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Sunday, December 4, 2011

1923: Zen master Nyogen Senzaki meets Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Khan



In San Franciso, 1923, Sufi Ahmed Murad Chisti (Murshid Samuel L. Lewis) introduces Zen Master Nyogen Senzaki to Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Khan. Senzaki writes, "His eyes were full of water---not the tears of the world, but water from the great ocean---calm and transparent. I recited an old Zen poem by Jakushitsu---not with my mouth, not with my mind, but with a blink of my eyes, like a flash.
No living soul comes near the water.
A vast sheet of water as blue as indigo!
The abyss has a depth of ten thousand feet.
When all is quiet and calm, at midnight,
Only the moonlight penetrates the waves
And reaches the bottom easily and freely.
"Murshid," I then said, "I see Zen in you."
"Mr. Senzaki, I see a Sufi in you," he replied.
Both of us then smiled at each other.
...from Nyogen Senzaki in Eloquent Silence, pg. 242.



This is the eightieth blog and perhaps the last.  Susan Murphy writes in Upside-Down Zen, "How is this practice, this immensely sobering Way of meditation, also a matter of pure play?"

After 80 blogs, we know definitively ...that we don't know. The playing begins, anew.

 Classes will remain at the Courtenay Elementary School. Check the headings for cancellations and change of place.




 
Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

5. Other Buddhist centres in the Comox Valley:
http://www.dharmafellowship.org/hermitage/ 
http://www.sherabchammaling.com/biography.html



Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca 








 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hui-Neng and the 3rd No, No abiding, and yes there will be a class this Thurs.





Hui-Neng taught three guiding principles to attain No Self.   No thought. No form. No abiding. The third No is perhaps the stickiest of the 7th century Chan patriarch Hui-Neng's three principles. The 20th century modern Chan master Sheng-Yen in his dharma talk  'What is Chan?' given  in 1977 illuminates the concept of No Abiding.

"I must emphasise that the content of Chan does not appear until the third stage. Chan is unimaginable. It is neither a concept nor a feeling. It is impossible to describe it in any terms abstract or concrete. Though meditation is ordinarily the proper path leading to Chan, once you have arrived at the door of Chan, even the method of meditation is rendered useless. It is like using various means of transportation on a long journey. When you reach the final destination, you find a steep cliff standing right in front of you. It is so high you cannot see its top, and so wide that its side cannot be found. At this time a person who has been to the other side of the cliff comes to tell you that on the other side lies the world of Chan. When you scale it you will enter Chan. And yet, he tells you not to depend on any means of transportation to fly over, bypass, or penetrate through it, because it is infinity itself, and there is no way to scale it.

Even an outstanding Chan master able to bring his student to this place will find himself unable to help any more. Although he has been to the other side, he cannot take you there with him, just as a mother's own eating and drinking cannot take the hunger away from the child who refuses to eat or drink. At that time, the only help he can give you is to tell you to discard all your experiences, your knowledge, and all the things and ideas that you think are the most reliable, most magnificent, and most real, even including your hope to get to the world of Chan. It is as if you were entering a sacred building. Before you do so, the guard tells you that you must not carry any weapon, that you must take off all your clothes, and that not only must you be completely naked you also have to leave your body and soul behind. Then you can enter.

Because Chan is a world where there is no self, if there is still any attachment at all in your mind, there is no way you can harmonise with Chan. Therefore, Chan is the territory of the wise, and the territory of the brave. Not being wise, one would not believe that after he has abandoned all attachments another world could appear before him. Not being brave, one would find it very hard to discard everything he has accumulated in this life - ideals and knowledge, spiritual and material things."...from http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/what-is-chan-shengyen.html



Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

5. Other Buddhist centres in the Comox Valley:
http://www.dharmafellowship.org/hermitage/ 
http://www.sherabchammaling.com/biography.html



Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.


Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hui-Neng and the 2nd No...No Thought, No Form; (and no class this Thursday)



Hui-Neng, the 6th Patriarch of Chan, is best known for the Three No's: no thought, no form and no abiding. What is no form? It's not that things don't exist; it's that we must not cover over  the object of our perception with our self-centered, our discriminatory volition. 
"Nothing that exists is true
don't think what you see is true
if you think you see the truth
what you see is surely false
if you want to find the true 
the mind free of the false is true
unless your mind forsakes the false
nothing is true where true can't be." 
...1st verse of the Hui-Neng's Gatha of Truth and Falsehood and Movement and Stillness.' The Platform Sutra, translated by Red Pine, pg. 43

The mummified body of Huineng is kept in Nanhua Temple in Shaoguan Prefecture (northern Guangdong).

Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

5. Other Buddhist centres in the Comox Valley:
http://www.dharmafellowship.org/hermitage/ 
http://www.sherabchammaling.com/biography.html


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.




Marty, William Tsao and Lisa the Timekeeper, and Adrian

and Patricia

























Tuesday, November 15, 2011

6th Patriarch Hui-Neng on No-Thought

And the realization of the samadhi of prajna* is no-thought
"And what do we mean by 'no-thought'? The teaching of no-thought means to see all dharmas without being attached to any dharma, to reach everywhere without being attached anywhere, to keep your nature pure, so that when the Six Thieves* pass through the Six Gates*, they neither avoid nor are corrupted by the Six Realms of Sensation* but come and go freely. This is the samadhi of prajna.

Freedom and liberation constitute the practice of no-thought. But if you don't think any thoughts at all, the moment you make your thoughts stop, you're imprisoned by dharmas. We call this a 'one-sided view.' (William calls this mind no different than a dead tree.)

Those who understand the teaching of no-thought penetrate the ten thousand teachings. Those who understand the teaching of no-thought see the realm of buddhas. Those who understand the direct teaching of no-thought reach the stage of enlightenment."...from The Platform Sutra, The Zen Teachings of Hui-Neng, translation and commentary by Red Pine, pg. 25 and 187.

*samadhi of prajna: samadh to refer to the mind without a subject or an object
*Six Thieves: our six powers of sensation...hearing, sight, smell, etc
*Six Gates: ears, eyes, nose etc
*Six Realms of Sensation: shape, sound, smell, taste, feeling and thought
See http://www.thezensite.com/ZenEssays/Miscellaneous/Buddhism_by_Numbers.html

Read The Platform Sutra at https://www.bdkamerica.org/digital/dBET_T2008_PlatformSutra_2000.pdf



Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

5. Other Buddhist centres in the Comox Valley:
http://www.dharmafellowship.org/hermitage/ 
http://www.sherabchammaling.com/biography.html



Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.














Sunday, November 6, 2011

Zen Master Ta Hui: Present and Comparative Awareness

To Tseng Shu-Chih


30 "Yen T'ou said, "In the future, if you want to propagate the Great Teaching, it must flow out point by point from within your own breast to cover heaven and earth; only then will it be the action of a man of power." Not only did these words of Yen Tou's bring to light Hseuh Feng's basic capacity, but also they should serve for ten thousand generations as a standard for those who study the Path. That which flows out from one's own breast, as he calls it, is one's own beginningless awareness*, fundamentally complete of itself. As soon as you arouse a second thought, you fall into comparative awareness. Comparative awareness is something gained from external refinements; present awareness is something gained from before your parents were born, something from the other side of the Primordial Buddha. Power gained within present awareness is strong; power gained from comparative awareness is weak. If one's power is weak, he can enter the realm of enlightenment, but in the realm of delusion he always beats the drum of retreat---such people are countless."...from Swampland Flowers, The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta-Hui (1088-1163), translated by J.C. Cleary, pg 57

*"Present Awareness" means the immediate direct apprehension of the real nature of things, without affixing names and categories, without assessment, without giving rise to discrimination, without holding to them as external, according to the Conscious Only Treatise......Turning against present awareness, you lose the essence of your own mind; pursuing comparative and wrong awareness, you falsely recognize external sense-objects. All day long you use mind to grasp mind, use illusion to take illusion as an object.
                                                     ++++++++++++++
The chef who orders the food at the Bethleham Retreat Center has requested that no more people be booked. The retreat is fully booked.



