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Friday, May 16, 2014

upcoming June 1st retreat and arduous practice for enlightenment

"When the Sixth Patriarch Hui-neng raised the Dharma standard at Ts'ao-hsi, the priest Nan-yueh came to study with him. Hui-neng asked, 'What is this that thus comes?' Nan-yueh stood in a daze, unable to respond. Hui-neng did not utter a single word to relieve his confusion, and it was not until Nan-hueh had practiced arduously for eight more years that the patriarch finally offered him a turning word. Ahh! This good teacher, a person who had accumulated great merit over eighty rebirths, now, when the time was ripe, used his marvelous means with incomparable skill to bring about Nan-yueh's liberation. Why didn't he employ them at the start, just lead Nan-yueh to the immense joy of liberation? The incandescent fire to forge fine Pinchou steel is not obtained by stoking the furnace with kindling. The oranges of Chiang-nan do not assume their delicious sweetness until they have endured bitter frosts. Any honest farmer would be ashamed to cook unripened grain for his meals, would he not?

Students who have not yet penetrated the source should not be troubled if their entrance into enlightenment is slow in coming; they should be troubled only if their practice fails to attain a state of genuine purity. Students who have already penetrated to attainment should not be troubled if people fail to revere them they should be concerned only about the difficulty of making their attainment complete."....from Beating the Cloth Drum, The Letters of Zen Master Hakuin, translated by Norman Waddell, pg. 26
photo by Suzy Chatwin

June 1st there will be a one day silent retreat at Salish House, Lewis Park, 8:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. by donation. For this retreat, if you are not a Chan practitioner, you may bring your own practice as long as it is silent. If you are interested in Chan meditation practice, please contact Adrian a couple of days before the retreat. There will be no teaching at the retreat, only walking and sitting meditation. You will need to bring your own cushion if you are a floor sitter. Please contact me RSVP as there is limited seating available.

1. MAIN WEBSITE: Cosmos Chan Zen Community at
2. Master Cheng Yen in Facebook;
3. Chan Community Canada at
4. Listen/download audio talks from the Tallahassee   Chan group at
5. the Western Chan Fellowship at
7. Audio downloads at Dharma Drum
8. Questions?  Adrian at 250 650 9055; and

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