《Knocking Gently on the Door of Chan》

How to make life perfect with all its imperfections depends on skill and clarity of mind, which comes from seeing with wisdom

 

 

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This book is the English translation of 禪門輕叩 (Knockingon the Door of Chan), which was published by Chan Grove in Taiwan in 2011. A decision was subsequently made to publish the book in English to fulfill Master’s Guo Ru’s wish to make it available to his Western students, as well as to share the Dharma of Chan with others. The lectures in this book are for the most part a compilation from a 10-day Chan retreat given by Master Guo Ru at the Dharma Drum Retreat Center at Pine Bush, New York, in June of 2009. A smaller portion came from a 7-day Chan retreat at the Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver Center in July of 2009. The “Postscript” chapter is from a 7-day Chan retreat he led at the Dharma Drum Mountain affiliate monastery in Taoyuan, Taiwan, in May of 2011. The appendix, “Silent Illumination and Huatou” is a compilation from talks given at the 2009 retreats at Dharma Drum Retreat Center and
the Dharma Drum Mountain Vancouver Center.



Excerpts from “Postscript: What a Splendid Life.”

Everything in the world manifests as formation, continuation, decline, disintegration, impermanence, arising and perishing. As Buddhists we should see in all impermanent phenomena the original face of neither arising nor perishing. It doesn't mean that we negate the causes and conditions of these fluctuating phenomena, but that we have to see the ultimate reality of permanence in everything that seems to come and go, and to cherish the causes and conditions of each and every phenomenon. […]

True concentration refers to clearly knowing what is happening without speculating on the future with personal discrimination and attachment or clinging to the past. If your job is to cut the grass, just do it; if it is to trim twigs, just do it; whatever your task is, just do it with wisdom. […]

Life is full of various changes. That is its true face. Therefore, arising and perishing are also perfect forms in the world. Imperfections are part of the perfect life. In other words, without them life wouldn’t be perfect. Do you get it? But how to make life perfect with all its imperfections depends on skill and clarity of mind, which comes from seeing with wisdom. […]

Even if we haven’t thoroughly penetrated into the reality, as long as we see the world with selfless wisdom, give up personal views to eliminate discrimination, and then see the perfect, harmonious and unified whole, we will discover how rich and splendid life is!