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King of the Road: On Loneliness and Solitude

by Chuan Zhi

15-02-2001

When we stop to analyze our daily lives, we discover how many of our activities are constructed to assuage a fear of being alone. We wait in lines at restaurants and take several hours to eat a meal t...

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Tibet and the Beijing Olympics

by Fa Gong, OHY

11-04-2008

As "online Buddhists" we do well to understand that this very medium creates new opportunities for the ego to express itself, and it quickly finds new ways to dominate. When I first learned to drive I...

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Mara the Abuser

by Fa Gong Shakya

02-04-2012

In Buddhist literature we are often exposed to Mara, the sometimes wily, sometimes violent, sometimes beguiling tempter of Gautama on his way to Buddha-hood. Mara can be said to provide, essentially, ...

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Jack Dudney - Dharma Drummer

by Fa Dao, OHY

13-03-2003

Jack Dudney wasn't a zen teacher. Well- he was, but I don't think he knew it.Jack Dudney was my drum teacher when I was a kid. A professional musician, Jack played Big Band with Ed Gerlach's Orchestra...

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Toward the Heart of Chan (2 of 4)

by Chuan Zhi

13-07-2016

Part 1   |   Part 2   |   Part 3   |   Part 4 Stage Two: Concentration In Chan training, we begin by developing concentration (dharana). This is different from non-di...

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Prison Dharma

by Fa Xing Shakya

19-07-2011

Introduction  by Chuan Zhi As Zen grows in popularity in the United States and other occidental countries, there are growing demands for its representatives to provide for the needs of those Zen...

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Perspectives on Zen

by Chuan Zhi

01-07-2014

Inevitably, in the course of the life of a Zen Buddhist, someone will ask us “What is Zen”?  The simple answer is, of course, it’s the mystical branch of Chinese/ Japanese/ Korean/ Vietnamese (...

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In Memory of Ming Zhen Shakya

by Chuan Zhi

20-02-2017

  On November 19th 2016, Ming Zhen Shakya passed away.  She had previously been known as Chuan Yuan Shakya.  Ming Zhen was the first American-born woman to receive full Buddhist or...

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On Detachment: Neti! Neti!

by Chuan Zhi

14-08-2014

For L.C. Attachment, we are told by all Buddhist sects, is the central cause of suffering.  Not the kind of suffering we endure when we have a cold, or accidentally slam the car door on our ha...

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Undeniable Self, Deniable self

by Chuan Zhi

04-10-2005

What is the nature of Self? In Chan, the answer is a spiritual one, dependent on self-reflection, and one that cannot come fully until we achieve a degree of spiritual awareness. In the secular domain...

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Zen's Spiritual Guide

by Fa Dao, OHY

29-11-2006

What does it mean to be a spiritual guide? A Zen Roshi or Sifu? It means we strive to balance heart and mind;to live our Spirit. It means we have lived and learned and are still living and learning.Th...

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Musings on the Corpse & the Skandhas

by Fa Gong, OHY

10-04-2008

One of the challenges of Chan is that many students are often fatally handicapped by needing to have at least some degree of intellectual satisfaction before they will consider letting the intellect d...

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Ancient Wisdom: The Blue Lotus

by Chuan Zhi

17-07-2001

 Zen requires that we maintain our sense of awe and wonder, that pure curiosity about the things we see and experience, that search for meaning and significance that is so apparent in the works o...

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An Interview with Stuart Lachs

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Stuart Lachs

14-06-2011

  Stuart Lachs was born in 1940 and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Brooklyn College, part of the NYC college system, where he received a B.A. and M.S., majoring in mathematics. He wor...

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Zen's Travel Visas - A Sober view of Spiritual Tourism

by Fa Zhao Shakya

03-12-2010

When you are deluded and full of doubt, even a thousand books of scripture are not enough. When you have realized understanding, even one word is too much. -- Fen-Yang Those of us who arrive at Z...

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The Color of Thoughts

Category: All Articles

by Heraclitus, c 400 BCE

15-05-2015

“The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts.   Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day.   The content of your character is your c...

