The Great Shurangama Samadhi -- Direct the
Hearing Inward to Hear Your Own Nature
That is what perfect penetration really means. Why does [Manjushri Bodhisattva] select the
organ of the ear? It is the easiest to cultivate successfully.
believe that some of you already know how to develop this skill,
while others do not. What does it
mean to return the hearing to hear the self-nature? It is the skill
used in investigating Chan. When you investigate Chan, you don't
want to expend all your energy on seeking outside. You want to turn
the light around and shine it within. Then you ask yourself, "Who is
mindful of the Buddha?" "Who?" You want to put the "Who?" in your
heart and then listen with your ears. Pursue "Who?" Do this nonstop.
Don't let your skill become dispersed.
You investigate this topic in everything you do.
standing, sitting, reclining, don't be apart from this. If you depart from this, you've made a mistake.
What is "this?" It is the question, "Who is mindful of the Buddha?"
You don't have to ask out loud; ask in your heart and listen with
your ears. Listen within, not outside. After you have listened
within, your heart and your hearing-nature will eventually merge
into one. And then in some unexpected way, at some unexpected
moment, you will suddenly open enlightenment.
But you definitely must bring your mind and nature together. Don't
let them scatter in all directions. Don't let them get dissipated
outside. Collect them within. Return the hearing and listen to your
Eventually and naturally your skill
will develop. Investigating a Chan topic and returning the
hearing to listen to the self-nature are the same. And now everyone
knows that using the organ of the ear in cultivation is the easiest
method. So put your energy there and cultivate this dharma-door.
Manjushri Bodhisattva certifies as authentic this dharma he has
selected. It is the gateway entered by Buddhas as many as dust
motes / It is the one path to nirvana. He says, "Not only was
Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva certified through his use of this dharma
door, this method of perfect penetration that I am explaining, I,
too, Manjushri, gave proof to this doctrine of perfect penetration
of the organ of the ear. Not only myself, but in the past countless
Buddhas also found this the one path to nirvana. It was by this Way
that they reached the fruition of nirvana.
Then Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva arose from his
seat, bowed at the Buddha's feet and said to the Buddha:
"World Honored One, I remember when, as many kalpas ago as
there are sands in the Ganges, there was a Buddha in the
world named Contemplating the World's Sounds."
"Contemplating the World's Sounds"
is the English translation of the name Guan Shi Yin. This is
the Guan Yin [Buddha] of old. That Thus Come One, Guan Shi
Yin, also cultivated perfect penetration by means of the
organ of the ear.
It was under that Buddha that I brought forth
the Bodhi-resolve. That Buddha taught me to enter samadhi
through a process of hearing and reflecting.
The Guan Yin Buddha of old taught
Shi Yin Bodhisattva] the
process of hearing and reflecting. It is from the wisdom of
hearing, the wisdom of reflecting, and the wisdom of
cultivating that he entered samadhi. Here,
"reflection" does not refer to the thinking of the sixth
mind-consciousness. Rather, it has the meaning of quiet
consideration, the skill of Chan.
Initially, I entered the flow through hearing and forgot
objective states. With the wisdom of hearing, one
listens inside, not outside. Not chasing after the objects
of sound means not following them out.
Earlier, the text
spoke of not following the six sense-organs [eyes, ears,
nose, tongue, body, and mind] and not being turned by them.
This is known as, Returning the hearing to hear the
hearing means not listening to external sounds but turning
back instead to hear your own self-nature. It means,
in your body and mind.
It means not seeking outside.
Turn the light around and shine it within.
Here the text says that Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva "entered
the flow," which means he returned and listened to the
self-nature. Enter the flow of the dharma-nature of a sage.
He "forgot the objective states."
All the "dust", the
defiling objects of the six-sense objects [forms, sounds,
smells, tastes, objects of touch, and dharmas] as perceived
by the six sense-organs [eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and
mind], was forgotten.
Since the sense-objects and sense-organs were quiet, the
two characteristics of movement and stillness crystallized
and did not arise. The source of the
six sense-organs and six sense-objects ceased to be.
It was severed. Here he entered the flow of his own
self-nature. When that happens, your self-nature is still
and quiet. When this quietude reaches an ultimate point, the
appearance of movement and stillness ceases as well.
Basically, movement appears as movement and stillness as
stillness, but now, although these two characteristics are
as clear as crystal, they do not arise.
After that, gradually advancing, the hearing and what was
heard both disappeared. As this pure and clear state of
quiet increased, as day by day it became more full and
complete, the hearing that was capable of hearing the
self-nature eventually disappeared. It, too, was gone. The
ability to hear and the objects of hearing both vanished.
The organ of the ear was capable of hearing, and the
self-nature was what was being heard, but now they, too,
Once the hearing was ended, there was nothing to rely on.
Since the hearing-nature was gone, there was no attachment.
At that time it was "producing the mind that does not dwell
Awareness and the objects of awareness became empty.
Even the perception of awareness vanished, was emptied out.
When the emptiness of awareness reached an ultimate
perfection, emptiness and what was being emptied then also
ceased to be. The emptiness of the nature of awareness
reached an ultimate state of perfection. Then the mind
capable of creating vanished, as did the states that were
made empty, so that
then there wasn't even any emptiness! As long as emptiness
remains, you're still attached to emptiness. But now, for
Guan Yin Bodhisattva there wasn't even any emptiness.
