Archive for October, 2007

27
Oct
07

Master Chia Ch’i Shih’s radio transcript


Today’s
thought is from a teaching of the great Ch’an (Zen) master Hsu Yun,
who was born in China in around 1840, and lived and trained and taught
there until his death in 1959.  By then he was 120 years old, and one
of the most famous masters of modern times.  Here’s what he says:

"Dear Friends, let me tell you a little story a wise man once told me.  He said:

    ‘Once
I found myself in an unfamiliar country, walking down a strange
street.  I looked around trying to get my bearings, and seeing two men
who were standing nearby, I approached them.  "Where am I?"  I asked. 
"Who are these people?"

      ‘The
first man replied, "This is the world of Samsara, and in this world I
happen to be the very tallest dwarf there is!"  And the other man
replied, "Yes, and I happen to be the shortest giant!"

   ‘The encounter left me very confused because, you see, both men were exactly the same height.’

     "I tell you this little story because I want to emphasize how important it is to consider the perception of things.

       
Hui Neng, the Sixth Patriarch of our Ch’an path, once came upon two
monks who were arguing about a banner that was waving in the wind.

    The first monk said, ‘It is the banner that is moving.’

    The other monk said, ‘No! It is the wind that is moving.’

    The Sixth Patriarch admonished them both.  ‘Good sirs,’ he said, "It is your mind that is doing the moving!’

      "In the
world of Samsara, Man is the measure of all things.  Everything is
relative.  Everything is changing.  Only in the real world, the world
of Nirvana, is there constancy."

Today’s Thought came from the book "Empty Cloud: The Teachings of Xu Yun",
by Jy Din Sakya.  It’s published for free distribution by The Buddha
Education Foundation, Taiwan, and is available in New Zealand from the
Buddhist Youth Association http://welcome.to/byanz;  email: byanz@ihug.co.nz  

With very best wishes,

Chia Ch’i Shih

***********************************


Today’s
thought is another from the great Chinese Ch’an (Zen) master Hsu Yun,
who was one of the most famous masters of modern times.  It follows on
from yesterday’s:  
 
"Dear Friends, every human being
possesses two selves, two natures: an apparent one and a real one.  The
apparent one is our small self or ego which is everywhere different
from all other small selves; the real one is our Great Buddha Self
which is everywhere the same.  Our small self exists in the apparent
world, the world of Samsara.  Our Buddha self exists in the real world,
the world of Nirvana.
   
     Both worlds are located in the same place.  In the Heart Sutra we read, "Form is not different from emptiness and emptiness is not different from form."  Everyone wants to know, "How can Samsara and Nirvana be the same?  How can illusion be the same as reality?  How can I be me and a Buddha, too?"  These are good questions.  Every Buddhist needs to know the answer to them.
   
    The answer lies in the way we perceive reality.  If we perceive reality directly, we see it in its Nirvanic purity.  If we perceive it indirectly – through our ego consciousness – we see it in its Samsaric distortion.  Samsara is the world our small self thinks it sees and apprehends with its senses."
    
Today’s Thought came from the book "Empty Cloud: The Teachings of Xu Yun",
by Jy Din Sakya.  It’s published by The Buddha Education Foundation,
Taiwan, and is available in New Zealand from the Buddhist Youth
Association http://welcome.to/byanz;  email: byanz@ihug.co.nz  
If you know someone else who would like to receive these Thoughts for the Day you are welcome to send them on.
 
We’ll have another Thought from Master Hsu Yun, tomorrow.
 
With very best wishes,
Chia Ch’i Shih

************************************************

Today’s thought is another from the teachings of the great Chinese Ch’an (Zen) master Hsu Yun.  Here’s what he says:

"Ch’an has two famous Masters named Han Shan: a 9th century recluse whose name means Cold Mountain, and a 16th century teacher whose name means Silly Mountain.

Cold Mountain is Ch’an Buddhism’s greatest poet.  Silly Mountain was a pretty good poet, too.  He’s probably Chan’s second-best poet.

    "Cold Mountain appealed
to nature to lead him to peace and understanding.  In finding beauty in
the natural world he found beauty in himself.  That’s the way hermits
operate.

    "Silly Mountain transcended himself by
working for others.  He strove to help ordinary folks gain
enlightenment.  That’s a little harder than surviving frost and
hunger.  Han Shan
, Silly Mountain, tried to put what couldn’t be said, into words everybody could understand.  He wrote:

Put a fish on land and he will remember the ocean until he dies.

Put a bird in a cage, yet he will not forget the sky.

Each remains homesick for his true home,

The place where his nature has decreed that he should be.


Man is born in the state of innocence.

His original nature is love and grace and purity.

Yet he emigrates so casually,

Without even a thought of his old home.

Is this not sadder than the fishes and the birds?

"We would all like to get home to Innocence.  How do we accomplish that?  We follow the Dharma."

Today’s Thought came from the book "Empty Cloud: The Teachings of Xu Yun",
by Jy Din Sakya.  It’s published by The Buddha Education Foundation,
Taiwan, and is available in New Zealand from the Buddhist Youth
Association http://welcome.to/byanz
 email: byanz@ihug.co.nz  

If you know someone who would like to receive this Thought, you are welcome to send it on.
We’ll have some more Thoughts from Master Hsu Yun next week.

With very best wishes,
Chia Ch’i Shih

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