Wisdom can be uncovered through Chan practice. What kind of wisdom? Omniscient wisdom. In order to reach such a state, one must start from terminating distracting thoughts and worries. Without doing so, there’s no way to achieve thoughtlessness, non-arising thoughts, and immovability. If our working mind doesn’t come to cessation and revert back to the nature of thoughtlessness and non-abiding, we can’t realize wisdom nor enlightenment. We’d continue to wander in cyclic existence of living and dying.
Living and dying are fabricated by ourselves. They are merely our delusion. How do we recognize that this is a delusion while being caught within it? It’d need time to calm ourselves down first. Today, you’ve entered the shrine room to practice Chan. Without enough time to stabilize ourselves, it’s difficult to notably experience the wondrous wisdom of the universe.
I’ve acquainted loneliness since birth. I lost my parents and went through warfare. With tragic impermanence striking me all the time, I had been looking for a place of stability. Surrounded by so many death causes, I looked for life without struggles for survival. Then, when I read about the stories of great Siddhas, I was encouraged to emulate their efforts and exertion. That way, I’d learn to be at ease and liberation.
I began sitting meditation since fifteen. Interestingly, I just like to sit. One hour per day. It was an amazing feeling. How wonderful it is if I could get past this life like this. That’s when I generate the mind of renunciation.
When I was young, I had taken up all kinds of work. I had experienced life through these jobs. For example, I took up acting for six months and even considered applying to a movie company. I learned to change facial expression in moments with crying, emotional outburst, laughing, etc. Although I enjoyed a carefree lifestyle as an actor, an insecure life of unstable income was difficult.
Later on, I found another job at Raohe St. to deliver rice. I had to carry 7,000 kgcatty of rice with a bicycle per day. In 1970, $2,400 NTD of monthly salary was very well-paid. But it was such a laborious job that my liver deteriorated. Then I thought, “This isn’t right. What if I die now and lose everything?” I figured a lifestyle as such wasn’t worth it. I need to find a meaningful life shed away from burdens. That was how I took on monasticism…