Gaomin Temple One of The Greatest Zen temples In China

Gaomin Temple One of The Greatest Zen temples In China

Gaomin Temple (Chinese: 高旻寺; pinyin: Gāomín Sì) is a Buddhist Temple in YangzhouJiangsu Province of China. The temple is situated in a semi-rural setting about 7 km south of downtown Yangzhou, on the western shore of the Old Channel of the Grand Canal of China, just south of its junction with the Yizheng-Yangzhou Canal.

Gaomin temple was first built in the Sui dynasty, and achieved its largest area in the Qing dynasty, when it was expanded twice. In 1651, Tianzhong Tower was built, as well as a temple next to it called the Tower Temple. During the Kangxi Emperor‘s (r. 1661–1722) stay in the temple in his fourth southern tour, he climbed on TianZhong Tower, overlooking the scenery, which was very beautiful and vast. Then named the temple for Gaomin Temple. At that time, Gaomin Temple, Zhenjiang’s Jinshan Temple, Chengdu’s Geyuan Temple and Xindu’s Baoguang Temple were known as the greatest four Zen temples.

Buddha Tower and TianZhong Tower By Jimmy Nov 2019

Water Pavilion and Zen Meditation Hall By Lisa Su Feb 2016

In ancient times, a great number of people in the temple became accomplished through the practice of zen. At the Gaomin Monastery in Yangzhou, basically every seven days one person would awaken to zen, becoming enlightened and accomplished. Last century, there were several Holy monks reached enlightenment from Gaomin Temple Zen seven-day retreat, such as XuYun ( 虚云), YiZhao( 意昭) and BenHuan (本焕).

Gaomin Temple’s zen practice was truly inexplicable but unfathomably profound. Gaomin Temple was famous for its strict precepts and Zen style. There were very strict and even cruel rules for monks participating in Zen seven-day retreat.

First of all, in ancient times when someone entered the Gaomin Monastery to practice zen, that person would first have to sign an agreement. That agreement was very simple. To put it bluntly, they agreed that they could be beaten to death with impunity. The one who beat them to death would not have to lose his own life. Additionally, they agreed to voluntarily carry out the dharma rules of the monastery. After they entered the monastery, they had to give up all of the dharmas that they previously learned. As soon as one arrived at Gaomin Monastery and entered the zen hall, one could not apply any previously learned dharmas.

Five people carried cudgels. Those five were called “the five great cudgel carriers.” Their specific task was to beat people. The practitioners had periods of running zen, each of which lasted the time it took for a stick of incense to burn from top to bottom. The stick of incense was not long. The practitioners had to jog. In the zen hall, many practitioners formed a circle and jogged. As they jogged, one of the cudgel carriers would strike his cudgel against something, which made a loud noise. As soon as he struck his cudgel against something, that loud noise sounded. When the jogging practitioners heard the striking sound from the cudgel, they had to immediately stop jogging. They were not allowed to jog even one more step. When the striking sound of the cudgel sounded again, they had to immediately resume their jogging.

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As soon as the striking sound from his cudgel sounded, if you were still jogging, you would be taken aside and beaten to death. If you were not beaten to death, you were at the very least maimed. Thus, the minds of those practitioners were of course extremely focused. They were always focused on the sound of the cudgel. They were always fearful that they would be taken aside and severely beaten for continuing to jog after the striking of the cudgel sounded, or, if they had stopped jogging, for not immediately resuming their jogging after the striking of the cudgel sounded.

There were sitting periods as well, which lasted as long as it took for a stick of incense to burn from top to bottom. As soon as they sat down, the cudgel carriers in back of them would keep an eye on them. While sitting, the practitioners were not allowed to move in any way. The practitioners were absolutely forbidden to move. They were not permitted to recite the name of any Buddha or chant any mantra. If one was seen moving a bit, he was taken aside and severely beaten, to the extent of possible death. Therefore, after they sat down in a settled posture, as soon as the striking sound of the cudgel carrier’s cudgel could be heard, they did not dare move. They had to remain stiff for as long as the incense stick burned. They did not dare move in the slightest. The focus of their minds increased a hundredfold because they feared that they would inadvertently move, be taken aside, and be beaten, resulting in injury, deformity, or death.

There was also a rule of drinking water. The practitioners had to go to the east side to draw water and then carry the water with both hands to the west side. Only then could they drink the water. Additionally, the cup of water had to be completely filled. If a drop of water spilled to the ground as they were carrying the cup with both hands, they were taken aside and severely beaten.

Thus, the consciousness of those who practiced zen there did not wander. They did not think of other things. They did not rest. When they ate, they were not even allowed to make the sound of chopsticks hitting the bowl. As a result, their consciousness was forced to naturally not dare think of other things. Therefore, it is only natural that after our consciousness is united, we will not think things over and will not be distracted. Everyone fears being beaten to death. When you fear being beaten to death and death is used to force you, then you have no other choice. You must seriously deal with the matter. That is why in such circumstances it is very easy to cut off mistaken thinking. Through force, your thoughts are cut off. When your thoughts are cut off through force, you original nature emerges. As soon as your original nature emerges, you have broken through in your zen practice.

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Therefore, by and large, at each seven-day retreat someone broke through in his zen practice at that monastery. Basically, there would be one breakthrough every seven days. How did they know someone broke through? The day someone broke through, he was ordered to write a verse for others to hear, enabling the abbot of the zen hall and the zen master to recognize him. That practitioner was later tested again to see whether he truly awakened to the truth through the practice of zen, whether he understood his mind and saw his nature.

I have great admiration for those monks who were willing to give up their lives in pursuit of the true Buddha Dharma.

