Chan Newsletter

May 7, 1997 

To Realize Inherent Wisdom

(By Master Sheng-yen. A talk Delivered on May 7, 1997, during a Ch'an retreat in Poland, and edited by Earnie Heau.) What is Ch'an? We may call Ch'an "mind"; we may also believe that this mind needs to be cultivated, so that it may become enlightened, may acquire wisdom. I say to you that there is in truth nothing to cultivate, nothing to acquire, for wisdom is inherent in every mind. Even so, most people don't know how to manifest this inherent wisdom. However, the Buddha in his great compassion taught us how to realize wisdom. We call this method Ch'an. more

February 26, 1997 

Awakening Through the Sense Organ of Consciousness

(A lecture delivered by Master Sheng-yen on Dec 12, 1993, and edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) In this section of the Surangama Sutra six of Buddha's arahat disciples describe their attainment of perfection through the sense organs. We have already looked at the sections about eye, ear, nose, tongue and body. Now we come to the section on the final sense organ, mind, or consciousness:more

December 26, 1996 

Chinese Buddhism and the Ch’an Tradition

(A lecture delivered by Master Sheng-yen at the University of Bristol, England, June 10, 1995, and edited by Dr. K.E. Robinson, Bristol Ch'an Group, Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) Because there are a number of people here today who have just spent a week with me on retreat in Wales, I will talk about Ch'an practice as well as the history and beliefs of Ch'an. Buddhism was transmitted to China mainly during the early and middle periods of its growth in India (about 500 B.C.E. to 500 C.E.). more

November 26, 1996 

The Ten Ox Herding Pictures

(A talk delivered by Master Sheng-yen on 10/22/92 and edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) The Ten Ox Herding Pictures are metaphors for the process and progress of Ch'an practice. When China was an agricultural society, people depended on oxen and buffalo to work their fields. These animals were important, powerful and part of human life, so the analogy of ox herding was meaningful to Buddhists of the time.more

November 9, 1996 

T’ien-tai Manuscripts for Meditation

(A report on the seminar presented by Professor Dan Stevenson, by Steve Lane and Linda Peer. ) This September, Professor Dan Stevenson of the University of Kansas presented a two-and-one-half day seminar on t'ien-tai Buddhism as part of the Ch'an Center's Buddhist Studies program. Seminar participants were sent t'ien-tai texts and articles about t'ien tai beforehand, so that they would have a basic understanding of the subject.more