Giving up Ch’an?

Recently the master and I were talking about his revolutionary change from Ch'an practice to totally practising the Pureland path of Master ShanDao, unable to maintain my curiosity I blurted out"

"But don't you miss your Ch'an practice? You spent so many years and so much effort doing it, don't you regret giving it up as completely as you have?"

He looked at me sideways, with that really mischievous smile of his and said:

"You don't understand. There's nothing to give up, nothing to lose. Everything I do is Ch'an. Ch'an is all around us. Could you possible let go of the space you're sitting in now? Could you be anything but sitting here in this space? Of course not! Ch'an is in anything and everything I do. I just don't talk about it like I used to anymore. I don't sit and think about it and discuss it and teach it."

"I looked at the people in this world. I saw how much they suffer, how difficult it is for them to understand, to practice, so I started teaching about Amitabha Buddha instead. And I'm the kind of person who only teaches what he practices, so I had to start practicing Pureland, and had to practice it properly, or I wouldn't be able to teach it."

(This was a couple of weeks ago and I don't really remember the exact word, so this is more and interpretation than a translation)

-Ben Le

1 comment:

Andreas said...

Nontheless Deep, I had also been wondering about it for quite some time. But when the master spoke once of the actualisation of Ch'an through Amitabha practice it made total sense. It always reminds me of regardless of what one is doing - practice, pooping, arguing, dancing etc - there is always the Amitabha Bodhicitta, with Nienfo, to remind/to remain aware/to be pleasantly ignorant. This is living Ch'an in everything. By alowing things to be as they are through Amitabha's influence.