All of the members who live together need to do so without quarrelling. In this way, they can best concentrate their efforts on cultivation. When people are together, the most frequent act is that of speech, so speech karma is the easiest to commit. We have a proverb, “Illness enters by the mouth.” Another is “More speech, more trouble.” One, who eats too much, easily become sick. One, who eats too much, easily become sick. One, who talks too much, easily gets into trouble. Sometimes misunderstanding arise because the listener is sensitive while the speaker is careless. Both parties develop resentment and hatred, which gives rise to endless retaliation in the future. This is why ancient sages advised us to “Talk less and chant the Buddha’s name more.” The less we speak, the better it is for the less trouble we will be in. Ideally, we would only speak when it was necessary.
Master Chin Kung told a story about a friend of his whose high-school son attended a three-day Zen retreat. Once inside, no one was allowed to talk. The daily practice was sitting meditation, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Nothing else was done. Keeping silent for three days in a way place like this will help us to calm down and relax. The boy was so impressed that he wanted to go back for the longer winter session. The distinctive feature of such a way place is the harmony of silence and no quarreling.
So, at a strict way place where chatting or other irrelevant talk is forbidden, there is virtually no opportunity for quarreling. Almost exclusively, all we will find is the silent or voiced continuous chanting of “Amituofo” in the chanting hall. In a Tibetan way place, the chanting of mantras is ceaseless. During Master Chin Kung’s early years of study, he was under the guidance of Living Buddha Master Zhang Jia for three years. Through his observation, he never stopped silently chanting a mantra while moving his lips even when he was with visitors. He only paused to talk and as soon as he was finished, would resume his silent chanting.
This silent chanting while moving our lips is a form of practice called, “Diamond Holding.” Master Zhang Jia was one of the sincerest practitioners. His mind was pure without any attachments or wandering thoughts. His teaching method was unique. He never spoke a word until he found the listener attentive and concentrated. He then spoke only a few words while looking directly into your eyes. Each of his words bore heavy weight, which his listener would never forget and adhere to for the rest of their life. The goal of our practice is to eradicate all afflictions and attain the Buddha Name Chanting Samadhi. If we do not practice this method, it will be very difficult for us to achieve this goal.