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Master Xu Yun: Only One Heart

Master Xu Yun: Only One Heart
Photo: The date written on this photograph is the 25th of December, 1955. Master Xu Yun is living on Mount Yun Ju (at the Zhen Ru Monastery) working on its repair. Just prior to this in the autumn, several dozen monks came to Yun Ju to request the transmission of precepts and ordination from Xu Yun. The Master thought it unwise to proceed without government permission, and contacted the authorities. When news got out that Xu Yun was going to transmit the precepts during the 10th lunar month, around 500 monks gathered on Yun Ju. This was far too many and so the Master expounded the 10 prohibitions, the Vinaya rules, and the 3 cumulative commandments before asking 400 of the monks to return to their home temples. He instructed these monks to follow the instructions found in the Brahma Net Sutra on a specific day, and make use of the expedient of self-ordination. In this way Master Xu Yun openly ordained 100 monks on Yun Ju, whilst simultaneously ordaining 400 other monks at a distance and in secret. Master Xu Yun was in his 116th year of life.


Gaze into the Emptiness, the illusory changings of this world.
Enter the Emptiness. Others have. It's not so hard.
Is there any place that's unreachable when you make the effort?
Don't be left behind because you've confused yourself over this.
Here! Let me rap you on the head with my stick!
Shut up, foolish face! Stop talking a minute!
Don't be so quick to argue!
The mystery is so exquisite! It can't be discussed!
Yes, I recite the Buddha's name... or is the Buddha reciting mine?
What's the recitation for anyway?
There's only One Heart and It's in the Pure Land.
The Buddha is my own True Nature.
The Buddha and me! We're one, not two. So are you!
You're chanting to this? You are this!
Come, hold on to this reality! Don't be swept away into illusion.
History is an endless lie.
Let today be the day that the clouds and fog lift.
Don't let a wisp of them remain.
Let your body live here, but keep your spirit evanescent.
See that when it's free,
It can't be bogged down into those old familiar ruts.
(Master Xu Yun)


Recommended Reading:
'The Essential Shinran: A Buddhist Path of True Entrusting'
By Alfred Bloom (Editor), Ruben Havito (Foreword)
Purchase Book:

Renowned scholar Alfred Bloom presents the life and teachings of Shinran Shonin, the founder of Shin (or Pure Land) Buddhism, the most populist form of Buddhism in Japan, drawing extensively on the writings of this influential Japanese religious reformer.
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