 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.








Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ta Hui and the Moon, and upcoming retreat

                                                                                                                             
7   See the Moon, Forget the Pointing Finger (To Li Hsien-ch'en)
"A gentleman reads widely in many books basically in order to augment his innate knowledge. Instead, you have taken to memorizing the words of the ancients, accumulating them in your breast, making this your task, depending on them for something to take hold of in conversation. You are far from knowing the intent of the sages in expounding the teachings. This is what is called counting the treasure of others all day long without having half a cent of your own. Likewise in reading the Buddhist Scriptures: you must see the moon and forget the fingers. Don't develop an understanding based on the words. An ancient worthy said, "The buddhas expounded all teaching to save all minds; I have no mind at all, so what's the use of all the teachings?" If they can be like this when reading the scriptures, only then will people with resolve have some comprehension of the intent of the sages."...from Swampland Flowers, The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui (1088-1163), translated by J.C.Cleary, pg. 12








Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Toni Packer: Is 'I' just a powerful thought? and upcoming retreat


“Thoughts generate tremendous energies to do something or not to do something, to get somewhere, to control or to inhibit action. Can there be insight into the power of thought? Where is the ‘I’ in all of this? Is it just a powerful thought?

What about ‘self-discipline’ and self-control’? To ask, “What is the ‘no-self’ that has ‘self-control’? is putting the wrong question, isn’t it? It is making a new entity out of the concept of ‘no self’. But no self is not a concept or an entity; it is a state of immediate, undivided awareness, presence. And in that presence the entire circuit of self-centeredness is illumined.  This is attention. Attention without self-center can illuminate self-centeredness. It sounds paradoxical, but only thought creates conundrums.

In open awareness without a self-center, things are simply seen for what they are—everything is happening on its own. Cleaning out the garage or not overeating cease to be problems. What needs to be done is clear and gets done, or it doesn’t get done. When the energy of clarity takes the place of resistance, action flows freely without effort.”…Tony Packer, The Light of Discovery, pg. 10.











Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 
 2. How to chan meditate:
 3. Master
Sheng Yen in Facebook
 4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.




















Retreat Information:













Sunday, October 16, 2011

Dzogchen Commentary on The Chain of Thoughts, and upcoming 3 day retreat



"At the time of arising, thoughts support each other like a chain of friends. At the time of dissolving they dissolve evenly in the vastness of openness. The ultimate nature of all phenomena is simply this."

"When thoughts are arising, the text says they 'support each other like a chain of friends'. In old village style if somebody's house is on fire everybody rushes there with their buckets and the buckets are passed up the line. Somebody is filling the bucket and somebody is throwing it on the house but everybody is involved in the chain. That is to say the linked activity of the arising thoughts carries a sense of intentionality and purpose. Then when the purpose, which seemed so vital, is fulfilled the chain dissolves.

"At the time of dissolving they dissolve evenly in the vastness of openness." Each thought in turn vanishes into openness. No matter what impact they made as they arose, each vanishes in the same way.

"The ultimate nature of all phenomena is simply this."  One thought by itself has no meaning. Thoughts need to rest on each other to create the structures of meaning. This is the traditional Buddhist idea of dependent co-origination. If in meditation, you find that one thought leads to another you should not be surprised. That's what thoughts do. Thoughts have an automatic tendency to build up structures of meaning together. But they are each of them devoid of any inherent reality.....But imagine if thoughts didn't come back. What would you do?"...from James Low, Being Right Here, pg. 127.



Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.












