William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

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William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Inge » Sat Feb 19, 2011 5:36 pm

Do you know anything about William Bodri who runs http://www.meditationexpert.com, and his teacher Nan Huai-Chin?
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Tilopa » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:04 am

Inge wrote:Do you know anything about William Bodri who runs http://www.meditationexpert.com, and his teacher Nan Huai-Chin?



Ummm ......errrrrrr..."Meditation for a Beautiful Skin".

You must be joking.

As for the rest it looks like complete nonsense.
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby ground » Sun Feb 20, 2011 6:29 am

Tilopa wrote:Ummm ......errrrrrr..."Meditation for a Beautiful Skin".

You must be joking.


Hmh if you take the 32 marks of a Buddha literally then that's in line.

Kind regards
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Mr. G » Sun Feb 20, 2011 12:24 pm

That site is a textbook internet marketing site.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Inge » Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:28 pm

mr. gordo wrote:That site is a textbook internet marketing site.


Maybe so, but Ifind that hidden beneath the heavy marketing language, are much interesting and fascinating information. I wonder if the marketing, the display of arrogance, the critizism, and so forth, are his way of employing skilfull means to scare away superficial, shallow and insincere prospective students. But since I don't have much Dharma selecting vision, I hope someone else here might know something about Bodri and Nan, or that they will take the time to look at some of the materials presented at Bodri's site.

For instance, what do you think about this: The Vairocana-Zhunti Tathagata Tantra
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Tilopa » Sun Feb 20, 2011 10:56 pm

This guy is just making it up. Sure he draws on things he may have heard or read and possibly even experienced but it's a mix of ideas and traditions which is always a danger signal imho.

Obviously he sees himself as a spiritual and meditation expert but as there are many qualified teachers out there why not look for someone from an authentic tradition with an established lineage?
Last edited by Tilopa on Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:09 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Anders » Mon Feb 21, 2011 12:50 am

Tilopa wrote:
Inge wrote:Do you know anything about William Bodri who runs http://www.meditationexpert.com, and his teacher Nan Huai-Chin?



Ummm ......errrrrrr..."Meditation for a Beautiful Skin".

You must be joking.

As for the rest it looks like complete nonsense.


I for one recommend meditation as the premier treatment for beautiful skin.

It's cheaper than the competitive products and the side-effects are much better. :sage:
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby plwk » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:48 am

Do you know anything about William Bodri who runs http://www.meditationexpert.com, and his teacher Nan Huai-Chin?



Ummm ......errrrrrr..."Meditation for a Beautiful Skin".

You must be joking.

As for the rest it looks like complete nonsense.


I for one recommend meditation as the premier treatment for beautiful skin.

It's cheaper than the competitive products and the side-effects are much better. :sage:

Less painful than Botox...
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Inge » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:25 pm

I'm interested in the course: The Various Stages of the Spiritual Experience Course: An Integrated Understanding that Will Elevate All Religions.

The price is USD 800, but comes with a money back guarantee.

What do you think about this course?
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby palchi » Mon Feb 21, 2011 5:07 pm

800 USD for lots of paper and a few phone calls? It's sounds like a lot of big words with some new agey content but certainly not like a genuine buddhist course or retreat. I would run fast and far....
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Tilopa » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:06 pm

Inge the guys a total fraud how can you not see it?
Last edited by Tilopa on Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Inge » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:31 am

Tilopa wrote:Inge the guys a total fraud how can you not see it?

Tell me where you live and I'll help you find you an authentic tradition and teacher to study with.


How can you be so certain that it is a fraud? Have you read some of his articles?

I live in Norway.
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Anders » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:46 am

Tilopa wrote:This guy is just making it up. Sure he draws on things he may have heard or read and possibly even experienced but it's a mix of ideas and traditions which is always a danger signal imho.


I had a look at some of the articles. Though I don't care much for the presentation, I haven't come across many red flags in what he actually says so far. Surely we should judge by content and not appearance?

Inge wrote:I'm interested in the course: The Various Stages of the Spiritual Experience Course: An Integrated Understanding that Will Elevate All Religions.

The price is USD 800, but comes with a money back guarantee.

What do you think about this course?


I don't like it. Apart from the iffiness of the spiritual teacher-student relationship being a monetary contract (fwiw, I found a teacher online a long while back when there was no physical ones near me. He would call me on the phone internationally to talk and send me books he felt I should read. He never charged me anything, in fact the calls and books sent cost him money and though I definitely recommend in the flesh interaction, I am very indebted to him for his kindness at a time when I was new to this path and could easily be misled).

The content of the course appears 'comprehensive' but it is the kind of comprehensive that, spiritually, strikes me as a bit all over the place. I think Thannisaro Bhikkhu makes a good point that while we all want to be great family people, have a successful monetary career, do charity work on the side, cultivate good friendship and social qualities, work out and be physically fit AND have a strong meditational practise on top of that, there is simply not enough time in our lives or room in the mind, to encompass all of these things at once. If you want to get really good at something you have to devote time and focus in the mind to this. And this does come at the expense of other things.

