Close Contact with the Sangha of Longquan Monastery (V)

From:Voice of Longquan     Author:Dharma brother Mi Qiang     Time:2017-12-11 22:19:56
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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 7 Oct 6 Tears ran

Morning speech came from Ven. Xianbu. During the discussion the day before, I sat beside him and asked a question: “It’s said that Ven. Xianzhu and Ven. Xianshan are sent to spreading dharma in Longquan Buohua Temple in Botswana. Is there any farewell ceremony in Longquan monastery? ” He said: “If any person has such an aspiration.” Ven. Xianbu was two years younger than me and I would never forget his light joyful smile. Yes, if you gave out your life for Buddha’s enterprise, what’s the big deal of being sent to work in another unfamiliar place? Ven. Xianbu also transmitted the unique information of Buddhism to us, which was to purify people’s afflictions to make the world a better place. He gave an example, like you want to punch someone if he pissed on you, right? If a country hated another country, it wanted to attack, then, war took place. Peace would come if human beings’ minds could be purified. 

Ven. Xianyuan’s speech came after. This good-looking Venerable possessed a very introverted personality, but when he laughed, you would unexpectedly feel a little hilarious. He played for us a short documentary about the days when the venerable leaded the volunteers to accomplish the Precept Altar project. Consequently, nearly all the participants cried. The Longquan team was so unbelievable. It’s a professional miracle-producing team, who worked like they really didn’t care about their body. They work to a degree that common people couldn’t imagine. I think everyone would cry if we were hit by this kind of deepest and greatest spirit.

Then Ven. Xianyuan simply added that one day he came back from the construction site of the Precept Altar and found another Venerable had fallen asleep while he was taking off his socks. Another time, about 2:00 pm, after exhausting work, disciples found Shifu’s room’s light still shone. In 2005, Shifu, Master Xuecheng, resolved to rebuild and refresh Beijing Longquan Monastery with several disciples from nothing but historical ruins. Winter arrived. It was so cold without any heating equipment in the room. Shifu shared the blueprint of monastery and the future of Chinese Buddhism with his four or five shivering students. Much of what Shifu talked about has been carried out by today and much of that will be realized. In 2006, when the Precept Altar was completed, Shifu insisted to attend the ordination ceremony just after a big surgery. When he worshipped on bended knees, his wound broke and red blood colored his frock.

After lunch, many participants organized to labor in the monastery’s Mind Farm! Little robot monk Xian’er’s image was everywhere. So cute! You could never guess out who was the best laborer. Yes, it’s the American guy Nick’s mother whose is an Indian. I couldn’t help to exclaim that India was indeed an old traditional agricultural country like China! Everybody was full of joy then. We really did some work. My sweat blurred my glasses so much that I couldn’t tell how far Nick’s thick chest hair had grown.

The seventh Dharma talk brought by Ven. Xianchai started in the afternoon. He liked to ask questions. After he let participants translate a paragraph instantly. He abruptly turned his eyesight to me: “Will the host have a try?” Having the accumulation of adjusting to many sudden changes, my ego was pierced by this impermanence all at once. I thought I wasn’t feared of any unexpected happening from then on. At last, he threw out three questions: 1. what kind of path of life you are on? 2. What path of life you hope to walk on? 3. What kind of path you should walk on?

In the evening, the closing ceremony of foreign forum began. The atmosphere was so relaxed and active. The participant drawing the winning number in a lottery picked by Venerables got a chance to ask one question with no taboos to the according Venerable. Again, unexpectedly, when someone raised a question about life and death, the introverted Ven. Xianyuan grabbed the microphone forcefully from Ven. Xiancong to share his own story and ideas. After this Q & A part, laughers and tears befell violently. All the groups of the volunteer team made this big activity successful took turns to share. Then we knew that like one photographer Mr. Zhang, his very expensive camera was broken during the shooting process and he said nothing,just kept working despite his high fever; when the host asked him to say something, he just simply refused.

All the activities were organized by volunteers from all walks of life dedicating their own money, cars, equipment. Of course there would be some aspects needed to reflect on and improve. All the volunteers came here not for the job itself. They didn’t need to enhance their professional skills. They came here to practice dharma, to enter a pure monastery, and to feel the loving-kindness & compassion, and wisdom & freedom passed from Buddha over 2,500 years ago.

The mortal world turns, the Dharma is boundless

After having morning lessons, chanting English sutras and walking meditation, the last time, I said goodbye to the Venerables peacefully and concisely. Nevertheless, I was so unwilling to leave as I recalled the monks’ and volunteers’ selfless work these days. 

As I said before, Longquan monastery was the reason why I decided to settle down in Beijing, and also is the pure land in my heart. The monastery has so much worldly stuff, like basic necessities, technology, philosophy, art and everything the common life requires. But, here are no mirrors which are used to feed our fat ego most of the time. If you want to know what you’ll look like as you stay here for some time, there are lots of images of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for you to refer to. To make more pure lands and happy organizations like Longquan monastery happen – that is our sweet pursuit. Whenever I think of this idea, I feel so vigorous and alive.

Our host group dined together at lunch. One of us was from Shanghai, one was from Dalian, and another came from Ji’nan with his whole family in tow. I didn’t pay – I had to borrow several hundred yuan from them. An old Chinese saying goes that all men are brothers within the four seas. Here, in this monastery, we are family. As I used Shifu’s that word before, we would all go forward, until eternity. So, please come back home often.

I had made so many friends with those devoted and wonderful people these days. I liked them so much, including the handsome gentleman Nick who had learned all the new Chinese slang. Nick was extraordinarily smart but still got a good heart. He took refuge in three jewels this time too. So I would like to dedicate all my merits accumulated through my work this week to Nick, wishing him to find his own way as early as possible. And maybe, he shall become the first foreign monk of Longquan Monastery.

My life state was much changed during these eight days. Actually, I have seen Master Xuecheng twice in the monastery. The eminent monks’ merits prove they can change your life, even your destiny. You can feel his enormous compassion and wisdom which upgrades your life state. I was glad and honored to serve Longquan monastery. Peace, yo!

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

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