Gaomin Temple One of The Greatest Zen temples In China

Link:https://peacelilysite.com/2022/09/21/gaomin-temple-one-of-the-greatest-zen-temples-in-china/

#Buddhism#ZenBuddhism#ZenTemple#ChineseTemple#GaominTemple#ZenPractice#ZenSevendayRetreat#XuYun#Meditation#ZEnMaster#Monastery

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaomin_Temple, https://learntruebuddhism.com/the-great-dharma-of-zen-expounded-by-h-h-dorje-chang-buddha-iii/

A Story of Transforming Negative Affinity

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A Story Transforming Negative Affinity

One day around nightfall, a monk was on his way back to the temple. Suddenly, lightning was striking and it was raining cats and dogs, the rain didn’t seem to be coming to a stop. He thought eagerly,
“What should I do”. Just as he was becoming anxious, a manor was nearby. He ran towards it hoping to be warranted a night’s stay. The manor was enormous, and the servant saw the monk. After asked for the monk’s business there, the servant said, “My master has no affinity with monks. You will need to seek shelter elsewhere.“
The monk replied, “It is raining hard, and there is no other household nearby. If you just provide me a place to stay would be really appreciated.”
“I cannot make the decision, let me go ask for my mater’s permission.” The servant went into the manor, and after he came back, he still refused the monk. The monk asked for the manor’s master’s name after the rejection, and without other options, he hurried back to the temple in the rain.

Three years later, the master of the manor married a concubine, he was very fond of her. One day, the concubine wanted to go to the temple for making offering, the master went with her. In the temple, the master of the manor saw his name written on a plate for meritorious deeds praying. The master was puzzled, and asked a little monk nearby for the reason of the plate.
The little monk replied with a smile, “This is written by the head monk three years ago. There was a night that he hurried back to the temple in heavy rain, and said that there was an almsgiver that he did not build positive affinity with. So the head monk written the plate and chant the prayers for the almsgiver on daily basis to dedicate any merits back to him. Hopefully, their affinity can be transformed to positive. This is as much as I know, the head monk did not provide us with more detail.” When the manor of the master hear what the little monk said, he knew the story and he was regretful. At the end, he became a dedicated almsgiver of the temple.

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This is a very inspiring story of an old monk, a story to transform “negative affinity”. This mundane world is big yet small, and people often run into each other. A person with great tolerance can understand the fact that “Great kindness and great enmity; others and me are no different.” In addition, the environment and how others treated ourselves should be a catalyst to encourage us. Kindness and enmity are all affinities to help us. On the other hand, those who are shallow and with narrow-minded will hinder themselves from positive affinity, and will aloof themselves from a future with prosperity.
Indeed, to be able to act as the head monk’s heart of embracement might not be easy; however, ” Saints and sages have virtuous actions that we look up to, and have mindsets and actions that are legit and above-board. Though we are not yet at the same extent, but I try to be the same.”


The act of positive thoughts and action can really transform negative affinity. The act of giving is the cause of prosperity, and the action of greed is the cause of poverty. Instead of giving wealth to children, we should leave them with virtue. Have you not noticed? Wealth creates conflict of interest. There are countless incidents where sibling or parents sue each other for money. If our children are well educated and are virtuous, then it is unnecessary to leave them with money.

A Story Transforming Negative Affinity

Link:https://peacelilysite.com/2022/09/14/transforming-negative-affinity/

#BuddhismTeaching#Monk#Buddhism#Affinity#TransformNegativeAffinity#Kindness#GreatEnmity#MoralStorie

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

The Five People You Meet in Heaven, by Mitch Albom, an enchanting, beautifully crafted novel that explores a mystery only heaven can unfold. It is a tale of a life on earth. It’s a tale of life beyond it. It’s a fable about love, a warning about war, and a nod of the cap to the real people of this world, the ones who never get their name in lights.

This book is about the meaning of life. What do we humans live for? Eddie, the protagonist, thought his life was meaningless during his lifetime. After his death, he met five people in heaven. These five people, known and unknown, all played a pivotal role in Eddie’s life. They taught Eddie the meaning and value of life. At last Eddie was relieved. The originally heavy soul also became lighter. Each of us is running towards death. Death is not scary. The scary thing is that we do not know how to live.

Eddie is a grizzled war veteran who feels trapped in a meaningless life of fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. As the park has changed over the years — from the Loop-the-Loop to the Pipeline Plunge — so, too, has Eddie changed, from optimistic youth to embittered old age. His days are a dull routine of work, loneliness, and regret.

Then, on his 83rd birthday, Eddie dies in a tragic accident, trying to save a little girl from a falling cart. With his final breath, he feels two small hands in his — and then nothing. He awakens in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a lush Garden of Eden, but a place where your earthly life is explained to you by five people who were in it. These people may have been loved ones or distant strangers. Yet each of them changed your path forever.

Eddie arrives in Heaven, where he meets “the Blue Man.” The Blue Man explains that Eddie is about to journey through Heaven’s five levels, meeting someone who has had a significant impact upon his life or someone on whom his life had a significant impact. Eddie asks why the Blue Man is his first person, and he informs Eddie that, when Eddie was very young, he caused the car accident that killed him. From this, Eddie learns his first lesson: there are no random events in life and all individuals and experiences are connected in some way.

Eddie meets his former captain from the army, who reminds Eddie of their time together as prisoners of war in a forced labor camp in the Philippines. Their group burned the camp during their escape and Eddie, while running away, remembers seeing a shadow move in one of the huts. The Captain confesses that he shot Eddie in the leg to prevent Eddie from chasing the shadow into the fire. This saved Eddie’s life despite leaving him with a lifelong severe limp. Eddie then learns how the Captain died: he stepped on a land mine that would have killed all the men had he not set it off.

Eddie finds himself outside a diner, where he sees his father through a window. A well-dressed woman named Ruby appears and introduces herself to him. Ruby explains that Ruby Pier was named after her by her husband Emile, who built it in tribute to her. Ruby shows Eddie the true cause of his father’s death, which is different from what he had always believed. She tells Eddie that he needs to forgive his father.

