Chan Newsletter

May 26, 1996 

Reading Sutras as a Spiritual Practice

(A talk delivered by Master Sheng-yen at Tibet House in New York City, on November 5,1994, and edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) The Buddhist scriptures are divided into three categories. The vinaya and sila are moral codes and precepts spoken by the Buddha, the shastras are commentaries on the Buddha's teachings by bodhisattvas and great masters, and the sutras are discourses spoken by the Buddha. Together they make up the Tripitaka. Each kind of scripture has special benefits. more

March 26, 1996 

Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s Method of Complete Penetration Through the Sense Organ of Hearing (Part 1)

(A talk on the Surangama Sutra given by Master Sheng-yen on November 19, 1995.) In the section of the Surangama Sutra we have been reading, the Buddha questioned twenty-five bodhisattvas about the methods they used to attain Complete Penetration. We have now come to the paragraph in which Avalokitesvara speaks:more

February 29, 1996 

Enlightenment and Buddhahood

(A talk given by Master Sheng-yen at the Chan Meditation Center on Oct. 30, 1994, and edited by Kathy Soya and Harry Miller.) In Chinese the term translated as enlightenment consists of two characters, so the meaning may seem to have two parts. The characters seem to mean something different, but actually they constitute one term. In English we either use the word "enlightenment," or ''awakening.''more

December 29, 1995 

Enlightenment Through Eye Consciousness

(A talk on the Surangama Sutra given by Master Sheng-yen on Dec. 19, 1993, and edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) We have been studying the section of the Surangama Sutra called "The Twenty-five Kinds of Perfect Penetration." Perfect Penetration is the state of thorough, ultimate enlightenment, and twenty-five methods of attaining such enlightenment are described. There are actually infinite numbers of methods of practice through which we can attain enlightenment. These twenty-five are simply used as examples.more

September 29, 1995 

Biography of a Chinese Monk (with Q & A)

(A talk by Master Sheng-yen, given at the University of Michigan on November 10, 1989, and edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) Tonight I will describe the daily life and training I experienced in the Ch'an monasteries of my youth and early adulthood, and then I'll talk about my personal approach to Ch'an training.more