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Chan Heart, Chan Art

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About the Book Chan Heart, Chan Art is a unique volume that pairs one hundred traditional Chan (Zen) stories retold by a modern Chinese master with one hundred painting that beautifully capture the flavour of traditional art. Venerable Master Hsing Yun, founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, offers an account of the teaching of ancient Chan masters who have awakened to the Buddha's truth through the cultivation of their minds, and in turn, inspired countless students to pursue C...
About the Book

Chan Heart, Chan Art is a unique volume that pairs one hundred traditional Chan (Zen) stories retold by a modern Chinese master with one hundred painting that beautifully capture the flavour of traditional art. Venerable Master Hsing Yun, founder of the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order, offers an account of the teaching of ancient Chan masters who have awakened to the Buddha's truth through the cultivation of their minds, and in turn, inspired countless students to pursue Chan study. To make these lessons more accessible to today's readers Master Hsing Yun has written commentaries at the end of each story to elucidate the meaning of difficult gongans (koans) and gathas (verses). The accompanying portraits, painted by the renowned husband-and-wife team, Gao Ertai and Pu Xiaoyu, visually transmit the profound expressions of Chan.

This volume includes supplementary material aimed at enriching the experience of the reader and guiding them towards a deeper 7understanding of Chan. A biographical section has been appended to the stories to provide a historical context to the lives of the notable Chan masters and students who appear in. The section of endnotes further explains key Buddhist terms, cultural references, and the layers of meaning alluded to in the original Chinese text.

About the Author

Founder of the Fo Gauang Shan (Buddha's Light Mountain) Buddhhist Order and the Buddha's Light International Association, Venerable Master Hsing Yun has dedicated his life to teaching Humanistic Buddhism, which seeks to realize spiritual cultivation in everyday ling.

Master Hsing Yun is the 48th Patriarch of the Linji Chan School. Born in Jiangsu Province, China in 1927, he was tonsured under Venerable Master Zhikai at the age of twelve and became a novice monk at Qixia Vinaya College. He was fully ordained in 1941 following years of strict monastic training. When he left Jiaoshan Buddhist College at the age of twenty, he had studied for almost ten years in a monastery.

Due to the civil war in China, Master Hsing Yun moved to Taiwan in 1949 where he undertook the revitalization of Chinese Mahayana Buddhism. He began fulfilling his vow to promote the Dharma by starting chanting groups, student and youth groups, and other civic-minded organizations with Leiyin Temple in Ilan as his base. Since the founding of Fo Guang Shan monastery in Kaohsiung in 1967, more than two hundred temple have been established worldwide. Hsi Lai Temple, the symbolic torch of the Dharma spreading to the West, was built in 1988 near Los Angeles.

Master Hsing Yun has been guiding Buddhism on a course of modernization by integrating Buddhist values into education, cultural activities, charity, and religious practices. To achieve these ends, he travels all over the world, giving lectures and actively engaging in religious dialogue. The Fo Guang Shan organization also oversees sixteen Buddhist colleges and four universities, one of which is the University of the West in Rosemead, California.

Foreword

Xiaoyu and I painted these one hundred Chan paintings three years ago in Los angeles at the request Venerable Master Hsing Yun. When we first arrived in the United States, we had no family or friends, and not so much as a single penny, we were extremely grateful to Venerable Master Hsing Yun for providing us with an opportunity to earn our own living allowing us to pave the way for a new life through our own efforts. At the time, we had two opportunities: one was to go to Harvard University as visiting scholars; the other was to go to Hsi Lai Temple to work on these paintings. We chose the latter. This first choice we made upon initially arriving in the United State determined our life's course for many years afterwards.

Out of gratitude to Venerable Master Hsing Yun, we worked extremely hard night and day, completing these one hundred paintings within half a year. During this time, because several publications were urgently asking for my manuscripts, had no choice but to spend a great deal of time on them. Therefore, these paintings are mostly Xiaoyu's own compositions. She worked Museum for ten years copying ancient paintings, which is reflected in the strong traditional aura of these paintings.

