Chan Newsletter

January 31, 1992 

Buddhism and Mental Health

(Lecture by Master Sheng-yen on October 25, 1990 at San Francisco General Hospital.) Buddhism originated in India. It was there that Sakyamuni Buddha began to deal with the problem of illness. Illness begins at birth; when one is born, the peril of sickness begins. The person who has not suffered illness has yet to be born. Only after death does illness cease. We must suffer both mental and physical pain and illness in this life. more

November 1, 1991 

The Importance of Buddhadharma in the Modern World

(Lecture by Master Sheng-yen on October 13, 1991.) The world we live in has a genuine need for Buddhadharma. There are many fine things in the modem world, but there is much that is less than desirable. The world is becoming smaller and more crowded and people are getting busier and busier. As a child, I read a Chinese novel called Journey to the West. It is the story of a monkey with mystical, supernormal powers who accompanies his master to India to seek special teachings from the Buddha. more

September 8, 1991 

The Essentials of Chan Practice – (3)

(This is Part Three of a translation of an article written by Master Hsu-yun.) 7. Enlightenment and Practice: The patriarch, Hanshan (1546-1623), once said, "There are practitioners who get enlightened first and then start their cultivation, and those who practice first and then get enlightened. However, there are two kinds of enlightenment: insight through reason and insight through experience. If a person realizes Mind by following the teachings of the Buddha and the patriarchs, it is considered insight through reason. more

August 8, 1991 

The Essentials of Chan Practice – (2)

(This is Part Two of a translation of an article written by Master Hsu-yun.) Lectures on the Methods of Practice in the Ch'an Hall. 1. Introduction: Many people come to ask me for guidance. This makes me feel ashamed. Everyone works so hard --- splitting firewood, hoeing the fields, carrying soil, moving bricks --- and yet from morning to night not putting down the thought of practicing the Path. Such determination for the Path is touching. I, Xuyun, repent my inadequacy on the Path and my lack of virtue.more

June 8, 1991 

The Essentials of Chan Practice – (1)

(This is Part One of a translation of an article written by the modern patriarch Master Hsu-yun (1839-1959), who is also known by his English name, Empty Cloud.) The Prerequisites and Understanding Necessary to Begin Ch'an Practice. 1. The Objective of Ch'an Practice: The objective of Ch'an practice is to illuminate the mind by eradicating its impurities and seeing into one's true self-nature. The mind's impurities are wrong thoughts and attachments. Self-nature is the wisdom and virtue of the Tathagata. more