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Book 246 Chatting with Oneself: Can You Dance?

By on 12/08/2017

‧Written by Sheng-yen Lu‧
A US Daden Culture Publication

  One evening, at the Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple in Caotun Township, Nantou, a singer, Xin Long, and a dancer, Liu Zhen, sat down to dinner with me.
  I said:
  “Miss Liu Zhen, you are a very famous dancer!”
  Liu Zhen said:
  I said:
  “I only know the Yang-style Taijiquan (Tai Chi Fists). Monk Changzhi knows the Chen-style Taijiquan. Haha! I have transformed the Taijiquan into the Taiji Dance. Another day, I will show you my Taiji Dance.”
  Liu Zhen said:
  “Martial arts and dance share the same origin. When Grand Master Lu performs the movements of mudras, it looks like a dance!”
  I said:
  “Both Taijiquan and dancing require inspiration. When inspired and in a state of flow, creative transformation comes effortlessly.”
  Liu Zhen said:
  “This is true.”
  I said:
  “Playing Taijiquan one can enter Samadhi, and dancing one can enter Samadhi, just as one can enter Samadhi with meditation. This is possible when one achieves mastery through comprehensive study of the subject.”
  This conversation brought to my mind a different subject matter. I was still chatting with myself:
  “Can you dance?”
  “Of course!” said I.
  “You are a monk. Can you dance?”
  I replied:
  “I am also a man!”
  “Before you became a monk, you were a man!”
  I replied:
  “I am now a monk and am of course still a man!”
  “Isn’t it contradictory?”
  “It is not contradictory.”
  “No more talking rubbish. Can you, Grand Master Lu, dance?”
  I said:
  “I am a monk and also a man!”
  “Good! Can a monk dance?”
  I said:
  “I am no ordinary monk. I am an enlightened monk. When I dance, my Buddha-essence neither increases nor diminishes.”
  “Why don’t you dance then?”
  I said:
  “Because I am still helping and delivering sentient beings in the world. One day I will dance on the moon!”
  “Do you have qualms about dancing?”
  I said:
  “An enlightened being has no qualms. The precepts are for the sake of delivering sentient beings. Disciplining oneself, one disciplines others.”
  “Is it a transgression for you to dance?”
  I replied:
  No transgression!
  No transgression!
  No transgression!
  “So again, why don’t you dance then?”
  “It really does not matter. What matters are the sentient beings!”
  “So, in the end what kind of monk are you?”
  I replied:
  A monk chanting sutras.
  A man dancing.
  Big monk dancing.
  Big man chanting sutras.
  The two are one. Understood?

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