Monday, November 22, 2010

Reading the Buddhist texts

In Hui Ming Jing, there are a lot of Taoist interpretation of Buddhist texts (including the Diamond Sutra and the Platform Sutra), as well as Taoist interpretation of Taoist texts (including Dao De Jing and other texts by previous Taoist masters, often time rather mystical and difficult to understand). Many are interesting reads too (of course, provided one knows the Chinese language).

It is customary for these sometimes being called "esoteric practice" (for me, it is nothing esoteric about these practices) to quote and re-interpret classic texts to support the validity of their own practice. The reason is that for meditation everything happens inside one's body. As the secret of the golden flower said one has to have faith 誠 to succeed. And on the part to the master, he needs to demonstrate to his students that his practice is supported by classic texts. Unlike a karate-man who can demonstrate his punching power by breaking a few boards, the meditation master can't demonstrate the subtlety of how his chi flows!

It is interesting to see that one famous contemporary master of I-style who concentrates in teaching zhan zhuang for health interpreted major texts in Dao De Jing and other classic texts as writing about the experience of standing meditation (I have so much respect for the master that I don't think it right to disclose his name here - being afraid of possible misunderstanding).

Having said that I do believe a student can use these interpretations to put a more concrete structure to "house" one's meditation experience (体會) with the objective of facilitating faster progress in one's practice. In this way, a useful tool is found rather than anything seemingly contradictory to modern scientific/logical thinking is believed.

Again, the concept of a Living Practice is emphasized here.

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