Chan

I'm a chan master ask me anything.

Most of you probably know japanese zen, which has it's roots in chinese chan.
Founded by Bodhidharma, followed by the 5 patriarchs, followed by a multitude of masters.

A special transmission outside the scriptures, not dependent on words and letters. Directly pointing to our mind, seeing our nature and becoming enlightened.

I'm well read in chan literature, not so well in buddhist sutras.

Ask me anything really, I can answer from my experience, but I can also quote the masters on any given topic (related to chan) if you want.

Other urls found in this thread:

sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/mumonkan.htm

Do you ever beat your students?

What are the differences between the average Western practicioner and the average Chinese practicioners?

Which Chan school do you follow?

What is the Buddha?

To clear some common misconceptions:

1. Chan is not buddhism. It is often misleadingly called zen buddhism.
2. Chan is not about meditation. Those guys you see meditating 8hrs a day are buddhists.
3. Meditation is mostly unrelated to enlightenment

Fellow Buddhist here, although following Theravada teachings.

What kind of meditation technique do you practice? Did you reach any jhanas?

Is enlightenment sudden or gradual?

Is it irreversible or reversible?

>Do you ever beat your students?
I usually prefer screams.

>What are the differences between the average Western practicioner and the average Chinese practicioners?
Not much, besides the known cultural differences. Chinese people are mostly secular, as are most europeans I know.
If someone is a devout christian the difference would probably be bigger, but those people don't usually come to chan masters to ask for help.

>Which Chan school do you follow?
Southern, we see ourselves in the tradition of linji, although no master I know claims direct lineage to him.

>What is the Buddha?
What you see before you

How should a lay person behave according to Chan?

What is the function of monasticism?

>What kind of meditation technique do you practice?
none, meditation can be part of chan, but not in my school

>Did you reach any jhanas?
We don't teach chasing states.

>Is enlightenment sudden or gradual?
sudden

>Is it irreversible or reversible?
irreversible

If not by meditation, how do you help students obtain enlightenment?

What do you think of the late Master Sheng Yen?

>How should a lay person behave according to Chan?
My advice to interested lay persons is to read the chan literature.
Read bodhidharma, sengcan's "faith in mind" is great and also short, mazu, baizhang, huangbo, linji, etc.
They are just different explanations of the same fundamental truth. Maybe one of them makes you get it, if you're a little lucky.

Other than that, do whatever you want.

>What is the function of monasticism?
Living close together with a master and a group of students can be helpful. In our school, conversation and interaction is the main means of teaching.

Other than that, it's not necessary. You can practice chan as lay person.

>If someone is a devout christian the difference would probably be bigger, but those people don't usually come to chan masters to ask for help.

Not usually.

>If not by meditation, how do you help students obtain enlightenment?
Conversation and interaction.
Specifics depend on the student.
There are students who just need to get hit with a stick to finally get it, others need hours upon hours of discussion.

>What do you think of the late Master Sheng Yen?
Didn't meet him, didn't read any of his books.

Discussion about what?

Depends on the student and on my mood too, we don't have a curriculum.

My main concern is being a living example. Usually when students are there, they will want something from me (what else do they do here?). I'm usually just reacting to that.

They come here to find some kind of enlightenment, liberation, dao, god or whatever. I show them their delusions.

Dialogues are often about bringing the student to a point where his mind can't move anymore, but that is much more dependent on the student than on the topic of conversation.

Tell us a dank koan.

>I'm a chan master
Why is Baneposting such a good meme?

>Chan is not buddhism
Why is that? And how? Every single source I've found says otherwise, that it is a school of Buddhism.

Do you use western philosophy-wisdom-etc?

Good question, I'm wondering, too, since Bodhidharma is credited with introducing Buddhism to China.

Master Shuzan held up his staff before his disciples and said,
”You monks! If you call this a staff, you oppose its reality. If you do not call it a staff, you ignore the fact. Tell me, you monks, what will you call it?"

>Why is Baneposting such a good meme?
for you

A glorified piece of wood?

I won't call it

I'm not well read enough in western philosophy yet.
I'm working on that, though.
Haven't found anything comparable to chan yet, do you know some philosopher who might be interesting?

