Chan Newsletter

September 15, 1984 


(Lecture Given By Master Sheng-yen on May 27, 1984.) Once, when Shih-fu held a Ch'an retreat in Taiwan, one of the participants was an old Buddhist. He heard Shih-fu say, "There's no Buddha, there's no Bodhisattva, there's no Pure Land, there are no deities. You are not allowed to think of anything like these. You just ask yourself where you came from before your present life, where you're going to after this life, what you are at this moment." more

August 15, 1984 


(Lecture Given By Master Sheng-yen on May 27, 1984.) "Virtuous men, if after awakening to the pure nature of complete enlightenment, these Bodhisattvas using this pure Bodhi mind grasp at neither illusions and transformations, nor all states of stillness, they will see clearly that body and mind are hindrances. They will be freed from basic ignorance. They will not cling to abstractions, and they will forever be beyond both hindering and non-hindering states.more

June 15, 1984 

Why Sentient Beings Are Sentient Beings

(Lecture Given on Sunday, June 10, 1984.) According to Buddhism, the original nature of sentient beings is identical to Buddha-nature. But to us this identity seems completely absent: the Buddhas are perfectly wise whereas sentient beings are profoundly ignorant. How has this difference arisen? The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment tells us that Buddha-nature and ignorance are one. Both have existed from beginningless time.more


Selecting and Studying under a Master

(Lecture Given by Master Sheng-yen, SUnday, July 8, 1984.) Sakyamuni Buddha once remarked that the depth of a Buddha's wisdom and the extent of his merit are ascertainable only by one who has himself reached Buddhahood. It is similarly true that the practice of a master can be assessed only by who one is himself a master. A student, consequently, cannot measure the extent of a master's attainment. The most he can do is to acquaint himself with the correct view of Buddhadharma and be certain that the master teaches this view.more

April 15, 1984 

Love and Desire

(Lecture Given on December 4, 1983.) In the reading from the sutra today, Maitreya Bodhisattva asks how human beings came to exist. This is an extremely important question, and the section of the sutra which discusses it has had great influence in Buddhism. Condemnation of human existence is not the concern of Maitreya here. Rather, his goal is to urge sentient beings to cleanse their wisdom eyes and endure patiently the "uncreate," the changing world of name and form. more