Switching Master and Attendant

Yutang Lin

Self-centered outlook and ways are indeed difficult to change;
Offerings of incense and lamps become practice of diligent service.
Attending the Guru with devotion and care like a faithful servant,
Only after many years of such training could the efforts be effectual.


Our self-centered outlook, habits and way of life are not easy to be aware of and very difficult to break through. To become enlightened, one needs to evolve from and transcend the self-imposed framework. Therefore, one begins with the daily offering of incense, lamps, water, flowers, etc., to learn and practice diligent service to Buddha as the master. As to full-time practitioners, if they can attend a Guru as servants would, then all the chores in daily life become occasions to test one on whether to follow one's inclinations or to obey the Guru's wishes. A devoted practitioner would make good use of such real-life trials so that the cocoon of one's grasping would be unwound thread by thread. After long years of such practice one may gradually attain original purity.

As to what kind of Guru may be followed in such a fashion, one should base on Bodhicitta to observe and choose. Practitioners should understand clearly that the Guru-disciple relationship is not a worldly association, but is solely based on a common identification with the Bodhicitta.

Written in Chinese: February 22, 1999
Translated: September 12, 1999
El Cerrito, California

[Home][Back to list][Back to Chinese versions]