Monday, October 10, 2011

Master Sheng Yen: Body, mind and environment, and upcoming 3 day retreat


photo by Patricia Anderson

There is no such thing as the mind. The mind is what arises when the environment interacts with our body. The body, as well as the environment, is illusory. Therefore, the interaction that comes from it---mental activity----must also be illusory. Through mental activities we can perform virtuous or unwholesome actions, but Ch’an cannot be acquired through knowledge, learning, the Buddha’s wisdom, or through one’s own experience and wisdom. If you think the Buddha can bring you to Ch’an, then you are depending on external conditions. If you think your own wisdom and knowledge can bring you to Ch’an, then you are relying on internal conditions. You have to leave behind all dependencies. Only then can you enter Ch’an.” …Master Sheng Yen in Complete Enlightenment, pg. 245. 













Three day Chan retreat
Silent illumination and Huatou Methods
Cost: approximately $230 
Time: 10 a.m. Saturday November 12, 2001 to 2 p.m. Monday November 14, 2001
2 Overnight stays in single rooms
plus vegetarian snacks and meals provided
Place: Bethleham Retreat Centre 
Bethlehem Retreat Centre
2371 Arbot Rd
Nanaimo, BC V9R 6S9
(250)754-3254
Fax: 250-753-6742
Pre-registration necessary with 
Adrian Symonds
1 250 898 8201
Register ASAP, maximum 15 people.



Check out what the buddhists, the philosophers and the neuroscientists have to say at Columbia University: a Multidisciplinarian Symposium on Consciousness... http://www.mindandreality.org/ 


 









Also check out these Chan sites of interest:


2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


5. Buddhism in Nanaimo: http://nanaimomeditationgroups.weebly.com/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.





Monday, October 3, 2011

Master Sheng Yen: What is the self?



"The Buddha elaborates further on the transient nature of the body and mind. The body is a collection of the four elements and the six sense faculties (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind); and the mind is created by the interaction of the six sense faculties with the six dusts, or sense objects (what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt and thought). Everything is in a continual state of change. Thoughts unceasingly come and go; the body and its environment unceasingly interact. Arising, perishing, birth, death—everything changes.

However, we all believe in existence: we exist, the world exists, the Buddha exists. But who is it that senses this existence? It is your self, separate and untouched by the feelings and thoughts of others. Only you have the unique idea of existence that is yours. Who is this self? This self is the mind, and the mind is merely an unending succession of thoughts. Between these separate thoughts there is nothing. Therefore, I ask, “What is the mind?”

The mind is an illusion. There is no such entity called mind. This is the correct view. But if this is true, then who is reading these words. Who is thinking these thoughts and claiming that there is no-mind, no-self? If I ask you to tell me if your mind is true or false, you will be in a quandary. You might say that the mind is true, or real, or enduring, but if your mind is following these words, then it is moving. If your mind is moving and changing, then it is not real, and if the mind is not moving, how can you read these words and think about what I am saying? On the other hand, if you say the mind is false, that it does not exist, then who is reading these words?" ...Master Sheng Yen in Complete Enlightenment 















Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 
1. chancommunity.ca

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.








Monday, September 26, 2011

The result of a vexatious mind...



"External phenomena arise because of the mind of vexation. Although it seems that we all share the same objective reality, actually the world I experience is quite different from the world you experience. Each one of us has different feelings and experiences which are reflected in the so-called objective reality around us. The tree I see is not the tree you see. Even those who share the same family or lifestyle may have markedly different perceptions about the world. The world varies as vexations vary. For some, the mind is in constant motion; their heads are filled with ideas, worries and preoccupations. For others, the mind is calmer. Buddhanature, however, does not move at all. It is utterly quiescent.

Buddha-nature, which is also known as Tathagatagarbha, contains the seed of Buddha-hood. It is not that a Buddha arises when someone becomes enlightened, for the Buddha-nature has never been separate from that person. Tathagatagarbha never increases or decreases. It is better to say that with Buddha-nature there is the potential to realize Buddhahood. "Coming and going, arising and perishing" are viewpoints of ordinary sentient beings."...from Master Sheng Yen in Complete Enlightenment, pg. 100.
The Woodcutter's Buddha and Meditation Stool by
Nancy Desjarlais http://nancydesjarlais.blogspot.com/














 



Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

AND in Nanaimo http://www.bodhipeacecollective.org/ and http://nanaimomeditationgroups.weebly.com/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.




