More than two thousand and five years ago, Shakyamuni Buddha left his house at the age of twenty nine, got enlightened at the age of thirty five, passed away at the age of eighty. He taught for forty-five years.Yet, as stated in Lankavatara Sutra, he claimed that he did not utter a single word. This statement summarizes that the essence of his teachings, is transmitted in parallel to his words. It is especially evident when he transmitted to Maha Kasyaka in the same fashion on the Spiritual Mountain a few months before his passing. While everyone else was waiting for Shakyamuni Buddha to speak, Maha Kasyapa just smiled. At that instance, the Buddha Heart Imprint was transmitted, and Buddha said, “What I have is the treasure of orthodox dharma eye, the indescribable heart of nirvana, the true formless form. This profound dharma is to be transmitted without language and outside of doctrines and rituals. This I have entrusted to Maha Kasyapa.” This heart-to-heart transmission-the Buddha heart imprinting process-is the origin and tradition of the Order of Chan. This is the key and essence of Buddha’s teachings for forty-five years-“the secret inner witness.” Master Bodhidharma, the Twenty-eighth Patriarch of the Order of Chan, arrived into China and transmitted the Buddha Heart Imprint, which has been passed down in China for fifteen hundred years and into five major lineages.
Chan Master Wu Chueh Miao-Tien, the Eighty-fifth Patriarch of Chan, recognizing his responsibility as the recipient of the Buddha Heart Imprint from the Eighty-fourth Patriarch, Chan Master Jingzai, in 1983 formally began his teaching of the Supreme Vehicle Dharma-direct to the heart, witness self nature, and reaching enlightenment in one life time. Yet twenty some years later, majority of the people still practice with their mind, indulge in the study and comprehension of the sutras, and ignore the awakening through Chan Ding and living the Buddha’s way. Without the witness of self nature through Chan Ding, just by knowing or understanding every word in the sutras, only distance oneself further from the true essence of Buddha’s teaching, which is in the witnessing of self nature and reaching enlightenment. Some Buddhists even have the false belief that the returning of Buddha will not occur within some hundred million years, and therefore are impossible for people to be enlightened in this life time. They forsake a rare opportunity to be enlightened in this life, continue on their practice by just chanting the sutra, worshiping the Buddha, and wait to be saved.
Upon his enlightenment, Buddha sighed, “Interesting. I noticed that everyone possesses the same wisdom and compassion like me. They cannot be enlightened, because they are covered by delusion and attachment.” And in Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Buddha also said, “All sentient beings are capable to reach Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi.” It is important to recognize the essential teaching of Mahayana Buddhism that is, “All sentient beings possess Buddha nature. Everyone can reach Buddhahood. We are just hindered by our attachment to ‘ego’ and ‘dogma’.” Once detached from “ego” and “dogma”, anyone can be enlightened as Buddha. Under this premise, Chan Master Wu Chueh Miao-Tien founded “Shakyamuni Buddha Foundation” with the intention to correct the erroneous practice, to awaken everyone from the manipulation of their mind, and to turn all blind worship and egoic attachment to form, to the “true dharma” taught by Shakyamuni Buddha 2,500 years ago.He wishes to enable more people to practice the “true dharma”, to witness their self nature, and to be enlightened in this life.