ICCBCE hall.jpg
 

童 蒙 止 觀

tóng méng zhǐ guān

Foundations for Developing Buddhist Tranquility (Śamatha) and Insight (Vipaśyanā) Meditation

by Venerable Master Zhiyi Abbot of Xiuchan Monastery

Mt. Tiantai, Zhejiang Province, China

Recorded by Master Zhang’an Guanding

Translated and Edited from Classical Chinese into English with an Introduction and Footnotes by Venerable Zhen Guan

Practice

ICCBCE follows the steps of the practice of virtue, concentration and wisdom. In our tradition, worship takes firm commitment to follow the Buddha’s teachings to live a holy life and cultivate the path of Bodhisattva to devotionally serve others in society, with love and compassion. The morning or evening chants, Sunday services/prayers, purification rituals, and meditation are all designed toward this purpose.     

Like the chants, prayers, or purification rituals, the meditation we practice trains the mind with right intention, right action, right mindfulness, and right concentration to elevate the horizon of morality and spirituality. And, it is twofold:   

1.      The practice of śamatha meditation; and,

2.      The practice of vipaśyanā meditation.  

In practice, the tranquility and insight meditation emphases on the mind’s liberation from unskillful emotional fetters and mental formations by first attaining “Sudden-enlightenment” and then following gradual steps in practice. The gradual steps of practice include the developments of virtue, concentration, and wisdom which not only lead a devotional practitioner to liberate his or her heart from suffering, but also help to develop morality and spirituality in actions associated to speech, body, and mind. The practice is supported by written religious literatures and well-practiced teacher’s instructions.

Formal Codes of Doctrine and Discipline

Virtue or morality is highly regarded by ICCBCE; and, it is threefold:  

1.      For fully ordained Buddhist monastics, they observe Bi Qiu/Ni Jie (比丘/比丘尼戒), or the Monastic Codes (which contain intensive 250 rules of moral conduct in our tradition) to live a blameless, holy life to walk on the path toward liberation;

2.      For ordained ICCBCE Lay Buddhist Ministers, they observe Zai Jia Chuan Jiao Shi Ba Jie (在家傳教師八戒), or The Eight Precepts for ICCBCE Lay Buddhist Ministers to guide their daily practice according to Buddhist values; and

3.      For lay Buddhists, they observe Zai Jia Ju Shi Wu Jie (在家居士五戒), or The Five Precepts to live a life with righteousness, justice and integrity, as well as to develop their religious experiences.

Also, the following Six Paths for Perfection and Four Bodhisattva Vows have been observed by our congregation as fundamental, skillful means for daily practice to develop morality, spirituality as well as to engage in social services. They are:

1.      Generosity

2.      Virtue

3.      Patience endurance

4.      Right efforts

5.      Concentration

6.      Wisdom

The Four Bodhisattva Vows are:

1.      Beings are numberless, I vow to save them;

2.      Desires are inexhaustible, I vow to end them;

3.      Dharma gates are boundless, I vow to enter them;

4.      The Ultimate Path of Enlightenment is unsurpassable, I vow to achieve it.

The Six Paths for Perfection and the Four Bodhisattva Vows, along with the disciplines, are guiding principles for our congregation to act and practice accordingly. They are the great sources of inspiration for seeking a holy life and developing morality and spirituality and constructing harmony in society.

ICCBCE Five Precepts for Lay Buddhists

1) I undertake precept to refrain from destroying living creatures;

2) I undertake precept to refrain from taking that which is not given;

3) I undertake precept to refrain from sexual misconduct;

4) I undertake precept to refrain from incorrect speech; and,

5) I undertake precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness.

 ICCBCE Eight Precepts for Lay Buddhist Ministers

1) I undertake precept to refrain from destroying living creatures;

2) I undertake precept to refrain from taking that which is not given;

3) I undertake precept to refrain from sexual misconduct;

4) I undertake precept to refrain from incorrect speech;

5) I undertake precept to refrain from intoxicating drinks and drugs which lead to carelessness;

6) I undertake precept to refrain from using one’s position to seek unappropriated personal gain;

7) I undertake precept to respect traditions and faith groups that are other than mine; and,

8) I undertake precept to follow Bodhisattva paths to serve society with love, compassion, and wisdom.