Embracing Sentient Beings
- From TBN, issue 443
- By Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Sheng-yen Lu
- Translated and edited by True Buddha Foundation Translation
The Buddhist teachings
Unconditional, limitless kindness.
Undifferentiated, great compassion.
Such is the spirit of universal love. Among the bodhisattvas, Guan
Yin is the most well known for her great kindness and great compassion.
Everyone is aware of her efforts to liberate sentient beings from
their pain and suffering.
I remember during my youth when I first started to believe in Buddhism,
I bought a statue of Guan Yin from the Chung He Building in Taichung
(which has since been demolished).
After returning to my platoon camp, I placed it by the window, put
my palms together, and paid homage to her. (At that time, I was
ignorant of the art of Feng Shui.)
Surprisingly, Guan Yin appeared to me that very night, sitting on
a lotus floating on the ocean. It was a great spiritual response!
Whenever the officer made his rounds of inspection, I would remove
the Guan Yin statue from the window and hide it in the closet. But
this Bodhisattva did not take it to heart, such is the heart of
great kindness and great compassion of the bodhisattva.
In fact, I find myself regretfully lacking in my accumulation of
merit and wisdom, even though I have spent the last thirty years
delivering sentient beings. I feel that I am still very ignorant
and foolish, hopelessly playing the role of a Mr. Good Guy.
To be honest, my karma is heavy and it is hard to burn off. But
within me, I have always wanted to embrace sentient beings and deliver
them from their sufferings. As I am accepting offerings from the
sentient beings, of course I must be willing to offer all of my
"Buddha's wisdom life" to them!
I want to embrace my disciples, embrace all sentient beings as though
they are a part of me. I wish that sentient beings will-
Have the pure light,
Be grateful and repay the gratitude to [other] sentient beings.
I have written a poem:
Why do I keep reminiscing about the past
Born in the same place
Die in the same place
It is because throughout the three hundred and sixty-five days of
Every day I embrace them all
I do not need sentient beings' consolation
And I do not need [their] validation and support
[Because] Naturally, after all, this is the primary will and responsibility
of a bodhisattva.