Chan Newsletter

August 29, 1995 

How to Untie the Six Knots

(A lecture on the Surangama Sutra given by Master Sheng-yen on Dec. 13, 1992, and edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) The Buddha said, "Ananda, tell me now if the six knots of this cloth can be untied simultaneously." Ananda replied: "No, World Honored One, because they were originally tied one after the other and should be untied in the same order.more


Generating Bodhi Mind

(A talk on the Surangama given by Master Sheng-yen on January 3, 1993.) Thereat the World Honored One said to the great bodhisattvas and great arahats in the Assembly, "I want to ask you, bodhisattvas and arahats, who are born from Buddhadharma and have reached the state beyond study, this question: when you developed your minds to awaken to the eighteen fields of sense, which one did you regard as the best means of perfection and by what methods did you enter the State of Samadhi?"more

June 29, 1995 

Surangama Sutra

("Penetration Through Sound", the first of the "Twenty-five Methods of Complete Penetration", a Sunday talk given at the Ch'an Center on May 16, 1993, edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) Kaundinya, one of the first five bhiksus, rose from his seat, prostrated himself with his head at the feet of the Buddha and declared: "When, soon after His enlightenment, we met the Tathagata in the Mrgadava and Kukkuta Parks, I heard His voice and awakened to His teaching of the Four Noble Truths.more

March 29, 1995 

The Ch’an View of Life

(Dharma Talk by Master Sheng-yen, October 24, 1993 edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) Today I will talk about the Ch'an (or Zen) view of human life. There are several levels of view, or understanding, of life in Ch'an because Buddhism does not have a single approach to life. It recognizes the fact that each individual's view of life depends on his or her understanding. If you see deeply into things, then that's your understanding.more

February 1, 1995 

Shikantaza and Silent Illumination

(Lecture given by master Sheng-yen during the Dec. 1993 Ch'an retreat, edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) The Japanese term "shikantaza" literally means "just sitting." Its original Chinese name, mo-chao, means "silent illumination." "Silent" refers to not using any specific method of meditation and having no thoughts in your mind. "Illumination" means clarity. You are very clear about the state of your body and mind.more