Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

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Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Luke » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:02 pm

Dear Ven. Huifeng,

I remember a thread in E-Sangha in which you wrote about the process of you becoming a monk. Do you still have a copy of this? If so, do you think you could post it here? I remember that it was very interesting to read.

I remember you talking about breaking up with your girlfriend and selling your possessions in New Zealand and that it felt like your old life was dying. You went to some meditation retreat in Africa where you could hear explosions and gunfire not too far away. You talked about slowly learning to read Chinese Buddhist texts and living with Chinese Zen monks. Unfortunately, I don't have a memory like Ananda's, so that's all I remember...
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:44 am

Yes, I remember that too. It was called "Huifeng's Existential Dharma Drama", or something along those lines.

If the material is still available, it would be great to see it reposted. Slowly but surely the resources that were lost when E-sangha crashed are being salvaged...
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Huifeng » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:17 am

Hi Luke,

Luke wrote:Dear Ven. Huifeng,

I remember a thread in E-Sangha in which you wrote about the process of you becoming a monk. Do you still have a copy of this? If so, do you think you could post it here? I remember that it was very interesting to read.


No, I don't. Sorry!

I remember you talking about breaking up with your girlfriend and selling your possessions in New Zealand and that it felt like your old life was dying. You went to some meditation retreat in Africa where you could hear explosions and gunfire not too far away. You talked about slowly learning to read Chinese Buddhist texts and living with Chinese Zen monks. Unfortunately, I don't have a memory like Ananda's, so that's all I remember...


um... er ... not quite. But this paragraph above gives us an idea about how true stories can quickly turn into exciting mythologies! :tongue:
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Ogyen » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:36 am

oh this sounds like a juicy narrative. it has the makings of a grand mythology a melodharma in its own right! HAHA :stirthepot:
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Su DongPo » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:37 am

Huifeng wrote:Hi Luke,

Luke wrote:Dear Ven. Huifeng,

I remember a thread in E-Sangha in which you wrote about the process of you becoming a monk. Do you still have a copy of this? If so, do you think you could post it here? I remember that it was very interesting to read.


No, I don't. Sorry!

I remember you talking about breaking up with your girlfriend and selling your possessions in New Zealand and that it felt like your old life was dying. You went to some meditation retreat in Africa where you could hear explosions and gunfire not too far away. You talked about slowly learning to read Chinese Buddhist texts and living with Chinese Zen monks. Unfortunately, I don't have a memory like Ananda's, so that's all I remember...


um... er ... not quite. But this paragraph above gives us an idea about how true stories can quickly turn into exciting mythologies! :tongue:


Wow! This is a great storyline. Will there be a sequel?
:applause:
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Luke » Mon Dec 06, 2010 7:02 am

Huifeng wrote:No, I don't. Sorry!

Do you remember which section of E-Sangha you posted it in? Was it in "Personal Experience" or somewhere else?

It's possible that it may still exist on archive.org, although the odds are against it. I checked a few pages there, but didn't run into it.

Ogyen wrote:oh this sounds like a juicy narrative. it has the makings of a grand mythology a melodharma in its own right! HAHA :stirthepot:

If it's ever made into a musical, a naga should be included! Ogyen, you could be inside the front, and I could be inside the back of the naga costume. :tongue:

The Life of Huifeng: The Musical
Act 1, Scene 1: Huifeng's Lament and the Dance of the Naga King

The young Huifeng is sadly washing dishes back in his kitchen in New Zealand. "Oh, how my life has little meaning, but my interest in Dharma is growing," he sings.

Then the Naga King appears and sings, "Oh my boy, you should become a Zen Buddhist monk and devote yourself to Dharma!" and begins to dance. (Ogyen and I will have to really practice to get the giant naga costume dancing correctly.)

The young Huifeng steps outside the kitchen set in front of a backdrop of a beautiful New Zealand forest and begins to dance with the Naga King, hesitantly at first, but then he is swept away by the joy of the Naga King's Dharma dance. Later on, other people in animal costumes and Maori tribal people come onstage and begin to dance with them.

The young Huifeng and the Naga King sing a duet together which culminates in both of them singing a high B-flat at the end.
(Catmoon will sing the part of the Naga King offstage with his stunning baritone voice.)
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Indrajala » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:32 am

Luke wrote:The young Huifeng steps outside the kitchen set in front of a backdrop of a beautiful New Zealand forest and begins to dance with the Naga King, hesitantly at first, but then he is swept away by the joy of the Naga King's Dharma dance. Later on, other people in animal costumes and Maori tribal people come onstage and begin to dance with them.


Seeing Maori culture mixed with Buddhism would be cool. :thumbsup:
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby catmoon » Mon Dec 06, 2010 3:47 pm

I too have heard the story of Ven Huifeng meditating in the midst of a raging battle in Africa. It is said that so tranquil was his meditation that soldiers abandoned the fight, and many from both sides came to sit and ponder with him. Animals from the forest, who had been hiding from the battle for days, were so overjoyed at the chance the forage for food, that they brought offerings and laid them all around, and when they had fed themselves, they returned to sit with the young monk.

Hungry ghosts of soldiers killed in the battle were attracted by the offerings, which they were miraculously able to eat, and were satisified and content for the first time in their lives. They too joined the meditation, and accumulated such great merits that each was assured of fully human rebirth.

Then a shadow passed across Ven. Huifeng's brow, and a frown creased his face. A murmur spread through the gathered throng. Was he about to speak? Would the Dharma be revealed in it's full glory? Or was it just gas again? Then placing his hands in the mudra of expounding Dharma, he spoke.