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Empty Zendo

by Fa Guang

12-06-2011

How many times have you heard, "living in the moment?" The expression is fashionable now. I hear it everywhere, and see it within or on the back of at least sixty percent of the self-help and psycholo...

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Home is where one starts from

by Fa Che

20-10-2010

Home is where one starts from. -- T.S Elliot We all long to be home, to be safe and secure. Our lives however, feel anything but protected. We instead face the constant vulnerability of cha...

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Hair or no hair?

by Fa Dong

25-04-2016

A young monk went into the mountains, as is common in the Chinese Chan tradition. Living alone with noone to interrupt him, he sat in meditation, caring for little else than looking within. In quic...

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Non-Attachment, a Zen Imperative

by Fa Gong, OHY

22-02-2007

As our Zen practice deepens, we can observe ourselves as we shift in and out between our "small" and conditioned self, and that unconditioned SELF that cannot be described. And in this shifting we can...

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Exploring Chán

by Chuan Zhi

26-11-2014

Chán offers an exploration into the nature of being. For those of us treading its path, it involves discarding our opinions and feelings about things, it involves detachment, introspection, and cont...

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True Atonement

by Chuan Zhi

08-12-2003

When we achieve true restorative balance within ourselves we are happy and content, and can live without regret, remorse or guilt. We are at peace. The enlightened approach is to always be vigilant, t...

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A Conversation on Zen and God

by Chuan Zhi

05-01-1999

Some Buddhists may say they believe in God, others may say otherwise, but the reality of God is independent of anything anyone may believe or disbelieve. Religions the world over testify to the univer...

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The Healing Breath

by Chuan Zhi

02-02-1998

Everyone who enters Zen's Gateless Gate, has a story to tell. Mine begins one summer evening when I received a call from a friend who had recently moved to another state. "I found a Buddhist Priest wh...

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Non-cultic Buddhism

by Fa Gong Shakya

03-12-2010

A personal perspective Buddhism is an ancient path of practice; to some a religion, to others a philosophy, and to many simply a practice of sane living. From the outside looking in, it ca...

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On Death and Dying - A (very personal) Zen perspective

by Fa Zhang Shakya

21-05-2009

D eath is the Great Teacher, the Great Equalizer. Death claims the rich as well as the poor, it fells the powerful just as swiftly as the powerless. Death teaches us how precious life is, and brings ...

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Hope and Faith

by Yin De, OHY

02-11-2005

A friend asked me to elaborate on how, as Buddhists, we should deal with concepts, words, and emotions that seem to go against what we're taught but still seem to be as "real" as they were before we c...

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The Pink Backpack

by Fa Che, OHY

08-07-2008

Sometimes a single unexpected event can change our lives forever. One such event happened to me over a decade ago … It was a normal, sunny day in Phoenix, Arizona. I was picking my daughter up from ...

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The "Dreaded" Third Precept The challenge of sexual conduct, a student…

by Fa Gong, OHY

06-04-2006

What is a "precept"? We Buddhists are all very aware of the five precepts (ore more or less depending on what school we associate with) we have taken when we chose to become Buddhists. But it seems th...

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Cappuccino Chan

by Fa Zhao Shakya

08-06-2010

As we sat across the table from each other, at our usual coffee shop overlooking the beautiful Australian east coast, I noticed the look of distraction on his face, a face I have known for over 10 ...

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Poetic Images

by Fa Lian Shakya

20-04-2010

Attachment to things means suffering. Beings are so tied up they can’t move so end up being part of those things they make. The ego always finds reasons to hang onto someone or something. Things are t...

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Finding a Teacher, Practicing in a Group

by Fa Zhang Shakya

01-09-2009

It is fortunate that many people who gain some acquaintance with Buddhism decide to engage in its practice. Yearning for enlightenment, they set about establishing a practice, and this normally lea...

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Cracking the Fortress of Delusion

by Chuan Zhi

10-05-2011

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one." - Charles MacKay (Author of- Extraordinary Popular D...

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Contemplating Consciousness

by Chuan Zhi

01-09-2012

Consciousness. We don't think about it, we don't act upon it. It's just there. We awaken in the morning and go to the bathroom and do those things, make coffee, eat a donut, take the dog out … and so ...