The same way christianity is not judaism. Jesus was a jew, but are christians jews? do they believe the same stuff? Do they read the same texts? I don't think so.

We don't recite sutras, we don't teach the 4 noble truths or the 8 fold path, we don't teach meditation or reaching jhanas.
Chan is not about doctrinal knowledge, while buddhism often very much is.

Introducing CHAN Buddhism to China.

Buddhism itself had entered China in various forms long before Bodhidharma showed up.

This answer leaves something to be desired, because I've literally never heard anyone claim that Ch'an isn't Buddhism before.
[citation needed]

He didn't call him self chan buddhist. He was a buddhist mostly teaching the teachings of the lankavatara sutra.
If you read the lanka, it seems very likely that it was really the origin of chan.
In my opinion, reading the masters starting from bodhidharma is more helpful than reading the lanka though, since they get the message across more clearly.

No, I'm not well read enough in philosophy (western or of any other kind) either.

What would you say to a man who wants some kind of spiritual path, enlightenment, etc, but who has never been able to believe in anything spiritual since he reached teenager-hood?

What more can I say? We don't read traditional buddhist texts (tripitaka), we don't believe buddhist doctrine.

Arthur Wright separates the assimilation of Indian Buddhism to Chinese philosophy into four stages:
The Period of Preparation (ca. 65-317 AD)
The Period of Domestication (ca. 317-589 AD)
The Period of Acceptance and Independent Growth (ca. 589-900 AD)
The Period of Appropriation (ca. 900-1900 AD)

Wright, Arthur F. (1959) Buddhism in Chinese History. Stanford, CA: Stanford
University Press.

Bodhidharma showed up in 5th or 6th Century

>The Period of Preparation (ca. 65-317 AD)
>The Period of Domestication (ca. 317-589 AD)
What exactly was going on in this time, and how does Wright justify his division?

You're full of shit. Along with bad advice and mistaking reading for insight, you're producing blatant misinformation.

>1. Chan is not buddhism. It is often misleadingly called zen buddhism.

There are actual Ch'an teachers active publically and on the internet. Every single one identifies as Buddhist.

>2. Chan is not about meditation. Those guys you see meditating 8hrs a day are buddhists.

Here is what the founder of your school had to say about the subject.

"What is it in this teaching that we call 'sitting in meditation' (tso-ch'an or zazen)? In this teaching 'sitting' means without any obstruction anywhere, outwardly and under all circumstances, not to activate thoughts. 'Meditation' is internally to see the original nature and not become confused.

And what do we call Ch'an meditation (ch'an-ting)? Outwardly to exclude form is 'ch'an'; inwardly to be unconfused is meditation (ting) . Even though there is form on the outside, when internally the nature is not confused, then, from the outset, you are of yourself pure and of yourself in meditation. The very contact with circumstances itself causes confusion . Separation from form on the outside is 'ch'an'; being untouched on the inside is meditation (ting). Being 'ch'an' externally and meditation (ting) internally, it is known as ch'an meditation (ch'an-ting).

"Be the same as you would if I were here, and sit all together in meditation. If you are only peacefully calm and quiet, without motion, without stillness, without birth, without destruction, without coming, without going, without judgments of right and wrong, without staying and without going - this, then, is the Great Way."

>3. Meditation is mostly unrelated to enlightenment

Same dude: "Meditation and wisdom are of one essence, not different. Meditation is the essence of wisdom, and wisdom is the function of meditation. At times of wisdom, meditation exists in that wisdom; at times of meditation, wisdom exists in that meditation."

You're great for chan, since it doens't require you to believe anything.
You don't need to join a monastry or join some kind of chan center.
Just start reading the literature and see how you like it.
Books I consider a good start are "Sun faced buddha" (the record of chan master Mazu and his disciples) and the Gateless Gate.
Mazu has some interesting discourses, while the gateless gate is a koan collection commented by master Wumen (jap. Mumon), which will make you think for yourself.

You can actually read the gateless gate here: sacred-texts.com/bud/zen/mumonkan.htm

Thank you very much for the recommendations. I will look at them.

Btw I've said that I couldn't recommend anything because I have not read enough, but I think Epictetus is very enlightening. No weird stuff, just dealing with life stuff.

