Pointing Directly to the Fountain

Yutang Lin

Incapable of undertaking requests for refuge from afar;
Even a long whip cannot reach; how could it be helped?
Buddhas compassion does not permit closing the door;
Directly point to the fountain; may all enter on their own.


Some people requested refuge from thousands of miles away. Even a long whip cannot reach so far away; how could guidance be rendered? Besides mailing Buddhist books to them, no more dared be undertaken. Even though so, Buddhas compassion does not permit us to turn people away from the gate to liberation, hence the one thing left to do is to point out for them, that any sentient being in the Dharmadhatu may directly request refuge from the Buddha. As to whether such a request would be blessed with acceptance, it all depends on the degree of sincerity infused in it. This method is an expedience for those who are ardent in requesting refuge from Buddhism and yet lack the opportunity to be in association with proper guide on the path. Through direct request to the Buddha, it is possible for the faithful to receive the blessings of taking refuge in Buddhism. Those who would like to take refuge in this way should earnestly make three prostrations to an image of the Buddha, and each time reciting: "I take refuge in the Buddha, I take refuge in the Dharma, I take refuge in the Sangha." If there is no experience of receiving blessings associated with this activity, such as sensation of warmth or power during prostration, or a good dream following the ceremony, then one should simple continue to learn and practice the Dharma, and repeat this request at a later date until auspicious signs are attained.

Written in Chinese: September 24, 1998
Translated: August 21, 1999
El Cerrito, California

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