From Our Founder
-excerpt from “The 25th Anniversary Album of Chan Master Wu Chueh Miao-Tien”
Time passes quickly. This is already the 28th year of my mission in promulgating the absolute and elemental dharma of the Order of Chan. I recall the time when I practiced under Chan Master Jingzai, the 84th Patriarch of the Order of Chan. After eight years of dedicated practice, upon blessed by all Buddas, my dharmakaya was unified with Shakyamuni Buddha and I witnessed thesupreme truth. As predicted by Shakyamuni Buddha, after one thousand years of authentic dharma and second thousand years of form-only dharma, now is the dark ages of Buddhism. Buddha and true dharma are both further away from our secular world. Without true authentic dharma to practice, today’s people either just chant or memorizesutras or just worship the Buddha statues. These practices, though convenient, are unable to enlighten our spirit to reach Buddhahood. Modern day Buddhism is no longer able to purify our hearts or attain wisdom. Nor can modern day Buddhism transform the current social phenomena of seeking money, power, and fame, into spiritual liberation. Very few really know what true Buddhism teaches, the purpose of life, and what we truly desire.
True Dharma has Left Us
As I notice the current deterioration of morality, corruption of consciousness, and crime infested life style, resulting in collective karma which has induced natural disasters covering our entire planet, I realized that I need to undertake the responsibility of transforming the dark ages of dharma to true dharma. Let the true dharma reappear as it was taught as “the treasure of the eye” by Shakyamuni Buddha some 2,500 years ago, directly entering the heart of all Buddhists, witnessing self-nature and attaining Buddhahood.
In the last 2,500 years of Buddha’s teaching, the eight major Buddhist lineages are Pureland, WeiShi, SanLun, Lv, JueSe, Tiantai, Huayan, and ChenShi. Chan is not one of these, because Chan is transmitted outside of the normal sermons of Shakyamuni Buddha. Therefore, Chan is labeled as “transmission outside of teaching”. It is a “heart-to-heart transmission”. Chan roots insutra and initiates through the Chan meditation practice. It is to be practiced inwardly to witness the indescribable Heart Imprint Dharma. “Without words. Transmit Outside of Teaching. Direct into Hearts. Witness Self-Nature. Be Buddha.” is the motto of Chan lineage.
Though these branches of dharma all stemmed from Shakyamuni Buddha, they can be categorized into two different types. One is the “convenient dharma” and the other is the “absolute dharma”. The “Heart Imprint Dharma” is the absolute and elemental dharma. It is an indescribable, inactionable and formless dharma, and the true dharma to be transmitted from Buddha to Buddha, heart to heart.
For Chan is the absolute and elemental dharma beyond human consciousness, it cannot be practiced with our mind. It requires to be practiced with our inner spirit through Chan meditation, by detaching from all logics and comprehension. Through a deep meditative state, or Chan Ding, we can resonate with the energy and wisdom of the light and energy fields of a much higher dimension than the dimension of human on earth. Thus Chan is also labeled as the “Giant Inner Order”, which cannot be understood from its appearance. Without an enlightened master leading the way to practice and witness, enlightenment would be impossible.
Wisdom and energy at a high dimension are difficult to be described by words. Thus Buddha labeled it as “unspeakable”. This formless, unspeakable wisdom and energy is directly transmitted to the disciples from an enlightened Master without words, enabling the disciple to receive equal wisdom and life force and to witness ultimate Bodhi. This is the uniqueness andsupremacy of Chan beyond normal human comprehension.
Promulgate Buddha Dharma
Shakyamuni Buddha said to Mahakasyapa, “Dharma contains no dharma. Without dharma is also dharma. Now I gave you no dharma. All dharma were never a dharma.” Master Tiduojia, the 5th Patriarch of Chan, also said, “The dharma resonating with the heart contains no dharma yet includes all. Comprehension equals to no comprehension. No heart, thus no dharma.” This is quite the opposite of our knowledge based education. Even traditionalsutra-study Buddhists would have difficulty in comprehending this formless kind of heart-oriented transmission. Chan would be almost impossible for the general public to understand mentally. Yet, this direct, formless, and unimaginable practice can be practiced by anyone and enables all to attain Buddhahood.
The teaching of Chan is the only practice enabling the liberation of our spirit along the way to enlightenment. This practice can also be described as, “detaching from and breaking all forms.” Buddha stated in Diamond Sutra, “Detachment from all forms is Buddha.” Once we are attached to any form, we are practicing in the conscious domain. Then the notions of ego, human, sentient beings, and fear of death will allsurface. “That is not how to be a Bodhisattva,” said Buddha. Even if we memorized and studied everysutra in the world, we still are trapped in the form of words, unable to attain Buddhahood.
I really wish that all Buddhists would awaken. Do not attach to any formed practice with the conscious mind. Instead, practice the authentic dharma—seeking your inner spirit; distant your heart from your mind; meditate and enter deep Chan Ding; enhance your spirit and let it truly witness Bodhi.
I understand fully, during this dark ages of Buddhism, promulgating dharma as a lay practitioner is most challenging. Because I had already attained the absolute dharma and prajna wisdom, I am willing to undertake all challenges and lead every willing follower to witness self-nature and attain Buddhahood, through the practice of Heart Imprint Dharma from Shakyamuni Buddha.
Majority of the monks believe that a lay practitioner can only be a guardian of dharma and not qualified to teach dharma. In reality, a master should be someone who has witnessed self-nature and attained enlightenment. Otherwise, he is only qualified to be called a dharma tutor instead of a master. Ordinary people usually assume that only monks are real teachers of dharma. Because of this misconception, abandoning a truly rare opportunity to be enlightened is quite unfortunate.
Buddhahood cannot be attained by appearance. The ultimate goal for the practice of Chan is to terminate reincarnation and reach nirvana. Buddha said, “those who seek through physical body or voice, a human assumed wrong way, cannot find me.” Therefore, awakening the heart and witnessing self-nature is the practice of Chan. It is not about the form or the appearance.
Future Directions of Dharma Promulgation
In this 28th year of dharma promulgation, I now officially announce the program of “Buddhaland on earth and everyone be Buddha.” Upon my deep Chan Ding, receiving the blessings from Shakyamuni Buddha and unifying with His dharmakaya, I recognized that He has already established a pure land in our secular world. I call it Shakyamuni Buddha’s “Buddhaland on Earth”. I shall utilize the next six years, the same length of time as Shakyamuni Buddha’s practice, to let everyone enter purity, wisdom, fulfillment and enlightenment and attain Buddhahood.
From now on for the convenience of everyone, I shall setup more Chan centers inTaiwan, and personally teach Buddha’s original unimaginable Heart Imprint Dharma, enabling everyone to be Buddha. I will continue to fulfill His will to transform earth to Buddha land or heaven and enableTaiwanto be a peaceful, healthy, beautiful and happy island. We could then expand it to the entire earth. This is my vow. I wish every practitioner can follow and practice Shakyamuni Buddha’s teaching, witnessing self-nature, and let earth be peaceful. Then earth is Buddhaland and everyone is Buddha.
Wu Chueh Miao-Tien, the 85th Patriarch of the Order of Chan since Shakyamuni Buddha.