A small hill called Wu Lau Mountain by the locals rises behind Minnan Buddhist Academy. Though lacking the imposing height of those in the Tibetan snow land, it nonetheless is considered a great local spot to hike in order to enjoy a panoramic view of the area surrounding it. Once at the peak and seeing the whole of Xiamen city, it’s easy to feel that “up on the Wu Lau, the Min Province is shrunken.”
This hill is lush with dense trees, green with grass, and vibrant with the twittering of birds as well as the chirping of insects. It’s an excellent place to do spiritual practice.
Halfway to the mountaintop is the Arinya Place, a sanctuary visited often by local residents. It is also where Dharma Teacher Jiqun and I have planned to meet and chat with each other. Dharma Teacher Jiqun has long endeavored in spreading the Buddhadharma and is well-respected in Buddhist circles for his accomplishment. He has trained many monks, nuns, and lay professionals who are now carrying out Dharma activities in many places. It’s a great pleasure to have a chance to talk with him.
Sipping Kung Fu tea, the chosen beverage of Min people, we exchanged our thoughts and experiences. I mentioned the traditions of Tibetan Buddhism, its way of following spiritual teachers, and the many heart-rending stories of past great masters in this regard. We paused to admire some of the most inspiring ones. I also stated the central role of listening to, pondering, and meditation on the teachings; none of them can be spared. He agreed with a sigh that, indeed in this time of five degenerations, it’s crucial for people to work on these three wisdom tools in order to establish the right view and uproot afflictive emotions. His words lent me the feeling akin to Boya meeting his soul mate Ziqi. Certainly, the real purpose of Buddhism is to empower people to overcome confused emotions. Unless Buddha’s teachings are infused into one’s own minds and applied to daily activities, all other feats such as building temples and erecting statues are but superficial and meaningless. Regrettably, very few people grasp this truth. It‘s a shame!
Without us noticing it, the sun was already setting in the west. It’s time for me to take leave and to wish for another heart-to-heart talk while we are still around. But with impermanence pervading all places, I am afraid this wish may not come true!
14th of March, Year of RenWu
April 26, 2002