Guanyin's method

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SilenceMonkey
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by SilenceMonkey »

ItsRaining wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 1:50 pm
Sorry but that’s not what Guanyin’s method entails, Nada Yoga is a Hindu practice I assume someone is confusing the two. That wiki article is simply incorrect. If you read Avaloketishvara’s instruction it doesn’t involve listening to some humming. It just states “Upon listening to sound as it enters the object is extinguished” there Is nothing about some specific sound.

That translation inserts several words not present in the original text such as “sound of the mind essence”. Neither sound nor mind essence is there is Chinese, instead it’s just Self Nature which is emptiness and emptiness has no sound, listening is used as a metaphor hear for Prajna.
I'm feeling like It'sRaining is closer to it. I don't think it is a listening ringing in the ear (which is sometimes a byproduct of ear concentration)... or even all sounds for that matter. When I learned this in Taiwan with Hsin Tao's school, we did shamatha until we had some concentration, then switched to sounds for a few mins, then switched to the sound of no sound. (emptiness for the ear)

Although, the ch'an teachers I learned from did often mention the mind coming back to its origin point. AJP mentioned "turning inward of the ear organ." I've always wondered about the meaning of this... I could be wrong, but from what I've gathered it's about the 6 senses not "outward seeking" 攀緣 (a term difficult to translate) and instead "shutting off the sense doors." One ch'an teacher I met said an old ch'an practice was to be as if blind and deaf... (until enlightenment).

When I was at Dharma Drum, Master Sheng Yen often classified practicing emptiness in terms of Silent Illumination... a sitting and non-doing, not focusing on any object in particular but remaining aware. In my understanding, Master Sheng Yen would see Guanyin's method 耳根圓通 "full penetration of the ear" as a Silent Illumination practice, entered through the dharma door of the ear. Listening to the sound of emptiness. For Master Sheng Yen, my impression was that all ch'an practices and practices of emptiness culminate in Sillent Illumination (chinese parallel of shikantaza, and its source).

In case anyone can read chinese, there is a book Master Sheng Yen wrote (but hasn't been translated yet) called 《觀音妙智:觀世音菩薩耳根圓通法門講要》. You can find it in this database of all of Master Sheng Yen's works. The third option from the bottom 第九輯 外文書 is a list of many of his books in English. (Although in my opinion the best ones are absent from the list. Illuminating Silence, and The Method of No Method... both taken from retreats he gave on Silent Illumination. Translated by the late John Crook, his best translator.)

http://ddc.shengyen.org/
AJP
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by AJP »

Thanks if you have a greater understanding then I can defer to that.

Hope the OP found benefit!!
Varis
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Varis »

SilenceMonkey wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:06 am I guess my point is that it's unfair to immediately dismiss someone you hear about for having both tibetan and chinese lineage, and caution people against them without knowing who they are. Then again... maybe all teachers should be "taken with a grain of salt" before you know who they are.

At no point did I dismiss this man. I said that caution should be taken because his claims are similar to people who have turned out to be frauds.
If you're avoiding ducks, and see something that looks and acts like it could possibly be a duck, take caution and inspect if it is or isn't a duck.

You should take caution with any teacher of any tradition, especially if potential red flags exist. Investigate their claims, character, and their teachings.
avatamsaka3
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by avatamsaka3 »

Hope the OP found benefit!!
Yes, I did, thanks to SilenceMonkey.
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Taikor.Taikun
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Taikor.Taikun »

AJP wrote: Tue Jul 21, 2020 7:03 am
avatamsaka3 wrote: Wed Jul 15, 2020 6:59 am Hi, I was reading the chapter on the Shurangama Sutra that describes the method he used to attain enlightenment: turning his faculty of hearing inward and emptying his awareness. Is there a commentary on this chapter that provides more detail on how this is done?
I’ve practiced it, it’s known as the Surangama Samadhi also the same method is found widespread in other traditions. Ajahn Amaro who is Theravada practices it and calls it listening to the Nada Sound. It’s also found in Sufism.

