Singing along the Path

Dr. Yutang Lin

 

Table of Contents

Foreword In Praise of the Highest Statue of Amitabha Buddha Calling Home during Pilgrimage
Halo on the Trail to the Dragon Palace Reciting the Sutra Praise to the Medicine Guru Buddha
Praise to the Earth Treasure Bodhisattva Praise to Amitabha Buddha Praise to Red Chenrezig
Supplication to Guru Yogi Chen Supplication to Bodhisattva Wei-Tuo Sky and Ocean
Learning from the Dead Praise to the Dharma Life of Guru Chen A Prayer for Yogi Chen's Blessings
Reflection on Dharmadhatu Meditation Supplication to the Trinity of Wisdom, Compassion and Might Unifying the Eight Stages at this Instant
Great Perfection in the Diamond Sutra All Good Great Perfection Chanting Buddha's Name
Wishing to Accumulate Concealed Virtues Seeing the "Universal Gates Chapter" in a Dream In Oneness No Attachment
Right View of the Ten Mystic Gates Right Now Do the Practice Guarding a Candle Light up a Mountain
Irrelevant to "Self" Reaching All Facets The Grace of Hindrances in the Light of Oneness
Sentiments at Vase Offering Relying on the Dharma to Sail across Known Too Limited
Circulation in Harmony Do Abide in Sincerity Out of Entanglement
Awake the Ignorant Idealistic Talk over Devious Action Even Pavement along the Reasonable Path
Which Is Heavy, Which Is Light? Restored only after Repentance Not Falling into Oneself and Others
Blessed Ones are Few Pointing Directly to the Fountain Open or not
Four Levels of Speechlessness Reflecting in Light of the Dharma The Great Offering of Dharmadhatu
Praise to Paldan Lhamo Praise to Four-arm Mahakala Praise to the Dragon King
Praise to Vaishravana Heavenly King Praise to the Eastern Heavenly King Praise to Jesus of Compassionate Tolerance
The Grace of Mountain God The River of Lives Compassionate Instruction from Medicine Guru Buddha
Flowing Changes Without Notions of You and Me Buddha Sitting in Silence
Praise to Two-arm Mahakala A Matter of Conscience Renounce or Stay Home
Choice of Action and Inaction Reasons Incommunicable No Longer Involved
Praying According to Occasions Do not Trail along Originally No Matters
Opposite Directions of Same Principles To Operate in Reverse Direction Within or beyond the Ordinary
Sublimate through Enlarging Recognize Clearly the Goal Use Body and Mind Well
Share Leisure Wake up Sooner than Sorry Impromptu Study
Appendix to the Diamond Sutra Looking around in Space Meeting Liewuli
Holy Statue Installed as Instructed Fire Puja to Medicine Guru Buddha Hail to Medicine Guru Buddha
Layers over Layers without End Converging to Bodhi Grasping Ceased and Tranquility Deepened
Switching Master and Attendant Enjoyment Completely Offered Nectar Falling from Heaven
Mind Purified Then Channels Restored Sentiments at Releasing Lives Repent One's Faults and Compassionate Others
Discard All Selfish Ideas Each Gets His Due Key to Purify the Mind
Naturally Harmonious A Practitioner Holds No Enemy Release Grasping through Chanting Amitabha
Compassion for War in Southern Europe Return to Reality Practice on the Occasion
Fundamental Choice Expand and Reflect Great Impartiality without Self
Neither Inner nor Outer Attachment No Grasping but not Dead Feasible or not
The Way to Respond Experiences of Inner-air Channels Sounds as Originally Silent
Merging into the Totality Chewing over "Non-self" Great Use Born of Silence
Practice Letting It Go Reduce Grasping through Dharma Practices Environments Different but Principles the Same
Attaining Enlightenment and Becoming Path Ode to Oriental Orchids Transferring Resources and Teachings
Praise to the Four Great Heavenly Kings The Cycling of Dharma Flow Praying for Aftershocks to Cease
Arrival Just in Time for the Occasion Praying for Others White Garment Guan Yin
Dedicating Merits to All Beings Merging back into Original Purity Great and Compassionate
Looking beyond Thousands of Years Set aside Worldly Considerations Releasing the Grasping
Reflecting on the Real Import At Ease in Solitude Penetrating Illusions through Questioning
Stagnate not in the Past Refrain from Holding Contempt Beyond Facing Others
Compassion without Exception Lessons in Simplicity An Angel's Visit
Selfless Named "Buddha" Deer Leisure Park Connection without Exception
Associating with Deep Intentions Solid Practice Karmic Hindrances and Diseases
The Way to Follow a Guru Work only for the Dharma Universal Learning beyond Words
Gradual but Safe Approach Transforming Everything into Light Invisible Nectar Shower
Superior Way to Recognize Grasping Out of Slight Ailment Remaining in Peace and Harmony
Joining and Parting in Bodhi Spreading Blessings through Transportation Finding a Way out to Live
Indoors, Outdoors Not to Yield to Sickness Abiding in Bodhicitta
Wide Propagation through Homepage Standing on No Reliance Choosing the Course Carefully
Respect Born of Compassion Accidents Restoration within Dyes
Falling not into Dharma Trap Salvation through Buddha's Name Nectar Falling Only around One House
Practicing in Daily Life Receiving and Guiding upon Encounter Learning from the Dharmadhatu
Reaching Past, Present and Future Silently Helping One Another Learning through Attendance