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Master Hsu Yun's Teachings (1)

by Fa Lian Shakya

04-01-2009

The words of Master Hsu Yun, with illustrations by Rev. Fa Lian Shakya Hsu Yun's Chan Teachings (1)...

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Connecting the Dots

by Fa Lohng (Koro Kaisan)

12-12-2011

Students who come to my weekly Dharma talks (or who meet regularly with me in private) are often confronted with my insistence that they view the world more holistically.  This is typically tr...

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A Woman's Work

by Fa Lian Shakya

14-03-2012

Seeing things as they are Awareness opened one of the Dharma doors with a new way of seeing things. She started to understand more and more, then realized that all was neti! neti! Starring at ...

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Form and Emptiness: A Buddhist Defines "God"

by Yin De Shakya

07-01-2010

"Once you can accept the universe as matter expanding into nothing that is something, wearing stripes with plaid comes easy." A. Einstein Some Unitarian Universalists claim a belief in "God" in one f...

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Sidetracked by Institutionalized Zen

by Chuan Zhi

10-02-2013

I was approached recently by a man in his middle years who had spent much time sitting with various Zen groups around the country.   He had left one after another after being disillusioned ...

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FAQ for PG

by Chuan Zhi

01-12-2013

Preface: We have never offered an official Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page on this website, as the number and variety of questions we receive are too numerous and broad. Everyone has a differe...

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Science and Spiritual Inquiry: Striking a Balance

by Chuan Zhi

15-06-2004

The universe, governed by power and the law power obeys, conforms to a dualistic principal of yin and yang, eros and logos, shakti and Shiva. We cannot separate them. Only through spiritual labor can ...

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Penetrating Emptiness: Ta panta rei

by Fa Lian Shakya

03-02-2010

Plato wrote that when we're able to negate both being and non-being, we discover absolute nothingness, and that within that absolute nothingness we discover the absolute present - which is itself the ...

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The Chán Priest

by Chuan Zhi

25-01-2015

Art by John Stubbs Throughout known history there have been religions and there have been those who have been called to be their spokespersons. They are variously called priests, shaman, shakyas...

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In the Realm of the Hungry Ghosts

by Fa Dao, OHY

05-12-2006

Like the Buddha's Disciple Moggallana in search of his mother, I have entered the Preta Realm with a mission. oggallana entered this realm in an effort to save his mother. She had been reborn in this ...

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Suffering: Zen and the Four Noble Truths

by Chuan Zhi

10-08-2000

Suffering is integral to the Zen path. It is, in fact, a prerequisite. Zen is not an easy path and we must be highly motivated in order to travel it. In physics as in Zen, every action has an equal an...

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The Buddhism of Zen

by Chuan Zhi and Fa Gong

10-06-2008

As westerners brought up in different religious traditions and cultures, we won't ever have the same Buddhism as the Chinese, the Japanese, the Koreans, or the Vietnamese. Nor should we. Our psyches a...

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The Buddhism of Zen (in 10 minutes or less)

by Fa Dao, OHY

26-10-2004

Dependent upon whom one asks, Zen is either a school of Buddhism or a school of thought and ethical philosophy adjunct to Buddhism. While zen often teaches the folly of differentiation, hard definitio...

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Science & Zen: A Closer Look

by Chuan Zhi

08-02-2008

Are science and Zen incompatible? Not at all. Each simply leads the investigator to a different area of understanding. Is awareness simply the result of our neurons firing away? Sure, but that's not t...

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Just Who Am I?

by Yin De Shakya

27-04-2012

Each of us has a narrator in our head. An internal voice that we call “me”. And most of us assume that this narrator is real. We assume that it’s our true self. Some believe it&rs...

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The Celibacy Question

by Chuan Zhi

03-01-2014

An Interview with Chuan Zhi from Non Duality Magazine, 12/27/2013 Chuan Zhi: This is a good subject for public discussion – one that’s usually avoided. I wrote on a related subject recently that may ...