Sit quietly and wait for a gentle ringing sound to manifest in your ears gently focus your attention on it. Don’t be forceful just a gentle relaxed focus.

Also it’s not tinnitus!!

I experienced quite a lot of letting go as a result of the practice.
This more like entry level and it MAY not be the method used by Guanyin
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Taikor.Taikun
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Taikor.Taikun »

Varis wrote: Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:38 am
ItsRaining wrote: Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:47 am The thing is there are just many people who have studied both Tibetan Buddhism and Chan in China since they are both very popular.
That's not really what I'm talking about. I'm saying that there have been figures in East Asia who claimed to be masters in Ch'an, have realizations from Vajrayana practice and have high acclaim from Tibetans, and they were frauds. So I recommend the exercising of caution when such claims are made from a teacher.
Are you referring to TBS (True Budd...) ?
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Varis »

Taikor.Taikun wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:17 pm Are you referring to TBS (True Budd...) ?
This is one of the most flagrant but there have been others who aren't as obvious.
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Taikor.Taikun
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Taikor.Taikun »

Varis wrote: Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:46 pm
Taikor.Taikun wrote: Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:17 pm Are you referring to TBS (True Budd...) ?
This is one of the most flagrant but there have been others who aren't as obvious.
My Rinpoche went to TBS temple n tell me it’s not the right path. I went there occasionally because some relatives follow this school. I was shocked when i saw KFC n Martell were offered to the Buddhas n Bodhisattvas on the altar.

But I also followed other schools like Chan n Pureland sects. And i’m practising the Guanyin methods
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Queequeg
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Re: Guanyin's method

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SilenceMonkey wrote: Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:06 am I know this is taking away from the topic... but I think it's interesting what we're talking about. I can see your point Varis, there have been many charlatans in chinese culture claiming lineages of this and that. But It'sRaining also had a good point, that just because someone says they practice in more than one tradition doesn't mean they're a fraud. It seems to be the more popular view on this forum, and it's clear where it's coming from. But also, there are quite a few good practitioners and teachers of both chinese and tibetan traditions in the chinese buddhist world. People such as Nan Huai Jin, Mengtsan Lao Heshang, Liu Hungjie (bruce frantzis' daoist master who was previously enlightened in a Tiantai tradition). I believe the previous Gangkar Rinpoche did a lot of work promoting Tibetan Dharma all throughout China, and I just read about a hermit from Bill Porter's book who practices his methods along with ch'an. I'm sure there is a lot of cross-pollination that happened in the Sichuan area, the Zhongnan and Emei mountains being a hotspot for Tibetan and Chinese Dharma, alongside Daoists.

You hear about some of them when you're in asia, but for some reason it's rare for such teachers to teach internationally. But they're there. Most of these types are hermits, hidden away in the mountains. But I think it's quite natural for good practitioners to be interested in multiple lineages. You have the masters of Tibetan traditions who hold multiple tibetan lineages. Zen masters who hold multiple zen lineages from different countries. Chinese dharma masters who hold a mix of ch'an, tiantai, puraland, etc... Daoist masters who were trained in ch'an and ch'an masters who were trained in dao, then later in life as they matured in their practice they settled into their way. It's common these days for Chinese buddhists to study abhidharma and even learn meditation from Thai, Burmese and Sri Lankans, comparing their methods for a deeper understanding. If you go to the monasteries in Burma, it's said there are a number of Mahayana practitioners there, learning burmese techniques.

It's also an interestingly chinese chauvenist feeling that cross-pollination shouldn't happen. Chinese buddhists can be extremely orthodox, and for the most part believe Tibetan buddhism is fake. It's hindu stuff, rinpoches who abuse their power for sex and women, monks and nuns who don't know the first thing about ethics, etc... And Tibetans also have a similar chauvenism against the chinese, based on this ridiculous debate with "Hashang" (which apparently was a very politically motivated history), they see Chinese Dharma as inherently inferior, some kind of "no mind" nihilism. Nevertheless, practitioners of multiple lineages do exist. And a few of them are quite talented.

