Recite Guanyin's Name with One Heart
recitation of Guanyin Bodhisattva's name should continue nonstop, like
an ever flowing stream, until everything becomes one. Walking,
standing, sitting, and lying down, we recite the name of Guanyin. We
must pay close attention and not forget Guanyin's name in thought after
thought. Each recitation must be clear and distinct; and we certainly
shouldn't fall asleep or have idle thoughts while reciting. We must
recite single-mindedly, thinking of nothing but the words "Namo
Bodhisattva Guanshiyin," not leaving the name whether we are walking,
standing, sitting, or lying down.
Bodhisattava's image shows a thousand hands and a thousand eyes, but
actually, Guanshiyin Bodhisattava's hands and eyes are infinite. With
his infinite hands, he pulls living beings out of the sea of suffering
and sets them on the blissful other shore. With his infinite eyes, he
beholds all living beings and rescues those who are in difficulty or
If you are mindful
of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, he will be mindful of you. You recite
Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's name hoping that he will compassionately save
all beings; he recites your name hoping that you can leave suffering
and attain bliss, be free from disasters and sickness, cancel offenses
and create blessings. He hopes you will increase in Bodhi and perfect
your mind for the Way. We shouldn't let Guanshiyin Bodhisattva down. He
is so compassionate and mindful of us, we ought to set everything else
aside and concentrate on reciting his name. If we can do that, he will
definitely be with us whether we are moving or still, awake or asleep.
He will aid us, destroy our karmic obstacles, and make our good roots
grow. Having received Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's aid, we should
strengthen our resolve for Bodhi and advance vigorously without
slacking off for a moment. We shouldn't chatter so much. If you decide
not to talk, eat, or sleep, that's fine; but don't fail to cultivate.
Everyone has to cultivate. We should regard every moment and every day
as a Guanyin session. In fact, we should wish to cultivate the
inconceivable Dharma door of reciting Guanyin Bodhisattva's name every
month, every year, and every great eon. Don't think that you're free
once the session is over, because you are not truly free unless you
become enlightened. So don't entertain the thought of retreating. We
should all be wishing for another Guanyin session so we can continue to
develop our skill.
The function of reciting Guanyin's name can
be compared to using our hands in getting dressed and when eating. The
name "Guanshiyin Bodhisattva" is equivalent to your hands, which you
use to put on clothes. When you eat, you must use chopsticks or a fork
to bring the food to your mouth; likewise, you must recite Guanyin
Bodhisattva's name in order to feed your Dharma body.
Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's name is also analogous unlocking a door. We
are locked up in the prison of our ignorance, and Guanyin's name is the
key to the prison's door. Each time we recite it, the lock of ignorance
opens up a little. The more we recite, the more the lock opens. We use
Guanyin Bodhisattva's key of wisdom to open our lock of ignorance. The
moment it opens, we gain sudden enlightenment. Confucianism speaks of a
state of sudden comprehension, but that is only a partial, not a total,
enlightenment. With sudden enlightenment, one breaks through ignorance
and cuts off the very source of births and deaths without beginning.
Bodhisattva listens to the sounds of living beings and rescues them
from suffering. He has particularly deep affinities with the living
beings in our Saha world. There are many cases in which Guanyin
Bodhisattva has protected people and shined his light upon them. Why
haven't we obtained such a response? Our minds are not sincere. We have
too many scattered thoughts. On the one hand we recite his name, but on
the other hand our mind chases after external states and strikes up all
kinds of impure thoughts, so we waste all our time. We should realize
that life is short. If we don't cultivate seriously right now, we might
not have another chance.
Cherish the time and don't let it go
by in vain. Don't just mindlessly follow the crowd. You ought to take
advantage of this opportunity to cultivate at a monastery by sincerely
reciting Guanyin's name. You will have completed your work only when
you attain the Guanyin Recitation Samadhi, the state of proper
concentration which cannot be disturbed by the gusty winds or the
driving rain. Don't overlook that point.
p.227 - 228, "In Memory of thr Ven. Master Hsuan Hua, Vol. III"