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Spiritual Growth: Stages & Transitions

by Chuan Zhi with special thanks to Drew Dixon

18-11-2008

How do we keep our spiritual life alive? How do we keep moving forward? Embrace life in all its beauty and ugliness: treat all things with equanimity, seeing what is real and not what is superimposed ...

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Master Hsu Yun's Teachings (5)

by Fa Lian Shakya

05-05-2009

The Teachings of Hsu Yun (5)...

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Applying the Hua Tou Method of Chan Practice to Archetypal Projections

by Chuan Zhi

28-09-2013

Everyone who comes to Zen develops his or her own unique relationship with it.  That relationship is affected by a myriad of factors, from one’s native culture, to the culture of the Zen sect o...

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FAQ for FJ and CR

by Chuan Zhi

28-09-2014

  FJ: Buddhists seek refuge in the Buddha. Do people of other religions seek refuge?   What does it mean to “seek refuge”?  A refuge is a place where we can go for comfort, where w...

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The Aitken-Shimano Letters

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Vladimir K. and Stuart Lachs

03-11-2009

Following is a summation of the extraordinary story, as explicated in the Aitken letters, of a Zen master teaching in America for some 35 years, who has been accused of sexual misconduct numerous t...

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No Mind? Really?

by Fa Gong Shakya

01-07-2012

A couple of weeks ago a friend came to me to discuss problems she was having in her meditation practice. She was quite distraught at what she felt was her hopeless progress, and she despaired she...

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A Loose Garment

by Fa Dao, OHY

04-04-2005

Speaking with a friend on the phone recently and asked about her practice. Just the general sort of conversational "how's it going" type of question. She answered "I'm wearing my...

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The Trump Phenomena

by Chuan Zhi

26-12-2016

Many--though not all--of our readers have expressed dismay, fear, and anxiety over the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States.  Is there a Chan perspective that could h...

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Don’t Drink the Kool-aide: How to Avoid the Projection Trap

by Chuan Zhi

22-09-2011

Introduction In 1912 the French philosopher Lucien Lévy-Brühl published a collection of works that gave us a new model with which to view the relationship between self and other. He offered new insig...

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A Dangerous Game

by Fa Guang, OHY

01-05-2008

A Warning for Forum Aficionados! The Internet has a peculiar way of grabbing us and taking us off course, often without us even being aware it's happening. Recently as I was searching the Inte...

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Experience Chan!

by Chuan Zhi

09-07-2007

Within each of us resides an essence that remains hidden - an aspect of ourselves that hides in the unconscious. It hides because of our ego's fear of it. Its aspect is wisdom, understanding, compassi...

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Dangerous Zeal

by Chuan Zhi

08-12-1998

In meditation we enter the realm of selflessness (or egolessness). When we meditate there is no urge or desire for meditation, there is only beautiful meditation. Problems occur only when we stop me...

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Means of Authorization: Establishing Hierarchy in Ch'an/Zen Buddhism in America

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Stuart Lachs

19-06-2009

Ch'an/Zen Buddhism has become widely accepted in the West during the past fifty years. At the head of Zen institutions sits the person of the Master/roshi. Through the mechanisms of sectarian histo...

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The Comedy of the Ego

by Fa Zhao Shakya

03-11-2009

Among the great questions.... Who are we? Why are we here? and What purpose do we serve? Perhaps we should also ask, Why do we suffer? and, What can we do? Why do we Suffer? Listening to late night ra...

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Master Hsu Yun's Teachings (3)

by Fa Lian Shakya

04-03-2009

The words of Master Hsu Yun, with illustrations by Rev. Fa Lian Shakya Hsu Yun's Teachings (3): The Hua Tou...

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Passing Through the Gateless Barrier

by Fa Lohng

11-05-2009

The Great Way is gateless, approached by a thousand paths. Pass trough this barrier, you walk freely in the universe. One of the principal Zen texts from thirteenth century China is a collection of k...

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Zen Ritual

by Fa Dong Shakya, OHY

18-03-2011

In her bestselling spiritual memoir "Eat, Pray, Love", Elizabeth Gilbert tells a delightful story of a great Hindu teacher who led his followers in daily meditation in his ashram. The only problem...

