【Life Café】 Chan and Reflections of Life

Life as Café

Theme: Chan and Reflections of Life

Speaker: Venerable Ji Cheng  

Moderator: Professor Yang Pei

Venue: Dharma Drum Degui Academy, second floor

Date/Time: 2010/06/29(Tue.)19:00-21:00

Organizer: School of Life and Living﹘Dharma Drum University 

 "Sludge and sewage look dirty but are fertile, nourishing the lily, which grows in it beautifully..." When the melodious music set to the above lyrics, written by Master Ji Cheng, echoed in the Assembly Hall of Degui Academy, each word of it reminded people again that practice can’t be separated from the World with its Five Filths and Five Evils. Despite the fact that the world is dirty, we should, reversely, consider it as an opposite force which encourages us to improve and accordingly double our efforts.

 In the evening of June 29, Life Cafe Talks, organized by the Dharma Drum University, once again, invited Master Sheng Yen's Dharma successor Master Ji Cheng to lecture on "Chan’s Contemplation and Reflection on Life.”  Master Ji brought six of his own +songs in particular, by way of sharing music, to educate the public on how to adapt concepts and methods of meditation to settle down body and mind, and thus freely and happily experience learning of life.


These six Buddhist songs of his, respectively, are Zen Heart Little Lotus , Fish Swimming in Water , Very Happy Clouds , Cycles of the Big Tree, Happy Brook, and the Sparrow and the Eagle.  Each song was written by Master Ji, and the music was composed by the well-known Malaysian composer Zhang Wei Qian. In “Very Happy Clouds,” as explained by the Master, clouds have the characteristics of constant change. He stressed that man should follow causes and conditions accordingly, while maintaining one’s mind free from distractions. He said: “When the condition is right, clouds will shade us and give us rain. So, when seemingly free of clouds, there is still a sense of responsibility, when the right moment has come the clouds will fulfill their duty, based on the needs of that moment.”

In addition, “Cycles of the Big Tree” with its strong Xinjiang music influence, is a song exploring the issue of life and death. Master Ji ingeniously pointed out that in the cycle of germination and falling of leaves of the Bodhi tree, the falling leaves make room for the luxuriant growth of new leaves. He said: "Life does not always mean growing; one needs a passage through the antipode of death in order to get new life.  Applied to our own life this means that we have to know when to let go in order to have a new turning point.”

 Master Ji’s witty lecture made serious life issues sparkle into laughter. That day’s lecture wonderfully came to an end with lively and melodious music, and lots of joyful laughter.(Zhang Jinde/Taipei)