Studies in Chan Theory: A Flower with Five Petals
|June 14, 2013||to||June 16, 2013|
The Chan school is well known for being a lineage of Buddhism based upon “a transmission outside of the scriptures,” where the lineage masters did “not establish [teachings based on] words or language.” As such, one may think that Chan teachers and practitioners do away with sutras, study, and language altogether — and just meditate. However, that’s not the case at all.
In order to have a meditation practice that leads to genuine liberation from our mental stress and turmoil, we need to have “right view.” This right view is created by intellectually understanding the concepts behind the practice. These concepts — which originate from the sutras and various other records — form the framework that guides our practice and gives us direction. With the proper conceptual map, we can travel safely and smoothly toward the destination of a life of wisdom and compassion.
In this way, true Chan practitioners make full use of the words and teachings of the Buddha and lineage masters. They do not see them as some kind of ultimate truth or doctrine, but rather utilize them as a tool for resolving the problem of suffering. In this way, one is able to use the Dharma of teachings as a raft that leads to the other shore.
In this retreat, Venerable Guo Ru will introduce the distinguishing features of the five schools of Chan as they developed after the 6th Patriarch Huineng. In addition, he will give a briefing on the era before Bodhidharma, as well as the five generations after him until Master Huineng. In so doing, he will elaborate on right view as taught by the Chan school.
The format of retreat will be a lecture-style and interactive learning workshop.
Apart from Dharma talks, the retreat will include some periods of sitting, walking, and moving meditation. These activities will help you adjust your physical and mental state to be more conducive to absorbing the teachings and, most important, to experience the benefits of Chan practice firsthand.
Note: This retreat is open to the general public. It is recommended that one has some experience in basic Buddhist studies and meditation, but that is not required.
Venerable Guo Ru
Guo Ru Fashi is one of the earliest monastic disciples of the late Chan Master Sheng Yen (Shifu). He became a monk under Shifu’s guidance at the age of thirteen. When he was eighteen, Guo Ru Fashi studied Buddhist principles at the Fo Guang University, later earned his Bachelor’s degree at the National Taiwan Normal University, and then gained a doctorate degree from the University of Georgia. In 1984, at the invitation of the Malaysian Buddhist Association, he served as a national specialized teacher of Buddhism in Malaysia and head of education at the Malaysian Buddhist Studies Institute. For over 20 years, has been teaching Buddhist principles and Chan practice extensively throughout Asia. In 2005, he received Dharma transmission from Shifu, thus taking on the role of one of the Head Trainers at Dharma Drum Mountain’s Meditation Hall in Taiwan.
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