Master Sheng-yen

Master Sheng-yen

Postby Quiet Heart » Sat May 28, 2011 11:03 am

:smile:
I just came across this interview with a Chan Zen Master from Taiwan. I don't completely agree with everything he says...for one thing i just read it 15 minutes ago and I need sometime to think about some of the things he says....butI do like the interview initially and I will post the URL here for anyone who want's to read it.

http://www.enlightennext.org/magazine/j ... asp?page=2

I'll have do more research on the net to get more information on him also.
:smile:
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Did you think it was not there--
in your wife's lovely face
in your baby's laughter?
Did you think you had to go elsewhere (simply) to find it?
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The Layman's Lament
From What Book, 1998, p. 52
Edited by Gary Gach
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Re: Master Shang-yen

Postby Anders » Sat May 28, 2011 11:39 am

sheng-yen is pretty famous. One of the really big names in Taiwanese Buddhism. He died two years ago.

Excellent teacher though. I think his presentations are very wellrounded and balanced, very suited to westerners.
"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: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Astus » Sat May 28, 2011 3:12 pm

Very good interview, touches many important points.

I can only wish that the word "ego" eventually gets lost from being associated with Buddhism or used in that context.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Jikan » Sat May 28, 2011 3:25 pm

I found his book Complete Enlightenment (includes the Sutra of Complete Enlightenment and commentary) to be very useful.
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Fa Dao » Sun May 29, 2011 5:48 pm

If you are looking for clear, concise, and direct teachings on Chan meditation there are no better books out there than Master Sheng Yens 2 books on the hua tou method and the mo zhao method:
Shattering the Great Doubt: The Chan Practice of Hua Tou
The Method of No Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination
"But if you know how to observe yourself, you will discover your real nature, the primordial state, the state of Guruyoga, and then all will become clear because you will have discovered everything"-Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Indrajala » Sun May 29, 2011 6:04 pm

I think some of Master Sheng Yen's opinions will be difficult for many people to swallow.

In his writings he emphasizes the need to uphold precepts and to conquer sexual desires. This was also directed to laypeople. This isn't news to Chinese readers, but a western audience will probably not care for teachings on celibacy. That's for monks, not laypeople. However, he wrote in quite plain language the need to overcome sexual desire as a prerequisite for attainment.

You can't have your enlightenment while having an active sex life. This isn't unorthodox or innovative. Shakyamuni taught the same thing.

The American Zen image of being a Zen master while leading an "ordinary life with an ordinary mind" (with a girlfriend[s]) has a lot more appeal to ignorant audiences.
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Indrajala » Sun May 29, 2011 6:09 pm

Incidentally, Dharma Drum Mountain is presently engaged in translating all of Master Sheng Yen's works into English. I imagine this will take a number of years.

I am presently in the last stages of translating his commentary on the Sūtra in Forty-Two Sections.
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 30, 2011 7:48 am

Huseng wrote:I think some of Master Sheng Yen's opinions will be difficult for many people to swallow.

In his writings he emphasizes the need to uphold precepts and to conquer sexual desires. This was also directed to laypeople. This isn't news to Chinese readers, but a western audience will probably not care for teachings on celibacy. That's for monks, not laypeople. However, he wrote in quite plain language the need to overcome sexual desire as a prerequisite for attainment.

You can't have your enlightenment while having an active sex life. This isn't unorthodox or innovative. Shakyamuni taught the same thing.

The American Zen image of being a Zen master while leading an "ordinary life with an ordinary mind" (with a girlfriend[s]) has a lot more appeal to ignorant audiences.


It seems like attachment to sex is no joke. May we all be free from this one day. Thanks for reading.

For as long as the slightest brushwood (of the passions)
of man towards women is not cut down,
so long is his mind in bondage,
like the milch calf to its mother-cow. -- 284

DHAMMAPADA
http://www.quangduc.com/kinhdien/231phapcutk20.html
NAMO AMITABHA
NAM MO A DI DA PHAT (VIETNAMESE)
NAMO AMITUOFO (CHINESE)
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon May 30, 2011 11:47 am

Huseng wrote:I think some of Master Sheng Yen's opinions will be difficult for many people to swallow.

In his writings he emphasizes the need to uphold precepts and to conquer sexual desires. This was also directed to laypeople. This isn't news to Chinese readers, but a western audience will probably not care for teachings on celibacy. That's for monks, not laypeople. However, he wrote in quite plain language the need to overcome sexual desire as a prerequisite for attainment.

