Gilbert Gutierrez's Spreads Dharma at DDM San Francisco
One of Master Sheng-Yen's dharma heirs, Gilbert Gutierrez, visited Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association San Francisco Chapter (DDM San Francisco) on March 14th and 15th. DDM San Francisco hosted a series of meditation and Buddhism lecture events to spread the Dharma and to let more Westerns get acquainted with Dharma Drum Mountain.
The event on March 14th was the introductions of Chan meditation and meditation practice. 40 people participated the event. Some of them have at least 20-year experience of meditation practice, and others are just the beginners.
Before the class, Gilbert first led the participates to bow to the image of Master Sheng-Yen. Gilbert explained that all his lectures are inheritated from Master Shen-Yen's teachings. Gilbert's lecture started from an introduction of meditation, followed with explanations of advance meditation methods such as Huatou and Silent Illumination Chan.
During the lecture, Gilbert instructed the participants to experience meditation as well. Gilbert emphasized that no matter one is an experienced Chan practitioner or a beginner, he/she should start as a beginner. Gilbert's lecture materials were based on Master Shen-Yen's books with many examples and stories from ancient Chan masters, including Bai-Zhan-Hwai-Hai, and Ma-Zu-Dao-Yi.
Gilbert also adopted inspirational stories from Sutras such as Heart Sutra the Diamond Sutra to help the participants further understanding the meditation.
The participants enjoyed Gilbert's teaching much. Although it was cold and windy outside, they all expected Gilbert not to cancel the program of walking meditation set in the afternoon.
Everybody wore hats and heavy coats to go outside to practice walking meditation, including the slow walking meditation, natural walking meditation, fast walking meditation, and direct contemplation.
The event on March 15th was meditation and Buddhism lecture. 30 people attended the event. The lecture material was based on the Shurangama Sutra. Gilbert delivered the lecture in the Q-and-A method in order to push the participants to think and even find answers within themselves.
In this way, the participants could better understand the nature of the questions and could examine their understandings of meditation and Buddhism, which in turn, could keep the participants stay in progress.
The lecture was full of laught and in a relaxed atmosphere. After the lecture, one of the participants shared that he finally realized he had practiced in a wrong way, no wonder he showed no progress following ten-year practice.
After the class, many participants still surrounded and chatted with Gilbert. One of the participants living in Monterey area invited Gilbert to give a talk in the Monterey area. Gilbert said that as long as his schedule is open, he is willing to deliver the Dharma in any place to help Master Sheng Yen in the work of spreading the Dharma seed in every corner of the world.
(by Jing-I Lu)