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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

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

5. Other Buddhist centres in the Comox Valley:

Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
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