Once you've become proficient and well established in a certain department you can start expanding and branching into other areas without losing focus on what you've already learned, but if you're developing a meditational practise, you simply can't afford to be divesting your energies into too many different aspects and sidetracks of it in a short span of time. If you spend your time digging a lot of shallow holes instead of one, you'll never dig deep enough to strike water.

I don't know if he is genuine or not, but even if he is, I wouldn't buy his course. I'd suggest looking for a genuine teacher who won't offer to fix your business, get you a healthy diet, sort out your energy channels AND set you on the path to enlightenment as a one package thing.
"Even if my body should be burnt to death in the fires of hell
I would endure it for myriad lifetimes
As your companion in practice"

--- Gandavyuha Sutra
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Tilopa » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:54 pm

Inge wrote: How can you be so certain that it is a fraud? Have you read some of his articles?


I have read some of his articles and that's why I'm so sceptical but you're right I can't be completely certain so maybe I'm being unfair but his website and the products on offer make me very suspicious. You have to make your own decision but as you live in Norway why not look here:

http://www.tibetansk-buddhisme.no Tenga Rinpoche is a highly respected Lama from a well established Tibetan lineage and at least you would be receiving authentic buddhist teachings. http://www.benchen.org/tenga-rinpoche.html

Or if you want an online correspondence program look at this: http://www.buddhistthought.org

The point is with dharma you really want to follow teachings and teachers from an established tradition otherwise you can end up in a lot of trouble.
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Astus » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:56 pm

Looked into a couple of articles, mainly in the Zen and Tao section, and it looked OK to me. Sure, this mixture of different teachings is unusual, but he also clarifies what's so special about Buddhism.

By this I don't mean anyone should buy things from there.
"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: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby longjie » Sun Mar 27, 2011 6:06 pm

Nan Huaijin is actually one of the most important and well-respected masters in Chinese Buddhism, and has quite a reputation in other fields as well. Earlier in his life he was a military commander and led a retaliation against the Japanese during the Sino-Japanese War. After this, he ended his military career and had a Chan awakening, and then went to live as a hermit in the Emei mountains for several years verifying his enlightenment against the Chinese Buddhist canon. He also lived in Tibet for some time, and became an acarya in the Kagyu line. When the Communist revolution came, he left for Taiwan with a very large number of ancient Daoist and Buddhist texts, to preserve them in case they were wiped out in mainland China. In Taiwan he became well known as a scholar and university professor, always teaching Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism, and generally acting as a paragon for traditional Chinese culture. His books on Confucianism are now used as standard textbooks on the subject in Taiwan, and dozens of books have been published in his name. I use the phrase "published in his name" because they were basically transcripts of his lectures. Still, he has sold millions of copies and is counted as a well-known Chinese author.

Later Nan Huaijin moved to Hong Kong, and then finally to China in Jiangsu province near Suzhou, where he built a massive education center focusing on meditation and spiritual development, as well as an international school. Apart from all this, he is also a high-level spiritual advisor to Chinese officials, and even arranged secret talks between China and Taiwan. In other words, he's a Buddhist master in high places. As for his books, for my part, I have never read any material from any modern works that match his in depth and comprehensiveness. Good examples of this are Working Toward Enlightenment and To Realize Enlightenment. But of course nobody understands their English translations due to the basic content, so he is virtually unknown in this part of the world. At the beginning of Working Toward Enlightenment, he says something like "The texts we will be drawing upon in these lectures are ...", and then proceeds to list over a dozen sutras and sastras including some major long works such as the Yogacarabhumi Sastra. The vast majority of his audience is monastic and is assumed to have some degree of expertise in the Buddhist texts and doctrines already. Although I am trying to convey his teaching style and context, this still does not amount to a good description.

As for William Bodri, he is a student of Nan Huaijin who has spent a lot of time with him in Asia, so it is basically a master-student relationship. In his teachings, though, William Bodri has some distinct disadvantages compared to other teachers. (1) His writings are disorganized and extremely casual. He won't talk entirely in a Buddhist context or otherwise, he freely uses any source he deems useful at the moment, and he generally cares very little about what anyone else thinks of him. (2) He is extremely eclectic, with his site carrying everything from details explanations of esoteric transformations and development of the Sambhogakaya, to the calculation of karma using some rare iron abacus methods, to material on nutrition and alternative health. People who are expecting a very dignified and purely Buddhist master would never believe him, although Chinese Buddhists might due to the cultural connection between some of these subjects. (3) He attempts to market his books and materials, which is every bit his right to do so, but this certainly leaves a bad taste in the mouth of some others. Everyone wants a Buddhist master who will teach them sublime pure Buddhism, which of course eschews things like money for time, etc. In other words, they are basing their search for a teacher on appearances.