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The Lion's Roar

by Fa Gong Shakya

03-08-2011

I have only a poor understanding of economics, though I have always had an interest in the political and philosophical values and assumptions that underpin the various processes involv...

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Denial of Beauty by Austerity?

by Fa Dao, OHY

22-12-2004

The simplest of foods or the meanest of meals is a banquet if we appreciate it for what it is -- sustenance, a gift from the earth and the fruit of the labors of men and women. A simple noodle is fit ...

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How "Zen" is That?

by Yin De, OHY

16-09-2004

A friend of mine has a habit of asking me; "How Zen is that?" whenever I seem to react with any degree of emotion, particularly when I am angry about something. A year or so ago, when one of my neigh...

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The Three Jewels

by Chuan Zhi

08-04-2015

When we begin our journey in Buddhism, we commit to “taking refuge” in three principles: the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Taking refuge commonly means the act of going into something for shelte...

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The Circle of Life and Death

by Chuan Zhi

19-02-2010

My first encounter with a Zen teacher happened when I was in my late twenties. Zen had been an interest of mine for nearly a decade before this chance encounter with a person of Zen. I had never thoug...

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Bodhi day: the day of enlightenment

by Fa Dao, OHY

07-12-2007

It was the 8th day of the 12th lunar month, the story goes, that Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Shakyamuni, awoke from a week of meditation to view of the morning star - Venus - and exclaimed, "Tha...

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The Muddy Lake

Category: All Articles

by Anonymous

14-05-2015

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers.. This was in the initial days. While they were traveling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Budd...

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Reinventing Ourselves

by Chuan Zhi

01-04-2006

Before we can enter the domain of the spirit, we must exit the domain of self, that is, our ego-self. This requires nothing less than reinventing ourselves - creating a new understanding of who we are...

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Who Drags This Corpse? The Vajra-Sword of Hsu Yun

by Fa Gong, OHY

03-08-2007

For the beginner new to Chan's tactics, attacking a hua tou may seem too abstruse, too hard, and too alien to know how to approach it. As easy as it might be to sit and count our breaths, be mindful o...

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Measuring Reality

by Fa Gong, OHY

23-04-2007

Consider our first multi-day meditation retreat. After a couple of days of discomfort, both physical and psychological, the rebellious ego begins to question the authority of the "strange Oriental mon...

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The Stone and the Flower

Category: All Articles

by Anonymous

14-05-2015

"You have hardened", said the flower, bending her petals downward toward the half stone at her roots. "These rains should have softened you, made you more fertile and receptive to the seeds of the ...

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The Sexuality of Spirituality

by Chuan Zhi

11-10-2006

Anyone who cares to investigate advanced spiritual practices of the Buddhist traditions (and many others), or has delved into them directly, quickly comes to realize that the exalted spiritual state...

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A Dharma Chat: "The Opiate Of The Masses"

by Fa Gong, OHY

01-07-2008

It has wisely been said "no-one attains enlightenment." This is precisely true. There is no ego that attains nirvana. When nirvana IS attained, there is no personal ego to experience it. This is the c...

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A True Story

by Fa Dao, OHY

22-08-2004

Once upon a time there was a lone wolf. All of his life he had been free, independent and secure in the knowledge that he was a wolf (and a fine one at that) despite the opinion of certain other...

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Homeostasis and Zen

by Chuan Zhi

12-10-2004

When we allow ourselves to move far away from the center, we experience the pain and bitterness that the Buddha described in his First Noble Truth. The cause of that distress, he said, is attachment. ...

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Love Forever

by Fa Lian Shakya

04-01-2010

The seeds of love glow everywhere and in all things. Love is the eternal movement that from darkness brings all beings to the light, to the Supreme, to Sublimation. Love mysteriously penetrate...

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Dressing the Donkey

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Stuart Lachs

28-06-2009

Modern day Zen masters/roshi, while enjoying the decided advantage of being part of a tradition that imputes to them quasi-divine qualities, suffer the disadvantage of living in an age of widesprea...