Although the specifications and dimensions of the one hundred paintings are the same, each one has an independent theme. For this reason, we dedicated ourselves to giving the appearance of each character distinctive features, and did our very best not to make them similar. Avoiding duplication in one hundred paintings with one hundred paintings with one hundred compositions and hundred of characters is really not easy. Particularly since monastic's wear identical attire, only in the characteristics of the facial features and expressions could we eek variation. The degree of difficulty was even greater when conforming to the laws of human anatomy because we could only seek variation within the scope of artistic composition and proportion. If the readers can see in these one hundred paintings that every composition is different and the appearance of very character is distinct, then we will feel deeply contented.

There is a tradition in Chinese portrait painting that seeks to "accomplish social education and advocate human ethic." Frequently, it transforms words into a concrete and tangible form. For the two of us, the process of painting these works was propagating the Dharma as well as studying the Dharma. The source for the subject matter of these paintings is the four-volume Hsing Yun's Chan Talk. These four books not only present the vast wisdom of ancient Chan masters, but also the profound wisdom of Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Passing them on to the reader with the paintbrush is also kind of meritorious deed. It with this spirit that we offer all of these paintings to the readers.

The verses inscribed on the paintings were provided by Hsi Lai Temple and are not work. We wish to make this clear and do not claim credit for them.

Translator's Introduction

All Buddhist teaching begin with a teacher and a student, and the instruction Venerable Master Hsing Yun offers us in this collection of Chan stories between masters and disciples is no exception. These are stories about self-awakenings: Chan masters who awakened to the Buddha's truth through the cultivation of their, minds, and in turn, inspired countless students to practice Chan. The literature behind these teachings flows directly from the old master's metaphors of the Buddha's realization, and is not necessarily history as conventionally conceived. Like all human experience, the history of Chan is mostly unrecorded in books. The significance of these stories lies not in the events of the past, but in their effect on the students of the Way.

Chan was rooted in China by Bodhidharma, who traveled from India in the sixth century, and was then carried eastward to Japan in the twelfth century. By our worldly understanding, the Chan sages lives in a time and context so far removed from our own experience that we risk dismissing their wisdom outright, yet Chan is no less relevant today than it was in ancient China. It remains important precisely because the enlightenment of the historical Buddha and his Chan descendants does not depend on external cultural or social conditions so much upon the state of the mind within us.

The Chan mind, the masters teach us, cannot be sought outside. Where then, can we find the mind? Venerable Master Hsing Yun recounts an encounter between Chan Master Nanyue Huairang and his teacher Songshan An to break through this very point:

One day, Chan Master Nanyue Huairang of the Tang Dynasty paid a visit to Chan Master Songshan An and asked him, "What is the meaning of the patriarch coming to the West?"
Huairang then asked, "What is the meaning of self?"
Songshan An replied, "Pure contemplation and wondrous function."
Huairang inquired, "What is the wondrous function?"
Chan Master An instructed him by opening and closing his eyes. At that moment, Huairang had a great awakening.

It is our physical eyes which perform the actions of opening and closing, but it is our it is our true mind which given commands. At every moment, our true mind is not separate from us; most of the time, we obscure is. What we must do to become aware of the mind is to examine and investigate it directly.

Cahn Heart, Chan Art is a volume that attempts to penetrate to the very heart of Chan by directly demonstrating how the Chan life is as relevant to the casual reader as to the practitioner. Venerable Master Hsing Yun's approach is to let the Chan tradition speak for itself. In our translation, Dana and I have respected the Master's style of teaching by preserving the essential spirit of this words in order to fully capture the "flavour of Chan." He is the teacher and we are the students. For this reason, we have avoided providing our own interpretations and have, instead, allowed our translation to flow in the current of his words. The supplementary material appended to the stories is aimed at enriching the experiences of the readers and guiding them towards a deeper understanding of Chan. The section of explanatory notes explains key Buddhist terms, cultural references, and the layers of meaning alluded to in the original Chinese text. The biographical section provides a historical context to the lives of the notable Chan teachers and students who appear in the book.

In the last two years, working with Dana has profoundly deepened my awareness of cultivating the mind through translation. From moment to moment, he manifested Chan through the simple acts of listening to others and respecting others. For Dana, the experience of translating of translating the Chan exchanges between masters and students was just another opportunity to speak Chan words, hear Chan sound, so Chan deeds, and cultivate the Cahn mind. It was by his example that the seeds of the Buddha's teaching began to take root in my life.