Sunday, September 18, 2011

Allowing is Presence or Pure Awareness, and upcoming retreat this wkend

"By allowing the mind to fluctuate, basic unity shines through. These fluctuations are fluctuations of awareness, movement of awareness of to awareness and back; or from focused to unfocused awareness. Allowing is presence or pure awareness, neither focused nor unfocused, neither contracting nor expanding. This pure awareness is, so to say, what fluctuating awareness is 'made of', it is the substance of fluctuating awareness. It is lost sight of through the fluctuations from which content and experience arise. Allowing is a shift from the content away from experience to experiencing itself.

The danger of misunderstanding is great here, because it is a condition that is very similar in appearance to pure awareness but is quite different. It is the condition of awareness of awareness. Many people practice what they consider to be shikantaza, but they are really doing something quite different. Shikantaza, done properly, is to allow the mind to fluctuate. However, instead of alowing the mind to fluctuate, these people sit aware of being aware. It is a form of staring, of staring at the reflection of the mind in the mirror of the mind.

Zen masters call this sitting, because often a torpid, listless state of mind accompanies it, dead void sitting or 'sitting in the cave of phantoms'. The practice, awareness of awareness, can, if done intensely and with dedication, lead the mind to high states of samadhi through a marriage of the opposites, and many ascetic practices are devoted to enhancing the marriage of the opposites. However, in Zen practice, samadhi by itself is a dead end."...in The Butterfly's Dream, in search of the roots of Zen, by albert low, pg. 149-50.

"Zen is not a form of relaxation. Nor is it a direct road to peace. many find that after practicing Zen for a while they begin to experience agitation, fears and anxiety, sometimes anger and depression, that they did not have before. This happens because the inertia of the mind begins to crack. However, with the opening of the mind also comes a deep joy and a faint but real bubbling of new life". ...from the same title, pg. 156.

==========================================================

1. PLEASE NOTE WE ARE MOVING BACK TO COURTENAY 
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, 2ND FLOOR FOR 
THE FALL/WINTER SESSIONS.

2. Chan (Zen) Lecture

Topic: Zen Life of True Peace & Happiness
September 23, Friday 07:00pm - 09:00pm
Activity Room 1, Bowen Complex
500 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo

Silent Illumination method
September 24, Saturday 10:00am-5pm
The Kin Hut, 2730 Departure Bay Rd

Huatou method
September 25, Sunday 10am-4pm
The Kin Hut, 2730 Departure Bay Rd

Lecture and Workshops are free, donations are welcome;
please register with adrian.
=============================================================
Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Upcoming workshops, and Zen Master Albert Low comments on the Vimalakirti Sutra


"Dwelling on the disgusting aspects of the body is sometimes recommended as a meditation procedure. But Vimalakirti says that we do not have to do this. Whether one prizes or rejects the body, it is in principle the same. In both cases we are attached to the body by judgements about it, through the belief that it is something enduring and real.

Vimalakirti says that one should remind the sick person that the body is the cause of misery but should not encourage him to find relief in liberation. We much recognize the first noble truth of Buddha, that life is suffering. By dwelling with that we begin to find the strength to release our grip. It is as the hymn of Jesus says, "If you knew how to suffer, you would have the power not to suffer." To seek liberation from suffering is to deny that life is suffering; this search for liberation comes from the secret belief that the suffering is an accident, that it is not an intrinsic part of life. To see thoroughly into the truth that life is suffering is already liberation; it is liberation from all the suffering that we endure in our attempts to escape suffering.