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The Actor’s Curse?

by Chuan Zhi

03-01-2016

Acting is a powerful mechanism to draw out unconscious emotions because it gives us permission to; we are free from taking responsibility for them because, since we are acting, they are impl...

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A Dharma Chat: Right Speech

by Fa Gong, OHY

01-07-2008

Right Speech is not just about morality, or even limited to wisdom teachings. It is also about Right Mindfulness and contemplative discipline, about identifying, labeling, and being mindful of thought...

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Be true Be one Self

by Fa Tian

01-01-2015

Download: Be true Be one Self: The path of non-attachment (PDF) To be true Dialogue: Protagonists Three characters will accompany us throughout this book: I, me and Oneself. They will live unde...

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The Fast Way to Chan

by Chuan Zhi

28-01-2008

Many spiritual seekers get frustrated as they become lost in the myriad approaches to enlightenment presented in Buddhist literature and by various spiritual teachers: take this path … or that path; s...

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Who Am I? Reflections on Chan's Path

by Fa Gong, OHY

20-03-2006

Religion's ubiquitous "ism's" often leave me wondering about their relation to spiritual growth. I'm reminded of a famous Chan hua-toa, "If you don't really exist, why am I trying to save you?". Why, ...

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The Hua-Tou Practice

by Chuan Zhi

04-10-2011

Zen’s hua-tou practice recently seems to be enjoying a renaissance among the small contingent of Zen Buddhists speckling the globe.  In part, this may be due to the growing awareness that this ...

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Delving Into Dharma

by Chuan Zhi

13-07-1998

If there is one word with which we can summarize the beauty of Buddhist thought, that word is Dharma. We cannot read a book about Buddhism without encountering this term, yet its definition is as slip...

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Toward the Heart of Chan (Part 4 of 4)

by Chuan Zhi

16-12-2016

Part 1   |   Part 2   |   Part 3   |   Part 4 Stage Four: Meditation (samādhi) As we become progressively more adept at contemplation, described in Part 3, the mind b...

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Zen Pest Control

by Fa Zhao Shakya

17-01-2010

I just love all creatures great and small. From Gorillas to Bengal Tigers and from Lungfish to bizarre Stick Insects, they all play a tremendous role in the various cycles of our planet. These wond...

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The Refuge of No-Refuge

by Fa Dong Shakya

12-09-2013

The seeker trudges slowly up the mountain through the mists, not sure which path to take. He takes one path only to find that it dead-ends around a few large trees, forcing him to go back and take ...

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Sharing The Journey: The Wasted Moment

by Fa Dao, OHY

08-01-2003

Sitting and not thinking -- quietly watching the snow on the lawn, doing nothing including nothing itself. A wee curl of smoke from the incense stick twists and twirls and takes shape - a face almost ...

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"Why is Zen so pessimistic?"

by Chuan Zhi

12-10-2004

Buddhism is about the discovery of our own potential: it's about beauty, and about love. Buddhism embraces mankind's quest for knowledge in all its many manifestations: spiritual knowledge, scientific...

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And Still the Buddha Smiles

by Fa Che Shakya

03-11-2009

THE FLOWER SERMON: Toward the end of his life, the Buddha took his disciples to a quiet pond for instruction. As they had done so many times before, the Buddha's followers sat in a small circle aro...

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Toward the Heart of Chan (Part 3 of 4)

by Chuan Zhi

23-09-2016

Part 1   |   Part 2   |   Part 3   |   Part 4 Stage Three: Contemplation Concentration provides the foundation for contemplation (dhyana). While the two can be develo...

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The Tradition of Mountain Ascetic Zen

by Fa Lohng (Koro Kaisan)

27-08-2009

Among the most admired of Zen masters are those who have eschewed the temple life and opted instead for the life of a Mountain Ascetic. Asceticism is a cross-cultural, cross-religious and multidiscipl...

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Coming Down from the Zen Clouds

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Stuart Lachs

19-06-2009

Zen Buddhism became widely known in America through D. T. Suzuki's writings, which promoted a non-traditional, modernist interpretation of Zen. Suzuki was a Japanese writer and intellectual who had...

