This is an English translation of a blog-post by Dharma Master Shou Yu, who inherited the Zhunti sadhana from the Master Nan Huai Jin after studying with him for a considerable number of years.
Please note that my translations are amateur and you need to do your own research, do not believe what I write here and please test it out for yourselves. I welcome any corrections if you spot any.
A moment ago, we talked about Master Nan (Huai Jin), on 15 to 16 March 1985, doing a public “baptism” (also called “initiation” in Tantra), with 300 to 400 people attending. This kind of baptism, I can clearly tell everyone, that in Tibet, there are many of these baptism using ling-zhu (dharma bell).
Early on, I participated in a baptism/initiation by the infamous Living Buddha Gan-Zhu in Tibet. I followed my classmates to the living quarters at Xindian Pinglin (in Taiwan), personally to receive the baptism by the Living Buddha Gan-Zhu. However, I felt confused, because I could not feel anything, so I prayed with incense. In the winter and summer vacations, my classmates and I would always go to the Lin Yian monastery at Nantou (Taiwan) to visit Dharma Master Chan Yun. Dharma Master Chan Yun, who was from Liao-ning in Northeast Taiwan, studied abroad in Japan to learn aesthetics and drew Buddha pictures very well. At that time, it seems like it was the winter vacation, the old monk Chan Yun went to receive the baptism of Living Buddha Gan-zhu. When he got hold of the address, he asked me whether I knew about this place, and I say I roughly knew, so I brought him over. He asked me if I wanted to receive baptism as well, I said “why not?”, so I accepted it. Therefore, this was the first baptism where I was confused.
The second baptism, was in the Qiao Kuang hall in National Taiwan University. There was a Rinpoche giving baptism, and my classmates wanted baptism, so they dragged me along, so I followed the, thinking it was a religious ceremony. My investigation of the Buddha’s Dharma was that I had to touch it before I could believe it, and if I could not feel it I would treat it as a religious ceremony. Another time was the famous Kalu Rinpoche. Kalu Rinpoche often brought a French foreigner along, and his position in Tibet was very high, who taught the Panchen Lama and Dalai Lama before, with very high qualifications. Once, he borrowed our temple hall from the monastics at Xindian to do baptism, to spread Bhikksu discipline. One protector of the Dharma who listened to Master Nan’s teachings before, came to discuss with me, “Teacher, Kalu Rinpoche chose your main hall, wishing to borrow it to transmit the Tibetan Bhikksu discipline, and do baptism.” I replied, “Of course.” The discipline teacher was not enough, they invited Dharma Master Ri Chang‘s fellow student to be the discipline teacher, I was also invited to become a discipline teacher. When they chanted the Tibetan script I could not understand, I followed mechanically, following the actions, using the incense to pray. At that time there was a famous movie called “Small Prince”, one of the fathers of the main actors came to participate in the baptism, receiving the discipline of Tibetan Bhiksus. This and the previous time were all done in a daze.
In the mid-autumn of 1978, Master Nan came to Fo Guang Shan to find me, which was recorded in the article “Ming Yue Zai Shan (Bright Moon at the Mountain)”. Just a few moments after Master Nan left, Dharma Master Ri Chang also came to my room, he also received Master Nan’s baptism for the Zhunti Dharma. Approximately in October, Master Nan sent a letter to me, saying, “I put four fruits here, they are rotting quickly, let’s see if you people have the merit to taste it.” After receiving this, I was baffled. Dharma Master Ri Chang and I took leave to go to Taipei to listen to Master Nan’s class.
Master Nan talked about the <Chan Mi Yao Fa Jing> (Sutra of Chan Secret Method). Have everyone seen Chan Guan Zheng Mai (Chan visualisation of proper channels)? There is a quote inside, Bhikksu Jia-xi-luo-nan-duo was haughty and couldn’t reap the fruit. The Buddha taught the Chan Mi Yao Fa Jing to him, so that he could reach the four fruits of the Arahant. Chan Guan Zheng Mai was what Master Nan specially taught for Dharma Master Ri Chang and I. When we were in Master Nan’s room, there were two other disciples of his inside. That was probably the directions of Master Nan, because as he spoke, my entire body and mind emptied out and I went into samadhi. What is that baptism? It is wisdom baptism, that is the genuine baptism!