Eddie meets his late wife, Marguerite. They remember their wedding, and Marguerite teaches Eddie that love is never lost in death; it just moves on and takes a different form.

Eddie awakens to see children playing along with a riverbed. A young Filipina girl named Tala comes up to him. Tala reveals that she was the little girl from the hut that Eddie set on fire. Distraught, Eddie breaks down both cursing and asking God “why?” Tala hands him a stone and asks him to “wash” her like the other children in the river are doing to one another. Eddie is puzzled, but dips the stone in the water and starts to scrape off the injuries he had inflicted on her. Tala’s wounds begin to clear until she is freed of all the scars. Eddie asks Tala if she knows if he was able to save the little girl before his death. Tala tells him he did manage to push her out of the way. In this way, Tala explains, he also managed to atone every day for her unnecessary death.

In the end, it shows that Eddie’s Heaven is the Stardust Band Shell, where he met Marguerite.

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One by one, Eddie’s five people illuminate the unseen connections of his earthly life. As the story builds to its stunning conclusion, Eddie desperately seeks redemption in the still-unknown last act of his life: Was it a heroic success or a devastating failure? The answer, which comes from the most unlikely of sources, is as inspirational as a glimpse of heaven itself.

Reading The Five People You Meet in Heaven helped me understand deeper about the law of cause and effect in Buddhism teaching. We live in the web of reincarnation of life and death woven by our own karma. Each one of us is connected by the threads in this vast web. Our thoughts, words, and actions all have a small or big impacts to others near and far. What we humans need now is more love, respect, kindness and compassion, and less conflict, fighting and argument.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/09/11/the-five-people-you-meet-in-heaven/

#TheFivePeopleYouMeetinHeaven#Buddhism#LIfeafterDeath#Death#MitchAlbomKarma#Kindness#Love#Causeandeffect#lawofCauseandeffect

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Five_People_You_Meet_in_Heaven, https://www.mitchalbom.com/books/five-people-you-meet-in-heaven/

A True Story: 100,000 Prostrations by a One-Armed Person

A True Story: 100,000 Prostrations by a One-Armed Person who Learns and Practices the True Dharma of the Tathagata from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III

I was a factory worker in the past. In 1993, a co-worker had to go home to help plant his family’s wheat crop. His leave request was not approved by the shift leader. So, I went to cover him.

When looking at his work in the past, I thought I should be able to do it. In reality, it was not that simple. I was not skillful in operating the machine. The machine pulled my right hand in. When I dragged the arm out, I had no flesh in my hand and arm, only a long, bare bone left. 

The doctor at the hospital took a look and told me that I must have amputation. The upper arm bone was fractured; however, he could reconnect it back. 

When I slowly woke up from the surgery, I saw that my entire right arm…, my right arm was like, so short , only 5, 6 cm long.

Actually, the doctor had told me very clearly before the surgery that the amputation would only be limited to my hand. This is just not fair at all. I was furious. How could he be a doctor? What medical ethics did he have?

I cried my heart out at that time.  I got very upset. I did not even want to go out of my room. I got a room from the company. I didn’t go out at all and felt that it would be embarrassed to go out and see people. Why do I get such bad luck? 

I was depressed all day long and also could not get along with my wife. I would smash bowls or chopsticks whenever things didn’t go my way. That happened a lot. When I popped open a bottle of white wine, I would have a big, long gulp.  In one morning, I could almost finish a bottle with only a few drops left.  I buried myself in the alcohol at home.  Once I am drunk, I lose my temper. I almost had a mental breakdown and lost confidence in my life. 

It started out from doing a favor, to help out my co-worker. How did it make me to become a handicapped person?  How could such a thing happen to me? Even the hospital mistreated me in that way. The whole society did not treat me fairly. I also didn’t see justice from the Heavenly God…….

One day, my daughter told me: “Father, I will take you to a Buddhist center. Go learn Buddhism. Buddhism will be good for you, and for our family. Chant “Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!”

“What did you tell me to chant?” I said, “I have only heard about Amitabha Buddha. Why didn’t I know about H.H.  Dorje Chang Buddha III?”

Starting from that day, I would head to the Buddhist center and then listened to the Dharma discourses every day. I listened to the discourse on the Law of Cause and Effect. I listened to many pre-recorded dharma discourses, such as The Dharma to Cut Off the Twenty Worldly Emotions, etc. I listened to The Dharma to Cut Off the Twenty Worldly Emotionsa few more times. I also listened more times to the discourse on the Law of Cause and Effect. Eventually I understood that everything is a result of the Law of Cause and Effect.

I gradually realized that the loss of my right arm was not without a cause. Whether in my past lifetimes or in this lifetime, I have harmed so many living beings. This bit of suffering is what I deserve. When I took the lives of other living beings in the past, I caused them sufferings.

Through the learning, I slowly understood the truth about the Law of Cause and Effect. The hatred in my mind also gradually vanished.

 I then made a resolve.

100,000 Prostrations by a One-Armed Person who Learns and Practices the True Dharma of the Tathagata from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.

Since I have learned and understood the truth of the Law of Cause and Effect, I will now repent to all the living beings I have killed or harmed. I will repent to them. With the utmost respect, in front of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, I will repent with my most pious heart. 

I will do 100,000 prostrations for repentance. In less than four months, I completed 100,000 prostrations. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III told us, only cultivation can transform the Law of Cause and Effect. 

The retribution I am receiving right now is caused by what I have done in many lifetimes and eons ago. From now on, I will follow and learn from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and cultivate myself.

As long as I plant good causes. I will definitely get good fruition in the future. I am determined to follow and learn from the Buddha and cultivate myself until I attain accomplishment.

