July 11, 2019

If you ask a child what he/she likes to be when he/she grows up. The answer varies. If you ask Zen practitioners what they like to be. All answers point to the same one: become an enlighten being and reach immortality. How to reach it with a right understanding? Zen Master Miao Tsan has a straightforward answer for it. “We can achieve immortality, but first we must let go of the attach­ment we have developed during the impermanent, brief existence of our individual selves. Phenomena are always in a constant state of flux. To grasp any impermanent phenomenon is to act against the eternal nature of the essence of life. Instead, we must grasp the ever-changing functioning that arises from the essence of life. Our existence is not permanent because it must obey the law of impermanence. If we place hope for immortality in a future phenomenon, we are bound to face the cruel reality: The future, like the present, cannot escape dissolution. All that is created is impermanent. Whether it is in some distant future, in a certain Pure Land or in a heavenly abode, it is governed by the law of all phenomena: arising, abiding, deteriorating, and disappearing. However, the eternity of life is certain because it is the primordial nature of the Mind. It is the ever-present light of the unchanging, and the essence of all phenomena. Only that which has the nature of eternity can manifest eternity; other than that, no amount of effort can accomplish it.” Fa Hwa