Chan Newsletter

October 8, 1987 

The Five Eyes

(Lecture given by Master Sheng-yen on the Surangama Sutra, Sunday, December 22, 1985.) Ananda reached an understanding of the limits of perception itself, and so he asked the Buddha how he would be able to know his true nature. The Buddha replied: "Ananda, though you have not yet reached the state beyond the stream of transmigration, you may now use the Buddha's transcendent power to behold the first dhyana heaven without obstruction, like Anirudha who sees this world as clearly as fruit held in his own hand.more

August 12, 1987 

The Fate of Buddhists

(Lecture delivered by Master Sheng-Yen on Buddha's Birthday, Sunday, May 10, 1987.) There's something to be said for fortune-telling. In fact, I've met some fortune-tellers who were quite talented. Unfortunately, none of them had particularly good fortunes themselves. One who believes his fate is predetermined will not have a happy life. But one who believes in the Dharma and who realizes that his life is not predetermined, can have a very happy life indeed.more

May 12, 1987 

Upside Down

(Lecture given by Master Sheng-yen on the Surangama Sutra Sunday, December 8, 1986.) Ananda was puzzled by why we have lost sight of our true nature. The Buddha replied that ordinary sentient beings do not see clearly because of their preconceived views. What they think is upside down, may be right side up. What they believe is correct, may be incorrect. The Buddha placed his hand down, and asked Ananda whether his hand was right side up or upside down.more

March 12, 1987 

Misconception in Buddhism

(Talk given by guest lecturer Prof. Li Heng-yueh on Sunday, January 17, 1987.) I'm only a householder Buddhist. I simply want to talk about some common misconceptions about liberation or seeing your own nature that arise in the practice of Buddhism. Some may think that achieving realization is difficult, but there are worldly pursuits that are more difficult. Mastering boxing or studying for a doctorate require great effort. By comparison seeing your own nature is quite simple. more

December 12, 1986 

Creations of the Mind

(Lecture given Sunday, July 21, 1985 by Master Sheng-Yen.) There was a Ch'an Master named Hsu Yun who traveled to many different places in Asia, and wherever he found a monastery or temple in ruins would collect donations and rebuild it. Many people were quite amazed at his ability, and came to him saying, "Oh, Master, how is it so easy for you to build one monastery after another? For us it is difficult to build one simple hut". Hsu Yun replied, "Because I have monasteries in my mind". more