圖 / 三乘佛學院文 / 文獻中心
Entering the Gate of Emptiness
Why do we practice Chan? The practice of Chan is like a bridge that connects us with our essential nature, which is totally empty. If we connect well and become one with emptiness, we are liberated, free, no longer subject to life in Samsara. If we can live our daily life from the heart of emptiness, we are no longer caught in the cycle of birth and death. If therefore we want to cut off our karmic link to Samsara, we need to apply ourselves to our practice of Chan. If we are able to really concentrate on listening to silence for one day, two days, three days – up to seven days, without being dispersed or distracted, we can become completely one with emptiness, with the sound of no sound.
Spiritual practice is to step out of the cycle of arising and decaying, birth and death, which is full of impermanence and suffering. Now we are learning the method to do so – there is a gate of emptiness that we can step through. What is this gate of emptiness? It is our practice – the Chan of inner peace; listening to the sound of no sound. If we keep practicing it well, we will get a good sense and clear direction to follow.
This world is created by mind and appears in our consciousness. It is a world that we are creating and reflecting all together. Those who do good create heaven, and those who do harmful things create hell. The appearance of the three good and the three bad realms of rebirth (namely, the 6 realms of heavenly beings, humans, titans, animals, hungry ghosts and hell dwellers) is caused by us. The decision whether we want to go to the good or the bad realms is completely up to us.
I want all of you to practice Chan well, because I want you to arrive at the Right View of things, so that you don’t take the wrong path in life and thereby regret it later. Even though we may be under the impression that we are walking straight on the path of the Bodhisattva, grounding our heart in reality and increasing good deeds and seeds all begin with the realization gained through our Chan practice. It is the degree of our groundedness that lets us be planted on the path of the Bodhisattva.
Dharma Master Hsin Tao
(Translated by Maria Reis Habito)