The second bilingual meditation retreat was held September 2-9 in Central California at the Holy Vajrasana Temple & Retreat Center. It included a Xuanfa Five Vidya University (XFVU) sponsored seminar on various recent dharma discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, time for meditation, and oryoki-style meals. Some students stayed the entire week, but others were only able to attend the seminar part.
The dharma discourses covered during this seminar included three very important teachings that were released by His Holiness in January of this year. The Buddha Master has said that “Anyone who has the determination of attaining accomplishment and liberation must listen to these lessons.” His Holiness has also emphasized how important these three discourses are in public announcement #20160108 from UIWBAH in which Wang Zha Shang Zun stated that “In the past, our kind Master H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III never approved us to use the level of accomplishment and states of Buddha-dharma as an auxiliary way to teach, transform, and benefit living beings and told us to learn and understand the meaning of the dharma and start the practice from cultivation. However, many of us did not thoroughly understand what the Buddha Master said. Recently, I listened to the dharma expounded in three lessons by the kind Buddha Master entitled ‘Learning from Buddha’ and was benefited in a way that I never had before. The dharma is true unprecedented by any holy one in history and was expounded so elegantly, precisely, and thoroughly. This is truly the highest supreme Buddha-dharma. No wonder the kind Buddha Master said that He did not agree with us on using one’s level of accomplishment and manifested state of Buddha-dharma as the standard to conduct the examination in the holy realm to determine a master’s qualification! His Holiness the Buddha did not take part in what we did at all and said, ‘Abstain from everything that is evil and do all things that are good. If you truly want to become accomplished, you should read Expounding the Absolute Truth through the Heart Sutra, cultivate in accord with the two great mind essences of the Supreme And Unsurpassable Mahamudra Of Liberation, and learn, understand, and carry out the three dharma lessons of Learning from Buddha, Only doing so is truly learning Buddhism and cultivating oneself.’ This is the view of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and is also the view of all Buddhas in the ten directions.”
This seminar follows the “Seven Dharma” format of the seminar held in July with Suonan CIren Rinpoche providing two simultaneous translations of each of these three dharma discourses on Learning from the Buddha whereby we were able to take notes and question the rinpoche on his translations and anything that was not clear. This was followed by a debate and extensive discussion. The rinpoche also provided translation assistance to enable the non bilingual students to participate.
The practice of Oryoki shown in the photos is an ancient method of preparing, serving, and eating during formal retreats held in Chinese and Japanese monasteries that continues to the present and usually observed at the Holy Vajrasana Temple during meditation retreats. Click for more information.