I have participated in Master Nan’s numerous baptisms. Using the Lin-zhu (dharma bell) to shake, then placing it on your head; Sweet nectar baptism – your mouth opens, and a peacock feather dips in the bottle of sweet nectar placing it on your tongue, with no other feelings; Then there is the placing of the Diamond Sutra and Prajna Sutras on your head, wisdom baptism. Therefore, I only then realised that the genuine wisdom baptism, isn’t religious ceremony, but you following a Chan teacher to enter an alambana of ultimate essence without appearance, this is the real wisdom baptism.
Actually, I am also giving baptism to everyone daily, I am not bragging. I hit the chime stone, you can only listen to my chime stone’s sound, without false-thoughts, your mantra is chanted without hurry or messiness. As you chant and chant, chanting until your cheeks are streaming with tears, my chime stone is similar to a ling-zhu baptism, raising your correct mindfulness; When you chant until there is a response, you have a type of happy tears, some with repentful tears, after crying, the entire body and mind is relaxed, this is the sweet nectar baptism; Continuing to chant, chanting until suddenly forgetting yourself, this is the real wisdom baptism. Today is Zhunti Buddha-mother’s birthday, I am accepting responsibility for all these words that I am saying.
The essay by Master Nan, wanting to transmit the baptism method after a hundred years. Now to think about it, Master Nan’s words had secret meanings. In reality, he has already transmitted his baptism methods. Earlier on, around the end of 1984, before the Chinese New Year, we cultivated 11 weeks of the Zhunti method, 2 weeks after the year, in total 13 weeks. That time cultivating the method, at the crucial point of 7 weeks, Master Nan caught a cold. This dharma-door was put to a lot of tests. Master Nan was even put on a IV drip. After one or two days, even I fell sick. There was no other way, so I dragged my sick body to cultivate the method until satisfactory. On the 13th week, this was the biggest test! In the same year, the two days of baptism of Zhunti Buddha-mother’s birthday is recorded in the book Xin Yue Gu Xuan Tun Wan Xiang. Master Nan raised a point, that there were many types of baptisms, water baptism, fire baptism, earth baptism, and more. Everyone can see in that book’s section about baptism, that is the record of those two days, the baptism of forming-ties.
The genuine Buddha’s dharma does not talk about what can have birth and death; The real Dharma, entering from prajna of words into prajna alambana. The alambana of prajna is three-dimensional (T/N: possibly this translation?), from the words, it transforms to join with your body and mind, producing transformations of the body and mind, the process of transformation is also counted as the alambana of prajna; Lastly, your body and mind empties out, that is prajna of the ultimate essence of appearance, the baptism of ultimate essence, wisdom baptism. The moment there is an appearance of emptiness, forgetting the entire self, emptying out the body and mind, you will not forget it for the rest of your life.
After the sweet nectar baptism, you have cried, relaxing your body, your mind nature becomes gentle and soft. When you open the sutra to read, what you did not know, you suddenly understand. Wait until you cultivate and chant until suddenly forgetting the self, opening up the Buddhist scripture and suddenly understanding what you did not know, this is baptism of wisdom. The baptism of sweet nectar makes your mind nature gentle and soft, this is the real sweet nectar baptism. In the past, if your nature is very firm, after repentence, cultivating until there is a response, crying over the entire face and badly, even to the point of wailing, these are all the baptism of sweet nectar, a form of repentence, a form of gratefulness.
Some people say, I am not even sad, so why did I cry? Teacher Kai Da’s experience is plentiful, he always cries, crying very badly, that is without doubt a type of repentence, the entire body softens after crying, moving into serenity and joyousness.
Master Hong Yi used four words before he went into parinibbana. Bei, merciful tears; Xin, happy tears. These words mean happiness and mercifulness combined together. This is the alambana of prajna, to the point where tears can fall. This is repentence, grateful tears, the real sweet nectar baptism.
These words, if Master Nan heard them, he would repeatedly nod his head and say, “You finally understood.” These words of mine were said 2 years ago. Today, I’ve made it clearer, this is Zhunti Buddha-mother’s added support. Okay, it is 6 o’clock. Relax your legs and end the sitting.
Fully translated from: http://zhunti.shixiu.net/thread-25317-1-1.html