Accounts of Spiritual Travel
- Guru's Talk: Accounts of Spiritual Travel
- By Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu
- Translated By Cheng Yew Chung
(Preface to Book 166,
Accounts of Spiritual Travel)
Being in retreat in Leaf Lake has isolated me from the outside world.
Thus, I know very little of what is happening [in the world]. On
the other hand, my trips of spiritual travel have increased in frequency.
It appears that the dharma gates of the "heart"are simply numerous
and it is absolutely impossible to speak or write about the hundreds
and thousands of stories that colour the worlds of the ten dharma
Take, for example, the book Crossing the Ocean of Life and Death,
which is really a record of the spiritual travels I have made. I
personally consider it an important piece of literature. And just
as the book says that death is "the biggest event in life," those
who cultivate know where they shall end up upon death. As for those
without cultivation, they will likely end up as illusory beings
of ignorance roaming within Samsara.
During the few years of my retreat, I have experienced the suffering
of grave illness. I once brought this question to the attention
of the Buddha, asking, "Why is this happening to me?"
The Buddha replied, "It is all part of nature."
"Must life bear the suffering of illness?"
His reply was, "Especially so when you are nearing the top of the
As it is a natural thing to get old and sick in the physical body,
I am not giving the matter much thought. Instead, I spend my time
sitting in meditation, working on the art of spiritual travel. I
have discovered that the nature of the "heart" is literally endless,
spanning the space of ten directions. During spiritual travel, I
realized that there are many truths of the Buddhadharma which can
be shared in writing and verified.
Let me share with you a wonderful incident:
When I was suffering from the excruciating pain of a splitting headache,
my body was almost at its breaking point, leaving me extremely frustrated.
However, when I sat still in meditation, forgetting the existence
of my mind and body, the mysterious realm of sitting in oblivion
was revealed to me, in which the Buddha appeared and radiated his
lights upon me three times. At once, I was lifted from my miseries
and I experienced great dharma joy. It was the most natural, most
genuine, most joyful, and most effective path of liberation.
Through spiritual travel, I have performed miraculous acts of deliverance.
Through spiritual travel, I have understood the doctrines of faith,
comprehension, practice, and realization.
Through spiritual travel, I have understood what tranquility is.
This is my 166th book, and I wanted to compile my experiences of
spiritual travel into a book. While working on this book, I could
feel a surge of joy arising within my heart. This book is indeed
filled with the thick flavour of dharma taste. I personally feel
that a life of spiritual travel is anything but empty, and it is
through spiritual travel that one finds meaning in life.
I pray that all who read this book will receive the great liberation.
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