You can't have your enlightenment while having an active sex life. This isn't unorthodox or innovative. Shakyamuni taught the same thing.

The American Zen image of being a Zen master while leading an "ordinary life with an ordinary mind" (with a girlfriend[s]) has a lot more appeal to ignorant audiences.


Could you post some relevant quotes? I have a couple of his books but they don't really go into the topic. "Orthodox Chinese Buddhism" mainly discusses the third precept and Buddhist views on birth control and abortion.

In "Attaining the Way" he writes:

Sex between married couples is not wrongful lust. Such conduct serves to maintain personal health and family stability, provides the blessings of children, and promotes social harmony. When people who are not married have a long-term relationship that is stable and relatively pure, this is all right too.


Since Sheng-Yen has been a key figure in promoting lay practice (and his dharma heir, John Crook, is a layperson) it would be interesting to know more about his views.
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby LastLegend » Mon May 30, 2011 1:00 pm

Lay or not the path to liberation is the path of detachment for those who want to seek liberation.
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Indrajala » Mon May 30, 2011 1:39 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Could you post some relevant quotes? I have a couple of his books but they don't really go into the topic. "Orthodox Chinese Buddhism" mainly discusses the third precept and Buddhist views on birth control and abortion.


Here is one from his Commentary on the Sūtra in Forty-Two Sections:

五欲是非常可怕的。對修行佛道者來說,五欲中色欲的力量至大,最難斷除。色本指一切物質的色法,但此處是指眼所對的境界,尤其是男、女色。
有人批評佛教把男女關係看得那麼可怕,違反人性,其實這是事實。飲食男女是人性中屬於動物本能的部分。就是因為人不能離開飲食男女,所以永遠是眾生。如果不能離欲,尤其是男女欲,不僅不能出離生死,也不能進入真正的禪定。

The five desires (Chn. wuyu 五欲) are extremely frightening. For the practitioner of the Buddhist path sexual desire is the most powerful among the five desires and the most difficult to sever and remove. “Physical” originally indicated form dharmas (Chn. sefa 色法), but here it indicates objects perceived by the eye and in particular male and female forms.

There are some people who criticize Buddhism for seeing sexual relations as so frightening, which they say is contrary to human nature. This is actually the truth. Drinking, eating and sexual relations belong to a part of animal instincts within human nature. This is because people cannot detach themselves from drinking, eating and sexual relations, and therefore are forever sentient beings. If one cannot detach from desires, in particular sexual desire, not only will one be unable to be free from saṃsāra, but one will also be unable to enter true meditative stabilization.
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Lazy_eye » Mon May 30, 2011 2:00 pm

Thanks, Huseng.

LastLegend wrote:Lay or not the path to liberation is the path of detachment for those who want to seek liberation.


That certainly makes sense -- it would be hard to be liberated fully from samsara while still attached to samsaric desires.

In Theravada, though, the fetter of sexual attachment isn't dropped until the third stage of enlightenment (anagami) and it's clear from various passages in the suttas that certain meditative practices are open to ordinary laypeople. One can strive, at least, for stream entry even if not celibate.

Is Mahayana more restrictive in its view of what can be accomplished?
Last edited by Lazy_eye on Mon May 30, 2011 2:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Astus » Mon May 30, 2011 2:04 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Is Mahayana more restrictive in its view of what can be accomplished?


As always, it depends on whom you ask and what texts you cite.
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:02 pm

Incidentally, the whole works of Master Sheng Yen are online now. Mostly Chinese, but click number 9 on the left-hand side for his writings in English.

http://ddc.shengyen.org/
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Indrajala » Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:20 pm

Oh, and there is a tidy little pdf of his book Orthodox Chinese Buddhism where he addresses a number of questions. Easy reading.

www.shengyen.org.tw/big5/book/orthodox.pdf
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Re: Master Sheng-yen

Postby Astus » Thu Jun 02, 2011 2:16 pm

Huseng wrote:Incidentally, the whole works of Master Sheng Yen are online now. Mostly Chinese, but click number 9 on the left-hand side for his writings in English.

http://ddc.shengyen.org/


Unfortunately those are not all of his English books. More free literature here: http://chancenter.org/cmc/publications/free-literature/
"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)

“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; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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