A True Story: 100,000 Prostrations by a One-Armed Person who Learns and Practices the True Dharma of the Tathagata from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/08/19/a-true-story-100000-prostrations-by-a-one-armed-person-who-learns-and-practices-the-true-dharma-of-the-tathagata-from-h-h-dorje-chang-buddha-iii/

#HHDorjeChangBuddhaIII #DorjeChangBuddhaIII #DorjeChangBuddha

Mount Xuedou and Maitreya Bodhisattva

Mount Xuedou and Maitreya Bodhisattva

Located at around 8 kilometers north-west of Xikou Town, Fenghua City of Zhejiang Province, Xuedou Mountain is 800 meters above sea level, featuring graceful mountain ridges, unique cliffs, tempting waterfalls, and deep streams. The mountain has a milky peak, while on the peak there is a dou (meaning hollow or hole). Water flows out of the dou, and it is as white as milk, thus getting the name of the Milk Spring. It is well-known for its serenity, magnificent landscape, and an abundance of greenery. Mount Xuedou Scenic Area was known as “a fairyland on the sea” early in the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD. However it was not popular until the previous president of National Party Jiang, Jieshi promoted it heartly. Xikou is the hometown for this important historical figure Jiang, Jieshi. His family had Buddhism tradition. So when he was young he often went to Xuedou Temple with his mother. He loved its picturesque sceneries, and believed it was the most beautiful place in the country. Later on he built a mansion in Mount Xuedou, he and his family lived there once a while. He even had a plan to promote Mount Xuedou as second Mount Lu, but the plan did not come true, since he left mainland China to Taiwan after the civil war. Therefore, this place becomes more mysterious and interesting for tourists from China and abroad to explore.

The charm of Mount Xuedou lies not only in its picturesque sceneries, it also has held a high status in Chinese Buddhism since ancient times. Located in a scenic site, the Xuedou Temple has a history of over 1600 years and has cultivated numerous eminent monks. It is also the place where Monk Maitreya practiced his Buddhism, thus a large number of eminent monks and pilgrims have been attracted to Mount Xuedou.

Maitreya Bodhisattva is a very popular Buddhist figure in China. Maitreya is a transcendent bodhisattva,he will be the next Buddha in the Saha world. Maitreya means “loving kindness.” In Mahayana Buddhism, Maitreya is the embodiment of all-encompassing love. Maitreya, in Buddhist tradition, presently resides in Tushita heaven.

With big belly and jolly smell, he is a symbol of enduring humiliation, optimism and compassion. In Buddhism teaching, disciples should be like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. All should have a broad mind, open heart, and great tolerance. The first priority for one who learns Buddhism and cultivates himself is to be patient and forbearing under insult.

In the historical record, there is an eminent Monk named Qichi (契此), who was the incarnation of Maitreya Bodhisattva. This monk lived at the end of WuDai period (right after the Tang Dynasty), and is most well known for his rather fat belly. Since he always carried a cloth bag, people began to call him the cloth bag monk. Unlike the stereotypical image of the strict and severe ascetic, Qichi was a jovial, good-humored man, but no less intelligent and thoughtful. He was loved and respected by all for these qualities. Often, others would ask him, “what is the true meaning of Buddhism?”, and in response, he would drop his bag to the ground. The deepest meaning of Buddhism is to lay down your burdens. Qichi took residence in Xuedou Temple, where he would spread the Buddhist Dharma to all those who came to him. To this day, Xuedou Mountain is regarded as the Holy Land of Maitreya. In honor of the cloth bag monk, statues of the Maitreya Bodhisattva are always depicted carrying a cloth bag.

Xuedou Temple

Xuedou Temple was originally founded in the Jin Dynasty. For thousands of years, it has been visited by many people, and has produced numerous eminent monks. It has a high status and is regarded by the Buddhist circle in China as one of the ten most famous Buddhist temples together with the other nine temples, such as Zhongtian, Zhutianning, Wanshou, the Yongzuo Temple of Hangzhou, and the Jiangshan Taiping Xingguo Temple of Nanjing.

During the Tang and Song dynasties, Xuedou Temple had received 41 imperial edicts from emperors of several generations. So far, the temple has stored 5,760 Confucian classics granted by emperors, jade seals, dragon robes, dragon pots and jade Buddhas.

In the temple, the constructions are magnificent and attractive. Outside the temple, ancient trees are towering up into the sky. Among them, two ginkgo trees from the Han Dynasty can be surrounded by about five people. With exuberant leaves, the ginkgoes rise above the clouds.

At the back peak of Xuedou Mount, the statue of Maitreya Buddha is the highest copper statue of its kind in the world. The Buddha body is 33 meters high, the lotus seat is 9 meters high, and the base is 14.74 meters high. It completed at 2008, with exquisite workmanship. Having this remarkable structure, Mount Xuedou was officially named as the fifth sacred Buddhist Site, dedicated to Maitreya Bodhisattva. Now, the temple covers a landscape area of over 20,000 sq meters and has perfectly combined natural landscapes and Buddhist culture. 

XueDou Temple Overview

Since Mount Xuedou is dedicated for Maitreya Bodhisattva, there is a Grand Maitreya Hall in the Temple. It is really magnificent and dignified.

Grand Maitreya Hall
Marvelous Maitreya Statue

Qianzhang Rock Waterfall

In front of Xuedou Temple, there is a waterfall called Xuedou Waterfall, also known as Qianzhang Rock Waterfall. The water head is in the valleys at the south and the north of Xuedou Temple. The water of the Milk Spring flows into Jinjing Pool (which is an ancient pool developed in the Southern Song Dynasty), crossing Guanshan Bridge and pouring out of the cliff mouth.

The waterfall pours down from Qianzhang Rock. From the top of the rock to the pool, it is as high as 186 meters. At the half-way point, there is a huge rock. In spring and autumn, the rain falls down in a deluge but it runs into the rock at the half-way point and splashes in all directions right away. It falls like pearls and jades, and also dances like snow. Under the sunlight, it forms a rainbow, which is quite splendid. Xuedou Waterfall was well known by the whole nation as early as in the Northern Song Dynasty.