>What exactly was going on in this time
The Wen Xuan contains a poem dated 130 AD which contains the first explicit reference to Buddhism.

In the end of the Preparation phase he says there is evidence of Chinese translations of the Prajna sutra, and the architects shifting from Indian stupa into the pagodas.

In the Domestication phase the Confucianism-dominated Han starts to make room for the new Daoism. Huìyuan shows up, a convert with a classical Confucian formation that also read the Daodejing and Zhuangzi and uses a lot of Daoist terminology in his lecture on the Prajna-paramita.

Wright uses literature, archaeology and anything else he can get his hands on.

>mistaking reading for insight
No, but reading the texts of chan masters is better than nothing.
Might help, might not help, you never know.
Direct teaching is better, but most people don't want that.

>There are actual Ch'an teachers active publically and on the internet. Every single one identifies as Buddhist.
They can identify as genderfluid christian buddhist rabbis for all I care.

>Here is what the founder of your school had to say about the subject.
If you had read the other texts of my school, you'd find plenty of quotes discrediting meditation.

From Master Linji:

One day the Councilor Wang visited the master. When he met the mas-
ter in front of the Monks’ Hall, he asked, “Do the monks of this monastery
read the sutras?”
“No, they don’t read sutras,” said the master.
“Th en do they learn meditation?” asked the councilor.
“No, they don’t learn meditation,” answered the master.
“If they neither read sutras nor learn meditation, what in the world are
they doing?” asked the councilor.
“All I do is make them become buddhas and patriarchs,” said the master.
Th e councilor said, “‘Th ough gold dust is valuable, in the eyes it causes
cataracts.’”
“I always used to think you were just a common fellow,” said the master.

Bodhidharma in your quote say "meditation is internally to see the original nature and not become confused", that is also our teaching. You don't need to sit for that.

In Master Huangbo's words:

Q: What instructions have the Masters everywhere given
for dhyana-practice [meditation] and the study of the Dharma?
A: Words used to attract the dull of wit are not to be
relied on.

In other passages he says teaching like this are like stories told to children to stop them from crying.

Also he does insist the transformation is gradual

If you were an actual ch'an teacher and not a keyboard jockey, you'd know the source of the quotes, and the founder of the Southern Ch'an school, is Hui-Neng.

Linji's teachings were esoteric and are easy to misunderstand like most koan cases. his students engaged silent illumination/meditation/whatever you want to call it very rigorously. In the same way some Zen teachers call zazen distinct from meditation because it does not involve mental contemplation.

Based on OP's posts, it can be deduced that he entirely missed the point of Ch'an. You're not a master, kid, nor anything close. You probably read two books and now you think you know shit.

We usually consider Bodhidharma our founder.
Sorry I don't know all texts by heart, the topic of them is similar enough that both might have said that.

>Linji's teachings were esoteric and are easy to misunderstand like most koan cases. his students engaged silent illumination/meditation/whatever you want to call it very rigorously. In the same way some Zen teachers call zazen distinct from meditation because it does not involve mental contemplation.
Linji was just a little eccentric, but in no way were his teachings special or esoteric. Not more than other chan masters anyway.
Believing in tools like meditation leads to attainment thinking, state chasing etc., which are really a obstacles that could be avoided by avoiding meditation in the first place.

You might want to tell me the point of chan then, always happy to listen

If you actually practiced meditation as taught in Ch'an and Zen for over a thousand years, you'd be aware it has nothing to do with attainment or chasing states.

>meditating to become enlightened
>not chasing a state

so how do you reach enlightenment op?

Bodhidharma has one spoken record, the bloodstream sermon. It's very brief and the content is known to pretty much every Ch'an and Zen practicioner I've met.

Linji's teaching is esoteric in that he's exhorting students who are engaged in rigorous meditation practice to let go of preconcieved notions regarding meditation and enlightenment. It's true that ch'an discipline involved more monestary work than sitting meditation at the time, but they still did the latter to a great degree. He's not telling the average layperson to forget about spiritual practice and do whatever they want. That interpretation arose with Alan Watts in the mid-1900's, but it's not the doctrines of Ch'an and Zen lineages past and present.

