Chan Newsletter

November 28, 1992 

Seven-day Retreat Talk (Day 1)

(The following talks were given by Ch'an Master Sheng-yen during a seven-day Ch'an retreat at the Ch'an Meditation Center in Elmhurst, New York some years ago in 1992.) First Morning Instruction. This the first morning of a seven day intensive retreat. Some of you are here for the first time. Probably, some of you didn't sleep well last night. You're in an unfamiliar environment, and the street noises of New York City never stop. Perhaps you're nervous or overly anxious about what will happen as the retreat progresses. This is all normal. You will adjust, but accept that it might take three days, possibly more. more

September 1, 1992 

Taste and Touch (Lecture on Surangama Sutra)

(Lecture by Master Sheng-yen on Surangama Sutra on May 17, 1987.) So far we have covered sight and sound. If you understand these two, you will find that the Sutra deals with taste and touch in a similar way. Taste -- When the tongue comes in contact with food, taste consciousness arises. Where does taste come from? From food? Foods have different tastes. more

July 31, 1992 

The Reason I’m a Ch’an Monk

(Lecture by Master Sheng-yen on May 16, 1992 at Tibet Center.) Some of you arc curious about how I became a Ch'an monk. I'm not exactly sure what you would like to know. I haven't really written an autobiography, but I can relate some of the events that led me to where I am now. The province where I lived in China was once prosperous, but it underwent a slow decline. By the time I was born, the region was impoverished. more

May 31, 1992 

Life in a Ch’an Monastery

(Lecture by Master Sheng-yen at the University of Toronto on October 18, 1991.) Today I will speak about practice in a traditional Ch'an monastery, and I will tell you something of my own early experiences practicing in such a monastery. There really are no authentic Ch'an monasteries in America. You can't visit one here. To find an authentic monastery you must go back to the China of the past.more

March 31, 1992 

The Story of Vision

(Lecture by Master Sheng-yen on Surangama Sutra on April 26, 1987.) Some of the basic terminology used in Buddhism In general and the Surangama Sutra specifically, includes the six sense organs (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind), the six sense objects (what is seen, heard, smelled, tasted, felt, and thought), and the six associated sense consciousnesses. All together these comprise what is called the 18 realms. more