Close Contact with the Sangha of Longquan Monastery (IV)

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Dharma brother Mi Qiang     Time:2017-12-05 22:28:35
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It was so impressive how the experts and translators understood and do translation. The volunteers’ unselfish powerful contributions also made me touched and ashamed. But the really shocking part was the manner and spirit of the youngest members of the Sangha, which overwhelmed me completely. During these days, I benefited so much that I wished to share my journey. I hope my report would benefit all the friends who are curious or care about Longquan monastery.

Day 5 Oct 4 Translation sharing feast

Professional speeches took place everywhere that day. Scholars and volunteer translators were all amazing. During my interview with the two scholars, we talked about some significant issues like, how to cultivate talents for promoting dharma? How to understand many repetitive contents in Buddhism scriptures? How to design the special concepts accordingly? How to communicate and incorporate the three primary traditions of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism through translation? How to express traditional classics’ subtle meaning in the contemporary atmosphere? To what extent could we say Buddhist translation is mental cultivation? What’s the difference between a Buddhist researcher and a non-Buddhist researcher of Buddhism? …

But to be honest, knowledge, skills, or thoughts, are not the coolest thing. The most attractive thing is the sangha’s true mindset achieved by practicing dharma. There should be two aspirations behind the choice of being a monk: one is to overcome the game of life and death, to get rid of the cycle of samsara forever; the other is to liberate all beings from suffering. If a man has the first mind, he is extra-ordinary and worthy of all the respect, not to mention if he has the second mind. That’s why do all the laity show so much respect to the Venerables, no matter how young he is or how poor skills he has. The mind is the true origin of everything. The mind determines birth and death. If humankind were fortunate enough, the Mind culture/ Mind Civilization will be the future.

Because of their vows and precepts, the young Venerables looked so different even at a glance. Most of them talked softly but thought profoundly. Since I needed to go back and forth through the sangha’s living area, I saw many Venerables’ real lifestyle. I had to say that my generation was so much luckier than my father’s because we have chance to meet such peaceful and harmonious sangha team in Longquan Monastery. Suddenly, one word of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s aroused in my mind. He said China got such a deep Buddhism tradition that even in the Cultural Revolution, after the Red Guards destroyed all the Buddha’s statues, they would rest a little to drink a cup of tea named Tieguanyin, which was derived from one famous Bodhisattva: Guanyin, Avalokitesvara.

In the round-table forum, Ven. Xianqing and the experts discussed the difficulties and methods of promoting dharma overseas. Many participants also actively gave their suggestions out. But basically, we should realize that Buddhism’s “missionary” work doesn’t ever want to make people become Buddhists. Buddha just hopes people could find enlightenment on living, life, and death through his education to attain the true happiness and freedom.

It’s the Mid-Autumn Festival. I just sent a short message to wish my parents happy Moon Festival. No phone calls. Watching the full moon, I believe they would understand what I had been doing these years. I’ve researched too many wonderful human beings, but I have to admit the morality and the state of mind of the sangha conquers me most so far. 

Firstly, their goal or their meaning of life is to serve all the creatures completely and fundamentally. And they are absolutely not talkers. They practice almost in each detail every day to push forward their ideal. That’s why I took refuge in them. From politicians to scholars to artists, and to this pure Longquan sangha, the people I admire and respect most have changed round after round, but finally, they stop changing. All the way along this model-seeking journey, I’m still the teenager from the Loess Plateau of China; I still want to pinch a handful of loess as a dart to the sky hoping to smash all the suffering of this world.

Day 6 Oct 5 The music of Chan Roar fill up the chanting chamber

The morning agenda was the same as that of yesterday. In the afternoon, Ven. Xianqing gave a professional speech on Chinese Buddhism including some introduction of Chinese traditional culture. He’s so humorous and joyful that nobody would forget his big lasting smile and unique charm. However, no one knew that he had been too busy to sleep these days, I mean, literally. So what’s his drive? Bodhicitta– the mind aspiring to free all beings from suffering. But I really mustn’t tell him I was so moved with tears spinning in my eyes for he’s so fond of laughing.

At 3:00 pm, the closing ceremony of this translators’ communication conference began. A famous musician Sanqiang touring worldwide, who also took refuge at Longquan Monastery, performed his voice art, the music of the Chan Roar, full of Chinese cultural characteristic. His splendid voice could take you playing around the mountains and streams, awake your spirit to see the truth, cut your delusional thoughts and make artistic soundbyte offerings to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas across the universe. All the audience was touched. I really preferred this kind of artist with faith.

Next, the representatives of experts, participants and volunteers guided us to review last three short but precious highlighting moments. It’s very rare to experience a conference or forum on which people praised each other so genuinely and treated each other so equally and respectfully. Maybe they were not Buddhists, but they all believed in “Yuan”(缘 in Chinese). Buddhism puts so much emphasis on conditions, well, the logic of “cause, condition and effect”. So everyone, every condition is as important as possible. This kind of wisdom ultimately established a moral harmonious order inside a community stimulating folks’ wisdom and loving-kindness.

This is “The Buddhist Community”. Under the direction the sangha set, in this great team, personal interests and collective interests reach a high degree of unity. Across history, this kind of team is so rare to see. This team recognized that the individual is just a drop of water and all members converge to form the sea. How could a drop of water fight with a sea? And this just declared that slogan: a bigger platform gathers greater talent.

This team’s fascination was lit up that night. The participants were divided into different groups to share and discuss and each group got one Venerable for Q & A. With the monks’ shining wisdom and morality, students became volunteers one by one. This is the sharp point of Buddhism. It never attracts and manages people by tough methods or cheatings. It just uses its own naked spirit to touch the deep side of your mind. Buddhism incredibly reveals the infinity of human beings’ mind, which means, you can surely change your destiny if you want.

Tags:close contact, Sangha, Longquan Monastery, English translator

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