In Ch'an and Zen meditation is not practiced in order to reach a goal such as enlightenment. Meditation is itself the expression of enlightenment. Very important distinction.

What does it mean to be a Ch'an master?

>what Ch'an was in the beginning
A system that rebelled against the established MUH TEXTS and I WILL "OBTAIN" ENLIGHTENMENT AND "GO" TO THE "PLACE" WITHOUT SUFFERING views of the era and employed b8 tactics to shock people back into the middle way

>what Ch'an is today
DUDE JUST CHOP WOOD LMAO NOTHING IS REAL EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED :^)

>DUDE JUST CHOP WOOD LMAO NOTHING IS REAL EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED :^)
Modern Chinese "Buddhism" is CCP-controlled propaganda-action designed to glorify manual labor.

Judging from the OP it means you read a bunch of stuff on Wikipedia, watched some Alan Watts videos, then declared yourself to be one on Veeky Forums.

No, not really. It's more complicated than that.
Also this attitude is more prevalent outside China than inside, AFAIK. It's largely due to "modernized" and butchered Japanese Zen further butchered by certain ebin Japanese and Westerners.

>It's more complicated than that.
Is it?
>this attitude
What attitude?

thats modern soto zen, not chan
dogens teaching are not chan

In chan, everything is miraculous function, be it meditation or going for a walk, all is expression of your true nature.
meditation is not special in that regard, so it's not more related to enlightenment than any other thing you do.

The origin of bodhidharmas record is questionable though. I've read the bodhidharmas sermons (there's more than just bloodstream), and the platform sutra (and other stuff by hui neng), but since you spoke of "founder" I assumed bodhidharma and your quote being part of the sermons didn't sound to far fetched.

The origin of hui nengs sutra is even more questionable than bodhidharmas record.

Letting go of preconcieved notions regarding spirituality and enlightenment is exactly the point of chan, that's why linji teaches that.
If you have no preconcieved notion of meditation, there is no use in teaching one to you just to take it away later on.

Stop discriminative mind without departing from it.

>Is it?
Ye
>What attitude?
"DUDE JUST CHOP WOOD LMAO NOTHING IS REAL EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED :^)"

What's the purpose of the whole thing? Why should I follow it or whatever you do with it?

What do you mean by discriminative mind?

By his logic you shouldn't.

Well, a chan master has mastered chan.
Chan is about seeing one's nature.
You do that, you're a master.

What's the purpose of any form of philosophy? To find out more about reality and yourself.
Chan does that too, but not with discursive thought as western philosophy does, but with an experiential approach.
Seeing your nature is a first hand experience. Something discursive philosophy could never give you.
It also "solves" other common mysteries western philosophy is also aware of, but has a hard time solving. Like all of metaphysics and epistemology.

>Chan is about seeing one's nature.
>You do that, you're a master.
Sorry if I sound stupid, how do you know you have seen your own nature?
Or is it a "ye only know if ye did it" thing?

Discrimination is the process of dividing wholeness into things.
Into pairs of opposites like right/wrong, subject/object, etc.
But also literally dividing perception into things.
Tables, apples, oak trees.

Discriminatory mind is the mind that does exactly that.

I'm not even disagreeing with you.
I don't think anyone needs to do this.
If you want to fine, if not also fine.

I don't need to convert people.
Students come to me and ask for help on their way. I help.
Other people don't come to me and I don't ask them to come.

can you achieve enlightenment through Veeky Forums?

Chan...Veeky Forums

is this irony or just a coincidence?

If you get it and it's as ridiculously obvious that you wonder how you couldn't get that from the beginning, you probably got it right.
Like when you search your keys and then you find out you've got them in your hand already.

If you experience something and it's gone a few seconds later, that's some temporal state, that's not it. Once you see it, you can't unsee it and there's also no "before" seeing it.

Veeky Forums is the main means to achieve enlightenment in this day and age

tired of reddit, master ewk?

kek, I know that guy, but I'm not him, sorry.

I doubt he'd be retarded enough to do a thread like this on Veeky Forums.

>I'm a chan master ask me anything.

Why did the fox say?

you guys in a club or what? any chan masters in usa other than you and you know who?