A real story manifests great compassion: The non-discriminating mind

"Congratulations! You have experienced the true compassion" said Ven. Guo Lu. "I believe your understanding about compassion came from others' talks or from books, is it so?"

"Yes, it is." I replied.

"Only when the practitioner experiences Dharma in person, the Dharma is really meaningful to him." Ven. Guo Lu said. "Why did the great compassion arise in your mind? It's because there was no distinction in your mind while you were crying, although you still hated the guy before the moment. You didn't see him as an interrupter to you anymore, there was no self-centeredness with you in that moment, you were crying commiserating about his suffering, and you wouldn't see him giving up retreat. When your mind rose above "good and evil", "gain and loss" at that moment, your mind was clear, uncluttered and observant. Then, you realized your true inner nature. That is the true great compassion which is positively the bodhisattva mind. What arose in your mind was the unconditional loving kindness and all-embracing compassion." Ven. Guo Lu said.

As an event did made me exceedingly confused, thus I asked for an inquiry for clarification. The inspiration of the event is expressed in the above-mentioned conversation explained by Ven. Guo Lu, who was the head of the 49-day Huato Ch'an retreat in DDM, during the personal interview.

The event is that: There was a participant in the retreat, who was side by side with me all the time, not only in sitting meditation and meals in the daytime, but also while sleeping at night. This fellow interrupted me continuously from the first day to the the day he left. He couldn't calm himself while meditating all day long, and certainly he still tried to calm himself down in different ways. Unfortunately he failed, he was always like a monkey with fantod. I was fed up with his moving interruptions from the beginning. Finally I closed my eyes while meditating to avoid those interruptions. Besides, when I skipped dinner, he followed me. When I skipped lunch, he never went in the dining hall, either. What's more, when I started to make repentance prostrations by myself, if I spent 30 minutes, the fellow would spend 5 more minutes than I did. He seemed to always compete with me and just intend to appear better than I did in all conditions at all time. I knew clearly the cultivation had nothing to do with others, there was even no need to compare with our present and past; that's the spirit of Ch'an practice. When I found his ridiculous behavior, I actually tried to keep away from him to solve the issues.

Nevertheless, he followed me like a hunting dog to trace a rabbit without stopping. What he did really continuously plagued me, hence anger also grew in my mind when I saw him. I wished he could leave Ch'an hall at any moment. Every day I looked forward to his disappearance.

One day, in early morning after having breakfast, while I entered the quarters I saw him in his everyday clothes with his luggage., he was signing goodbye to every roommates. That act shocked me instantaneously. I didn't know why I couldn't help crying agitatedly immediately. "What a pity ! Why giving up ? " I shouted in my mind. He actually had suffered tortures for 42 days already, 7 more days would complete the program, and the hardest time had almost passed. "Living beings are always in suffering and ignorance." Sorrow flashed through my mind at the moment. I begged for his stay in tears, though I couldn't say a word. I worried after he left the Ch'an hall his practice might go down because of this discomfiture, I could only wrote a note to encourage him, saying: Never forget your beginner's mind, and never let your bodhi mind die down". I could not stop my crying until he disappeared from sight. For a while, I seemed to be awake and felt ridiculous, how stupid I was! That fellow was an interrupter to me, how much I hated him! His leaving should make me happy! Why was I so sad and crying? And I was completely at a loss in public, I was very much confused, and couldn't understand why I reacted like that.

Wrote by Jason Tzu
Oct. 29 2007

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