Shall Be Writing Listening Quietly to the Voices Within
and Edited by True Buddha Foundation Translation Team
After completing my 166th book,
Accounts of Spiritual Travel, emotions welled up in me, for
there is still much to be said. Therefore, I decided to write
a book that records my inner thoughts, and the result is my
167th book, titled, Listening Quietly to the Voices Within,
subtitled, Enrich the Dream of Life with Radiance and Color.
I live a quiet life in Leaf Lake,
watching the first rays of sunrise and the evening sky of
sunset every day. Frankly speaking, my life once shone with
radiance, [and] I was showered with love and glory. I was
received by tens of thousands of people at airports; I
conducted dharma ceremonies attended by just as many; and I
received their applause.
And today, I am living alone, in
I have never set plans about what
I want to do in the future, such as moving back, returning to
Seattle from Leak Lake, or perhaps returning to my childhood
home in Kaoshiung [in south Taiwan], or going back to Taichung
[in central Taiwan] where I spent my growing-up years. Or will
I be spending the rest of my life at Leaf Lake?
After completing the book,
Accounts of Spiritual Travel, there was a night when I was
taking a meditative walk [walking quietly while chanting a
mantra or a Buddha’s or Bodhisattva’s name, with full
concentration, becoming one with the Buddha or Bodhisattva]
along the mountain under a full moon. I was gazing at the far
horizon, at an ocean of fog which permeated everything, when I
felt the doors of my heart suddenly open. I closed my eyes for
a moment and listened to the inner voices within me.
These voices felt joyous, and yet
melancholic. Was it joy or sadness? I could not really tell.
Anyway, it had the same emotional feeling that one would get
when one reached the top of a mountain and was enjoying the
view of a rolling sea of clouds.
It was much like the feeling of
leaving Kaoshiung where I had spent my childhood; leaving
Taichung, where I had spent my growing-up years; leaving
Seattle, where I had spent the prime of my life; and if I were
to leave Leaf Lake, where I am now in my retreat.
Should I react with joy?
Or should I react with sadness?
If there be a day when the Three
Holy Sages of the Western Paradise—Amitabha Buddha,
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, and Mahasthamaprapta
Bodhisattva—and the assembly of holy beings receive me,
[they will] welcome me with a great dharma ship adorned with
all kinds of precious jewels, glowing with an all-pervading
radiance. And they will place necklaces of pearls and jade
around my neck and adorn my body with precious gems.
They will come with canopies
decorated with hundreds of thousands of colours to welcome my
returning, and there will be wonderful celestial beings whose
haloes of light illuminate one another, radiating their lights
into infinity in all their magnificence, and everything will
be dignified and solemn. They will arrive to welcome me back
to the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds, which resides on the other
shore. My six media senses will be purified and I will be free
from all emotional afflictions, abiding in the never-receding
realm where one achieves Buddhahood.
The question is:
"Can I quietly reach the
other shore from this shore, and then forget all the disciples
whom I dearly miss, and leave without any feelings of worry or
Wouldn't I be sad?
Wouldn't I miss them?
What about the five million
disciples in the Samsara world?
I realize it is impossible for me
not to miss my disciples when I leave this world.
However, my remaining in this
world inevitably leaves me in sorrow. There is pain in
leaving, and pain in staying. My heart says very simply,
"Who is free from regrets?"
Perhaps I have scattered too many
emotional pieces of friendship in this world which I simply
cannot gather up, and my heart feels so heavy that I doubt
that even the radiant dharma ship can carry it.
Let me pen a poem on Listening
Quietly to the Voices Within:
No one can hold on to the time in
their life forever
And I have already spent several
decades in this world
When the time comes to board the
returning dharma ship
How can I ever hold back my
Because, simply, the baggage of
friendship weighs heavily upon me
Those voices [the dharma
teachings I have given to my devoted disciples]
I speak again and again
A sudden surge of sorrow fills my
I find myself turned into a naked
child [having given everything I have to my devoted disciples]
There will come a day
There will come a page
I will write [my] very last page
Reflect upon this
Please listen quietly to the
words of my vow:
I truly wish to take all of you,
To bring everyone along [to the
Maha Twin Lotus Ponds]
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