Chan Garden

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“I took a different approach to teaching Chan in the West, adapting it to the lives of my followers, laypeople who could only stay in retreat for a few days. […] My approach is different from the approach used in China’s Chan Halls. In Chinese Chan, there is no exercise other than periods of fast walking to break up longer periods of still, silent sitting meditation. I have combined in my teaching this Chinese technique of fast walking with the Theravada practice of slow walking. I also use yoga from India and Taiji and massage from China in my teaching. Westerners seem to like and respond well to this variety and the mix of stillness and motion.” – from Footprints in the Snow by Chan Master Sheng Yen more
Chan exists universally and eternally. There is no need for any teacher to transmit it; what is transmitted is just the method by which one can personally experience Chan. In China, the Chan school developed from Indian Dhyana Buddhism, which taught methods of meditative concentration aimed at the attainment of an absorbed, concentrated state of mind. This school later spread to other countries from China, and is called Zen in Japan, Son in Korea, and Thien in Vietnam. More...
Although the methods of tso-ch'an (sitting meditation) given above are simple and straightforward, it is best to practice them under the guidance of a teacher. Without a teacher, a meditator will not be able to correct beginner's mistakes, which if uncorrected, could lead to problems or lack of useful results. In practicing tso-ch'an, it is important that body and mind be relaxed. If one is physically or mentally tense, trying to do tso-ch'an can be counter-productive. Sometimes certain feelings or phenomena arise while meditating. If you are relaxed, whatever symptoms arise are usually good. It can be pain, soreness, itchiness, warmth or coolness, these can all be beneficial. But in the context of tenseness, these same symptoms may indicate obstacles.
Dharma Drum’s Eight-Form Moving Meditation is a set of easy-to-learn exercises that can be practiced almost anywhere and at anytime. This system of “meditation through motion” is beneficial to both body and mind, and once acquired through diligent practice, can be performed whether walking, standing, sitting or reclining, so that you are always mindful of being relaxed in body and mind. By practicing the Eight Forms, you will always be composed and at ease, and at every moment enjoy the bliss of meditation and the joy of the Dharma
Learning Chan methods and propagating the teachings of the dharma Rebecca Li, a disciple of the late Master Sheng Yen, learnt Chan Practices from Master Sheng Yen in the US and served as a translator for the Master in many international conferences. Initially skeptical of Buddhism, she is now devoted to the practice of the Path of the Bodhisattva and to the propagation of Chan Buddhism. What causes this change? Below is her story:
Chan retreat July 27 – August 17, 2019
Led by VEN. CHI CHERN FASHI
Date: July 27 – August 17, 2019; Dluzew, Poland.
Registration: More info and registration
7 Days Chan Retreat, Led by Venerable Chang Wu Fashi from Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre
Date: Mo 26. August – Mo 2. September 2019
Retreat location: Haus Tao, CH-9427 Wolfhalden
Retreat fee: (including veg. meals, lodging in with one, two or three beds): 7 Days CHF 690 /Euro 600 (Sponsor: CHF 750 /Euro 660)
Registration: More info and registration
Silent Illumination Intensive Retreat
Date: May 25 – June 2, 2019
Venue: DDRC
Led by Simon Child & Rebecca Li
Begins: Saturday, May 25, check in 4-6 pm
Ends: Sunday, June 2, 1:30 pm
Fee: $525
Openings: Available – Openings: Available – Registration
Deadline: May 21
Led by DDRC Monastics Any Level Fee: $35
no bus for this event
Begins: Saturday 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/20, 2019
Check-in: 8:45 am
End Time: 5:00 PM
Option: Stay over night: Sunday 3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21
Deadline: please apply at least one day in advance
Time: June 7-9, 2019
Led by Abbot Guo Yuan
Level: Intermediate
Fees: $220
Begins: Friday June 7, 2019 Check-in: 4:00 - 6:00 PM - late arrival not allowed
End Date: Sunday June 9, 2019 End Time:4:00 PM
Deadline: no applications accepted after June 4
Registration: HERE
Those who are anxious cannot reach samadhi nor attain enlightenment; their worry and impatience drives them to continually compare themselves with others, which in turn generates a mind of gain and loss. You should not compare yourself with others nor with great practitioners of the past.
The Ocean of Suffering Even though sentient beings cherish life and fear death, we all must die and be born, be born and then die. Sometimes we must die when we are not willing to do so. And we have no choice over the environment in which we are born. This process of birth and death is like a flow of history without a beginning or an end, so it is called “the ocean of suffering.”