Sanyin Pond Waterfall

Sanyin Pond Waterfall is situated at 5 li north-west of Xuedou Temple. The water flows from Dongao Village (on Xuedou Mountain, there is a village of alpine flowers. With a beautiful and clean environment, the village is an ocean of flowers and seedlings) to the cliff mouth, forming one waterfall; it continues running down the mountainside to the foot, forming three waterfalls. As a result, it is called Sanyin Pond.

With a length of more than 1,600 meters, the pond can be divided into Shangyin Pond, Zhongyin Pond and Xiayin Pond respectively from the highest to the lowest. Shangyin Pond is highlighted by its quietness and danger; Zhongyin Pond stands out for its delicacy and cleanness; Xiayin Pond is well known for its superb beauty. Despite the positions of the three ponds in remote mountains and deep valleys and the difficulty of visiting them, tourists still visit in great numbers.

Miaogao Platform

Miaogao Platform is also known as Miaogao Peak or Tianzhu Peak. It is the main scenic spot of the Xuedou landscapes. Although it is only 396 meters above sea level, it stands out against the mountain behind it. With the middle part bulging, three steep cliffs, and a gaping abyss down its side, the platform has a precipitous terrain.

In a narrow sense, Miaogao Platform refers to a platform of about 350 square meters. Standing at the front edge, you can look out on the natural sceneries of Tingxia Lake. On the periphery of Miaogao Platform, ancient trees and green bamboos are thriving so much that they keep the sunlight away. In addition, the clear breeze blows gently. It is an ideal summer resort.

Tingxia Lake

Located at the south of Xuedou, Tingxia Lake is 6 kilometers away from Xikou Town. It is a large artificial lake, with a surface area of 5.9 square kilometers, an equivalent of West Lake in Hangzhou. The water storage capacity is as much as 153 million cubic meters.

Tingxia Lake is a good place to enjoy the landscapes of lakes, mountains, steep peaks and deep valleys. Tingxia Lake is a huge reservoir famous for its position under Yushu Pavilion of Xuedou Mountain and its location at Tingxia Village.

Tingxia Lake has wonderful natural sceneries. On the basis of unique peaks, deep valleys, high mountains and water scenes, interesting and attractive landscapes of lakes and mountains come into being. With clean air and high quality water, the scenic spot is also rich in fish, fruit and forest resources. Tourists can sail on the lake, and can also go fishing, picnicking and camping.

Naturalists and photographers love to visit the Miaogao Platform, Qianzhang Rock, and Qianzhang Crag with its huge, scenic waterfall in the region spanning 85 square kilometers. Mount Xuedou is also a national forest park, a really great place worth of visiting.

Mount Xuedou and Maitreya Bodhisattva

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/08/10/mount-xuedou-and-maitreya-bodhisattva/

 #Buddhism#ClothBagMonk #Buddhist #XuedouTemple#MountXuedou#MaitreyaBodhisattva#Compassion#TravelChina

Source: https://www.trip.com/travel-guide/attraction/ningbo/xuedou-mountain-90600/, https://www.chinahighlights.com/ningbo/attraction/xuedou-mountain.htm

WHY DO BUDDHISTS RELEASE ANIMALS?

WHY DO BUDDHISTS RELEASE ANIMALS?

Fangsheng 放生 refers to releasing lives and Buddhists are encouraged to do that during the course of their practice. What is the truth behind this action?

When we release a life, we save a life. In return, it will lengthen our lifespan.

It is a meritorious deed and will accumulate merits.

It stresses the importance of compassion and kindness. We cannot bear to see them die or getting harmed. We want them out of life-threatening situations.

If one is sick and goes to release lives, it will bring benefits to one’s health.

All living beings are equal. Whenever they are in danger, we will rescue them.

Fangsheng promotes compassion, kindness, equality, and harmony.

WHY DO BUDDHISTS RELEASE ANIMALS?

LInk: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/08/10/why-do-buddhists-release-animals/

#BuddhismTeaching#Buddhist#ReleaseAnimals

Jesus was a Buddhist Monk BBC Documentary

Jesus was a Buddhist Monk BBC Documentary

Many years ago, I have read an article about Zen Buddhism Master XuYun’s conversation about Christianity and Buddhism with previous presidents of Nationalist Party Mr. Jiang Jie Shi (蔣介石). Master XuYun said Jesus Christ learned buddhism in Indian, he reached enlightenment, and then went back to found Christianity. Even though I knew Master XuYun was a truly holy and virtuous, I was quite doubtful about his opinion.

However when I watched the documentary file below, I was quite convinced. At any rate, the unity and cooperation of these two religions could do a great contribution to peace in the world.

This BBC 4 documentary examines the question “Did Jesus Die?”. It looks at a bunch of ideas around this question until minute 25, where this examination of ideas takes a very logical and grounded turn with surprising conclusions that demonstrates that the three wise men were Buddhist monks who found Jesus and came back for him around puberty. After being trained in a Buddhist Monastery he spread the Buddhist philosophy, survived the crucifixion, and escaped to Kashmir, Afghanistan where he died an old man at the age of 80.

Jesus was a Buddhist Monk BBC Documentary

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/07/15/jesus-was-a-buddhist-monk-bbc-documentary/

#Buddhism#ZenMaster#XuYun#Christianity#JesusChrist#Crucifixion

Mount Putuo – Buddhist Land on The Sea

Mount Putuo – Buddhist Land on The Sea

Mount Putuo is one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism, lies in the East China Sea and incorporates the beauty of both mountain and sea, and honored as the Buddhist Land on the Sea. Its area is approximately 12.5 square kilometres (4.8 sq mi) and there are numerous famous temples. Mount Putuo has been a pilgrimage site for over a thousand years. After the Tang dynasty, Mount Putuo became a center of Avalokitasvara (Guanyin) worship.

