Plain and Simple

Yutang Lin

Merciful countenance with fine features but no ornaments,
Just in white robe, leaning on one arm, she rested on a bed.
Received me in plain and simple way, no need to prostrate.
Raising her right hand and immediately bestowed blessing.


Yesterday I received in the mail several rectangular cards with holy images of Guan Yin drawn and printed in black ink; they are presents from a Buddhist friend. The postures are all grandeur but different. However, the expressions all seem lofty. That caused me to recall my experience of calling on the White Robe Great One, a female transformation of Guan Yin that is well known to Chinese Buddhists, in an inspirational dream. Both Guan Yin and the attendant girl standing beside her wore white robes but no ornaments. The Great One reclined on a rectangular bed, leaning on her right arm. Her manner was plain and simple; and she told me, no need to do prostration. Only when she raised her hand to bestow blessings on me, there was a force that came into my body; otherwise, she appeared just as an ordinary person. I am writing this down to indicate that, real and thorough mastery will result in manners that are free from the taint of being high or low. May people who make holy images all comprehend this point.

Written in Chinese on October 19, 2002
Translated on October 25, 2002
El Cerrito, California

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