Chan Newsletter

December 29, 1994 

Ch’an and Enlightenment

(Lecture given by master Sheng-yen at Case Western Reserve University on 10/25/92, edited by Linda Peer and Harry Miller.) Today I am here to talk about Ch'an. Perhaps some of you have heard the sayings, "Ch'an is not established on words and language" and "Ch'an is a transmission outside conventional teachings." If Ch'an does not rely on words, why would anyone want to listen to a Ch'an talk? Isn't that a contradiction? Although Ch'an is not established on words, it has, among the many sects of Buddhism in China, left behind the most writing.more

November 29, 1994 

The History of Ch’an

(Lecture given by Master Sheng-yen at Seton Hall on 11/17/89, edited by Virginia Tan and Harry Miller.) The origins of Ch'an tradition are obscure. Indian history is imprecise and few records remain. Bodhidharma's journey to China occurred more than a thousand years after Sakyamuni's death, and there are many gaps in our knowledge of the interim period.more

September 29, 1994 

Ch’an Tradition: History, Theory, Practice

(Lecture given by Master Sheng-yen on October 21, 1992 at Washington University.) When we speak of Ch'an as it developed in China, we must recognize the difficulties in separating the specific concepts of Ch'an from those of Buddhism in general. It is in fact impossible for someone to achieve the highest attainment in Buddhism without some experience or practice equivalent to that available in the Ch'an tradition.more

September 9, 1994 

Three Weekend Seminars at the Ch’an Center

The Formation of Ch 'an in China. Presented by Professor John R. McRae of Cornell University on May 13 and 14, 1994. The History of Ch 'an Monasticism and Its Practices, Presented by Professor T Griffith Foulk of the University of Michigan on May 20 and 21, 1994. Monastic Practice in the Korean Zen Tradition, Presented by Professor Robert F. Buswell Jr. of UC.L.A on June 10 and 11.more

August 29, 1994 

Egotism and Altruism

(Lecture given by master Sheng-yen on May 9, 1993, edited by Douglas Sipp.) Egotism, as rendered in Chinese, means concern about oneself. It is not simply selfishness. In fact, in Buddhism a certain amount of egotism is necessary, for only by taking care of themselves will people be able to care for others. When we talk about taking care of the self, we must first ask, “What is the self?” If you do not know what the self is, how can you take care of it?more