I guess my point is that it's unfair to immediately dismiss someone you hear about for having both tibetan and chinese lineage, and caution people against them without knowing who they are. Then again... maybe all teachers should be "taken with a grain of salt" before you know who they are.
Interesting!

I wish I had the language skills to penetrate contemporary Chinese Buddhism. My exposure is limited to watching grainy VHS videos broadcast late at night on public access cable channels of an old monk giving lectures to lay people with spotty subtitles. This was years ago - I don't recall the teacher's name, but I've heard he was a prominent teacher who has now passed away.

Does anyone have a recommendation for maybe a more academic flavored book describing the place of Buddhism in contemporary Chinese culture? I would be very interested in both Taiwan, Hong Kong, as well as mainland.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
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Caoimhghín
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Caoimhghín »

Queequeg wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:37 pmI wish I had the language skills to penetrate contemporary Chinese Buddhism. My exposure is limited to watching grainy VHS videos broadcast late at night on public access cable channels of an old monk giving lectures to lay people with spotty subtitles. This was years ago - I don't recall the teacher's name, but I've heard he was a prominent teacher who has now passed away.
For some reason, I swear you are talking about the Dharma Drum program with Ven Sheng Yen.

savi saghara aṇica di, savi saghara dukha di, savi dhama aṇatva di:
yada paśadi cakhkṣuma tada nivinadi dukha eṣo mago viśodhia.

"All formations are inconstant," he said.
"All formations are stressful," he said.
"All phenomena are selfless," he said.
When one sees this, one becomes adverse to stress, and this is the path of purity.

(Gāndhārī Dharmapada fragments)
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Queequeg
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Queequeg »

That's it.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
avatamsaka3
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by avatamsaka3 »

I'm feeling like It'sRaining is closer to it. I don't think it is a listening ringing in the ear (which is sometimes a byproduct of ear concentration)... or even all sounds for that matter. When I learned this in Taiwan with Hsin Tao's school, we did shamatha until we had some concentration, then switched to sounds for a few mins, then switched to the sound of no sound. (emptiness for the ear)
The method is described in the second volume of Master Sheng Yen's "Until We Reach Buddhahood".
SilenceMonkey
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Queequeg wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:37 pm Interesting!

I wish I had the language skills to penetrate contemporary Chinese Buddhism. My exposure is limited to watching grainy VHS videos broadcast late at night on public access cable channels of an old monk giving lectures to lay people with spotty subtitles. This was years ago - I don't recall the teacher's name, but I've heard he was a prominent teacher who has now passed away.

Does anyone have a recommendation for maybe a more academic flavored book describing the place of Buddhism in contemporary Chinese culture? I would be very interested in both Taiwan, Hong Kong, as well as mainland.
I found language helps to feel the flavor of individual practitioners' experience and how they understand the Dharma. Ch'an has a formless way, where everything becomes Dharma. So it's nice to feel how people perceive their Dharma world. How the mundane and the sacred are all ch'an.

These are a couple books we read in college, intro to Chinese Thought:

Chan, Wing-tsit. A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy.
de Bary, William Theodore, ed. The Buddhist Tradition In India, China, and Japan.
Lopez, Donald, ed. Religions of China in Practice.

Yin Shun's "The Way to Buddhahood" is something like a chinese lamrim. They teach this book in all the chinese buddhist seminaries.

Taixu was the first great reformer of Chinese Buddhism in favor of a Modern Buddhism, which is more centered on humanity and society, doing away with a lot of placating ghosts and ancestors... Yin Shun followed in this vein. Most of the Chinese Buddhism you see in Taiwan, including Sheng Yen and Hsing Yun, came out of this movement towards modernization. A "humanistic buddhism."

