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Flashing Thoughts

By on 11/11/2016

(Book 223 Stories of Supreme Spiritual Responses《無上殊勝的感應》「突然閃過的一念」)
‧Written by Sheng-yen Lu‧
Translated by Janny Chow
A US Daden Culture Publication
  I was attending a banquet in Vancouver BC one evening, and the organizer of the event had hired a floating crystal ball artist to perform for us. The crystal balls were transparent, perfectly round, heavy and could fit nicely into the palm of the performer.
  During the performance, the artist started out juggling one ball, tossing it with either one palm or both palms. Then he increased the number of balls from one to two to three to four to five to six to seven, and when thrown successively into the air, they looked like a string of beaded crystal balls.
  The artist would catch the ball in front of him, spin around to catch the ball behind him, and use his foot or shoulder to catch it. He could manipulate the crystal ball from his right palm, roll it up his right arm, across his neck, down the left arm and into his left palm.
  From the top of his head, the crystal ball would jump to his shoulder, then to his chest, and then come to rest on his ankle. It was a magical, skillful dance.
  The students in the audience were stupefied by the performance.At that moment, a playful thought suddenly flashed across my mind. Let the crystal balls all drop to the floor.It was one single thought!
  And suddenly, “peng!” “peng!” “peng!” the crystal balls were free of his control and dropped one by one onto the floor.
  “Oh!” everyone cried out in surprise.
  The artist picked up the balls to restart the trick again.
  Again “peng!” “peng!” “peng!” the crystal balls fell all over the place.
  Streaming with sweat, the artist looked at me and said, “Grand Master Lu’s dharma power is too strong. It has caused me to lose my power of control. This is the first time such a thing has ever happened in my entire performance career.”
  The artist walked off the stage and knelt in front of me, asking for my blessing.
  He then walked back onto the stage.What followed was a brilliant and magical performance, without the drop of a single crystal ball.
  ***
  On a trip to Indonesia, I stopped by a student’s house. This student had travelled to India before and met with Sai Baba. He displayed a large rectangular photograph of Sai Baba sporting a shock of bushy hair.
  The student said, “A strange thing has been happening. Droplets of honey have been oozing out of Sai Baba’s face from the photograph.”
  A thought suddenly flashed across my mind. Why use curious events to mislead people? A photograph is a photograph, why should honey ooze out of it?
  With the generation of that one thought, the enshrined Sai Baba photograph stopped oozing honey.
  I visited other students’ homes that also had photographs of Sai Baba on display. In every case, the honey stopped flowing after my visit. Every portrait ceased weeping honey.
  ***
  On another occasion, I was giving a dharma talk on the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch in Taiwan. I picked up a piece of paper on the desk in front of me and commanded it to stand up. It stood up. I commanded it to lie down, and it did.
  A thought suddenly flashed across my mind. Why can’t the paper stand on its own?
  As soon as I generated this thought, “Xiu!” the piece of paper immediately stood up straight on the desk. It was leaning neither to the left nor to the right, simply quivering in an upright position on the desk.
  It remained standing for a long time without any propping. It was a little like David Copperfield’s “tie magic trick,” where he commands the tie to be stiff or soft.
  The ten thousand students in the audience, and myself as well, were surprised. Why was this piece of paper suddenly standing up?
  I spoke up, “That is enough! Please lie down!”
  The paper gradually laid down flat and did not stand up again!

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