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Chan and the Eightfold Path

by Chuan Zhi

20-11-2004

In order to prepare ourselves for meditation, we must first begin to put our lives in order and act in accordance with what is right and good, both for us and for others. It is no simple task, for it ...

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Master Hsu Yun's Teachings (2)

by Fa Lian Shakya

03-02-2009

The words of Master Hsu Yun, with illustrations by Rev. Fa Lian Shakya Master Hsu Yun's Teachings (2)   ...

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So Simple, A Child Could Do It . . .

by Fa Xing (Hadashi Sharishi)

13-09-2010

A Zen Buddhist's perspective on the five precepts. I don't remember much about the fifth grade.  Oh, I remember a few faces, what the school looked like, and other such inane details, but I do...

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Yearning to be Met

by Chuan Zhi

08-05-2013

'The human heart yearns for contact - above all it yearns for genuine dialogue. Dialogue is at the heart of being human. Without it, we are not fully formed - there is a yawning abyss inside. With it...

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Long hard road, Zen

Category: All Articles

by Upasaka Fa Jin

29-03-2015

  Fool of ignorance and pain ferociously fight for survival terrifying world of misery and suffering samsara or nirvana?   Roam the roads of birth and death mind struggling to survive...

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When Righteousness Goes Wrong

by Fa Dao, OHY

11-11-2004

  Chan Buddhists, just like followers of other religions, want to do what's right. We strive to be righteous and to avoid self-aggrandizing actions and activities. It's imperative that we cons...

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Learning to Meditate

by Chuan Zhi

23-09-2014

Meditation requires that we are first in the right state of mind and body.  If we are "stressed out" we should first do something that will relax us, like exercise, gardening, cooking, taking a s...

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Trapped

by Chuan Zhi

03-11-2014

Some years ago I met a woman in her early sixties who told me she had been doing Zen for over forty years.  She told me the number of hours she had meditated throughout those years, a number som...

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Toward the Heart of Chan (1 of 4)

by Chuan Zhi

05-03-2016

Part 1   |   Part 2   |   Part 3   |   Part 4 Stage One: Non-Directive Meditation Chan (Zen) is, of course, the mystical tradition of Buddhism which originated in China...

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Silent Partners: Asceticism in Chan Buddhism

by Chuan Zhi

27-08-2009

Asceticism has come to be characterized in contemporary culture as an extreme form of religious practice; in particular, as a retreat from society, and as an even more extreme form of self-denial. We ...

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Cultivating Buddhi: The Dharma of Right Action

by Chuan Zhi

24-09-1998

Anyone who spends time around Zen people will hear references to "practicing."  Whenever we're asked to explain what it is we're practicing, we make either vague comments about Buddhic Nature or...

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Richard Baker: The Myth of the Zen Roshi

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Stuart Lachs

19-06-2009

Most people think of Zen as being iconoclastic, anti-authoritarian, simple, direct, and unattached. Its raison d'etre is to produce people who possess a fundamental insight into life, people who ar...

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Wild Zen

by Fa Zhao Shakya

18-09-2011

The genes that code for proteins in our human species are remarkably similar, often nearly identical, to those of many other species across the animal kingdom. It makes sense, considering that thro...

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Family Members - By Birth and By Choice

by Chuan Zhi

18-08-2004

A true Buddhist isn't necessarily a person who attends Buddhist services and who observes Buddhist traditions... no more than these public acts define a true Christian or Muslim. Living out the life o...

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Reincarnation

by Chuan Zhi

04-05-1999

When we recognize that the ego doesn't exist in any real sense but only as an artifice of the mind, there's nothing that needs explaining anymore: the notion of reincarnation is seen as nothing more t...

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The Prayer of a Zen Buddhist Atheist

by Yin De Shakya

19-02-2011

I gave a talk recently at the request of a church group that was interested in my perspective on prayer and worship as a Zen Buddhist and an Atheist. I told them that even though I am a Zen Buddhist ...

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Suffering: the Gateway to Transformation

by Chuan Zhi

25-06-2011

We cannot discover Chan without the precondition of suffering.  Some people think that this is a pessimistic view, or a perverted view, of a practice (meditation) that can be done by anyone, and ...