"This battle is ended, learn well the lesson I have taught here today, without the use of words. Peace is available to those who simply accept it. There are many other battles being fought at this time, and I have much work to do. Be well." And with that, he vanished in a flash of light and a peal of echoing thunder, and was not seen in that place again.

So I have heard. I think. Well my memory isn't what it used to be. You know how it is.
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Luke » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:45 pm

On a serious note, I did more digging around at archive.org in the E-Sangha pages. I didn't find Ven. Huifeng's biography, but I did find a useful clue to narrow the search down: his profile said he joined E-Sangha on September 29, 2005.

I stopped posting on E-Sangha around 2008, so that means that there is a span of three years to search for this thread by Ven. Huifeng. Although I remember that the thread was quite old when I found it using the search function at E-Sangha in 2007 or 2008, so most likely it was written in 2005 or 2006.

If some of you are more savvy at searching internet archives, perhaps you might get lucky and run into it.

Happy hunting!
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Huifeng » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:00 am

Apparently, some1 has made some copies at some point.
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby shel » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:51 am

I remember the story on E-sangha, was a good story, inspiring. He didn't finish it as I recall.

From what I understand the E-sangha site was hacked, it's database corrupted, and the story lost to cyberspace oblivion. :(
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Ogyen » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:52 am

I want to know more about his dance with the Naga King and how all the Maori people rejoiced and danced with dharma!!
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby some1 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:03 am

Huifeng wrote:Apparently, some1 has made some copies at some point.

Venerable Sir,
I take this as your consent to allow me sharing what I have. :namaste:

All,
Attached is what I had copied from the thread in E-Sangha (I have not kept any of those related responses in the thread that were posted by other members).
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Su DongPo » Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:10 am

I thought the Disney version, A Dance with the Dharma -- Venerable Huifeng and the Naga King was pretty disappointing, and cannot recommend it. I read somewhere that a 3D remake is in the works, but I don't trust Hollywood to do justice to this epic. You never know though. The Maori dance scene might look great in 3D. Who knows. For me, the original text will always be the thing.
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Luke » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:38 pm

some1 wrote:All,
Attached is what I had copied from the thread in E-Sangha (I have not kept any of those related responses in the thread that were posted by other members).

Awesome! Thank you very much for uploading this here, Some1. And thank you, Ven. Huifeng, for writing it in the first place and for allowing it to be posted here. :anjali:

shel wrote:From what I understand the E-sangha site was hacked, it's database corrupted, and the story lost to cyberspace oblivion. :(

A few threads still do exist at archive.org, but none of the really good ones from what I saw, and of the few threads which still are saved there, usually only the first page or two exists.

Digging around there is kind of like looking for gold on a large beach with a metal detector and usually just finding dead crabs and empty beer cans.
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www ... /buddhism/

Su DongPo wrote:I thought the Disney version, A Dance with the Dharma -- Venerable Huifeng and the Naga King was pretty disappointing, and cannot recommend it. I read somewhere that a 3D remake is in the works, but I don't trust Hollywood to do justice to this epic. You never know though. The Maori dance scene might look great in 3D. Who knows. For me, the original text will always be the thing.

I think a "Disney on ice" version would do well in Japan.
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Luke » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:05 pm

Huifeng wrote:
I remember you talking about breaking up with your girlfriend and selling your possessions in New Zealand and that it felt like your old life was dying. You went to some meditation retreat in Africa where you could hear explosions and gunfire not too far away. You talked about slowly learning to read Chinese Buddhist texts and living with Chinese Zen monks. Unfortunately, I don't have a memory like Ananda's, so that's all I remember...


um... er ... not quite. But this paragraph above gives us an idea about how true stories can quickly turn into exciting mythologies! :tongue:

Okay, so you weren't personally around any gunfire, but there was an explosion and you picked up a cobra with your bare hands! (Are you sure it wasn't the Naga King? Lol) It's still a great read! 8-)

But what strikes me most is the high quality of the monastic training you received and how hard you worked at it.

Do you think you will one day open up your own Buddhist sangha for lay people and pass on what you've learned? Do you plan to write any Buddhist books in the future?
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Indrajala » Wed Dec 08, 2010 2:48 am

Luke wrote:Do you think you will one day open up your own Buddhist sangha for lay people and pass on what you've learned? Do you plan to write any Buddhist books in the future?


I won't speak for Ven. Huifeng, but his sangha already is wide open for lay people. :smile:

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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Huifeng » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:18 am

Huseng wrote:
Luke wrote:Do you think you will one day open up your own Buddhist sangha for lay people and pass on what you've learned? Do you plan to write any Buddhist books in the future?


I won't speak for Ven. Huifeng, but his sangha already is wide open for lay people. :smile:

http://www.fgs.org.tw/english/


Thanks, Jeff.

Indeed, while the usual thing amongst many practitioners of Dharma in the west is to "open up your own Buddhist sangha" sort of thing, as a part of Foguang Shan, we do things as a larger sangha, rather than smaller independent groups.

Mainly I am working on my dissertation, but have a few large translation works which are 80% finished.
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Will » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:24 am

Huifeng:
Mainly I am working on my dissertation, but have a few large translation works which are 80% finished.


What are they and will they be published online or in paper?
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Re: Ven. Huifeng, Do you still have a copy of your bio?

Postby Luke » Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:29 pm

Ven. Huifeng,

In your bio, I noticed that you became a monk not too long after you graduated from university. Did you have any student loans to pay back? If so, how did you manage this? Or is university free in New Zealand? Or was your family just rich?
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