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Grand Master Lu`s Dharma talk (summary) after Saturday Group Practice on January 16, 2010

2010-01-16 Seattle Lei Zang Temple, Redmond, Washington

Translated by: TBTT

Summarized by Rina Tseng, proofread by Angela Yeh, edited by Justin Chiu


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六祖說:「 恐愚人不解,謗此法門,百劫千生,斷佛種性。善知識!吾有一無相頌,各須誦取,在家出家,但依此修;若不自修,惟記吾言,亦無有益。 」

Fearing the incomprehension by the ignorant may give rise to slandering of this dharma-gate, which will annihilate the seed of Buddhahood for hundreds of kalpas and thousands of incarnations. Virtuous and knowledgeable friends, I have an Ode to No-Semblance, all should recite it; monks and laity alike, should abide by it; if without practice, the mere memorization of my words, will lead to no benefit.

Out of this no-semblance ode the most important word is no-semblance. In the past, someone submitted an answer to my question of what is enlightenment. This person wrote in his note what the Grand Master and the Sixth Patriarch realized upon attaining enlightenment is no-semblance. No-semblance is the same exact words used in the title of the Sixth Patriarch`s ode. Would the Sixth Patriarch blatantly reveal such a coveted secret by using this in the title of his ode?

No-semblance is not correct because enlightenment cannot be easily described at all. What no-semblance refers to is the impermanent imagery in samsara. All forms have a beginning and an end, which when combined equates to nothing; this is why all forms are actually no-semblance.

The other day two other people submitted their answers. One said, “Life is but a dream.\` The other said, \`Life is but a show.\` When a show ends all you are left with is an empty stage or blank screen. These are both analogies in samsara but still cannot be accepted as enlightenment.

With all that said you all can continue to submit your answers. What exactly did the Buddha realize upon attaining enlightenment? The answer may be very simple indeed, but yet it is absolutely unfathomable by most people. When I awakened Acharya LianNing by providing him a hint, he was quite surprised. He said: \`this is truly difficult for most lay people to think of.\` I told him now that he has awakened, he should go back and read all the sutras. He will understand everything mentioned in the sutras; because everything will now correspond with the answer. Therefore, unless you have achieved a certain level of awareness or state of mind, I simply will not be able to reveal the answer to you.

No-semblance can be easily explained. Everything in the world that has a form is said to be no-semblance. No-semblance is spoken of in sutras as encompassing ten forms in our world, namely color, sound, smell, taste, touch, birth, abiding, deterioration, male, and female. The no-semblance ode says these are essentially no-semblance because they equate to nothing. Enlightenment is not only about no-semblance for it is only a metaphoric manifestation of enlightenment.

Buddha does not discriminate between different races. If you were truly enlightened wouldn`t your sight be as far-reaching as the distance between heaven and earth? A truly enlightened disciple is immune to the feeling of being mistreated, insulted, or slandered. Why? You’ll understand when you become enlightened. Sometimes you may feel saddened because you have been mistreated, insulted, or slandered. What are you going to do? Are you going to jump off of the Golden Gate Bridge in California ? You may not. Why not? Because when you become enlightened you will understand that there is no such thing as being mistreated, insulted or slandered.
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