365 Days for Travelers: Sep 19

HEARING THE SOUNDS OF THE REPENTANCE
SERVICE AT TIANNING TEMPLE, CHANGZHOU (EXCERPT)

I listen to the sound of the repentance service at
Tianning Temple! The drum sounds, then the bell,
followed by the gong. Then the woodenfish, and
then the Buddha’s name… The sound of
chanting echoes in the Main Shrine, slow and
inundated, like countless conflicting waves
coming to a unison, like countless contrasting
colors being purified, like countless altitudes in
the world disappearing.

The harmonic sound of the Buddha’s name, bell,
drum, and gong pervades the universe─dissolving
all defilements for a moment in time and gathers
all the causes and conditions of innumerable centuries.

Where does this great harmony─the brilliance of a
sea of stars, the music of the universe, the powerful
current of life─come from? It stops all movements
and ceases all disturbances. At the edge of heaven
and earth, within a golden shrine, in between the
brows of the Buddha image, inside my sleeves,
near my ears and temple, inside my organs, inside
my spirit, inside a dream…

The joy flowing from perfect enlightenment
manifests from the unshakable calm of a great,
majestic, nirvanic, and boundless harmony!