Singing along the Path

Yutang Lin

Foreword

This book is a collection of my translation of my Chinese poems and gathas that are mostly gathered in the book "Yang He Zhai Xing Ying Ji" (Collection of Poems on the Path from a Study for the Cultivation of Harmony). Hence, this foreword is also a translation of the preface in that book.

During my school years I learned a little bit about intonation and rhyme in Chinese poetry. While attending Guru Chen I was kindly taught about composition in seven-word stanzas (qi yan jue ju), and tried composing a few. Last year my mother told me, "Good poems and gathas could easily move people's hearts; their effects are often more pronounced than long essays and great theses. Since you are gifted in making such compositions, you should make good use of it for the propagation of the Dharma." Since then I have gradually turned to using poems and gathas to record my sentiments and insights that arise naturally in daily life.

Onto the path of Bodhi I have spontaneously stepped forward, and along the way tides of thoughts and sentiments constantly fluctuated. The poems and gathas gathered in this book are all natural outpour of my heart as I proceed on the path of practice; hence, it is named, "Singing along the Path." The arrangement of these works mostly follows the chronological order.

These short works aim at expounding the experiences and insights gained from engaging in Dharma practices. Therefore, even though attempts were made to fit them into the traditional patterns of Chinese poems, the essence has never been sacrificed to satisfy formality. Consequently, gathas, which have no requirement of intonation and rhyme, are preferred in many instances to present the ideas fully. Poems and gathas are succinct; readers may find it difficult to grasp their deeper implications. Therefore, comments are appended to illuminate and explain the Dharma significance for people who are interested in learning more about Buddhist teachings. As to special experiences of inspirations, in addition to writing brief accounts for the record, poems or gathas are composed to inscribe their superior significance. Works of this kind are also presented as poems or gathas with the corresponding account appended. Consequently, from an overview of this book its characteristic may be described as: "Essays are hidden in poems, and poems are contained in essays."

My works spring from inspiration and sentiments, and record only real incidents. From the dates appended at their ends it is obvious that sometimes several pieces were composed in one day while at times there was no writing at all for days. As to the place of my composition, there is also no definite spot. On the wings of inspiration my pen glides over paper to pour out words for the cultivation of harmony; right there is my "Study for the Cultivation of Harmony" but not necessarily the study at home. Therefore, the works are appended as written at "a Study for the Cultivation of Harmony in certain place" even though I do not have studies here and there. Words from my heart as collected in this book serve to bring out marrow of the Dharma for all to share, and to accompany dedicated practitioners on their lonely and arduous climb to the peak of enlightenment so that they would feel heartwarming comfort and encouragement.

A practitioner of deeds would not exaggerate, nor would he enjoy wordy expression. As experiences accumulated and deepened, succinct words of insight are stored and brewed. Yet in order to share the benefits of the Dharma the practitioner would enjoy spreading such words at length to many people in various localities. My works continuously spring forth spontaneously simply as a result of such conditions.

