Friday, May 28, 2010

Sudden Enlightenment

We had just started chanting the Self-receiving and -employing Samadhi at today's noon service when the doorbell rang. The ever diligent work leader went to get the door, and I could see the UPS man coming in with a cart-load of packages. I suddenly thought of the story of Hui-Neng: having lost his father at an early age, the future patriarch was unable to go to school, but instead supported his mother by selling firewood. He happened to hear a monk reciting from the Diamond Sutra - 'abiding nowhere, let the mind shine through' is the version of the line I have in my head - and was suddenly enlightened. He went off to seek the fifth patriarch on the recommendation of that monk. I wondered if the UPS man might hear a line from our chant - we had just reached 'when even for a moment you express the Buddha's seal in the three actions by sitting upright in samadhi, the whole phenomenal world becomes the Buddha's seal and the entire sky turns into enlightenment' - and be greatly awakened. From where I was standing, I couldn't say for sure, but I would like to think it could have happened.

1 comment:

Chris D said...

Equally important, maybe he's already had an awakening. We don't know.