Since production and extinction were gone, still
extinction was revealed.Since the mind
subject to production and extinction vanished, the genuine
bliss of still extinction manifested. That state is
Ananda, these are called the
ten causes and six
retributions of the hells.
Many different hells have just been named, and all come from
the ten habitual causes,
which are these: 1) lust, 2) greed, 3) arrogance,
4) hatred, 5) deception, 6) lying, 7) animosity, 8) views,
9) injustice, and 10) litigation.
They result in the six intermingling retributions that
involve the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind
as they react to forms, sounds, smells, tastes, objects
of touch, and dharmas.
These hells are all created by the confusion
and falseness of living beings. They come from giving
rise to falseness within the one truth, Once ignorance
arises, various karmic manifestations result from it. From
the karma, various offenses are created.
But if one returns the hearing to hear the self-nature and
cultivates this path to enlightenment, then all this karma
becomes empty. It disappears.
A note to local students
who wish to set up phone
or in-person interviews with our Sangha members for their
We'd be glad to help. Please call
for appointments (preferably for weekday or Saturday
afternoons, and to avoid delay, please do NOT contact us by
e-mail) Also, you are always welcome to join us
anytime between 8 AM and 2 PM on Sundays
(except one weekend in June), and our volunteers will be there to help
Do not think, "That good deed is
trivial. I'm not going to do it. This bad deed is really minor.
I'll go ahead and do it. It doesn't matter." For example, you
think, "I'm vegetarian,
but it won't matter if I eat an egg." But in the future when you
are reborn as a chicken, you will know that it was because you
ate chicken eggs. If you
are not clear on these small matters, then you are "mixing good
and evil, and the retribution is never off." That would not be
fun. --The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
website helps compare ingredients in name brand products, and
provide brief informaton on them (e.g., "Vitamin A palmitate is
produced synthetically or extracted from fish liver oils").
causes; living beings fear effects" ..."Plant more peach and plum trees,
and fewer thorn bushes"...What is the golden future? ..."To the west of
here, passing a hundred thousand million Buddha-lands, is a land called
- "Sure, the
parents can move into retirement homes...but there is no kindred affection to
speak of. They are left on their own, almost all alone with no one to rely on.
It would be best for children to show filial devotion and care for their own
parents, allowing them peace of mind in the waning years of their lives.,,.
It is especially efficacious if humans can be filial to their parents. How is
that so?" --Earth Store Sutra, Preface. A Commentary by Ven. Master
See our Precepts
webpage for more on the following:
“Precepts” means rules and regulations. Their purpose is:
To stop evil and avoid
Not to do any evil,
But to offer up all good conduct.
The Precept Dharma.
The Precept Substance.
The Precept Mark.
Precept Dharma includes:
The Five Precepts (for
The Eight Precepts (for laypeople)
The Ten Precepts (for novices)
The Ten Major and Forty-Eight Minor
Bodhisattva Precepts (for both left-home and laypeople)
The 250 Bhikshu Precepts
The 348 Bhikshuni Precepts
those precepts are to tell you not to do any evil but to offer up
all good conduct. You should hold the precepts purely and not go
- For lay Bodhisattva Preceptees: Bodhisattva
Precepts for recitation 菩薩戒子每月初一十五所誦的在家菩薩戒本
- ...Collecting one's thoughts constitutes the
precepts; from the precepts comes samadhi; and out of samadhi arises
wisdom. Samadhi arises from precepts, and wisdom is revealed out of
samadhi. These are called the 'Three Non- Outflow Studies'....
Ven. Master Hua:Shariras are a result of keeping to the precepts... 上人答：舍利子是人修行持戒而有的...
Tips for moving ants...
A few drops of tea tree oil
(available at major pharmacies) around the areas of infestation will
repel insects such as ants--and maybe termites--without harming
them. The smell of the oil alone is sufficient to
drive them away. Place a few drops ahead of
them, and around them. Do not block off their retreat,
but instead leave it open for them to turn around and go back.
All you have to do is be patient and
them the time to make it home--alive.
Do not drip the oil on them--that will kill
them! A cheaper--but less
potent--alternative to tea tree oil for repelling ants is household
white vinegar used for cooking, which can be dripped or
sprayed. The smell of vinegar works to drive the ants
If you need to move ants out of the
way, try wetting a small section of paper towel with water so that it is
damp but not dripping wet. Use
the damp paper towel to lightly touch an ant from its side, and "pick up"
the ant, then set the paper towel
down at a different location (but still allows the ant to find its way
home) and give the ant time to get off the paper
towel. Please do this one ant at a time to avoid accidentally
crushing or drowning the ants.
People have told stories that the more they killed
insects, the more insects showed up in their houses. Some tried
sincerely transferring merit to them and that worked.
We are open to the public
during the times when we have Dharma events scheduled (usually on Sundays, from 8 AM to 2 PM),
with the following exceptions. We
urge you to check our
calendar of events before planning a
Once a year
in June), when the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas holds its
ceremonies commemorating the anniversary of our Venerable Master
Hsuan Hua's Entering Nirvana, we
do not host local events, and instead, arrange for our laity to travel to CTTB
for the entire weekend of ceremonies and events.
Modest and comfortable
clothing will be more conducive to the activities in which you may wish
to participate, such as seated meditation, circumambulatory
(walking) recitation and bowing.
You may wish to wear socks or stockings as visitors are asked to remove
their shoes at the front entrance.
Where to Park 何處停車
We do not have a parking lot,
and you will have to find street parking. We are sorry about the