Chan Newsletter

October 13, 2011 

Song of Mind of Niu-t’ou Fa-Jung

(Commentary by Master Sheng-yen. This is the 24th in a series of lectures given during retreats at the Ch'an Center in Elmhurst, Queens, New York.) No need to confirm emptiness; Naturally, there is clear comprehension. The "emptiness" that the Song of Mind and, indeed, all Buddhist texts speak of does not mean "nothingness." Buddhism is often considered to be nihilistic and pessimistic because of this misunderstanding. By emptiness, Buddhism means impermanence: nothing lasts forever, and everything continually changes, formed and transformed by causes and conditions.more

 

When The Mind is at One Point

When The Mind Is At One Point, There Is Nothing That Cannot Be Accomplished. Questions and answers between Master Ling Yuan (Master Sheng-yen's master) and Master Xuyun in a seven day winter retreat,1947. Grand master (Xuyun) asked me (Ling Yuan): "What method are you using?" I (Ling Yuan) said: "Reciting Buddha's name and investigating Ch'an. Both Ch'an and Pure Land are practiced." more

 

Essentials of Practice and Enlightenment for Beginners

(By Master Hanshan Deqing [1546-1623]. Translation by Guo-gu Shi.) I. How to Practice and Reach Enlightenment. Concerning the causes and condition of this Great Matter, [this Buddha-nature] is intrinsically within everyone; as such, it is already complete within you, lacking nothing. The difficulty is that, since time without beginning, seeds of passion, deluded thinking, emotional conceptualizations, and deep-rooted habitual tendencies have obscured this marvelous luminosity.more

 

The Essentials of Ch’an Practice

(By Master Xuyun translation by Ven. Guo-gu Bhikshu. This is a tentative translation of a discourse by the modern Ch'an patriarch Master Xuyun (1839-1959), who is also known by his English name, Empty Cloud.) The Prerequisites and Understanding Necessary to Begin Ch'an Practice.more

 

What is Ch’an? (2)

Ch'an is a form of Buddhism that originated in China. It was transmitted to Japan where it became known as Zen, the name most familiar to Westerners. The ultimate goal of Ch'an is the realization of one's true nature and the expression of this realization in our interactions with others. The goal is nothing less than the attainment of our full potential as Buddhas -- the embodiment of wisdom and compassion.more