pueraeternus wrote:Venerable Huifeng: I wanted to reply to your earlier posting but it was deleted for some reason. In any case, I would still like to ask - could you briefly describe how each of these organizations are perceived (with regards to their focus, forte, doctrinal specialties, etc) in Taiwan?
icylake wrote:if one wanted to know what Chinese Busshiam is, then Foguangshan would be the best choice. their linage came from Lin ji Chan tradition(Rinzai Japan, lIm je, Korea, lam the, Vietnam), but since Chinese Lin ji sect had evolved to hybrid of pure land and zen practice after Song dynasty, so main practice of Foguangshan is very like that of pure land-Nian Fo-
This is why the organizations are so heavily attached to their founders at the moment. It might also prove to be their undoing in the long-term.
JKhedrup wrote:You would know better than I Huseng, but according to my limited observations it seems Dharma Drum Mountain has so far weathered the passing of its founder Master Sheng Yen quite well, with the abbotship passing to a senior bhikshu and disciple.
Huseng wrote:icylake wrote:if one wanted to know what Chinese Busshiam is, then Foguangshan would be the best choice. their linage came from Lin ji Chan tradition(Rinzai Japan, lIm je, Korea, lam the, Vietnam), but since Chinese Lin ji sect had evolved to hybrid of pure land and zen practice after Song dynasty, so main practice of Foguangshan is very like that of pure land-Nian Fo-
Foguangshan like most of Taiwanese Buddhism is a highly reformed and modified form of what used to be Buddhism on the mainland. There are vast differences between what you see now and what used to exist. Some examples of this is the improved status of nuns, the emphasis on complete Vinaya ordinations, the lack of wandering monks and the system of having a single master for thousands of disciples. They also threw out the old pagan gods of old from the temples. You don't even see much of the old Dharma Guardians that are commonly found in more traditional temples and of course Japan where they have preserved a lot of Chinese Buddhism that was otherwise abandoned or destroyed in China and Taiwan. In some ways Japan has better preserved classical Chinese Buddhism than later and modern China did. The true heirs to Tang Dynasty Buddhism are found in Japan ironically.
Understandably a lot of people defer to him on matters of doctrine and so on, but a leader who has passed away can no longer invoke vibrant spirit into a living tradition.
JKhedrup wrote:Yes this is a very good point. I saw some degree of this during my stay at City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas, where Master Hua remains very much the figurehead, "root guru" if you will of the monastery, even though he passed away quite some time ago.
Everyone is a disciple of one grand master, all property is owned by a single entity and you are not to take on your own formal disciples. This allows for a lot of stability and great material management
icylake wrote: i agree with your opinion in general. but i think we must consider Japanese buddhism itself has very distinctive Japanese characteristics,
JKhedrup wrote:I think it is also a big part of the ability of those organizations to set up branches in foreign countries. If you don't have the funds or the human resources to be able to build temples and then staff them with monastics and management people, it is very difficult to get things going.
JKhedrup wrote:Yes I agree with you. Because the Tibetans lost their country I think they had no choice but to adapt- they had to reach out not only to transmit the dharma but also to find some other ways of supporting their institutions.
Because this is not the case with Chinese Buddhism, and because in many cities in the West the Chinese population is large enough and well off enough to support the temple singlhandedly, perhaps there is not so much of an incentive to reach out to Westerners.
Of course, this will become a challenge with the next generation, as the children of the parishioners may be more comfortable in English for example than Mandarin.
Certainly discipline could be maintained but with less rigid forms. Chinese could be used for liturgy and conversation classes given, but philosophy could be taught in English or the language of the land.
I also remember spending hours and hours trying to learn how to fold the blanket the way it should be, and always being marked incorrect (which carried with it punishment after a few instances).
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