DDM SYDNEY HOSTED A 3-DAY RETREAT LED BY VENERABLE CHANGXU
Over the Moon Festival period, DDM hosted a 3-Day Retreat led by Venerable Changxu from 28 September to 1 October 2012 at the Elanora Conference Centre.
During the retreat Venerable Changxu explained the concept and method of Chan Practice, expounded on the main teachings of Nagarjuna’s Madhyamaka Sasstras, dependent origination and emptiness. He also explained how to apply the teaching to our practice and our daily life.
Through the concept of dependant origination, the Venerable led us to a logical understanding of the non-existence of “I”. Drawing from the Heart Sutra, he explained that as human beings we are made up of three components which correspond to the five skandhas, the physical aspect (form), the mental aspect (sensation, perception, volition) and the spiritual aspect (consciousness). In Chan Buddhism, there are levels to consciousness. As long as there is interaction between the physical and mental body, the function of the 6th consciousness continues to exist. After we die, our 6th consciousness will cease to function, however, our 7th consciousness continues to attach to our 8th consciousness, a storehouse of our karmic actions, as the “I”; and our karmic actions will become our habitual tendencies in our future lives.
As a practitioner, we are training ourselves to see beyond the “self” where we mistook the “mine” as “I”. By understanding this, we can understand how vexations arise and how to deal with them.
Drawing on the Platform Sutra, Venerable Changxu explained the concept of “no form, no abiding and no thought”. From the Diamond Sutra, he further explained the concept of “non-abiding” and how to apply it in daily situations. When something happens, instead of reacting to the phenomena immediately, we should observe and examine the thoughts in our mind. This way we are practising to use wisdom to look into our own thoughts, maintain clarity and keep our mind calm. With a calm mind, we will be able to respond and interact in a compassionate manner, not creating vexation for ourselves and others. By continuously practising on the path, we will be able to realise the inherent wisdom within ourselves.
(by DDM Sydney)