PureInsight | January 23, 2006
[PureInsight.org] Preface: In my present life, I like nature and the great outdoors. This hobby seems to have been with me since my birth. No matter how busy I am, I have a sense of inner calm. This mind state has been much more pronounced after I started cultivation. I feel very familiar with the world's landscapes, especially China's. After I read about different mountains and lakes, I can feel them and their spirits near and dear to my heart as if I were feeling my own skin. I understood the reason why I felt that way recently. It is not only because I have cultivated many times in my past lives, or I had the environment on Earth when I was in the heavens. It is also because I had once touched those ancient spirits with my own feet.
Follow me to Changbai Mountain in northeastern China at the end of Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368 A.D.) A family with the last name of Lu lived near the Heavenly Lake. There were a couple and a paralyzed old man in this family. The old man was not the father of the couple. Mr. Lu came across him on his way back home during a long trip. Mr. Lu felt sorry for the old man and took him home. On his way home, Mr. Lu thought, "Will my young wife be happy with me bringing a stranger home?" But he also thought he should save the old man and he believed that saving a person's life was the most important. Mr. Lu's father had always told him that he should do kind deeds without expecting anything in return, and only then would his life have a nice ending. When they arrived home, Mrs. Lu was washing clothes in the courtyard. She immediately came over to help when she saw her husband and the old man. Then she started cooking.
At night, Mr. Lu told her about the old man. Mrs. Lu smiled and said, "Husband, don't worry. Before I married you, my mother told me that I should be kind to everyone. She told me that treating others well is the same thing as treating ourselves and our future generations well." Therefore the old man began to live with the couple. Mr. and Mrs. Lu treated the old man as if he were their natural father. However, the old man didn't seem to be grateful. He sometimes even gave Mr. and Mrs. Lu a hard time. Even so, the couple never complained about him.
Time flew by. After two or three years, Mrs. Lu was pregnant. The old man gave them a hard time as usual. One day Mr. Lu couldn't help but saying: "Sir, we treated you well. Why have you been so mean to us? Now that my wife is pregnant, can't you treat us a little bit better?" The old man signed and chanted a poem,
"Accumulating the virtue and doing kind deeds without pursuit;
Everything happens for a reason;
Do not mind how others behave;
Kindness should always remain in your heart."
He then said, "You haven't behaved as well as you claimed, but you have been good enough." Mr. Lu heard this and knew that the old man was not an ordinary person. He then treated the old man even better. The old man was also happy.
The baby soon came to the world. It was a boy. The old man gave the boy a name, Lu Xiujing (cultivating tranquility). It was a name with strong cultivation flavor.
The old man often played with little Xiujing and told him many stories. Once little Xiujing slept with the couple and asked them: "Are there many beautiful houses and fairy ladies in the heaven? Are they beautiful?" The couple was stunned. They knew even more so that the old man was not an ordinary person.
When Xiujing was a toddler, the paralyzed old man suddenly started to walk and said to the couple, "It's time for me to tell you the truth. I don't have any health problem. I pretended to be paralyzed to test your character. I want to teach Xiujing cultivation starting from today. I can also tell you this: I am 103 years old. I reached consummation at the age of 40. I have been looking for a good disciple for a long time. I want to impart the cultivation method of my school to him. As you know, it is very difficult to find a good disciple with talent and virtue. Many years ago, I obtained a hint from a deity before I met Mr. Lu. You have met the requirement of cultivation in my school. However, our disciples must be virgins. So I have been waiting for the boy to be born. Now Xiujing can walk. I know he really has good inborn quality and mind nature as good as yours. I have to tell you this now." At this time, Xiujing came into the room and knelt down, "Yesterday, a fairy lady told me that if I cultivated with a master, I could then return to her side. I asked her where my master was. She told me the old man in my family was the master. Now everything is clear. Please take me as your disciple!" Since then, Xiujing started cultivation the old man's school.
When Xiujing was about 20 years old, the old man left. Before he left, the old man gave Xiujing a treasure bottle. The bottle could change to anything according to the owner's will. The old man asked Xiujing to walk the world, especially covering four places on foot: the desert in the Tarim Basin in the Xinjiang Uygur region, Dian Lake in Yunan Province, Wuzhi Mountain in Hainan Province, and Penglai Island in Shandong Province. In the end, the old man said, "Leave soon! I'll wait for you at the top of Lushan Mountain!"
Xiujing started his journey with simple luggage, the treasure bottle and his faith in his master. He slept outdoors and suffered a lot of hardships. Danger and difficulties accompanied him all the time. At that time, there were wars in many areas. Xiujing was considered a spy and captured one time. Another time, he was really executed. Amazingly he came back to life after the executioner left. Many times he ran out of water in the desert, he opened the bottle. He found that there was not only a little bit of water in the bottle, but also a broad world. The world was very beautiful and solemn. He didn't feel thirsty any more. The resolution for cultivation and his faith in returning to his true self enabled him to walk out from the shadow and terror of death.
In such a way, he covered the land on foot. The trip enriched his heart and helped him understand the meaning of life. Nowadays we think that travel in ancient times was for entertainment. But it was not so. During the trip, Xiujing re-established his respect for living beings. The journey made him return to nature and the universe. It was a natural reflection of his cultivation state. He had transcended secular issues. He wasn't trying to escape from the secular world. Instead he experienced real freedom of life after assimilating to nature. In the eyes of Xiujing, every river and mountain had its own life. They had their own happiness and sadness. They were sent by deities in Heaven to be utilized by human beings. He treated them as his friends. He told them about his cultivation experiences and journey.
Xiujing finished his journey after 20 years. In the end, he arrived at the summit of Lushan Mountain. He didn't see a single person. After two days, the master didn't appear. Xiujing thought maybe the master had something else to do and wouldn't come for a few days. Xiujing wanted to wait for the master in the middle of the mountain. So he began to climb down. On his way down, he came across an old woman. The woman was a hunchback. She shouted to Xiujing: "Young man, have you ever known people who do not keep their promises? My son promised to wait for me, but he wouldn't wait for me. He is leaving. How can he do that?" Xiujing was shocked. He thought: "Is this my master?" Back then, my master had transformed into a paralyzed old man. Today maybe he has transformed to an old woman to give me a hint. So he said, "As a son, he should keep his promise. Otherwise, how can he have credibility? How can he be a gentleman?" He returned to the summit immediately. He had to spend the night on top of the mountain. He sat in double lotus position and meditated to rest. The dawn came the next day. The sun rose from the east. At this time, he suddenly saw many deities flying towards him. His master was the first among them. Xiujing kowtowed continuously. The deity said, "You have consummated. Let's go!" Xiujing reached out and ascended into the air. He flew away with his master.
Walking across the world
Making his home wherever he is
Returning to the true self
Attached to nothing
Giving up all fame and self-interest
There was no pursuit in his heart
Keeping up his efforts with perseverance
Stepping onto lotus flowers
This is another article that helped me solve an issue in my heart. After a thousand years of reincarnation, I still carry a lot of different elements inside of me. Those elements, whether positive or negative, are affecting me in my cultivation today. Only after we solve these knots in our heart, can we cultivate away the impure elements and enter the new universe. It is important for us to have correct understanding of all of those things.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/11/9/34537.html