In 863, a Japanese monk called Hui E aimed to carry a statue of Avalokitasvara from Mount Wutai to his country by ship. However, when the ship was passing through the sea nearby Mount Putuo, it was prevented by the stormy waves and hundreds of iron lotus flowers suddenly appeared on the sea, blocking the way. Monk Hui E believed that Avalokitasvara didn’t want to leave China. So he knelt down on the bow of the boat and silently prayed to the Bodhisattva Avalokitasvara for instructions. After a while, the iron lotus on the sea disappeared, and the boat drifted to the shore of Mount Putuo, where he built a temple in the purple bamboo forest to enshrine the statue of theBodhisattva. From that time, Mount Putuo got the spirit and became the bodhimanḍa of Bodhisattva Guanyin.

Traditionally there were three main temples: The Puji Temple (founded 10th cent.), the Fayu Temple  (founded 1580 CE), and the Huiji Temple (founded 1793 CE).  Today, there are more than 30 major temples located at Mount Putuo. In addition to these monasteries, there is the Institute of Buddhism, one of the largest Buddhist academic institutes in China.

Puji Temple

Puji Temple is the main temple of Mount Putuo and all important Buddhist activities are held here. Covering an area of 37,019 square meters, it contains Grand Yuantong Palace, Hall of Heavenly Kings, Depository of Buddhist Sutras and 357 other buildings. Grand Yuantong Palace is the main hall which houses an 8-meter-high statue of Guanyin surrounded by 32 Bodhisattva with different costumes in a variety of poses on east and west walls. Haiyin Pond in Puji Temple was a free life pond full of spring water primitively and now a lotus pond. At the night of summer, the gorgeous lotus and bright moonlight compose an attractive scenery. 

Puji Temple
Haiyin Pond in Puji Temple

Fayu Temple

Fayu Temple was built along the uphill with grand building groups and extraordinary manners. It got such a name in that you could see amazing relives of nine dragons are fighting for pearl on the screen wall before the gate of Halls of Heavenly Kings. Among the 294 halls of Fayu Temple, Nine Dragons Guanyin Palace(also called Grand Yuantong Palace), said to be a Buddhist Temple transported from the imperial palace of Ming Dynasty, acts as the most magnificent one. The highlighted part of this palace must be the Nine Dragons Caisson Ceiling. With unique shapes and vivid images, it enjoys high artist value and is listed in Three Treasures of Mount Putuo.

FaYu Temple
Delicate Carvings in Nine Dragons Screen Wall

Huiji Temple (惠济禅寺)

Huiji Temple is perched in Foding Mountain, the highest peak of Mount Putuo. The architecture of the whole temple is unique. It is located on the mountain and is arranged horizontally. The hall is spacious and magnificent. Hidden in a luxury forest, Huiji Temple features in peaceful environment. Standing at the peak of Mount Putuo, you can have a distant view of the mountains, sea, reefs, beaches and buildings. In the whole temple, statues, carvings and pictures of Guanyin can be found everywhere.

Grand Huiji Temple
Status of Guanyin Bodhisattva

Statue of Standing Nanhai Guanyin

Standing in the south Shuangfeng Peak, Statue of Standing Nanhai Guanyin is the largest outdoor statue of Guanyin made from copper in Asia. With an 18-meter-high statue, 2-meter-high lotus and 13-meter-high foundation, the whole structure has two stories in its foundation. The first story displays elegant carvings, while the second story houses 500 statues of Guanyin in different poses. On the consecrating day at year 1997, a strange nature phenomenon happened. Before the consecrating ceremony, the sky was full of dark cloud and it seemed that it would rain soon. However, as the ceremony began, it became sunny as if two hands pushed aside the clouds. A beam of sunlight just casts on the Guanyin statue.

Statue of Nanhai Guanyin

Avalokitasvara, Guan Shi Yin in Chinese, means the Perceiver of World’s Sounds. The Lotus Sutra says: “Perceiver of the World’s Sounds, heavenly voice, the voice of the sea’s tide—magnificent, rich and harmonious surpassing all worldly sounds.” The bodhisattva always help all beings in danger and distress and is willing to bear the pain of all beings. There are many stories and folk tales about the bodhisattva’s infinite mercy and compassion.

If we hold the bodhisattva in our hearts and call on her sincerely, she will always respond. I had a personal experience. You can read my story here: Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva saved my life

Fortunately for us, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has brought the powerful Dharma to this world: the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma (觀音大悲加持法). This Dharma does not require the practitioner to have any Dharma powers or holy realization. As long as you have the power of the lineage, that is sufficient. You can succeed the same day you take up the practice of it. The next day, you can convene people, empower them, and lead them into a supernormal state. Many Buddhist disciples have participated the dharma assembly and recorded their true extraordinary experience. Click here to read some example articles: 1. Dharma Assembly of Empowerment by Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s Mind of Great Compassion ——Note Written Afterwards to Describe the Most Magnificent Scene at the Site,2. Guan Yin Bodhisattva of Great Compassion Empowerment Dharma Assembly- ——A Personal Experience Written Afterwards to Describe the Most Magnificent Scene at the Site.

May the greatly loving and compassionate Namo Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva bless all beings!!!

Mount Putuo – Buddhist Land on The Sea

Link:https://peacelilysite.com/2022/07/13/mount-putuo-buddhist-land-on-the-sea/

#MountPutuo#BuddhaLandonTheSea#DorjeChangBuddhaIII#HHDorjeChangBuddhaIII#DorjeChangBuddha#BuddhaDharma#Avalokitasvara#Bodhisattva#GreatMercy#Compassion#Empowerment#Buddhism#Temple#PuTuoShan#GuanYin#GuanShiYin

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Putuo, https://www.chinadiscovery.com/zhejiang/putuoshan-mountain.html

After Generating Great Compassion in Mind, Master Asanga Was Able to Meet Maitreya Bodhisattva

After Generating Great Compassion in Mind, Master Asanga Was Able to Meet Maitreya Bodhisattva

Maitreya is a transcendent bodhisattva,he will be the next Buddha in the Saha world. Maitreya means “loving kindness.” In Mahayana Buddhism, Maitreya is the embodiment of all-encompassing love. Maitreya, in Buddhist tradition, presently resides in Tushita heaven.

