DISCOURSE ON THE DHARMA SEALS (p. 94)
ANIRUDDHA SUTRA (p. 96)
THE THREE TOUCHINGS OF THE EARTH
Touching the earth I connect with ancestors and descendants of both my spiritual and my blood families. (Bell)(everyone touches the earth)
(To be contemplated while touching the earth) My spiritual ancestors include the Buddha, the bodhisattvas, the noble sangha of Buddha's disciples, the patriarchs of all ages1 and my own spiritual teachers still alive or already passed away. They are present in me because they have transmitted to me seeds of peace, wisdom, love and happiness. They have woken up in me my resource of understanding and compassion. When I look at all my spiritual ancestors I see those who are perfect in the practice of the precepts, understanding and compassion and those who are still imperfect. I accept them all because I see within myself shortcomings and weaknesses. Aware that my practice of the precepts is not always perfect and I am not always understanding and compassionate I open my heart and accept all my spiritual descendants. Some of my descendants practise the precepts, understanding and compassion in a way which invites confidence and respect but there are also those who come across many difficulties and are constantly subject to ups and downs in their practice. (Three breaths)
In the same way I accept all my ancestors on my mother's side and my father's side of the family. I accept all their good qualities and their virtuous actions and I also accept all their weaknesses. I open my heart and accept all my blood descendants with their good qualities, their talents and also their weaknesses. (Three breaths)
My spiritual ancestors and my blood ancestors, my spiritual descendants and my blood descendants are all part of me. I am them and they are me. I do not have a separate self. All exist as part of a wonderful stream of life which is constantly moving. (Three Breaths, Bell. Everyone stands up and with joined palms enjoys their breathing)
Touching the earth I connect with all people and all species which are alive at this moment in this world with me.(Bell. Everyone touches the earth)
(To be contemplated while touching the earth) I am one with the wonderful pattern of life which radiates out in all directions. I see the close connection between myself and all others; how we share our happiness and our suffering. I am one with those who were born disabled or who became disabled because of war, accident or illness. I am one with those who are caught in a situation of war or oppression. I am one with those who find no happiness in family life, who have no roots and no peace of mind, who are hungry for understanding and love and who are looking for something beautiful, wholesome and true to embrace and to believe in. I am someone at the point of death who is very afraid and does not know what is going to happen. I am a child who lives in a place where there is miserable poverty and disease, whose legs and arms are like sticks and who has no future. I am also the manufacturer of bombs which are sold to poor countries. I am the frog swimming in the pond and I am also the snake who needs the body of the frog to nourish its own body. I am the caterpillar or the ant, which the bird is looking for to eat, but I am also the bird which is looking for the caterpillar or the ant. I am the forest which is being cut down. I am the rivers and the air which are being polluted and I am also the person who cuts down the forest and pollutes the rivers and the air. I see myself in all species and I see all species in me. (Three breaths)
I am one with the great beings who have realised the truth of no-birth and no-death and are able to look at the forms of birth and death, happiness and suffering with calm eyes. I am one with those people -who can be found a little bit everywhere- who have sufficient peace of mind, understanding and love, who are able to touch what is wonderful, nourishing and healing, who also have the capacity to embrace the world with a heart of love and arms of caring action. I am someone who has enough peace, joy and freedom and is able to offer fearlessness and joy to living beings around themselves. I see that I am not lonely and cut off. The love and the happiness of great beings on this planet help me not to sink in despair. They help me to live my life in a meaningful way with true peace and happiness. I see them all in me and I see myself in all of them.(Three Breaths, Bell. Everyone stands up and with joined palms enjoys their breathing)
3. Touching the earth I let go of my idea that I am this body and my lifespan is limited. (Bell. everyone touches the earth)
(To be contemplated while touching the earth) I see that this body made up of the four elements is not really me and I am not limited by this body. I am part of a stream of life of spiritual and blood ancestors which for thousands of years has been flowing into the present and flows on for thousands of years into the future. I am one with my ancestors, I am one with my descendants. I am life which is manifested in numberless different forms. I am one with all people and all species whether they are peaceful and fearless, or suffering and afraid. At this very moment I am present everywhere on this planet. I am also present in the past and in the future. The disintegration of this body does not touch me, just as when the plum blossom falls it does not mean the end of the plum tree. I see my self as a wave on the surface of the ocean, my nature is the ocean water. I see myself in all the other waves and all the other waves in me. The appearance and disappearance of the form of the wave does not affect the ocean. My Dharma body and wisdom life are not subject to birth and death. I see the presence of myself before my body manifested and after my body has disintegrated. Even in this moment I see how I exist elsewhere than in this body. Seventy or eighty years is not my lifespan. My lifespan, like the lifespan of a leaf or of a Buddha, is limitless. I have gone beyond the idea that I am a body which is separated in space and in time from all other forms of life. (Three Breaths, Bell. Everyone stands up and with joined palms enjoys their breathing)
GATHA ON IMPERMANENCE
The day is now ended.
Our lives are shorter.
Let us look carefully
at how we have acted.
Sisters, with all our heart
let us diligently
engage in the practice.
Let us live deeply, as free people
always aware of impermanence
so life does not drift away meaninglessly.
I take refuge in the Buddha, the one who shows me the way in this life.
I take refuge in the Dharma, the way of understanding and love.
I take refuge in the Sangha, the community which lives in harmony and awareness. (B)
Since I have taken refuge in Buddha,
I see clearly a path of beauty in the world.
Since I have taken refuge in Dharma,
I am learning and practising ways of transformation.
Since I have taken refuge in Sangha
I have the Sangha to shine light on my practice
And support me on the path of practice.(B)
Taking refuge in the Buddha in myself,
I aspire that all people
May recognise the awakened nature
And quickly realise bodhicitta
Taking refuge in the Dharma in myself,
I aspire that all people
Can grasp firmly the ways of practice
and together go on the path of transformation.
Taking refuge in the Sangha in myself
I aspire that all people
May build four-part sanghas to transform
The suffering of numerous people. (BBB)