Guan Yin (Avalokiteshvara) is closely connected with beings of the Mainland. She is forever responsive to the calling of suffering beings. That’s why I’m always encouraging people to practice the Dharma Doors of Guan Yin. May it be the Great Compassion Mantra (Long Dharani), the Food Offering Sadhana, the Avalokiteshvara Tsok, and more. But, how to practice or to visualize? Someone raised the following questions.
Student: What are the Dharma Doors of Guan Yin?
Master Hsin Tao: To assume oneself as Guan Yin and engage in all activities of compassion. That’d be the Dharma Doors of Guan Yin.
Student: What is the Avalokiteshvara Tsok?
Master Hsin Tao: Tsok offering is a way to make offerings to Guan Yin and her retinues. “Retinues” refer to the group of assemblies in connection with her.
Student: How should I visualize when practicing?
Master Hsin Tao: To visualize the “image” of Guan Yin to be “me”. “I” am that very “image”. Both are inseparable. At the beginning, the image of Guan Yin is visualized ahead along with her mandala. Sure enough, the image could be a wooden statue, which isn’t real. However, when us ordinary men pray to her, Guan Yin will surely be present. Not only she is present in our visualization ahead of us, she also integrates into oneness with us in our self-visualization.
Student: How can we become inseparable with Guan Yin to become oneness?
Master Hsin Tao: The perceived and the perceiver are oneness in the ultimate sense. Guan Yin is every being and vice versa. That’s why my preliminary retreat before the Water, Land, Air Dharma Assembly is the Great Compassion Mantra.
Student: Why do we practice the Great Compassion Mantra (Long Dharani)?
Master Hsin Tao: According to sutras, five recitations of the Dharani can eradicate grave karma. If one wishes to take rebirth in Sukhavati, the Pure Land of Amitabha, it is said to recite 100,000 times.
Student: What is the difference between the Great Compassion Mantra (Long Dharani) and the Mani Mantra?
Master Hsin Tao: The emphasis of the Great Compassion Mantra is on benefiting others or the activity of compassion. The Mani Mantra emphasizes on benefiting oneself or the realization of the essence.