Maitreya Bodhisattva Statue in Hua Zang Si Temple San Francisco

Master Asanga was born with uniquely deep talent and wisdom from his past lifetimes. When studying sutras and commentaries, he was able to understand the meaning with a quick reading. Later, he practiced meditative concentration and became free of desires. He repeatedly thought about the “meaning of emptiness” but was unable to deeply understand and explain it. He was quite unhappy for that. An Arhat named Pindola-Bharadvaja heard about his difficulty and came to him to teach “the Small-Vehicle (Hinayana) School’s view of emptiness.” Then, he practiced contemplation according to the teaching and achieved a deep understanding. However, Master Asanga was still not satisfied after learning the Small-Vehicle School’s view of emptiness because he still did not have perfect answers for many doubts and questions he had.

At that time, the teaching of Mahayana Buddhism (the Large Vehicle) was available from Maitreya Bodhisattva. However, to receive Maitreya Bodhisattva’s teaching in person, one must successfully enter into the state of concentration. Due to his urge to quest for the dharma, Master Asanga longed for the opportunity to meet Maitreya Bodhisattva in person to be taught with the dharma. Therefore, he chose a mountain cave in a sparsely populated area and began practicing cessation and contemplation diligently.

As time was flowing away continuously, six years elapsed. Master Asanga still was unable to see Maitreya Bodhisattva while practicing concentration in the cave. A thought came up in his mind, “If it is impossible to see Maitreya Bodhisattva, I should just give up!” Thus, he decided to take a break from cultivating and practicing in the cave. He put on his regular clothing and walked out of the cave. On his way of coming down from the mountain, he saw a white-haired elder lady, who held an iron stick and was laboriously grinding it on a flab of stone. The scene caught Master Asanga’s attention.

“Elder lady. May I ask what you are doing?” Master Asanga asked.

“Oh, I am grinding this iron stick into a thin needle.”

“You are grinding it into a thin needle?” Master Asanga was very much astonished and also greatly moved. He thought, “This elder lady was willing to grind it day after day with a seemingly silly movement. In contrast, as a cultivator, I could not adhere to practicing true Buddha-dharma to pursue wisdom.” The arising of this extremely precious thought caused Master Asanga to introspect himself and generate humility in mind. Then, he returned to the cave to devote himself into the difficult and hard cultivation and practice once again.

During the next three years, Master Asanga still did not make any achievement. Another thought rose in his mind, “Why should I waste time? It is simply impossible to see Maitreya Bodhisattva!” So he again broke his practice in retreat and went down the mountain. This time, he met a person, who was using a feather to scrub an enormously big rock. Master Asanga asked that person what he was doing. That person said, “This big rock blocks sunlight. I am grinding it to make it smaller, so that sunlight can shine into my room.” Upon hearing that, Asanga was alerted and began to introspect himself, “This person can be so unyielding in doing such a ridiculous thing. Comparing to him, I am so ashamed. I receded from my determination just because of a small setback!” With regret he again returned to his retreat chamber in the mountain.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Thus, another three years passed. Master Asanga was still unable to see Maitreya Bodhisattva appearing. At last, he receded from his determination once more. With discouragement, he left the retreat chamber again. On the way of coming down from the mountain, he saw a dying old dog, whose body had already begun to rot. The wounds were totally covered by maggots that were diffusing an awful stench. Compassion rose in Master Asanga toward this dog. He cut off a piece of flesh from his own body to feed the dog and also intended to remove the many maggots from the dog’s wounds. At that time, Master Asanga thought, “These maggots have very tender and fragile bodies. If I use my coarse fingers to move them, they will definitely be harmed.” Therefore, he decided to use his tongue to carefully lick up the maggots to move them to an inhabitable place for them. However, those maggots really looked very terrible. Master Asanga had to kneel on the ground and close his eyes. He then lowered his body to lick the maggots with his tongue.

As he was lowering his body, Master Asanga actually felt that his tongue was touching the ground. He opened his eyes and saw that the dog was no longer there. The solemn and majestic Maitreya Bodhisattva was standing in front of him. After the moment of excitement, Master Asanga asked Maitreya Bodhisattva, “I wholeheartedly prayed and beseeched you, revered Bodhisattva, to manifest before me for the last twelve years. Why didn’t you?”

Maitreya Bodhisattva replied, “Starting from the first day when you entered the retreat and began to pray, I was with you and next to you at every moment. However, due to the obstruction by your karmic forces, you were never able to see me. Through your diligent cultivation and practice during these twelve years, most of the karmic hindrance has been purified. Additionally, you generated great compassion in the occasion that just passed. Now all your karmic hindrance has been removed. That is why you can see me now! If you do not believe what I said, you can carry me on your shoulder and walk around at the market to see if people can see me.”

Thus, Master Asanga carried Maitreya Bodhisattva on his shoulder and walked to the market. While walking, he yelled to people, “What do you see that is on my shoulder?” People all thought that he had mental problems. They laughed and said, “There is nothing!” Only one old lady said that he was carrying a dog with scabies. Thus, Master Asanga was totally convinced and free of any doubt. Uncommon respect and faith rose in him toward Maitreya Bodhisattva.

