The Dharma Assembly titled “Buddhaland on Earth; Everyone Be Buddha”, organized by Shakyamuni Buddhist Foundation and Taiwan Chan Buddhist Association, was held at the Taipei Arena at 10 o’clock in the morning on January 29th. Despite the cold raining weather of Taipei, more than twelve thousand practitioners participated with passion, and the assembly was a complete success. Chan Master Wu Chueh Miao-Tien, the founder of the foundation and the association and the 85th Patriarch of the Order of Chan, hosted the assembly. In the solemn melody of “Salute to Shakyamuni Buddha”, Chan Master Miao-Tien clearly revealed the spiritual path and practices of Shakyamuni Buddha for enlightenment. It was during the dharma assembly at the GrdhrakutaMountainright before his nirvana, Shakyamuni Buddha passed the Buddha Heart Imprint to Master Mahakasyapa, and later it was passed to Master Bodhidharma and to every generation of Chan Patriarchs in China. This passing of the Buddha Heart Imprint has never been broken. If one follows Buddha’s authentic dharma and practices dedicatedly, reaching enlightenment is just a matter of time. Chan Master Miao-Tien also invited Shakyamuni Buddha’s dharmakaya to be present to bless all participants, eliminating sufferings, improving wellbeing, uncovering wisdom, and opening gate to Buddhahood. Lastly, all the participants sang the “Song of Self-Nature” in harmony, which closed the assembly perfectly.
Chan Master Miao-Tien indicated that the first thousand years after Shakyamuni Buddha’s nirvana was the era of the authentic dharma. The second thousand years was the era of the descriptions of dharma, or formed dharma. Now is in the five hundred years of the dark ages of dharma. In the era of authentic dharma, many Buddhists practiced the true teaching of Shakyamuni Buddha, and many reached enlightenment. In the era of formed dharma, the emphasis was on the translation and study ofsutras, building temples and Buddha statues, providingsupport to monks and nuns, etc. The practice gradually reduced tosuperficial values with appearance only. In the dark ages of dharma, Shakyamuni Buddha’s true teaching disappeared. Buddhist practice became just a formality or a ritual, or evensuperstitions. Most Buddhists nowadays were taught, instead of spiritual practices, only “convenient practices”,such assutra reciting, Buddha name chanting, mantra reciting, dharma listening,sutra studying, morning and evening repetitions , etc, Some even believed that the arrival of next Buddha is many eons away, and therefore it is impossible to reach enlightenment in this life time.
Because of these misunderstandings, the most important purpose of this assembly is, according to Chan Master Miao-Tien, to remind us of the core teaching of the Big Vehicle Buddhism— “Everyone possesses the same Buddha nature and could reach enlightenment through practicing the authentic dharma.” He also emphasized that Shakyamuni Buddha had already established a pure land on the Earth. As long as practitioners practice Buddha’s authentic dharma— “Discipline, Chan Ding, Wisdom, Liberation”, rid of attachment to ego and dogma, stop practicing formed dharma with the conscious mind, and return to the true spiritual practice, they could reach enlightenment in this lifetime. If everyone can become a Buddha, the Earth can be transformed to pure land, the pure and glorified heaven and Buddhaland.
During the assembly, Chan Master Miao-Tien also emphasized that Chan Ding is not equal to ordinary sitting meditation. A true Chan Ding is the meditation that penetrates into the realm of prajna wisdom. One has to enter the spiritual realm of wisdom through Chan Ding, passing through different levels of “Deep Ding”, “Right Ding”, and “Profound Ding” to transcend the six consciousness (current thoughts and actions), the seventh Mona consciousness (karma from past lives), as well as the eighth Alaya consciousness (the consciousness of emptiness), and then enter the ninth Amala consciousness (the pure light, the self nature), achieving the emptiness of body, mind, heart, and karma and entering the realm of light and wisdom. This is the true Chan Ding.
Chan Ding enables us to enter another dimension of purity. It let us transcend from the three-dimension of space and time on earth to a higher dimension, allowing our body, mind, and spirit to be distant from the bondages of the earth, and attaining liberation, freedom, and contentment. All sentient beings inside our body could be liberated enlightened, and transcended to Bodhisattva or Buddha from the physical realm. This is the purpose of Chan Ding. Through Chan Ding we are able to witness the unimaginable realm of formlessness and the true form, and enter the highest realm of Chan, the ultimate true forms. This is the only way to witness our self nature and become a Buddha in this lifetime, just like what Shakyamuni Buddha had achieved.
The Shakyamuni Buddhist Foundation and Taiwan Chan Buddhist Association, founded by Chan Master Wu Chueh Miao-Tien, have established numerous Chan centers in Taiwan, teaching the authentic dharma of Shakyamuni Buddha— “Without words. Transmit outside of all teachings. Imprint Buddha heart with heart. Witness self nature and reach Buddhahood”. Now there are over many thousands of practitioners practicing this authentic dharma.