Guam Buddhist Sangha

American Humanistic Buddhism

A lil Ch’an: Heaven and Hell June 8, 2011

Filed under: A lil Ch'an,Youth Workshop — memeandbojo @ 9:49 pm

Meme had heard that the Venerable Master would be arriving in the temple, and she had a question to ask of him. She walked all the way to Fo Guang Shan and entered the gate of the monastery.

It took a moment or two for her to locate the Venerable Master in the gardens. She approached him and stood before him, bowed and asked, “can you explain, to me, the meaning of heaven and hell?”

The Master Venerable remained silent.

Meme wondered if he had not heard her and repeated the question again.

After a few more moments the Venerable Master said, “How can I tell someone as stupid as you what something means. It would only be a waste of time. Your clothes are worn and old. You look like a beggar. There is nothing that I wish to share with you.”

This made Meme quite upset. She had never had anyone say such awful things to her. Her mind was filled with ugly thoughts of herself and of the Venerable Master. She was about to turn and walk away when she heard the Venerable Master softly say, “that is hell.”

She looked at him realizing that somehow he knew what her mind had been thinking. He had clearly shown her where hell was all this time. Quickly her thoughts changed to one of admiration and respect for the Venerable Master who stood before her. Her mind stopped its chattering about bad things and instead her thoughts connected directly to her heart filled with complete compassion for him, and at that moment he looked at her and said, “and that my friend is heaven, the pureland that you seek.”


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