After meeting Maitreya Bodhisattva, Master Asanga politely sought teaching from the Bodhisattva. Maitreya Bodhisattva asked, “What do you want to learn?” Master Asanga said, “My wish is to propagate the Mahayana Dharma.” Maitreya Bodhisattva was delighted to hear that and brought him to the pure land within the Tusita Heaven. Maitreya Bodhisattva expounded to him the precious views of Mahayana Buddhism and the “Five Shastras (Commentaries) by Maitreya.” The teachings enlightened Master Asanga like pushing away clouds to see the Sun. Many doubts that he had had before were completely removed. Since then, he followed Maitreya Bodhisattva’s teaching to dedicate himself to study “the View of Emptiness of Mahayana Buddhism.” Maitreya Bodhisattva gave him a series of discourses and also explained the essence of the Mahayana sutras to him in detail. Master Asanga was enlightened from listening to the teachings and basically gained the understanding and proficiency in the sutras and shastras of Mahayana Buddhism. Later, Master Asanga also practiced the Dharma of Sunlight Samadhi. Through learning and practicing diligently, he eventually attained holy accomplishment. From then on, he was able to understand what he could not before and could forever remember all Buddhist scriptures he read. Later, he built a big lecture hall and dedicated himself to expound all Mahayana sutras to the great masses.

Master Asanga lived in the world for 150 years and made great contributions to the undertaking of widely propagating the teachings and dharmas of Mahayana Buddhism. He benefited countless living beings.

After Generating Great Compassion in Mind, Master Asanga Was Able to Meet Maitreya Bodhisattva

Link: https://peacelilysite.com/2022/07/08/after-generating-great-compassion-in-mind-master-asanga-was-able-to-meet-maitreya-bodhisattva/

#HHDorjeChangBuddhaIII #DorjeChangBuddhaIII #DorjeChangBuddha#Buddha #Dharma #Sharing #benefit #Buddhism #Koan #Buddhist #temple #dharma#MaitreyaBodhisattva#Compassion

Mount Emei – Bodhimanda of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra

Mount Emei – Bodhimanda of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra

Mount Emei is one of the “Four Famous Buddhist Mountains” in China. It has steep terrain and striking beautiful scenery. “Emei” is a term used to describe a woman’s beautiful eyebrows in an ancient book titled The Book of Songs. The main peak, Golden Summit of Wanfoding, is 3,099 meters above sea level, it is the crown of all other famous mountains in China.

Mount Emei (Emeishan) is an area of exceptional cultural significance as it is the place where Buddhism first became established on Chinese territory and from where it spread widely through the East. The first Buddhist temple built on the summit of Mount Emei was in the 1st century CE. It became the Guangxiang Temple, receiving its present royal name of Huazang in 1614. The addition of more than 30 other temples including the Wannian Temple founded in the 4th century containing the 7.85m high Puxian bronze Buddha of the 10th century, and garden temples including the Qingyin Pavilion complex of pavilions, towers and platforms dating from the early 6th century; the early 17th century Baoguo Temple and the Ligou Garden (Fuhu Temple) turned the mountain into one of Buddhism’s holiest sites.

Mount Emei Jinding Massive Statue of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra

On Mount Emei, the importance of the link between the tangible and intangible, the natural and the cultural, is uppermost. Mount Emei is a place of historical significance as one of the four holy lands of Chinese Buddhism. Buddhism was introduced into China in the 1st century CE via the south Silk Road from India to Mount Emei. Mount Emei is traditionally regarded as the bodhimaṇḍa, or place of enlightenment, of the iconic bodhisattva Samantabhadra (Puxian). In Buddhist sutra, it is recorded that Samantabhadra Bodhisattva rides a white elephant with six tusks. Therefore, the statues of Samantabhadra in the temples of Mount Emei mostly ride on white elephants. There is an Elephant Washing Pool in Mount Emei as well.

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva is associated with Buddhist practice and action. In the Āvataṃsaka-sūtra, the Buddha states that Samantabhadra Bodhisattva made ten great vows in his path to full Buddhahood:

  1. To pay homage and respect to all Buddhas.
  2. To praise the Thus Come One-Tathagata.[3]
  3. To make abundant offerings. (e.g. give generously)
  4. To repent misdeeds and evil karmas.
  5. To rejoice in others’ merits and virtues.
  6. To request the Buddhas to continue teaching.
  7. To request the Buddhas to remain in the world.
  8. To follow the teachings of the Buddhas at all times.
  9. To accommodate and benefit all living beings.
  10. To transfer all merits and virtues to benefit all beings.

The ten vows have become a common practice in East Asian Buddhism, particularly the tenth vow, with many Buddhists traditionally dedicating their merit and good works to all beings during Buddhist liturgies.

From ancient times to the present, there have been many eminent monks and great virtues in Mount Emei. The thirteenth patriarch of Emei Master Pu Guan, and abbot of JiuLaoDong XianFeng temple Master Guo Zhang, were all disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. They both received Great Dharma initiation from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and reached liberation. At year 1998, Master Pu Guan passed away in the meditation posture having attained control over his life and death. Eight years after his passing, he still sits in a stupa in that meditation posture without having rotted at all. At year 2015, Master GuoZhang passed away at 108 years-old, at the Western Sichuan University Medical center. Doctor diagnosed the Master passed away. Unexpectedly, after a few hours, he was resurrected and opened his eyes, he then ordered his disciples to move him back to Jiewangting Temple to officially pass away. Eleven days after he passed away, local government officials visited Jiewangting Temple. They didn’t believe that the master was a profound practitioner. So he stabbed his body with needles, and blood spurted out.

Mount Emei is an area of striking scenic beauty. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful mountains in China.

Amazing Scenery of Sun rise over clouds at Golden Summit of Mount Emei

Mount Emei – Bodhimanda of Bodhisattva Samantabhadra

Link:https://peacelilysite.com/2022/07/07/mount-emei-bodhimanda-of-bodhisattva-samantabhadra/

#DorjeChangBuddhaIII #HHDorjeChangBuddhaIII  #MasterWanKoYee #Buddha#MountEmei#liberation#SamantabhadraBodhisattva#Meditation#EminentMonk#MasterGuoZhang#MasterPuGuan#GoldenSummit#TenGreatVows

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Emei, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/779/