Now, that having been said, William Bodri is the real deal. I read little outside the Buddhist sutras, but when I do, it is typically something from Nan Huaijin or William Bodri. I feel that most other books from modern authors offer a lot of fluff written by so-called gurus or masters which are either academic, shallow, or feel-good inspirational. William Bodri is like one of the old Chan masters who does everything on his own terms, scares away the unworthy students, and keeps around those with perception of truth. He has a crazy streak in this way, and part of this comes from his teacher as well. (On one occasion, Nan Huaijin feigned insanity so a National Geographic crew would leave him alone, and then was back to normal immediately after they left.)

If anyone is curious about Nan Huaijin's books, I would recommend Tao & Longevity, which focuses on physical transformations during cultivation. This book turned me from Daoist meditation over to studying and practicing Buddhism. After reading this book, I realized that many years of Daoist meditation had been for nothing, that my knowledge of cultivation had been so far from complete, and this book resolved so clearly many misconceptions. In the process, I gave up Daoism to study Buddhist meditation instead, essentially because I was so impressed with this one little paperback. After I began to read Working Toward Enlightenment, I knew this was the right choice. Of William Bodri's books, the best is his book on Anapana, which is actually a set of lectures that Nan Huaijin gave to Peter Senge from MIT, which was translated into English from the Chinese edition of the book.

In any case, best wishes to all. Apologies for the long post, but I felt this information might be helpful.

This is a photo of Nan Huaijin's main Chan teacher, a lay master named Yuan Huanxian. He burned off two of his fingers as an austerity (similar to Xuyun), and copied the entire Avatamsaka Sutra using his own blood. Apparently Nan helped him to publish a book or two in Chinese (posthumously?), but I know little else about him except a few stories.

Image

Here is a photo of Nan Huaijin in the 1940's when he was a hermit on Mount Emei.

Image
Last edited by longjie on Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Astus » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:06 pm

Thanks Longjie, very informative. I hope to see you around.
"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: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Tilopa » Mon Mar 28, 2011 12:19 am

Yes thanks Longjie. It's very informative and also interesting that your one and only post on DW is so full of praise for Bill Bodri. I assume you are one of his students (or possibly even the great man himself?) Either way it's reassuring to know he is the lineageholder of a legitimate dharma transmission and so presumably fully qualified to teach on all apects of the spiritual path. I noted with interest how he is not only a master of Buddhism but also an expert on most other other religious traditions as well.

I was especially impressed by his knowledge of meditation revealed in the article 'Meditation Techniques'

The various methods of meditation available across the world's spiritual traditions all deal with the two principles of cessation, halting, stopping or "shamatha," which involve bringing the mind to a state of quiet stillness absent of thoughts. This is called "emptiness" which at its highest form is called samadhi. The principle of emptiness, or empty mind, holds for each and every stage of meditation and spiritual practice.
http://www.meditationexpert.com/meditat ... /index.htm

No doubt there are countless other jewels of comparable insight and wisdom scattered throughout his prolific writings. Thank you for dispelling any doubts I had about his authenticity.
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby longjie » Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:07 am

Astus wrote:Thanks Longjie, very informative. I hope to see you around.

Thanks, I just joined the forum, and I think I'll stick around.

Tilopa wrote:Yes thanks Longjie. It's very informative and also interesting that your one and only post on DW is so full of praise for Bill Bodri. I assume you are one of his students (or possibly even the great man himself?) Either way it's reassuring to know he is the lineageholder of a legitimate dharma transmission and so presumably fully qualified to teach on all apects of the spiritual path. I noted with interest how he is not only a master of Buddhism but also an expert on most other other religious traditions as well.

I was especially impressed by his knowledge of meditation revealed in the article 'Meditation Techniques'

The various methods of meditation available across the world's spiritual traditions all deal with the two principles of cessation, halting, stopping or "shamatha," which involve bringing the mind to a state of quiet stillness absent of thoughts. This is called "emptiness" which at its highest form is called samadhi. The principle of emptiness, or empty mind, holds for each and every stage of meditation and spiritual practice.
http://www.meditationexpert.com/meditat ... /index.htm

No doubt there are countless other jewels of comparable insight and wisdom scattered throughout his prolific writings. Thank you for dispelling any doubts I had about his authenticity.

Ha, I'm not Bill or any of his students, actually. I have corresponded with him a few times through email, and he seems like a nice guy, but I know very little about him as a person (mostly just from his writings). I have some of his books, but not all of them. I try to snatch up everything I can from Nan Huaijin available in English, though, because I just assume that they may not stay in print too long (he is too obscure in the West).
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Re: William Bodri and Nan Huai-Chin

Postby Astus » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:05 am

"he is too obscure in the West"

Haven't read much from him but from that little Nan reads quite like Hsuan Hua. Not pleasant to me.
"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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