by Su-Zin Jian of Teacher’s Summer Camp
Grand Masters expounded the Buddha Dharma in a marvelous way. Although I had heard some of their discussions in the past, it was my first time listening to a thorough interpretation in its entirety. It clearly answered many of my questions. I listened closely and attentively and yet I could not memorize the whole thing in a short time. I was happy and fortunate to obtain the sponsorship from my school and permission from my family so that I could attend Teacher’s Summer Camp (a Seven-Day Zen Retreat). I treasured this opportunity to listen to Dharma teachings by Enlightened Masters. Praise to Buddha Amitabha!
The sessions covered Zen dynamic exercises, meditation practice and discussion of the philosophy of Buddhism. It was a very intensive, busy schedule, too much for me to handle. However, I opened up my mind and did my best to absorb the whole teaching like a giant sponge. I hoped the time would go by slowly so that someone like me could comprehend the true meaning of Reality, attain mind awakening and enlightenment, regain the Buddha nature, realize Self-Realization and help others to full liberation.
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After receiving teaching of the text “Homage to Buddha and Confessional Prayer”, I was so moved that I burst into tears every time I recited it. I repented my sins with all sincerity. Due to the primordial ignorance, I committed countless bad karmas and I was worried that I would not be able to make them all up in this life. As I was listening to the Zen music, I burst into tears again. I naturally got out the meditation mat, kneeled down on the ground and meditated on the text again. I prayed for forgiveness from my karmic debtors for a long time.
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I recalled much of the karma that I had committed in the past forty years. I carried a heavy load of bad karma as a teacher and as a school psychological counselor. I did not know of my insufficient virtue and merits and did not dedicate them to others. No wonder the medical doctors could not find out what was wrong with me and yet I felt sick all the time. Now I understood that it resulted from the Law of Causality. I should wholeheartedly repent my bad karma and recite the Nine-Syllable-Mantra as much as I could every day.
After my sincere repentance this morning, I felt warm, relaxed and comfortable by Da Zi Zai Wang Fo’s radiant blessing in the afternoon meditation session. When Grand Masters emitted light energy emanation upon us, I felt so loved again that my tears kept dropping down, partly because of happiness and joy, partly because of sorrow deep down in my heart. I was happy and joyful because I made a vow to cultivate Mahayana Zengong. I was sorrowful because I was unable to help others. I was scared that I could not fulfill my vow. So I prayed to Da Zi Zai Wang Fo for strength and guidance.
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I was fortunate enough to receive Dharma Teaching from the Grand Masters. As Grand Master Shan-Yin said: “It is due to good fortune that you have the opportunity to listen to the Dharma teaching of the Buddhayana Order Mahayana Zengong.” This is because the essential teachings of the Buddhayana Order treats the doctrine of Buddhist Philosophy as the principle, meditation as the Dharma Gateway, and Chi-Kung as a complementary means. In the Seven-Day Zen Retreat, Grand Masters taught us in person. They taught us everything they knew without reservation. With my hard work, study and practice I began to truly understand the profoundness of Mahayana Zengong teaching. It is a supreme gateway that provides teaching which allows a genuine cultivation and actual realization.
I learned more than ten movements of the First Level Zen Dynamic Exercises. The movements allow me to harmonize and strengthen my whole body. I made obvious progress and benefits physically. I was exuberant to experience a breakthrough in my Zen meditation. My spine, shoulders and neck, which were always cold and stiff for the past 20 years, were warming up. I felt warm on my upper body too. Further, it felt great that my whole body was kind of being embraced by Chi energy.
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I made advances in opening up my mind and my heart for the past six days. Every day I learned and realized certain insights about aspects of life, work and nature. Especially on the third day, after reciting “Homage to Buddha and Confessional Prayer” and the subsequent repentance, I was filled with Dharma Joy and was full of gratitude. As stated in the Sutras: “When conditions and circumstances of co-arising are met, there is a gathering; otherwise, there is none.” The Seven-Day Zen Retreat finally draws to a conclusion. Tonight is the last night of the Retreat. We repeatedly sang the song “The Boundless Heart” to the Grand Masters. But the ultimate gratitude to the Grand Masters should be that we vow to sincerely take up spiritual cultivation and march forward on the Path.