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Buddhism and Psychotherapy: A Perspective

by Fa Gong

22-01-2009

What we typically label as simply "mind" is, in Pali, substantially more precise. Our broad concept might of mind could be translated in Pali as vijnana, or consciousness. Nowhere does it suggest in B...

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When the Saints Go Marching In: Modern Day Zen Hagiography

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Stuart Lachs

15-03-2011

This paper takes a critical look at recently published biographies of two modern day Chan/ Zen teachers in America. The popular American magazine “Tricycle: A Buddhist Review” printed b...

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The Eye of Practice

by Fa Che, OHY

25-11-2008

Buddhism brings many of us to understand that individualism does not exist and is a delusion: that there is no birth, no death, no self, no "I" that exists as an independent reality. We come to recogn...

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Introduction to my Articles

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Stuart Lachs

19-06-2009

Introduction to my Articles5.29 KB26/01/2012, 12:42   I have been a Zen practitioner for roughly forty years. Many years ago I became interested in viewing Zen from a scholarly po...

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Using the Sutras

by Fa Dao, OHY

02-09-2004

We study the Sutras as a guide as we embark on our own spiritual adventures. They provide us strength in times of difficulties, give us solace in times of despair, and motivate us in times of apathy. ...

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The Intrinsic Nature of Meditation

by Fa Dao Shakya

01-06-2011

Meditation is a key factor in Chan / Zen and Buddhism in general -- and yet we have no monopoly on the concept of meditation as a spiritual pursuit. Every religion has a tradition approaching meditat...

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Spectrum Zen

by Fa Zhao Shakya

14-08-2009

With so many labeled human conditions in our world these days like Autism, ADHD, Bi Polar, Cerebral Palsy etc, one would wonder if Zen is only available to the so called ‘normals' or does it ...

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Remembering Jonestown: a Homage to the Dead, a Prayer for the Living

by Chuan Zhi

25-11-2008

What is it about us humans that we seek, with such ferocity, to belong to a group, to the extent that some of us will believe whatever we are told to believe for the sake of the group? We put our own ...

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Master Hsu Yun's Teachings (4)

by Fa Lian Shakya

28-04-2009

The concepts of Master Hsu Yun, with illustrations by Rev. Fa Lian Shakya The Teachings of Hsu Yun (4)   ...

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Zen and Death: Jung’s Final Experience

Category: All Articles

by Michael Gellert

17-09-2015

“Death,” Jung wrote in 1945 not long after his heart attack, “is the hardest thing from the outside and as long as we are outside of it. But once inside you taste of such completeness and peace and fu...

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Destiny

by Chuan Zhi and Fa Jian

28-07-2013

Rev. Fa Jian (Dale Ryan) recently returned from Belize where he worked for 6 months to help impoverished communities get clean drinking water.  Through this inspiring interview with Dale, we lear...

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Holier Than Thou

by Fa Gong, OHY

01-07-2008

How is it that the "spiritual" person, for whom we might assume humility to be an essential characteristic, so often presents as aloof and arrogant? It is bad enough that the "holier...

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The Fire of Desire: The Buddha's Second Noble Truth

by Yin De, OHY

07-05-2003

Today, I'd like to talk about the Second Noble Truth of Buddhism - desire and craving, the cause of suffering. It's human nature to want more of what we like and to have better than what we have - not...

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The Monk, The Man and the Fish

by Fa Dao, OHY

03-05-2005

A solitary monk was carrying a large fish to his home to prepare it for his meal. As he walked along the path, a man approached from the other direction. As he reached hailing distance, the man ca...

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Hua-t’ou: A Method of Zen Meditation

Category: Stuart Lachs

by Stuart Lachs

09-03-2012

  There are two different ways of understanding and actually practicing Zen. These two different ways are termed in Chinese pen chueh and shih-chueh respectively. The term pen chueh refers...

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The Problem With Precepts

by Fa Gong, OHY

01-11-2008

A fundamental recognition of a maturing life is that rarely is it what we do that defines us, but rather why we do it. The history of jurisprudence reflects the same increasing sophistication; the acc...

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