Report - 2017 Passing on the Lamp
February 8, 2017
2017 Passing On the Lamp of Wisdom: 7-Day Chan Practice
by Wen-Chiao Peng

Passing the lamp means passing the wisdom and dharma to next in Chinese Chan School. On the day of The Master Sheng Yen’s passing, this means a great deal.

We can learn meditation with anyone; however, to hear the correct teaching of Dharma followed by the right instruction of meditation techniques is essential. Thanks to Venerable Chang Hwa Fashi and Venerable Chang Zhai to make these possible. Doesn’t matter we are the beginners or advanced/experienced practitioners, we gathered at Chan Meditation Center to listen to the Master Sheng Yen’s teachings and to practice meditation with the guidance of two Venerables.

Report - 2017 Passing on the Lamp

In the teachings, Master Sheng Yen states that sitting well on a cushion doesn’t mean your mind will be still in daily life. The technique of sitting on a cushion could be necessary but not essential (practice). How to use the wisdom ones gain in meditation in daily life and build it up with Buddha’s teachings is essential (cultivation). We need to initiate our Bodhi mind to benefit oneself and spread the loving-kindness and compassion to others; meanwhile, strengthen and deepen our roots of learning Dharma and extend our branches and leaves to share the merits to others.

On the passage of becoming a Buddha, “Compassion”, “Wisdom”, “Faith”, and “Vows” are the most important teachings. Using the “Compassion” to assist others in learning Buddha’s teachings, gaining the “Wisdom” in order to distinguishing rights from wrongs, having “Faith” in believing in Buddha’s teachings and oneself, and making “Vows” to become enlightenment and to benefit all beings are key points.

Report - 2017 Passing on the Lamp

Seeing “true self” is like lightening before thunders. Each lightening illuminates objects around it in order for us to “see” them; however, when the brightness of lightening disappears, all objects sink back to the darkness. Enlightenment is oneself becomes the light itself. Because you are the light itself, you can choose to become a candle, lightening, or a bulb to shine on any object you want. Master Shen Yen emphasizes that either experience will make ones lessen vexations and gain compassion.

Once, I learnt from Dr. Rebecca Lee’s teaching saying “I always learn something every time I attend a retreat”. I, as a beginner, see no light nor true self; but I have learnt a lot from Shifu’s teachings. Again, one may sharpens his meditation skills somewhere; but to find the cutting edge method to correct the knowledge of meditation and to cultivate one’s virtue through Dharma, I have found it only in Shifu’s teachings at Dharma Drum Mountain.

Report - 2017 Passing on the Lamp