Droplet in the Great Ocean (Preface)
•By Living Buddha Lian-Sheng, Sheng-Yen Lu•
Translated by Cheng Yew Chung.
Edited by TBN
I have been to many cities in my
life, and I miss many of them. Therefore, whenever I have to
leave a city, it is hard for me because my mind keeps
lingering on it.
Hence, there are simply too many
And with them comes too much
I find this baggage of memories
is getting heavier for me, pressing its weight upon me to a
point of breathlessness. These memories linger and accompany
me for a long time.
The fact that I consider myself a
person endowed with the deepest feelings seems funny. But
isn't a bodhisattva a being of feelings? Since my feelings are
scattered all over the cities on this great earth, these
scattered emotional fragments are difficult to collect. [And]
as my mind keeps wandering, I am at a loss as to how I should
keep my body and mind at ease.
I met an old man in a small town
called Yakima, in the east of Washington state in the United
States, where it is famous for its apples.
I asked him, "How long have
you been in Yakima?"
The old man answered,
"Eighty years. I have stayed here all my life!"
"Where is the furthest place
you have been to?" I asked.
"Seattle. I've been there
once!" replied the old man, who continued, "Seattle
is a big city, but I don't really like it. I only like
I was taken aback when I heard
his words. I found it difficult to believe that someone had
actually spent his entire life in a small town.
The old man then told me,
"We are only droplets in the great ocean. Wherever we
are, we remain droplets. It makes no difference whether we
travel or don't travel at all."
In the past, I did not understand
what the old man was saying to me. But today it all makes
sense to me. The reason I am feeling the weight of the
memories is because I cannot let go of the many cities I have
visited, and it makes me sad!
I must let go of them, like the
way I throw away my [old] clothing.
I am only a droplet in the great
ocean after all.