And one more recommendation (although not academic), my favorite book regarding Chinese Buddhism. "Bones of the Master" by George Crane. It's a beautifully written memoir of George Crane's meetings with an extraordinary ch'an monk from inner mongolia who escaped the red guards and fled to Hong Kong, then to the US. It was one of the most deeply moving books I've ever read. Lots of ch'an flavor... lots of life, death and everything in between.
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Queequeg
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Queequeg »

I'm interested in contemporary Chinese Buddhism because I want to know how this is resonating and playing out among Chinese as an influence. I noticed news recently that the mainland Chinese government is turning up the heat on Buddhists along with other religious. My immediate reaction is, Buddhism must be having its intended effect if the Communist party is getting upset at them...
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
SilenceMonkey
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by SilenceMonkey »

Queequeg wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:14 am I'm interested in contemporary Chinese Buddhism because I want to know how this is resonating and playing out among Chinese as an influence. I noticed news recently that the mainland Chinese government is turning up the heat on Buddhists along with other religious. My immediate reaction is, Buddhism must be having its intended effect if the Communist party is getting upset at them...
The ones that come to mind...

The Religious Question in Modern China by Vincent Gossaert
The Buddha Party by John Powers
Anarchy in the Pureland by Justin Ritzinger

This thread seems relevent:
https://dharmawheel.net/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=31850
humble.student
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by humble.student »

Queequeg wrote: Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:14 am I'm interested in contemporary Chinese Buddhism because I want to know how this is resonating and playing out among Chinese as an influence. I noticed news recently that the mainland Chinese government is turning up the heat on Buddhists along with other religious. My immediate reaction is, Buddhism must be having its intended effect if the Communist party is getting upset at them...
For the mainland, take a look at the following books:
https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/title/buddhi ... nventions/
http://cup.columbia.edu/book/recovering ... 0231172769
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals ... 5F3BAAFFED

and a couple of articles:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10. ... ode=mcsh20
https://www.jstor.org/stable/26535089?s ... b_contents

This piece is also probably relevant too:
https://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10 ... 62387-e-15

Taiwan (and HK to a lesser degree) are well-documented for obvious reasons, and you should little trouble finding what you’re looking for with ten minutes searching.
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Taikor.Taikun
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by Taikor.Taikun »

Caoimhghín wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 5:15 pm
Queequeg wrote: Sat Aug 15, 2020 4:37 pmI wish I had the language skills to penetrate contemporary Chinese Buddhism. My exposure is limited to watching grainy VHS videos broadcast late at night on public access cable channels of an old monk giving lectures to lay people with spotty subtitles. This was years ago - I don't recall the teacher's name, but I've heard he was a prominent teacher who has now passed away.
For some reason, I swear you are talking about the Dharma Drum program with Ven Sheng Yen.

For those who understand Mandarin can refer to his videos on the introduction to Guanyin’s Methods from episode 1120 to 1146.

Here’s a simple explanation on Full Penetration/Perfection of the Ear faculty:


StillJustJames
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by StillJustJames »

Inner spontaneous sound is tinnitus, which is to say, for the vast majority of cases, scientists who are at a loss to identify what these sounds are have chosen to label them a disease called tinnitus, rather than just leave them unexplained. They have thereby turned a blessing into an affliction, and caused immense suffering for untold millions.

Turning the hearing around means just what it says: turning the focus of our hearing away from all produced sounds, which are primarily externally sourced sounds, but also all internally produced sounds, and focusing inward, which is not to say into our bodies, but into our mind.

Entering the stream of meditation is literal—the first inner spontaneous sound that one encounters, once beyond the shrill resonance of our attention, is moving water. This can manifest as rain-like, a trickle of water, a bubbling brook, small stream, larger stream, river, and immense waterfalls. (But not ocean waves because these sounds are unending.)

By placing ones full attention—without any strain or effort—into this stream, both understandings of a listener (self) and a sound (running water) fall away until there is nothing other than an undistinguished imperience without beginning or end. After meditating ends, it can be apperceived into an understanding as a stream (of water).

Later, a state of samadhi is attained in which the attention is always centered in this stream, and all other sense perceptions and intuitions—including thoughts and feelings—arise beyond the stream. This is to say, any perspective that arises ‘towards’ a sense perception (including a thought) originates within the stream. One’s body, thoughts, and emotions recede into a background.