Written in Chinese: March 18, 1999
At a Study for the Cultivation of Harmony in California
Translated: September 28, 1999 Teachers' Day for the Chinese
El Cerrito, California


In Praise of the Highest Statue of Amitabha Buddha

A gatha composed according to my mother's advice
( The bronze statue is 120 meters in height and located in Ushiku, Japan.)

Facing the statue of Amitabha, highest in the world,
Repeating prostrations in worship, in thee I take refuge.
Standing alone like a giant in the memorial park,
Just as a mother unwilling to leave her deceased children.

Buddha's mind empathizes the suffering sentient beings,
Wishing them to awake soon to purify their own minds.
His compassionate eyes are gazing at beings in transmigration,
Hoping that all minds would open up to boundless clarity.

Transient lives of fleeting mirages, sooner or later, would end;
Grasping delusions and chasing illusions, when will it cease?
His guiding hand lowered to grant deliverance;
Chanting "Amitabha," the faithful ones will attain salvation.

Repeating "Amitabha," one's mind regains original purity,
Thereby transmuting muddy swamps into blooming lotus ponds.
Coming to the Amitabha statue, unsurpassed on the globe,
Blessed beings are all rejoicing in enlightened liberation.

Written in Chinese: Nov. 21, 1992
Translated: July 24, 1999
El Cerrito, California


Calling Home during Pilgrimage

Homesick across the ocean met poor transmission;
Three hundred rupees for three-minute unification;
Thousand words were ready to pour, but
Only "How are you?" got its realization!

Originally at the end of Section 11 of "A Blessed Pilgrimage."
Revised on July 25, 1999
El Cerrito, California


Nectar Falling Only around One House

A request for vase offering was made for the sick old mother,
Soon afterwards she left suffering and passed away peacefully.
Friends and relatives stayed by her side to chant "Amitabha";
Suddenly came a shower of nectar falling only around this house!

Comment:

A few days ago Tan Kong Hui sent me an email asking me to offer a vase to the Dragon King for an eighty-one year old lady. Her name was Lim Boon, and she was an overseas Chinese living in Melaka, Malaysia. Her son made the request on her behalf because she was so very ill. The intention was to pray for her to get well soon. However, even before the vase was prepared she soon passed away peacefully. During her final hours friends and relatives gathered beside her to help her by chanting "Amitabha" in unison. Suddenly a shower of nectar fell on the area surrounding this house for about half an hour. What was most unusual is that the rest of the street did not get even a drop. Such an obvious sign of inspirational blessing brought much relief to the family and friends. The son expressed thanks to the Dragon King and me, and asked that the merits of offering the vase be dedicated to her rebirth in the Pureland instead of the original intention. I have also performed Powa for her to help her gain rebirth in the Pureland.

Written in Chinese and translated on July 6, 2000
El Cerrito, California


Practicing in Daily Life

Recognizing each moment as being between life and death,
Rely first on regular practices to purify the mind.
Having renounced worldly affairs and empty talks,
Learn to dismantle subtle grasping in daily activities.

Comment:

Any moment of one's life is on the line between life and death. Only after having recognized this point could one engage solidly in Buddhist practices. At first one need to rely on regular practices to evacuate the worldly pollution in one's mind so as to attain some peace, stability and clarity of mind. After having engaged in Dharma practices for years, then one's activities are no longer entangled with worldly affairs and one's thoughts are free from empty theories. The remaining practice is to dismantle subtle grasping encountered in one's daily activities.

Written in Chinese on July 6, 2000
Translated on July 7, 2000
El Cerrito, California


Receiving and Guiding upon Encounter

Limitless Dharmadhatu is the Bodhi, and yet
Fabric of perception and knowledge blinds the insight.
Practicing diligently to broaden and release in unison,
Upon encounter respond with aim to provide Dharma.

Comment:

When would one merge into oneness with the limitless Dharmadhatu as a whole? Practicing diligently the unification of broadening and releasing would eventually harvest abiding in the Bodhi. (Opening up the mind and letting go of grasping are two sides of the same coin of liberation.) All responses to others upon encounter are based upon the deep intention to increase their connection with the Dharma through receiving and guiding to the point.

