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*Gain Ultimate Wisdom through Chan Practice*

Translated by Jessica, Edited by Tom

Time: Nov 29, 1993, Place: Miao-tian Tain-chan, Taipei

No matter what our achievement, be it our career, studies, or a talent, we must lay a solid foundation to reach it. Likewise, when we practice Chan, the more solid the foundation, the better chance that we will greatly progress and succeed.

However, nowadays there are impractical and over-ambitious people who refuse to start from the basic practices. They look instead for a meteoric rise. Unfortunately, such people usually invite failure over time.

*Chan is a Comprehensive Term for the Entire Universe*

Practicing Chan is the same as practicing other skills, the same as pursuing a career or other achievements — the fundamental bases are the most important lessons. Many times, people are too eager for success when learning Sitting Chan. Some people feel it is unnecessary to spend much time practicing the same technique over and over. Actually, every technique is equally important, and it takes diligent practice before a solid foundation is laid. Therefore, we should learn the techniques step by step, carefully and patiently.

When we practice Chan, it is very important to understand the reason we practice. We must understand the world of Chan before we enter it.

However, it’s a shame that nowadays most Chan teachings emphasize traditional methodologies and attach to the form of emptiness, such as solely studying Chan Koans, reciting sutras, or chanting mantras. None of these practices will lead us to ultimate enlightenment. People can still benefit from these practices, yet they don’t directly lead to ultimate truth, and it’s hard for beginners to become awakened by practicing these techniques. Even when people obtain understanding and realization through practicing these techniques, they are usually limited to the level of consciousness.

The world of Chan (i.e. the world of Buddha) is the entire universe, which is by no means a person’s thought. Hence, to raise a person’s thought to the level of Chan means to raise it to the level of the entire universe.

In the universe, there are many other beings besides humans. All beings have their own inconceivable life purposes, life structures, and abilities to survive. All these phenomena are certainly worth our efforts to investigate and discover their truth, because great wisdom resides in them.

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