Record of Inspirations Related to Reverent Carving of the Seal of Ji

Written in Chinese by Upasaka Wang
Translated into English by Dr. Yutang Lin

Prostration to Guru Yutang Lin!

On January 6, 2004 I saw a seal of the Chinese character Ji in a dream. The character on the seal was in red color; its style was ancient and plain, forceful and broad; and its left, right and top sides were rimless. In the dream I copied the character by rubbing lead on a piece of paper over the seal, and I also knew that it is a Dharma seal of Guru Lin.

Guru graciously taught that the word Ji signifies showering Dharma nectar equally on all sentient beings so as to benefit them, and that later all in the world will share the cloudless sunny sky (signifying the attainment of Dharmakaya), and ordered me to carve it into a stone seal at my leisure to commemorate this revelation through a dream. (See Guru Lin's poem,(" Seal of Ji ".)

I was fortunate to have received this important assignment, so I dared not incur any mistakes. According to the dream revelation I searched through dictionaries but could not find the same expression. I sketched it many times but was incapable of presenting it satisfactorily. I realized that my learning had been shallow, so I regressed to study various famous collections of seals so as to expand beyond my incapacity. Furthermore, after my Dharma practice sessions I would earnestly pray to Buddhas for their blessings on this endeavor.

On April 10 in a dream I saw: a classmate by the name of Chun Yu, Spring Rain, drew a white crane for me, and my father obtained a Chinese brush named Ji. Guru taught, The Chinese brush should be related to the seal of Ji. The white crane signified Guru Chen. Chun Yu is short for Chun Feng Hua Yu, a Chinese coinage with the meaning of being extensive as spring wind and transformational as timely rain, to indicate receiving blessings through learning Dharma teachings.

On June 28 I noticed by chance a rectangular piece of Qing Tian (Green Field) stone offered on my altar, and the top of the stone is carved into a winding dragon playing its precious ball. I pondered over whether it could serve as the stone for the Ji seal. That night I saw in a dream the following scene: on my altar there was a white seal stone with dragon top; its height was about three inches and the face of the seal was about one square inch; its texture was clean, bright and refined, seemed like Shou Shan (Longevity Mountain) stone. Upon receipt of this dream revelation I felt joy mixed with worry. I rejoiced in having learned in the dream, through Guru's grace and Buddhas' blessings, the seal stone that would match the Dharma seal. I worried over the fact that then I did not have spare money to purchase such a nice seal stone. Nevertheless, in order to perfectly accomplish the construction of the Dharma seal I simply pleaded for Guru's blessing so that I would soon find and buy the seal stone as seen in the dream, without mentioning anything else. Unexpectedly, two days later Guru told me not to wait any longer but just use the Qing Tian stone that was already in my possession.

On July 4 I reverently drew sketches for the seal. In the afternoon I felt a bit sleepy, so I took a nap while visualizing Guru as presiding above my head to grant blessings. In only fifteen minutes I woke up and felt my body tranquil and mind clear. The sketch for the seal was completed in one smooth sequence. Soon afterwards suddenly it became windy with heavy rainfall, intermixed with lightning and thunders. As the shower just paused my wife came home and said that she saw a rainbow. A Buddhist friend phoned and mentioned that there were two concentric rainbows.

The next day I presented the sketch for the seal to Guru for guidance. I thought that the seal had no border on three sides should signify limitlessness. Considering the matter from visual sensation this seal should have the bottom border to represent the Earth.

Guru pointed out key things to revise in his reply, and revealed the secret significance as follows: the seal of Ji should have the bottom border to represent the Earth and symbolize sentient beings on Earth are receiving the blessing of Dharma raining. The vertical strokes in the Qi-character part should be connected with this bottom border so as to look like plants growing up from the ground, and thus to symbolize Dharma sprouts are shooting up. The three drips in the Yu-character part (Yu means rain) signify Tantric blessing in the sense of the third initiations. This is because Tantra is the Path of Greed, and all matters therein are based on the concepts and practices of the secret initiations. Buddha's teachings grant blessings to all sentient beings, and thereby Dharma sprouts shoot up and grow up. Thus the secret significance is completely absorbed in the Seal of Ji. The thunderous shower and rainbows were omens serving as auspicious prelude to the carving of this seal. Guru ordered me to start carving the seal at once.

On July 7 a little while after the 15th hour it was sunny sky with white clouds, and thunders were indistinctly audible; they sounded like Dharma drums that were approaching ever nearer, with ever closer intervals and ever heavier pounding. Fifteen minutes later, rain came down pouring. With such special signs present I silently prayed to Guru for blessing and applied carving knife to construct the seal. While carving the Yu-character there were three loud thunders and those were the only thunders during the rainfall. Guru said that both the thunders and the rain were auspicious omens.

On July 10 while it was raining I took the opportunity to refine the carved character on the seal. Right when I was hesitating about whether the two sides of the Yu-character should be broken off from the Qi-character, suddenly in the air above there fell straight down a shocking thunder, and it shook my mind blank. I figured that it was a blessing from Guru to indicate to me that they should be broken off. Later Guru graced me with the instruction: after the broken-off the resulting figure signifies that, even though Dharma is blessing all beings continuously like rain, nevertheless, for sentient beings there are still distances from the realm of enlightenment, and hence they need to go through solid and painstaking practices to transcend their own egos and then realize saintly purity.

On July 11, while big rain fell heavily like pouring basin, carving of the seal character completed. Guru said that the two sides of the Yu-character seemed like rain had completely covered the whole earth, and that the three vertical parts of the Qi-character resembled people folding their hands above their heads during great prostration.

On July 12, cloudless sunny sky, I reverently carved in Zhen Shu, Authentic Strokes (meaning standard font), Guru's Chinese poem, "Seal of Ji," and its commentary on the four walls of the seal. Thus the construction of the Dharma seal was completed and it happened to fall on a Chen Ri (Dragon day), a Dakini day, and the day when Guru started on his trip to propagate Dharma in Asia.

Above is my recording of the process of my reverent construction of the seal of Ji. I pray that nectar of the lineage would nurture beings in the universe, and may all those that have the opportunity to develop pure faith be blessed by Gurus and Buddhas to sprout their Bodhi seed, grow up, and attain realization soon!

Written in Chinese on September 13, 2004
A day when Buddhas are pleased

Translated on October 9, 2004
El Cerrito, California

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