Shower Hall

Yutang Lin

Roomful of works on Dharma as precious as gold and jade,
Universally scattering nectars of Dharma like a shower hall,
In Dharmadhatu conditional arising's beyond comprehension,
Name happened to match the person, who would know first?


My parents chose the Chinese name Yu Tang for me. The character Yu consists of two characters, Jin and Yu, meaning gold and jade respectively. The character Tang means hall. The altar framework at home in Taipei, the incense holder in my altar room, etc. all happened to have the auspicious Chinese phrase "Jin Yu Man Tang," meaning roomful of gold and jade, engraved on them without being sought after during selection. Recently my works on Dharma in Chinese alone had exceeded one thousand pieces; I figure that my Dharma works amount to this life's roomful of gold and jade for me.

In high-school years one day I suddenly realized that the pronunciation of my Chinese name, Lin Yu Tang, is similar to the Chinese term for "shower hall." (Shower in Chinese is said as Lin Yu.) Therefore, in those days, to help others comprehend this funny connection, while introducing myself to others I would add, "bath room." My works are printed for free distribution to interested public; in recent years they are also posted at websites as voluntary service to the world for people to peruse and download at will. Based on this, maybe one could be regarded as a "shower hall" that scatters Dharma nectars universally and perpetually? A few years ago I saw the Sutra "Universal Gates Chapter" in a dream. The scenes in that dream also conveyed the meaning of giving people baths to clean them of karmas. Interested readers might want to check that work out. It is entitled, "Seeing the Universal Gates Chapter in a Dream."

Conditional arising in the Dharmadhatu is beyond comprehension; nevertheless, within the unknown there are meticulously unmistaken connections as determined by causal conditions and karmas. The fact that my name and its pronunciation equivalent are both precisely matching to my life's activities could not have been foreseen by my parents, and yet they happened to have chosen it for this use; it could not have been just a matter of coincidence!

Written in Chinese on July 4, 2004
Translated on July 5, 2004
El Cerrito, California

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