In a world of great uncertainties and alienation, in a life full of challenges and difficulties,we need an anchor, a compass, and a lighthouse to help us cross the choppy sea of life. The key lies in our mind, in how much we know about our own mind and whether we can be the master of our own mind. International Meditation Group, IMG, shares with you the why and how of life as taught by Chan Buddhism, through which we can find true peace and wisdom, as well as the delight of life and the warmth in the world. Come and join us in the meditation practice conducted regularly on Saturday morning. Please visit IMG for details.
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The Living Environment of Human Beings Among the important living environment for human beings are these four: the meterial, the spiritual, the social, and the natural.
All Christian denominations, new or old, emphasize the importance of baptism. It is only after baptism that one formally becomes a Christian. For many Christian sects, the beliefs behind this ritual are similar to those of some Indian religions that superstitiously claim that bathing in a sacred river can cleanse one’s sins.
How Should One Approach Daily Meditation Practices?
SHIH-FU: You know you want to benefit from daily practice, but you don't know how to go about doing it. First, you should have a proper mental attitude towards practice. Second, you should know and use a method. Before you practice your method, it is important that your body and mind be relaxed. But you might not know how to relax then. In trying you might even become more tense; or you might relax so much you fall asleep. Both extremes are wrong. That's why a proper mental attitude toward practice is important. More...
As we all have vexations, we often feel uneasy; since on this retreat we have heard the Buddhadharma, we should use it to dissolve the vexations.

Chan practice requires both the guidance of concepts and the cultivation of body and mind. The guidance of concepts consists of dissolving the vexations in our mind through hearing Buddhadharma; from this we derive the joy of the Dharma.

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Where does the feeling of a deep sense of loneliness come from?
People who cannot connect themselves with the outside world in terms of space and time, who do not understand cause and effect, and causes and conditions, will feel lonely. When I was in solitary retreat, I knew that I was together with all sentient beings in innumerable worlds. Even though I seemed to be alone in a small, enclosed room, actually I was in the company of many ants who found their way inside, and insects outside of the hut created all kinds of sounds in the evening. More...
Full-texts Contents:
Affirming, Developing, and Dissolving the Self
Cultivating a Strong Character

Affirming, Developing, and Dissolving the Self
At Dharma Drum Mountain meditation camp, I emphasize affirming and developing the self, but after we do that, we should dissolve the self and transcend our human character to perfect pure mind. We do not measure success or failure in terms of visible or invisible fame, fortune, power, or status. Who do you think will become a Buddha first? Will it be someone here in the audience, or will it be me? You might think it won’t be one of my disciples, but me. In fact, that’s not necessarily so. In a marathon, people who are ahead early may fall behind, and people who are behind at first may move ahead. People are continuously changing positions. Therefore, in practice, do not pay attention to whether others are running faster or practicing better than you, and don’t be concerned about who’s ahead and who’s behind. The most important thing is to give your best all the time.More...
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Contents: Shunning or Renouncing the World
by Chan Master Sheng Yen
Year of the Dog
by Venerable Guo Yuan
Why Do We (Buddhist Dharma Practitioners) March?