Accessing this stream of meditation is facilitated by earplugs that reduce distraction caused by external noises. Also, distance from electromagnetic fields reduces induced sounds.

The shrill tone that arises after prolonged concentration practice is used in some traditions, whose endpoint is a concentration samadhi, but this tone should not be focused upon in this practice, which is that of Avalokitasvara and is to be known as Great Responsiveness Meditation.

After the first samadhi is attained, even the understanding of sound recedes. The stream of meditation blossoms with infrasound-like rumbles, energetic tones, blowing wind, bells, flute notes, flashes of light, visionary displays, but no distinction is made because “sound” has disappeared and along with it, the distinction of senses and sensed. This is a state of quiescent mind: clarity. The attention steers all: there is no perspective.

There is further to go. Contact me once here: [email protected]

Note: many traditions use inner spontaneous sounds to different purposes and with different interpretations. Here are a list of keywords to search with: Abstract Sound, Astral Sound, Anāhata Nāda, Dharma Sound of the Diamond Samadhi, Chönyid kyi rangdra (Chos Nyid Kyi Rang Sgra), Dharmata Swayambhu Nada, Divine Tremoring, Eternal Sound, Holy Stream of Sound, Inner sacred sound, Inner Sound, Music of the Spheres, Nada-Brahman, Omkara Dhvarni, Primordial Sound, Resonance of Emptiness, Sawt-e-sarmad, Sacred Sound, Shabda, Shabda Brahman, Sound of Creation, Sound of Silence, Soundless Sound, Thunder of Silence, Transcendental Sound, Unborn Sound, Unstruck Sound, Word of God.

There is a universal understanding of this path. See: http://bit.ly/PathToEnlightenment

Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö’s “The Light That Makes Things Clear: A Prophecy of Things to Come,” (“ma 'ongs lung bstan gsal byed sgron me zhes bya ba bzhugs so”) indicates this meditation is the one most useful for beings such as we, in the Dharma ending time. See: http://bit.ly/TheLightThatMakesThingsClear

The Surangama Sutra is of immeasurable value in this regard. It states that this is the path taken by Buddha and Manjusri, as well as Avalokitasvara, and all Buddhas. See Manjushri’s Summation from the Surangama Sutra: https://bit.ly/BreakingTheMirror
avatamsaka3
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by avatamsaka3 »

There is further to go.
Who was your teacher? In which tradition do you practice?
StillJustJames
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Re: Guanyin's method

Post by StillJustJames »

Who was your teacher? In which tradition do you practice?
I was introduced to the practice at the age of five, after the death of my mother, by a woman with three folds of skin on her neck. She showed me how to put myself into a trance state so that I could access the inner spontaneous sounds. She has reappeared at various points in my life. After discovering the Surangama Sutra and its depiction of Quan Yin’s practice, I would say that I am in the tradition of Avalokitasvara.

I took refuge with His Holiness Kyabgon Gongma Trichen Rinpoche (The Sakya Trichen), and later with Jigme Kyentse Rinpoche (Nyingma).
The spiritual friend that I feel the closest to is my neighbor, Tulku Pema Wangyal. But I have a strong heart connection to Khenpo Sodargye Rinpoche, who, at the time I was looking for a Tibetan teacher of the Surangama Sutra in early 2017, stated that he was so overcome with the need to study, receive empowerments for, and teach the Surangama Sutra, that he felt as if he would die if he didn’t do it. He began teaching it at the Larung Gar center (below), which he is the head of, in late 2019. He was scheduled, before the pandemic hit, to come to my village this past summer.

The english translations of those teachings are on Youtube. This is the webpage announcing his teachings: http://khenposodargye.org/teachings/khe ... ama-sutra/

I am not a scholar, I am a meditator. Don’t overlook the gift that I have passed on to you.

Image

————

A small error appeared in my first posting on this subject, above. The link to Manjusri’s Summary is here: https://bit.ly/ManjushriSummation
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