‧Written by Sheng-yen Lu‧
A US Daden Culture Publication
From birth to old age to death, many people live their lives following a certain pattern. Let me simply list the sequence as follows:
Debuting at birth.
Learning deemed top priority.
Falling in love.
Wandering in the workplace.
Joining in and dissolution of marriage.
Succumbing to disease.
Portrait hanging on the wall.
Oh heaven, this is life. There is a small fraction of people who live outside this program, but they are the exceptions to the rule. The majority of people live in accordance with this pattern.
So, the question is:
“Besides this, what else are you living for?”
I asked myself, what am I living for after all? There are some slight differences between what I do and what others do:
1. Spiritual practice
4. Disseminating the dharma
I may claim the things I do are different from others, but in reality they are not any different. I simply play a special role, that of a “monk.”
We are all living inside this frame, similarly blind, bewildered, twisted, distorted, frustrated, experiencing good or bad times, facing slander…
All one’s life, one struggles.
One day, I finally jumped outside this frame!
Oh heaven! I was enlightened!
“What are you doing with your life after all?”
“Now I have finally understood. I have not done anything at all!”(Key words.)
“What does this mean then?”
“Let me give an example. Now that I have written altogether 246 books, I am proclaiming that I have basically not written a single word.”
“People of the world will not understand what you are saying!”
“Shakyamuni Tathagata also said that after teaching the dharma for forty-nine years, he had not spoken a single word.”
“People of the world do not understand why the Buddha said this!”
“I do. The Buddha indeed did not give any discourse, and I indeed did not write anything.”
“Why is it that you understand the Buddha while the general populace does not?”
“I am Shakyamuni Tathagata.”
“Are you then the reincarnation of Shakyamuni Buddha?”
“We are equivalent. What Shakyamuni Buddha has intuited and realized is exactly what I have intuited and realized.”
“Such arrogance. Are you a megalomaniac?”
“I do not care what others say, believe or disbelieve, suspect or do not suspect, I have always been a buddha.”
“You say such bold words shamelessly!”
“Those are bold words, and I am not ashamed to say them!”