by Rebecca Li
Returning to Origins
by Ernest Heau
Chan Meditation Retreats
Chan Meditation Center Affiliates
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Contents:
The Place of Women in Buddhism
by Chan Master Sheng Yen
Return to Shawangunk
by Venerable Guo Yuan
Mindfulness of Breathing as Applied to Advanced Chan Methods
by Venerable Guo Huei
Buddhism and Race
by Rebecca Li
Chan Meditation Retreats
Chan Meditation Center Affiliates
Please click here to see full text Contents: My Intellectual Autobiography–Life in the Army (by Chan Master Sheng Yen) Don’t Think (by Gilbert Gutierrez) The Arising of Conditioned Appearance From the True Mind–Part 11 (by Abbot Venerable Guo Xing) The Past (from CMC, DDRC and DDMBA Worldwide) The Future (retreats, classes and upcoming events) Chan Meditation Center Affiliates
Please click here to see full text Contents: From the Editor Reason and Emotion(by Chan Master Sheng Yen) The Arising of Conditioned Appearance From the True Mind–Part 7(by Abbot Venerable Guo Xing) Strong Determination(by Žarko Andričević) Retreat Report(by Maria Balog) The Past (from CMC, DDRC and DDMBA Worldwide) The Future (retreats, classes and upcoming events) Chan Meditation Center Affiliates
Please click here to see full text Contents: A Dream Narrative(by Chan Master Sheng Yen) Butterfly Dream (by Zhuang Zhou) The Arising of Conditioned Appearance From the True Mind-Part 3(by Abbot Venerable Guo Xing) Training Story (by Guo Gu) My Mother′s Last Gift (by Xueshan) Retreat Report (by Mimi Yu) The Contractor (by Harry Miller) The Past(News from CMC, DDMBA and DDRC) The Future(Retreats, classes and upcoming events) Chan Meditation Center Affiliates
Please click here to see full text Contents: From the Editor On Gong’ans(by Chan Master Sheng Yen, translated by Guo Gu) When A Beautiful Woman’s Spirit Departs(by Guo Gu) The Water Buffalo’s Tail(by Harry Miller) Working with Gong’ans (by Simon Child) Master and Student(by Gilbert Gutierrez) The Past(News from CMC, DDMBA and DDRC) The Future(Retreats, classes and upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Please click here to see full text Contents: From the Editor World Crises and Fundamentalism(Dharma Talk by Chan Master Sheng Yen) Hidden Assumptions, Fixed Views(Dharma Talk by Dr. Simon Child) Leaving Home, Part Four(How David Kabacinski became Changwen Fashi by Ven. Changwen) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future (Retreats, classes and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Please click here to see full text Contents: From the Editor In Retrospect(Early Lectures of Master Sheng Yen in America, Part 3) Difficult Practice (Retreat Talk by Ven. Guo Ru) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future (Retreats, classes and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Please click here to see full text Contents: From the Editor The Seven Factors of Enlightenment(The second of three articles by Chan Master Sheng Yen) Ink and Water(Interview with Ven. Chi Chern by Buffe Laffey) Huatou vs. Silent Illumination(Retreat talk by Guo Ru Fashi) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future(Retreats, classes and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Spring 2009 Please click here to see full text Contents From Dharma Drum Mountain(Official notification of Shifu’s passing) Last Will and Testament Transmission(Dharma teachers-in-training meet Shifu for the final time) New Year Greetings(Master Sheng Yen’s final talks) Gratitude and Vows(by Guogu) The Noble Eightfold Path(The third of four articles by Chan Master Sheng Yen) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future(Retreats, classes and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Spring 2008 Please click here to see full text Contents From the Editor Chan Comes West(A selection of Chan Master Sheng Yen’s earliest teachings in America) "Rising Compassion"(CMC’s 30th Anniversary Celebration) Walking With the Buddha(Photo essay by Rikki Asher) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future(Retreats, classes, and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Spring 2007 Please click here to see full text Contents From the Editor "How Do We Achieve Peace?"(Opening and closing remarks to the Young Leaders Peacebuilding Retreat by Chan Master Sheng Yen) Hongzhi’s Silent Illumination Chan(Excerpts from the Extensive Record of Chan Master Hongzhi translated by Guogu) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future(Retreats, classes, and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Spring 2004 Please click here to see full text Contents: From the Editor The Four Proper Exertions: Part Four(The last in a series of four articles by Chan Master Sheng Yen) Like a Sound-Absorbing Board(An excerpt from"Master Sheng Yen teaches Guan Yin's Methods of Practice" by Master Sheng Yen, translated by Ocean Cloud) Traveling with Shifu to Jerusalem(By Rebecca Li) Everything is OK; Just Relax(Retreat Report by C.M.) Why Yoga?(By Rikki Asher) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future(Retreats, classes, and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Spring 2005 Please click here to see full text Contents From the Editor Dharma of Teachings, Dharma of Mind (The third in a series of lectures based on the Platform Sutra by Chan Master Sheng Yen) In Memoriam(Professor David Chappell;Zen Master Seuhng Sahn) “What Is Wu?”(Retreat Report by M.L.) “Homage to Guan Yin Pusa”(Poem by Ernest Heau, Drawing by Rikki Asher) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future (Retreats, classes, and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
Spring 2006 Please click here to see full text Contents From the Editor The Four Foundations of Mindfulness(The first of two lectures on the mindfulness practices by Chan Master Sheng Yen) Hold Steady, Swirling(Poem by Mike Morical) Hung-chou Chan(An article on the origins of Chan Buddhism’s unique style of practice and discourse by Dale S. Wright) Retreat Reports(Reports from the retreats at DDRC) The Past(News from the Chan Meditation Center and DDMBA) The Future(Retreats, classes, and other upcoming events) Chan Center Affiliates
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