us not be so concerned about our precious little selves, being afraid of this pain here or that pain there. This is not what we want or what our practice is about. Our practice is about bringing out our clear, fully aware, enlightened Self. We can only accomplish this if we practice very diligently, relying on ourselves to fully pay attention every moment, and to do this over and over again.
We need to be firm in our determination. Our life is so fleeting and quickly over. So let us use this life to practice well, to let ourselves find out what it means to cut off all troubles and be free from Samsara. Only we are able to let go will our Original Face quite naturally appear by itself.
Our spiritual nature is one, not two. It is not muddied and unclear, but completely luminous and transparent. It is pure emptiness, without any hindrance or obstacle. The Buddha taught that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature, but that they cannot manage to be just like the Buddha because of their delusions and attachments. “Delusions” means ways of thinking that are not in accordance with reality, and “attachments” means not to be able to relax in the midst of these unrealistic, delusive ways of thinking. Therefore, what we do in Chan practice is only one and the same thing: Letting go of our delusions, letting go of our attachments, doing it step by step, earnestly and with full attention, giving our very best.
So many people in this world waste so much time to get things out of life, spending all of their efforts on making a lot of money or other worldly pursuits. How come we are not able to spend a bit more of our time and effort on such a great and truly superb venture as becoming a Buddha, freeing ourselves from life and death, and overcoming all suffering? How come we don’t give our very best to experience enlightenment? This is what needs a bit of our time to be accomplished.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao
(Translated by Maria Reis Habito)