What group is this?

What group is this?

Postby remm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:04 am

Hello everyone,

I was browsing on Google and I stumbled across this Zen Buddhist group who call themselves the "Zen Buddhist Order of Hsu Yun." Now, I'm not here to criticize or judge--but who are these people? They claim to be "ordained" monastics, but when I look at their teachers all I see are lay people.

They also claim that the Venerable Master Hsu Yun passed the patriarch mind seal down to their teacher "Jy Din Shakya" but we all know that Master Hsu Yun actually transmitted the lineage to the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua. I'm not understanding what is going on with this Buddhist order. Are they some sort of fraud group using the name of Master Hsu Yun to gain publicity?

I am going to apologize in advance if this post has offended anyone who is following this group. I'm just reading the things on their website, and a whole lot of it just doesn't seem authentic at all.

Edit: Sorry, it probably would've helped if I posted the link at first. Here it is: http://www.hsuyun.org/chan/en/clergy.html
Last edited by remm on Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:04 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: What group is this?

Postby remm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 5:12 am

I also want to add that I have the biography of Master Hsu Yun composed by Charles Luk as well as the chinese & vietnamese online composition of Master Hsu Yun's life and I have never once heard of anyone named "Jy Din Shakya." There is a part in his biography where there are several monastics that Master Hsu Yun mentions or acknowledges to be his close disciples, but I have never seen Master Hsu Yun mention Jy Din Shakya at all, this is what also makes me a bit weary.
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Re: What group is this?

Postby Astus » Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:54 pm

Master Xuyun is regarded a major teacher in modern Chinese Buddhism so it is simply natural that a large number of teachers claim to be descendants of him. Master Xuanhua was just one of the many. I don't know if Jy Din Shakya's (or the ZBOHY's) claims are true or not. Actually, how could I affirm or deny anyone's claim without having direct access to Xuyun's notes (if there are any), or using other reliable methods for historical investigation? But this part is not really a problem I think, people and groups like to establish their authority and orthodoxy in whatever ways they see appropriate.

As for the nature of that community, it looks like a group of Western people who practice a form of Buddhism, but in a not so traditional way. Their idea of being a "married monk" or "lay monk" is very much like in Japanese Buddhism, probably there's a relationship between them, at least in concept.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: What group is this?

Postby remm » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:10 pm

I don't know if Jy Din Shakya's (or the ZBOHY's) claims are true or not. Actually, how could I affirm or deny anyone's claim without having direct access to Xuyun's notes (if there are any), or using other reliable methods for historical investigation?


Astus,

Maybe I can scan the picture of the letter that Master Xu Yun wrote himself to present to the Ven. Master Hsuan Hua as his lineage successor. But for now here is a translation of the letter.

Proclaiming (Hsuan) Wei's wonderful meaning
causes the Lineage's teaching to be echoed far and wide.
The transformation (Hua) inherited from Mt.Ling exalt the Dharma path.
Taking across (Du) the forty sixth, The mind seal is transmitted.
The wheel (Lun) revolves unceasingly, rescuing all the living beings.


Written by De Qing Hsu Yun to be presented to Du Lun Hsuan Hua.

And like I mentioned earliar, if you have a copy of Charles Luk's biography on the Ven. Master Hsu Yun, he will note that there is a great Master named Du Lun Hsuan Hua who the Ven. Master Hsu Yun passes the lineage to.

I also realize that there are many claims from many places that Master Hsu Yun has passed down the lineage to so and so, but there isn't actually any solid evidence. They don't provide the letter of transmission for us to see.
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Re: What group is this?

Postby Astus » Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:35 pm

Dear Remm,

No need to scan anything, on this page everyone can see the whole thing. But then, would you say that Ven. Xuyun's transmission of the Linji lineage that have been received eventually through two masters by Ven. Shengyan is fake? Also, an interesting thing about Ven. Xuanhua's lineage of the Guiyang school is that it is a broken lineage, simply because the Guiyang transmission has died out about a thousand years ago. The transmission paper featured on that site shows it very well too. On the other hand, Ven. Shengyan's Linji lineage (see here) looks unbroken - even if it is historically very much questionable at a couple of points, just as every Chan lineage. By the way, just because Ven. Xuanhua's transmission line is broken doesn't mean it's fake or anything like that, I don't mean to question any of the involved teachers' integrity. But then, weren't you trying to find out the nature of the ZBOHY group? Sorry if I've caused any distraction with my chit-chat about lineages and stuff. Although the whole concept of transmission might be relevant in evaluating groups and claims of orthodoxy.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

"Neither cultivation nor seated meditation — this is the pure Chan of Tathagata."
(Mazu Daoyi, X1321p3b23; tr. Jinhua Jia)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T2076p461b24-26)
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Re: What group is this?

Postby remm » Sat Sep 04, 2010 1:08 am

Astus wrote:Dear Remm,

No need to scan anything, on this page everyone can see the whole thing. But then, would you say that Ven. Xuyun's transmission of the Linji lineage that have been received eventually through two masters by Ven. Shengyan is fake? Also, an interesting thing about Ven. Xuanhua's lineage of the Guiyang school is that it is a broken lineage, simply because the Guiyang transmission has died out about a thousand years ago. The transmission paper featured on that site shows it very well too. On the other hand, Ven. Shengyan's Linji lineage (see here) looks unbroken - even if it is historically very much questionable at a couple of points, just as every Chan lineage. By the way, just because Ven. Xuanhua's transmission line is broken doesn't mean it's fake or anything like that, I don't mean to question any of the involved teachers' integrity. But then, weren't you trying to find out the nature of the ZBOHY group? Sorry if I've caused any distraction with my chit-chat about lineages and stuff. Although the whole concept of transmission might be relevant in evaluating groups and claims of orthodoxy.


I'm sorry, my post has been a bit confusing. I am not going to question the authenticity of ZBOHY. I am not knowledgeable enough on the lineages of Ch`an either, so it is best if I don't question any of this, it may lead to slander of great elder Masters. For all I know, Jy Ding could have been a Dharma heir from the Elder Master Hsu Yun. I guess what took me by surprise was when looked at their clergy. Anyway, it doesn't even matter. I'm not sure if they follow vinaya carefully or not, but if they are proclaiming the doctrines of Buddhism and have something good to offer to the lay community, then I should not disrupt their sangha. My apologies.
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Re: What group is this?

Postby Lazy_eye » Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:29 am

One of their members, Fa Dao, posts regularly at Zen Forum International. If you'd like to know more about his community and its lineage/history, you could try catching up with him there.
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