Author Topic: Footprints on the Journey: Lotus Pond -Khenpo Sodargye  (Read 495 times)

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Footprints on the Journey: Lotus Pond -Khenpo Sodargye
« on: November 09, 2016, 11:09:04 am »
Lotus Pond

Right in front of the main hall of the Minnan Buddhist Academy, there is a large lotus pond; late in the spring, lotus flowers start to blossom one after the other. When the sun comes out smiling from behind the clouds after a shower; the crystalline water droplets on leaves and blossoms sparkle brilliantly. White flowers, reflecting a riot of colors, become notably charming to the eye. Verdant lotus leaves, ever elegant and poised, give the pond exuberant vigor; dragonflies and birds glide smoothly over the pond, taking in the flowers’ fragrance to their hearts’ delight. Fish whose lives have been saved are now swimming at will in the pond, chitchatting to the flowers of the marvel of freedom. The trees around the bank are bedecked with green baby buds, as if composing a spring symphony to welcome the returning swallows. Monks promenade leisurely and meditatively; have they felt in the air that “spring is making a full display of itself over the treetops”?

This spring scenery is utterly enchanting; could it be anything but the display of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas? As I immerse myself fully in it, not only do I feel refreshed mentally and physically, but also am inspired to realize the profundity of this Zen poem:

Bamboos, all green and vibrant, are nothing but the display of wisdom
Flowers, all yellow and lush, are entirely the expression of Dharmakaya.

The layout of this pond was well conceived by the monks who built it. Having a wall built around it, the pond is isolated from the noise and busyness of the city and provides a quiet retreat for practitioners. No wonder even students from next-door neighbor Xiamen University also like to visit here, to enjoy the unique seclusion of the monastery while doing their homework.

An antithetical couplet comes to my mind:

The sounds of wind, water, insects, birds, and chanting, all together with those of gongs of 365 days—there is no sound that is not silence.
The forms of moon, mountain, grass, tree, and sunset, as well as those of 48,000 mountains—all forms are nothing but emptiness.

This couplet, if posted inside the main hall, may invoke some inspiration in people who read it.

To do one’s spiritual practice in such a setting is quite a blessing. How I wish we could have a lotus pond just like this at Larung Gar!

7th of March, Year of RenWu
April 19, 2002
By the Lotus Pond


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