Christmas Holiday is drawing near gradually. The weekend group cultivation of December 12th, 2009 at Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple in metropolitan Seattle is likened to a big family having a festive reunion with a feeling of rejoice in each person’s heart. Grand Master Lian-sheng and Shimu ( Acharya Master Lian-siang) fared along as usual; they compassionately empowered the group cultivation which featured ``Avalokitesvara Principal Deity Yoga`` practice ministered by Acharya Master Lian-Jieh.
Upon completion of the group cultivation practice, Dharma Instructor Lian-ying pointed out in her dharma exposition: ``Life is full of karmic affinities; one ought to treasure every opportunity in his or her life; grasp hold each karmic affinity that can be beneficial to oneself and others. One ought to learn to treat all people and affairs with a heart of gratitude in order to regard the subject of interest as completely perfect.``
Next, Acharya Master Lian-Jieh, in her dharma exposition, expressed encouragement to all dharma missionaries and fellow devotees to carry out propagation of Buddha-dharmas and redemption of all sentient beings with a sense of accomplishing a sacred mission. Only through alms-giving with dharmas, can one eradicate pains and sufferings in sentient beings in order to bring happiness, and emancipate them from the cycle of life and death. Acharya Master Lian-Jieh exemplified a proverb of Boddhisattva Manjusuri as in ``Confronting all karmic affinities as your personal teacher``: a way to forge ahead in spiritual endeavors in the mind frame of a Boddhisattva; since every karmic affinity may give rise to wisdom and opportunity for growth.
At last, the King of Dharma, Grand Master Lian-Sheng, in his dharma discourse, continued on with His exposition on ``The Altar Sutra as Spoken by the Sixth Patriarch,`` the Sixth Patriarch explained in the section on Prajna: ``Learned Audience, when we use Prajna for introspection we are illumined within and without, and in a position to know our own mind. To know our mind is to attain liberation. To attain liberation is to attain Samadhi of Prajna, which is ’thoughtlessness.’(無念) What is ’thoughtlessness’? ’Thoughtlessness’「無念」 is to see and to know all Dharmas (things) with a mind free of attachment. When in use it pervades everywhere, and yet it sticks nowhere.``
Grand Master expounded thoroughly the quoted excerpt, to the effect that the practitioner should utilize wisdom to reflect on every matter and to introspect one’s own thought as to whether or not it’s right. A genuinely enlightened person (also known as ``the liberated``) is not bound by anything; no obstacle shall hinder his or her mind and body; behavior and mind of the enlightened one are truly emancipated. In True Buddha Sutra, there is a proverb of a clause: ``the key to realizing Buddha Jewel Sambodhi is a quietscent mind (thoughtlessness),`` within which ``quietscent mind`` or ``thoughtlessness`` (無念) is the wisdom of Tathagata Buddha. The Sixth Patriarch said ``what is ’thoughtlessness’(無念)?`` It is a state of non-attachment of the mind (心無著); a state of not being implicated by all that is perceived. Grand Master also made reference to romance or love affair in our worldly life to exemplify that which undergoes changes constantly. As a Tantric-dharma practitioner, one ought to practice the mental attitude of ``a child looking on at a drawing without involvement,`` as not to let the mind attach to it. One ought not to adhere to the notion of ``forever`` as in the instance of love affair which must be surpassed.
After the dharma discourse ended, Grand Master compassionately bestowed the precious Refuge Empowerment to new initiates, blessed the Great Compassion Dharani water and sanctified Buddha statues and effigies. Grand Master also personally autographed His new book ``Written to the Rain`` for every fellow devotee waiting eagerly in line with a fresh new copy of the book. Finally, after the autograph session ended, Grand Master proceeded to bless empower all the kneeling devotees along both sides of a human aisle by palming their heads despite all the toils He had gone through. Everyone departed with a satisfactory grin on his or her face hoping to behold the countenance of the Buddha again in the next group cultivation.