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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.