Monday, 13 May 2019 16:57

European Chan Program – Rediscovering Our Nature

European Chan Program – Rediscovering Our Nature
On May 5th, 2019, the 3-day Chan at Berghof came to the end. The same evening, we took off to Benediktushof right away. The retreat began sharp at 7:30 pm. Seeing so many familiar faces, I was touched by our German students' determination to learn about Chan.
European Chan Program-Rediscovering Our NatureIn every teaching, I’d always remind everyone to clarify the purpose of practicing Chan. Then, we’d know what to do in order to achieve this goal. The Four-step Technique of Ling Jiou Mountain’s Peace Meditation helps us to comprehend what our mind is. Through concentration, one can examine the nature of mind and thus abide in its clarity.
When we've realized our very own mind, it's the state of the Great Perfection (Dzogchen). Just as Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of Chan Buddhism had ex-pressed, "One’s nature is perfected” without a shortage of anything. 
Explained in his verse:
"Unarising and unceasing, so is one's nature,
Immovable and unshaken, so is one’s nature,
Pure and plain, so is one’s nature,
It is one’s nature that displays all dharmas.”
All of us possess the quality mentioned by Master Huineng. However, we need to rediscover it for which it had been lost.
In order to retrieve our mind, we must apply shamatha (calm-abiding) and vipashyana (analytical insight). Otherwise, it’d be difficult to experience that state of purity; unarising and unceasing; and immovability. Without the practice of shamatha-vipashyana, the perfect state of mind would not emerge.
European Chan Program-Rediscovering Our NatureThe original face that we are uncovering is clear awareness. Such awareness is like the gold refined from rough ores. Our awareness is like the unchanging na-ture of gold. By practicing shamatha-vipashyana, we can get a hold of our mind. Bring it back to one place. Focus one-pointedly. Bring the mind back attentively. Shamatha is concentration whereas vipashyana is clarity. When the two joined, we are focused with clarity.
To become familiar with our awareness, we can only habituate with the process. By reflecting on our innate quality and be familiarized with it, we’d become that very quality eventually.
Note this, our mind is comprehensive and clear – which is emptiness. What do we contemplate on when we sit to meditate? It’s to return to our original face. What would that be? Our nature. What is that exactly? Clarity ad Emptiness. Which are? Our original face.