Download Attaining the Way: A Guide to the Practice of Chan Buddhism by Sheng Yen PDF

By Sheng Yen

This is often an inspiring consultant to the perform of Chan (Chinese Zen) within the phrases of 4 nice masters of that culture. It contains teachings from modern masters Xuyun and Sheng Yen, and from Jiexian and Boshan of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). notwithstanding the texts have been written over a interval of 1000s of years, they're all remarkably lucid and are ideal for newbies in addition to extra complex practitioners this present day. the entire details of religious perform are lined: philosophical foundations, tools, techniques to difficulties and obstacles—all geared toward aiding the scholar reach how you can enlightenment.

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Example text

Our mind is like a field, and performing actions is like sowing seeds in that field. Virtuous actions sow seeds of future happiness and non-virtuous actions sow seeds of future suffering. These seeds remain dormant in our mind until the conditions for them to ripen occur, and then they produce their effect. In some cases, this can happen many lifetimes after the original action was performed. The seeds that ripen when we die are very important because they determine what kind of rebirth we shall take in our next life.

We can see, however, that even poor people are looking for but not finding what they seek, and many poor people have difficulty in finding even the most basic necessities of life; millions of people in the world experience the sufferings of extreme poverty. We cannot avoid the suffering of dissatisfaction by frequently changing our situation. We may think that if we keep getting a new partner or a new job, or keep travelling about, we shall eventually find what we want; but even if we were to travel to every place on the globe, and have a new lover in every town, we would still be seeking another place and another lover.

THE DANGERS OF LOWER REBIRTH The purpose of this explanation is to encourage us to prepare protection from the dangers of lower rebirth. If we do not do this now, while we have a human life with its freedoms and endowments and we have the opportunity to do so, it will be too late once we have taken any of the three lower rebirths; and it will be extremely difficult to obtain such a precious human life again. It is said to be easier for human beings to attain enlightenment than it is for beings such as animals to attain a precious human rebirth.

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