文/南加州爾灣禪修會館 Jennifer Su 2013. 6. 4
妙蓮師姐在六個月前引導我學禪坐。我是為了修身養性才去的。這六個月裡斷斷續續練習禪坐，常常會看見紫光，也體驗過三心定位，但心裡還是有很多疑問。這些年來接觸到很多不同宗教信仰的朋友，讓我覺得其實大家信的都是同一個上帝，只是用不同的方式和語言來敬拜衪、解釋衪。在讀了『Many Masters Many Lives』之後，我也開始相信輪迴之說了。可是看到有些師兄師姐對著師父的相片行禮膜拜很不以為然。「師父不是人嗎？為何要神化他？我感覺到來自宇宙的能量，為何說是師父的加持呢？」幾天前在看了妙明師兄給我的解答後，心中明白了。這明白帶給我很多的福份與感應。
Sister Jennifer："Why do you worship Shifu? Isn't he a human being? Why do you say the energy from the universe I experienced comes from shifu? I grew up in a Christian family."
Brother Miao Ming："I think we talked about expressions of practice someone might see or define it as worship. People express their practice in many different ways. None of us really need to judge that or decide there are some standard of acceptability. Each of us finds the practice within ourselves. Each of us expresses the practice in a way that’s meaningful to us. For some people, this is to show tremendous gratitude for benefits that they gained in their life, benefits they gained in their spiritual practice. They want to show this very deep gratitude for the teaching that’s been offered to them in a very profound way. Other people that maybe haven’t experienced this that deeply or still maybe in an earlier stage of practice, don’t feel the same thing. The important things is, however anyone else chooses to experience and express their practice, it’s not important. What is important is how we manifest and bring our practice to life; how we choose to express that practice. We have to find this within ourselves. Not to be so concerned how other people express their practice. It’s really being true to our own inner self.
This goes back to our first question. Again, Chan is the wisdom and life force of the universe. We are able to see this, feel this, experience this at very different levels. If we are just a very beginning practitioner, we may not have any access to this at all. Others that have been practicing for some period of time start to enter into Ding with dedicated practice, and start to actually see this life force, having purged and purified hindrances from the self.
Shifu has taken this to the highest level in this phase of existence. He’s completely purified. He’s just an example of a living person of our generation that has achieved complete full enlightenment, completely purged the poisons and hindrances from the self. He’s able to maintain and sustain this practice at the highest level. He’s willing to offer and share that with us. This gives us this living example of someone who is in sync with the divine, Buddha, God. And he’s an alive as a human being in our phase of existence. He shows us that it’s possible for all of us to accomplish this. He also provides us very clearly a path of teaching and helps along the way as we might get stuck.
Again, people will realize the teaching is very subtle. The teaching is not in the words of Shifu or the physical body of Shifu, but in his ability to sync with the divine, and heaven element. For us to see that experience for ourselves.
Coming from a Christian background, you probably worship Jesus, or certainly see other people in a Christian setting that worship Jesus. But not everyone does. People from other religious practices, Jewish people, Muslims, people that are not essentially affiliated with any special spiritual practice don’t feel any need to worship Jesus. It doesn’t change his teaching. Some just see him as a teacher, maybe a prophet; some see him as a manifestation of God, a human, a human being. Regardless of how someone chooses to see that entity, that spiritual life that was available in that time, doesn’t change the teaching.
How someone chooses to see Shifu, his link and his sync to divine, to God, to Buddha, doesn’t change the teaching. So if you choose to show very profound gratitude, if you choose to enter the practice with a lesser level of intensity, doesn’t change the teaching. It’s still available for all of us, simply a model, a way, a path to be in sync for ourselves with this divine energy."
After getting the answer, the one(Sister Jennifer) asking the question provided the following sharing:
Since a child, my grandma insisted I went to a Sunday School every sunday. When I left home for college, I decided not to go to church anymore, because I never felt a connection with God. Growing older, I still pray to God whenever I encounter troubles or pains, hoping He would bless me with wisdom and tolerance to surpass the challenges. Challenges have all been surpassed, but I still felt no connection with God. Does God truly exist? A Christian friend told me that we only feel the existence of God when we believe, that once my antenna is in the right frequency, I will be able to communicate with God. But why can’t I tune to the right frequency?
Sister Miaolian introduced me to Chan meditation six months ago. I joined to improve my health and temperament. During these six months, I often witnessed purple lights during meditation, and I also experienced three center alignment. However, I still had many doubts. These years I met many friends with various religious background; I felt we all believe in the same God, just using different forms and terminologies to respect and explain Him. After reading the book "Many Masters Many Lives", I began to believe the theory of reincarnation. However, when I saw brothers and sisters solute to Shifu’s portrait, I disapproved such behaviors. "Isn’t Shifu just a human being? Why do we deify him? When I feel the universal energy, why do people tell me it’s Shifu’s blessing?" After reading through Brother Miaoming’s answer to my question a few days ago, I finally got it. This understanding brought me a lot of blessings and experiences.
Yesterday I went to the center by myself. When I opened the door and saw Shifu’s portrait, I smiled to Shifu because of the joy arising from my heart. I formed Diamond Lotus Mudra and bowed to Shifu, then I looked into Shifu’s eyes, and communicated with him with gratitude. Then I saw an aura of golden light surrounding Shifu. When I closed my eyes, and Shifu’s image faded away, I was surrounded by green light, the muscles around my eyes kept trembling, and I couldn’t open my eyes. When all the trembling stopped, I saw the light of rainbow colors in front. Later when I participated in Shifu’s class, with eyes close, I still saw myself meditating and surroundings within green light.
I think this experience is because after Brother Miaoming’s answer, I opened my heart, accepted Shifu and synced with Shifu. I feel with Shifu’s guidance, I am able to feel and communicate with God. Although I still have many questions about Shifu, Chan, and God, but I am glad I made some breakthrough in my heart. My tolerance and compassion toward others improved, and my heart is calmer and more peaceful. These are all because of Chan practice. I am truly grateful.