Written in Chinese on July 8, 2000
Translated on July 9, 2000
El Cerrito, California


Reaching Past, Present and Future

Time flows constantly without pause and break.
Past situations seem lost yet could be revisited.
Coming conditions are sometimes seen in advance.
Practicing Dharma is reaching past, present and future.

Comment:

Dharmadhatu as a whole has no limits of time and space. We are limited by our sensual experiences; consequently, it is commonly held that past events are gone and could not be reached, while future has not arrived and therefore could hardly be predicted. According to the experiences of Buddhist practitioners it is possible to see events that happened even before this life, and to foresee the development of events in the future. Based on such experiences it is conceivable that past, present and future are concurrently within the Dharmadhatu as a whole. Each one of us is limited by individual karma to be able to see only bits and fragments of the Dharmadhatu.

From considerations above I have come to realize that, while engaging in Dharma practices one should visualize that the practice is benefiting and reaching all sentient beings in past, present and future, but not just limited to sentient beings of the present time. In this way the practitioner would readily merge into the totality of the whole Dharmadhatu.

Written in Chinese and translated on July 10, 2000
El Cerrito, California


Silently Helping One Another

Pure mind would not mention wicked affairs.
Understanding worldly matters reduce ridiculing others.
As view broadened tolerance gains depth.
Helping one another as a token of being in the same boat.

Comment:

When mind becomes pure one naturally would not want to mention wicked affairs. Understanding the nature of worldly situations would enable one to think in other's shoes; consequently, many ineffectual criticisms that are biased by lack of on-hand experiences would not arise. With a broad and deep view to see many possible scenarios and approaches one would develop great tolerance that is free from antagonism.

Doing what one could to extend a helping hand to others according to situations encountered, this is just a token of the profound awareness of being in the same boat with others as sentient beings suffering through life and death.

Written in Chinese and translated on July 12, 2000
El Cerrito, California

Learning through Attendance

Realization of Dharma permeates daily life;
Behavior and conversation remain just ordinary.
Attending the Guru to learn eventually the subtleties,
Refined transformation would emerge unnoticeably.

Comment:

Learning and practicing the Dharma would eventually become one with the daily life. This is due to the fact that the goal of the Buddhist teachings is to emancipate sentient beings from the cage of their mentality and views so that they would return to original purity and become able to lively develop their full potentials. Depending only on words or occasional contacts it would be difficult to gain real understanding of the essence of the Dharma; sometimes such approaches would even lead to further confusion in thoughts. Therefore, in order to gain real benefits from an experienced practitioner one should remain in constant attendance for a long period of time. In this way many situations and questions would arise naturally in daily life, and the student would have a chance to observe and learn the responses and answers. Through years of such on-hand learning and diligent practice and service the student would be transformed into a Dharma instrument.

As to the question of whether one could follow only one Guru, and the question of whether a teacher could restrict students to learn only approved material, if the restrictions are meant for only a certain period to improve concentration of study, then such temporary regulations are understandable. From the standpoint of perpetual and universal cultivation toward liberation, any restriction is a kind of grasping. The goal of a practitioner is ultimate liberation from transmigration in life-and-death. As long as it is beneficial to advancement toward this goal, one should try to learn from all possible sources, never regress until full enlightenment.

Written in Chinese and translated on July 16, 2000
El Cerrito, California


My Bodhicitta Vows
(Used for Dedication of Merits)

Dr. Yutang Lin

1. May virtuous gurus remain with us and those departed return soon!
2. May perverse views and violence soon become extinct and Dharma spread without hindrance!
3. May all beings proceed diligently on the path and achieve Buddhahood before death!
4. May all beings develop Great Compassion and never regress until they reach perfect Buddhahood!
5. May all beings develop Great Wisdom and never regress until they reach perfect Buddhahood!


Singing along the Path

NOT FOR SALE

For your free copy
Please write to:

Dr. Yutang Lin
705 Midcrest Way
El Cerrito, CA 94530-3310
U.S.A.

Buddhist Yogi C. M. Chen's Homepage:
www.yogichen.org

First Edition
September, 2000
5,000 copies
Printed in Taiwan


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