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Guo Yuan Fashi Promote Chan Buddhism to Indonesia (Part II)

(Jakarta, Jogjakarta, Medan – 2009, 23 Oct – 3 Nov)

5-days Chan Retreat in ‘Omah Jawi’ Retreat House, Jogjakarta, Indonesia.
(25th-29th October 2009)

Everything always Changes and There is ‘no-self’.

On October 28th, we had interview session with Teacher Guo Yuan Fashi. Three participants were called in together for each session of interview as we followed the daily schedule through out the day.

In the morning Dharma talk session, we had another walking meditation. But this time we had it in the retreat centre. There were something more in this walking meditation. Guo Yuan Fashi led us to walk slowly at first, then faster and faster, and slow down again at the end.

It was something really new, I never had it before. Then Fashi taught us how to massage ourselves. It was really good and very useful to relieve the pain on the joint and muscle after a long period of sitting. After the retreat, I knew that many participants take great benefits from this period.

In the evening Dharma talk, Mr. Agus requested Guo Yuan Fashi to tell some things about himself. Fashi told us about how he encounter Master Sheng Yen, about his first experience of mindfulness, some stories about his friends on retreat with Master Sheng Yen, how he became a monastic, about his first retreat by himself (without Shifu), about Master Sheng Yen and many other things. Later that night, Guo Yuan Fashi decided to give us prostration practice after interviewing the participants. This was also my first time having a prostration practice.

October 29th was the last day of the retreat. Some participants had taken the retreat less seriously that the situation started to "get out of the track". It was Mr. Agus who did some things needed to bring the situation to be more serious. In the morning Dharma talk, Guo Yuan Fashi talked about impermanence (anicca), suffering (dukkha), no-self (anatta) and emptiness (shunyata). The talk was simple.

Guo Yuan Fashi explained that everything always changes, and therefore there is no-self. Fashi gave an example of a photograph. When we look at our own photograph, we would say that it is ‘me’ who is on the photograph.

But actually it's only an image. If it is ‘me’ in the photograph, then who is seeing the photograph? This example explained that there are changes that has happened on us from the moment the photograph was taken to the moment we are looking to that same photograph again. The changes that are happening all the time show that there is actually no-self. Then, “WHO IS READING THIS?”

Guo Yuan Fashi told us that the same principle applies for every other things. Everything always changes and there is no-self. That's why it's called emptiness. We suffer because we don't realize this. We might understand it intellectually, but that doesn't make much difference. The ignorance keeps on fooling us from seeing the nature of everything. That's why we need to practice.

In the evening, we were given an opportunity to share our experience during the retreat. There was also a ceremony for taking the "Three Refugees and Five Precepts" and "Transmitting the Lamp". Transmitting the lamp means that we open up our compassion, wisdom and pure qualities inside our heart and then transmitting them to our society.

With compassion we have no enemies.
With wisdom we have no vexations.
Wish all people in the world be peace and harmony.

The retreat was closed with prostration to pay respect to all the Buddhas, Arahats, Lineage Masters, Our Shifu, Master Sheng Yen, Teacher Guo Yuan Fashi and monastics from whom the teaching (Dharma) has been directly transmitted in this retreat and finally to express our gratitude to all volunteers and participants. We also made our personal vow.

(Report by Sugi – Chang Wu/ Edited by Junarto / Proofreading by Chang Tuo Fashi)

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