Guo Gu Pusa - Chan Path to Freedom

IAG: It’s All Good - Chan path to freedom Dharma talk by Guogu

Shannon & Ross

It was one of those rare opportunities to hear a Dharma talk in English at DDMBASF. The speaker, Gougu, was one of Master Sheng-Yen’s closest disciples and personal translator. That we could have this rare chance to have him in Sunnyvale to share his thoughts on Chan and his experiences of life was truly really wonderful.

At First, Gougu shared with us explanations on how to meditate, including what is the proper way of sitting on the cushions and how to relax our bodies. Then he guided us to concentrate our breathing by using the principle of meditation. I always like this part, even though, I have heard these kind of introductions on meditations lots of times before, it is a good reminder for me. This reminds myself to have a beginner's spirit when I do meditation, and to get refreshed and start from zero again without any old habits.

Gougu then explained that this Dharma talk is just like a menu for food. The true enlightenment of meditation is the actual food, but we have to eat it (practice it) to get it. So this Dharma talk is the introduction of how we can achieve enlightenment and that the path to true freedom is to recognize our true nature. He used the metaphor of the true nature of water is wetness and our true nature is Buddha nature. Through meditation practices, we can reach that path to enlightenment and our Buddha nature.

Gougu also talked about how Master Sheng-Yen trained him during the time that Gougu was attending him. How Master Sheng-Yen focused on his weakness to make him a better person that wouldn’t get bothered by irrelevant thoughts. I liked this part a lot, because I could learn a little more about Master Sheng-Yen and how he guided his students.

Gougu then said his time with Master Sheng-Yen helped him a lot after he left the monastery to continue his education in United States. At that time, he worked as a security guard to make his living as he finished his thesis. In a moment of frustration and doubt Gougu overheard one of his coworkers say "It's all good!" and that inspired him. The phrase “Its all good!” was so simple yet so powerful. With that message he understood that he did not need to worry about those irrelevant thoughts,let the them pass and not linger. Gougu shared this to let us know that no matter what we are dealing with life we just need to remember that “it is all good” and continue to practice to find the path to our true freedom.