Round Light of Bodhidharma

Yutang Lin

Behind Ding Shan Monastery flows the Spring of Stationing the Staff.
Monumental stone from Yuan Dynasty still preserves Patriarch's traces.
Crossing Yang Zi River on one reed, his smiling face remains so kind.
Round and bright wisdom light illustrates Bodhidharma's special favor.


A few days ago while I was in Nan Jing, upon the invitation of Rev. Zhi Guang, I went to visit the Ding Shan Monastery that is still under construction north of the Yang Zi River. In the back of the monastery there is an ancient monumental stone of Yuan Dynasty. On this monument there is a carved image of Bodhidharma standing on a reed crossing water (the Yang Zi River), and the patriarch shows a kind smiling face. The location of this monastery is where the patriarch stayed after he crossed the Yang Zi River. And there is a Stationing the Staff Spring running through this monastery; according to the legend the spring sprang up as Bodhidharma stuck his tin staff into the ground. Showing respect with folded palms we stood, one by one, beside the monument and had photos taken. This morning while some disciples were going over photos taken the other day they noticed one photo showing me with folded palms standing beside the monument and on the upper part of the monument where clouds were carved there is a round colorful light right at the center. It is a miracle due to inspiration. Unexpectedly patriarch Bodhidharma granted such deep grace and profound favor by displaying so superior and perfect a round light of wisdom. I carefully recorded the event here as a token of my deep gratitude with the hope that this would inspire much faith in Buddhists everywhere. Two photos taken consecutively, one with the round light, one without the round light, are attached for your comparison.

Written in Chinese on October 22, 2006 in Shang Hai, China
Translated on November 14, 2006
El Cerrito, California

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