Issn 13583778

I have just finished reading the story of "Golden Mountain Living Buddha". It is not a big book and is quite simple but the story impressed me a lot and once I started, I did not want to stop. I just had to finish it. The story is about Chinese culture and I find understanding more about Chinese culture, philosophy, history and Chinese skills is part of my job because I am a teacher of these traditional Chinese skills.

Basically, I do not like to create new things, such as forms and exercises. In

Golden Mountain Living Buddha was a real person, a real Chinese Buddhist monk. He was very unusual and led a very simple life. He was a high level monk but some people found his methods strange and hard to accept. Some were even offended by his methods as they did not understand how he used certain things to help the people.

This book about Golden Mountain Living Buddha was written by another Buddhist monk named Le Guan. As a monk he is bound by Buddhist rules and one of the rule is you must not lie. So the details in his book should be quite trustworthy. He met Golden Mountain Living Buddha three times and each time he observed how he behaved and what he did and saw for himself why people said that he was both crazy and had magic powers.

Master Le Guan describes Golden Mountain Buddha as being a bit like the famous Buddhist monk, Ji Gong, who lived during the Southern Song dynasty. (See Issue 77 of Qi Magazine).

The way in which Golden Mountain Monk got his name was this:-Golden Mountain was the name of a Chan (Zen) Buddhist temple in Nanjing province. A Living Buddha is something Chinese people usually call a high level

Tibetan Buddhist monk. A lot of these high level monks, or Living Buddhas, could remember all of their past lives. They knew that they had come back each lifetime in order to help other people. So people called him Golden Mountain Living Buddha because he was a monk from the Golden Mountain Temple.

However, if people evercalled him Golden Mountain Living Buddha to his face, he would refuse that title and tell them that his name was Miao Shan. This was his Buddhist name that had been

Buddhist Monk Master Xeng Yung

Golden Mountain Living Buddha given to him by his Sifu (teacher). Whenever anyone became a Buddhist monk or nun, they will give up their original name and be given a new name by their Buddhist teacher to symbolise a new beginning for that person.

The first time Master Le Guan met Golden Mountain Living Buddha he was staying with a Buddhist family. In those days, when a monk travelled it was very common that he would stay at a temple or with a Buddhist family whom he already knew quite well.

One day one of the family told Master Le Guan, "Soon, probably in the continued on page 4

Editorial with Michael Tse.

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Longquan Dragon Knife Longquan (Taiji) roadsword) Dragon Sword next two or three days, Living Buddha will come to visit us." Master Le Guan was curious and asked, "It this a Tibetan monk?" The family member replied, "No, he is not a Tibetan Buddhist, it is Golden Mountain Living Buddha." Master Le Guan was surprised to hear this.

He had heard of Golden Mountain Living Buddha, but had never met him, "How do you know he is coming in the next few days?" he asked. The family member said, "We dreamt of him and whenever we dream of him he always comes a few days afterwards. This has happened many times and he always comes. He is also our Buddhism Sifu and we have done Gui Yi (this is a special ceremony which you do to become a Buddhist) with him."

Master Le Guan wanted to see this famous monk for himself. He had heard many strange stories and wondered whether he really was a monk or was a con man or someone who was just a bit crazy.

Two days later Master Le Guan heard someone singing a familiar Wh o i s chant.




means greatly",


Namo he asked (Namo "respect and is the

"Whenever we dream of him he always comes in the next few days."

name of the Buddha who is in charge of the Western Pure Land. This is the Buddhist land to the west of this world. It is said that by chanting this Buddha's name with a sincere heart, that one will be reborn here so that you can carry on to study Buddhism and develop yourself. This is just one of the over 80,000 methods of obtaining enlightenment.)

Master Le Guan realised that it must be Golden Mountain Living Buddha. He followed the sound of the voice and there he saw a dirty and untidy Buddhist monk entering the home. All the family gathered in front of him, knelt down and bowed to him. The Living Buddha also knelt and returned the bow to the family. Master Le Guan watched and found this was not appropriate behaviour. It was common for Buddhist monks to bow down to other Buddhist monks, but he had never seen a monk bow back to a layman before. This was very unusual to Master Le Guan.

Suddenly, the Living Buddha said to himself, "I gave a bow to someone but somebody is not so happy. I think I should bow to the Buddhist monk as well." Living Buddha approached Master Le Guan and knelt down and bowed to him. Master Le Guan felt quite uncomfortable and quickly knelt down and bowed in return to the Living Buddha. He suddenly realised that the Living Buddha could read his thoughts and so he must have a very good level.

That night Living Buddha wanted to stay in the same room as Master Le Guan. Of course Master Le Guan was very happy about that because he also wanted to find out more about Golden Mountain Living Buddha and to see if he really was as good as everyone said.

Living Buddha did not lie on a bed to sleep. Instead he sat on a big chair to do meditation. This was Chan Buddhist training. Chan Buddhism requires a lot of meditation in order to purify the mind and the heart so that you can reach enlightenment and see through all the problems in your life.

Living Buddha started to meditate and Master Le Guan also meditated. This felt quite normal. However, after quite a long time, Master Le Guan found it hard to continue and so he stretched out his legs and lay down to go to sleep. Whilst he was sleeping, he suddenly realised that somebody was talking. He heard, "I am not a living Buddha, I am just Miao Shan. If there is a Living Buddha, then there must also be a dead Buddha. Who is the Dead Buddha?"

Master Le Guan realised that it must be Living Buddha talking. He heard him continue to say, "I am nothing special. I only know how to eat and put on my clothes. These are my only talents." Master Le Guan understood that Living Buddha was answering his own questions. Master Le Guan then said, "Living Buddha, who are you talking to?" Living Buddha replied, "That is a good question. Who? How many pairs of grass shoes have I worn and broken looking for this 'who'? I am still searching."

He paused and then said, "Master Le Guan, maybe you have already found out?" Master Le Guan smiled and jokingly said," If I had found out, why would I ask you!" and they both laughed. Then Master Le Guan went back to sleep but Living Buddha continued to meditate right through the entire night. That was his habit. He did not sleep at night but just meditated and he did this his whole life.

Master Le Guan stayed with Living Buddha for about two months. During that time he could see that Living Buddha really was a Buddhist monk. He always educated people on four major rules:

2. Do more good deeds.

3. Be vegetarian (which means no killing).

4. Chant Namo Amitofo.

Living Buddha did not use money nor did he ask for any or need any. If people wanted to give him some, he would refuse and he always treated people kindly from his heart. He never said any weird or strange things to make people believe he was special. He was just himself but even as himself he was unusual to the normal monk.

to be continued


Happy Chin New Year!

Chinese New Year is on 18 February 2007 and we welcome the Year of the Pig. We would like to wish everyone a prosperous and lucky year!

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