It can be said that the Buddha us to reflection on the fact we do not have forever to cultivate the mind. The same thing is true of Chan practice. It is not practice; it is your life in every moment May you experience the living heart of Chan and awaken to your own true Chan mind.

Contents

What Is Chan? i
Foreword By The Artist iii
Translator's Introduction iv
Acknowledgements vi
Hoe The Weeds, Chop The Snake 2
The Moon Cannot Be Stolen 4
Transcend The Ordinary And The Sacred 6
One And Ten 8
Not Changing Responds To Myriad Changes 10
Not Believing Is The Ultimate Truth 12
I'm Not A Sentient Being 14
Cannot Take Your Place 16
Let Go Of What? 18
Arrive At Longtan 20
I'm An Attendant 22
The Manifestation of Manjusri 24
I'm Here 26
Help Yourself With Your Own Umbrella 28
Mind And Nature 30
How Heavy 32
High And Far 34
Nightly Wanderings 36
I Can Be Busy For You Too 38
Antique Mirror Not Polished 40
How Was It Ever Confused? 42
Dadian And Han Yu 44
Extinguish The Fire In One's Mind 46
A Model Through The Ages 48
Hundred Years, One Dream 50
Space Winks 52
Aspects Of Life 54
No Merit At All 56
The Imperial Master And The Emperor 58
Originally Empty Without Existence 60
What Are Lice Made Of? 62
Can't Be Snatched Away 64
The Way To Receive Guests 66
The Rooster And The Bug 68
Do Not Wipe It Off 70
The Beggar And Chan 72
Original Face 74
The Chan In The And Meals 76
Pick Up A Little More 78
One Sitting, Forty Years 80
A Poem 82
Happiness And Suffering 84
Self-Liberating Person 86
A Place For Living In Seclusion 88
Huike's Settled Mind 90
Treasure The Present 92
Speaking Of The Supreme Dharma 94
The Most Charming 96
Like Cow Dung 98
Abnormal 100
Question And Answer In The Chan School 102
Niaoke And Bai Juyi 104
The Eight Winds Cannot Move Me 106
A Mind Without The Way 108
Poems And Gathas Debate The Way 110
I Want Eyeballs 112
Flowing Out From The Mind 114
Big And Small Have No Duality 116
Revere The As A Buddha 118
Close The Door Properly 120
Let Go! Let Go! 122
No Time To Feel Old 124
A Monastic Robe 126
No Room For The Ordinary Mind 128
The Universe As My Bed 130
Tone Of Voice 132
Better Silent Than Noisy 134
Grass And Trees Become Buddhas 136
Where Are You From? 138
The Buddhas Do Not Lie 140
A Stick Of Incense Increases Merits 142
Where Is There No Buddha? 144
Never Paint Again 146
The Wondrous Application Of Chan 148
Doing Evil And Cultivating Goodness 150
Short-Tempered By Nature 152
Where Can We Abide In Peace? 154
The Heart Of Chan 156
Like An Insect Eating Wood 158
Is It Crooked? Is It Upright? 160
Can't Tell You 162
Drying Mushrooms 164
Fly Beyond Birth And Death 166
Not Permitted To Be A Teacher 168
Not Even A Thread 170
Wild Fox Chan 172
Reform The Self 174
I Don't Know 176
The Whole Body Is The Eye 178
The Way Of Nurturing Talent 180
Everything Is Chan 182
Cutting Off Ears To Save The Pheasant 184
One And Two 186
Honesty Without Deception 188
A Taste Of Chan 190
Transferring Merits 192
Purify The Mind, Purify The Land 194
Salty And Plain Have Flavor 196
That Is Chan 198
True And False-Deluded Words 200
Explanatory Notes 202
Glossary Of Buddhist Terms 205
Biographies Of The Chan Masters 213
Biographies Of Other Noteworthy People 220

 

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Item Code: NAM800 Author: Venerable Master Hsing Yun Cover: Paperback Edition: 2012 Publisher: Buddha Light Art and Living Pvt Ltd ISBN: 9789382017158 Language: English Size: 11.0 inch X 8.5 inch Pages: 236 (Throughout Color Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 695 gms
Price: $30.00
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