Chan and Modern Life

Vexed Most by the Enemy within – Our Own Mind

  We are vexed most by the enemy within – our own minds. Our thoughts, feelings, attitudes and perceptions change constantly. We can move from arrogance to regret, from joy to sorrow, from hate to love, in a matter of seconds. As time passes, our point of view changes, so that we look at something old in an entirely new way. But when we are caught in turmoil of thought and feeling, we feel conflicted and powerless to make decisions. We worry about gain or loss, right or ...

Chan and Anxieties in Modern Life

Modern communication being so rapid causes people much anxiety and nightmares; they cannot feel relaxed as long as there is social disorder throughout the world. This is true whether one experiences this directly or indirectly, whether it concerns the self, family, society, country, political/economic life, or religious belief. As long as the situation affects one’s personal safety or peril, gain or loss, success or failure, people cannot sit back and relax For Emotional Problems, ...

Eliminating Anxiety and Fear

Chen: Human suffer from two major psychological impediments: fear and anxiety. When caught up in fear and anxiety, people are often unable to make the right decision. Either they are indecisive, overly cautious, and lacking in resolution, or they are rash and impatient, often making hasty decisions. How can we eliminate anxiety and fear, and stay calm and unruffled? Let us ask Master Sheng Yen for guidance.   The reason why fear and anxiety emerge Master Sheng Yen: In fact, ...

Where does the feeling 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 e...

Affirming, Developing, and Dissolving the Self

 Dissolve the Self and Transcend Human Character 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...

Mindfulness and Self-improvement

Resonate with Inner State   Strong character can be developed and nurtured through  education, art, and religion, but these avenues of self  improvement are not entirely dependable. Some, lured by the temptations of fame, fortune, and power, take up education, art, or religion, and appear to be of noble or saintly character, but in the depths of their hearts, they may harbor unspeakable ambitions and schemes. There are hypocrites who are highly educated and bad p...