The spirit and essence of Ling Jiou Mountain (LJM) are “compassion and Chan”. What is the “essence”? It is the core value. What about the “spirit”? It is our actions and conduct. The core value and the conduct of LJM is none other than “compassion and Chan”. “Chan” is the mind, the awareness, the spirituality, and being free from delusions. No matter where we stand, we are not deluded or lost. Being free from delusions is a type of defense. Such defense is Chan practice. By upholding the undeluded mind, we can fulfill the great compassionate aspiration and the path of Bodhisattva. This is the fundamental belief of LJM.
To put it simply, “Chan” is an inner disposition. "Compassion" is virtuous conduct and quality. With "disposition", one should look inside and be modestly reserved. For "virtuous conduct", one is to take actions externally. Next, what is "Chan"? Plainly speaking, it is a state of egolessness. With the absence of ego, there’s Chan. Not being free from ego, there’s no state of Chan. Compassion is to walk the path of Bodhisattva with egolessness. Lots of troubles emerge when we’re fixated on ego. Conversely, there’d be no more troubles without it. As we strive for accomplishment among sentient beings, we must carry out compassion with egolessness.
It takes reflection to realize egolessness. This requires vigilant reflection and introspection on our thoroughness with compassion and Chan. They should become the basis of our life – a spontaneity. For instance, what is the first thing we do when waking up in the morning? Some people wash up, some exercise. What about the application of Chan? The moment we wake up, we are working in a state of serenity. Within such serenity, egolessness manifests. Consequently, our head is clear. When we are at work, we could take a break with the One-minute Meditation or the nine-minute Peace Meditation of Ling Jiou Mountain. Take the time to settle down oneself and make it a habit.
In life, we should develop the features of Chan. In other words, we should cultivate simplicity and integrity. It is a peaceful personality that is free from manipulation. Can we do that in life? The living of Chan is simplicity. We need to filter our desires because we are not collecting garbage. Excessive desires would only pile up to become a huge burden. No matter where we are, live a life that is uncomplicated, simple, down to earth, and free from manipulation. Be honest and spontaneous. Develop a constant attitude of peace and harmony. Not only would we appear this way, but we are also vigilant to reflect within ourselves. Thence, the living of Chan is free from concerns and burdens. That way, we can work on many things with ease.
Every being is seeking a place of refuge in this infinite ocean of suffering. How do we find a safe shore of peace? We need to practice Dharma. As we learn to recognize our mind, what should we do next? We should accomplish the all-pervasive wisdom by taking on the compassionate path of Bodhisattva. In general, this is the course of our Dharma practice. We should safeguard our minds and carry out activities with the all-pervasive compassion. What does it mean by the “all-pervasive compassion”? The luminosity of awareness that reaches every corner. How can we make the light radiate pervasively? It is through the practice of compassion.