One should remind the sick person that the body is without a self-entity, but, even so, living beings must be saved. One should also remind him that the body is without substance, but that he ought not to look for peace outside. He should be urged to confess his sins, but not so that he feels he does not have to bear their consequence. He should be encouraged to have compassion for all who suffer, knowing the meaning of suffering from his own experience, now and in the past. He should be encouraged not to give way to depression. He should but use the illness as another way to practice, to rid himself of the need to be something special, and the cravings this need generates. In this way he will be able truly to fulfill the first of the bodhisattva vows, to save all sentient beings."...from Albert Low, The Vimalakiri Sutra in Zen and the Sutras, pg. 109-109

 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

Chan (Zen) Lecture

Topic: Zen Life of True Peace & Happiness
September 23, Friday 07:00pm - 09:00pm
Activity Room 1, Bowen Complex
500 Bowen Rd, Nanaimo

Silent Illumination method
September 24, Saturday 10:00am-5pm
The Kin Hut, 2730 Departure Bay Rd

Huatou method
September 25, Sunday 10am-4pm
The Kin Hut, 2730 Departure Bay Rd

Lecture and Workshops are free, donations are welcome;
please register with adrian.






Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Montreal Zen Master Albert Low on the koan 'MU'



"Mu* is not a recent experiment that someone is trying out. It is not a shot in the dark in the hope or expectation that something might come of it. It is not simply for beginners or advanced people. for iron ladies or men of steel. Millions have worked with Mu over more than a thousand years. Chinese. Koreans. Vietnamese. Japanese. Americans. French. English men and women. artists. professors. businessmen. farmers. homemakers. emperors. soldiers. airmen. monks. nuns. All have swallowed the red hot iron ball of Mu. have perished in the Great Death while rejoicing in the Awakened life. Some have flung themselves into the furnace of Mu: some have impaled themselves on the point of Mu: some have drilled through emptiness and despair with Mu: some have dropped into the chasm of Mu. But all have found Mu to be home. to be that which they had sought since time began. but that which is more close than one's own skin. Some have gnawed at Mu like a rat that sharpens its teeth while gnawing through the wood of the vat to the butter beyond. Some have sat like a cat outside a mouse hole. to all appearances asleep. relaxed. indifferent. but all the while like a steel trap sprung open and ready to shut at the mere appearance of a whisker. Some have wooed. embraced. loved. and adored Mu. like a lover yearning and yearning and yearning. Some have held on to Mu like a lion at the neck of its prey. like a bulldog with jaws bred to clamp. to hold. never to yield. Some have penetrated Mu like a thread penetrates the eye of a needle so small that the point of a needle could never find it. Some have found Mu in the midst of pain in the legs made a burning fire of agony by an accident. and some have found it in the despair of forgetfulness when everything is finally lost in a samadhi of no hope and no tomorrow. But all have worked steadily, consistently. All followed finally what their teacher had been saying patiently, insistently. repeatedly. There is just Mu! Only Mu! Become One with Mu!"...Albert Low in The Iron Cow of Zen, pg. 162-163.  *Mu is a Japanese translation of the Chinese huatou Wu



















2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Master Sheng Yen: attachments

picture by Joanne Carscadden















"We all have attachments, or to use a contemporary term, addictions. They may be material or mental; they may be worldly, philosophical, or physical. Attachments may be superficial and transient or deeply ingrained and stubbornly fixed. Attachments have one thing in common, however: they all create aggravation, turmoil in our lives.

Through practice, it is possbile to separate yourself from attachments. Gradually, step by step, you can drop attachments, until all vexations are eliminated. The sutra* speaks of four levels of attachment to transcend. Some teachers speak of the process as 'separation', but this is misleading because it implies that one is escaping or running away from attachment. This is not the case; rather, recognizing attachment is itself separating from attachment.

Recognizing attachment usually proceeds sequentially:
First, we detach ourselves from the illusions of worldly phenomena.
Secondly, we regard our own minds as illusory, and in so doing, detach ourselves from it.
Third, we realize that the thought of being free from the mind is also an attachment, and in so doing cease clinging to that concept as well.
Fourth, we detach ourselves from separation itself." *Sutra of Complete Enlightenment; quotation from Master Sheng Yen's Complete Enlightenment, pg. 113-114.

Also check out these Chan sites of interest:
 

2. How to chan meditate:
 
3. Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/


Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
Please notify me if you wish to be removed from the email list.