The Grace of Hindrances in the Light of Oneness

Yutang Lin

Encountering obstructions is a matter of daily life;
Hardship adding to suffering forces beings to seek emancipation.
Setback and depression reveals ones propensity and habits;
Suspicion, jealousy and slander are passes to conquer.
Steep mountains and rapid rivers enrich training and experiences;
Blocking in front and pulling in rear open together a sidewise path.
Purity permeates in harmony, sublimating poisons and dirt to naught,
Then the grace of hindrances in the light of Oneness is appreciated.

Written in Chinese: July 19, 1998

Comment added in Chinese later on July 25, 1998:

Upasaka Stanley Lam considered the content of this poem as being very helpful to the growth of practitioners, and asked me to write a short explanation to expound the hidden significance. Thereupon I wrote the epilog as follows:

In life it is indeed inevitable to come across tragic accidents or frustrating situations. All sorts of hardship and suffering keep on accumulating, thereby forcing people to seek out paths to liberation. This is the background that led to peoples engaging in spiritual practices. In the face of setback and long-term depression, various sinister habits and propensities in peoples mind would readily reveal themselves in thoughts, emotions, speeches and actions. A practitioner may thus become aware of his or her infirmity, and treat it through antidotal, mediate or sublimate ways. Human relationship are infested with suspicions, jealousy and slanders. A practitioner at such a juncture should not fall into the swamp of entanglement; instead, simply continue to follow the guidance of Bodhicitta in actively participating in Dharma practices and services, and then after having passed the test of months and years, all such difficulties would just fade away. Consider the various difficulties and hardships as trials on the path, then the more dangerous and steep the pass, the better it would enhance the practitioners ability to endure, adjust and sustain. When hindrance, interference and drag arise, a practitioner would not argue or fight with others, but choose to go on a new path and thereby experience deeper the vast openness of the whole Dharmadhatu.

After long years of practicing as described above, all the poisons and dirt of attachment, calculation, habitual propensities, sinister thoughts, greed and hatred in the practitioners mind would have faded away, and only pure innocence permeates. In this pure innocence there is no longer any entanglement or haggling with people over matters, only relaxation and tranquillity naturally prevail. Furthermore, to all the hardships, suffering and hindrance that one has ever encountered one is forever grateful because they have helped ones Bodhicitta to sprout, grow, be tried, and mature. After Bodhicitta has outgrown self-centered antagonism in this way, it unfolds without boundary to all sentient beings in the limitless time and space of the whole Dharmadhatu, and saturate the limitless-oneness which encompasses the whole Dharmadhatu.

Translated: August 14, 1999
El Cerrito, California

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