Freezing to death, we do not scheme.
Starving to death, we do not beg.
Dying of poverty, we ask for nothing.
According with conditions, we do not change.
Not changing, we accord with conditions.
We adhere closely to the Three Great principles.
We renounce our lives to do the Buddha's work.
We mold our primary work (attain sagehood).
We rectify our lives to do the Sangha's work.
Encountering phenomena, we awake to the principles. Awaken to the principles, we apply them in phenomena.
We carry on the single pulse of the patriarch's mind-transmission.
Dharma Master Hsuan Hua
What is Chan 禪 ? Chan meditation is the most advanced form of Mahayana Buddhist meditation. Passed down directly from the Buddha through his lineage of Patriarchs to the present, the power of Chan Meditation has been taught to seekers of enlightenment in Asia for thousands of years. We follow Chinese tradition of Wei Yang lineage, the oldest of five Chan schools which was transmitted by Grand Dharma Master Hsuan Hua (宣化 上人). Chan spread south to Vietnam as Thien and east to Korea as Seon, and, in the 13th century, to Japan, where it became known as Zen.
Chan is known:
To not rely on the spoken word. 불립문자(不立文字)
To be transmitted outside of the teachings. 교외별전(敎外別傳)
To point directly to the mind. 직지인심 (直旨人心)
To help us see our True Nature and become enlightened. 견성성불(見性成佛)
the First Six Patriarchs Traditionally the origin of Chan in China is credited to the Indian monk Bodhidharma. Only scarce historical information is available about him, but his hagiography developed when the Chan tradition grew stronger and gained prominence in the early 8th century. By this time a lineage of the six ancestral founders of Chan in China was developed. In the late 8th century, under the influence of Huineng's student Shenhui, the traditional form of this lineage had been established.
Bodhidharma (達摩) ca. 440 – ca. 528
Dazu Huike (慧可) 487–593
Sengcan (僧燦) ?–606
Dayi Daoxin (道信) 580–651
Daman Hongren (弘忍) 601–674
Huineng (慧能) 638–713
The Five Houses of Chan: During the Song the Five Houses (Ch. 五家) of Chan, or five "schools", were recognized. These were not originally regarded as "schools" or "sects", but based on the various Chan-genealogies. Historically they have come to be understood as "schools".
Wei-Yang school (潙仰宗), named after masters Guishan Lingyou (771–854) and Yangshan Huiji (813–890), dharma-descendants of Mazu Daoyi;
Linji school (臨濟宗), named after master Linji Yixuan (died 866), whose lineage came to be traced to Mazu, establishing him as the archetypal iconoclastic Chan-master;
Caodong school (曹洞宗), named after masters Dongshan Liangjie (807–869) and Caoshan Benji (840–901);
Yunmen school (雲門宗), named after master Yunmen Wenyan (died 949), a student of Xuefeng Yicun (822-908), whose lineage was traced to Shitou Xiqian:
Fayan school (法眼宗), named after master Fayan Wenyi (885–958), a "grand-student" of Xuefeng Yicun.
Master Hsu Yun (虛雲 禪師) and Master Hsuan Hua After further centuries of decline during the Qing, Chan was revived again in the early 20th century by Hsu Yun (虛雲), a well-known figure of 20th-century Chinese Buddhism. Many Chan teachers today trace their lineage to Hsu Yun, and the latest known Chan Patriarch Hsuan Hua (宣化), who have propagated Chan in the West where it has grown steadily through the 20th and 21st century.
Western Chan lineages The first Chinese master to teach Westerners in North America was Master Hsuan Hua, who taught Chan and other traditions of Chinese Buddhism in San Francisco during the early 1960s. He went on to found the City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB), a monastery and retreat center located on a 237-acre property near Ukiah, California, founding the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. Another Chinese Chan teacher with a Western following is Sheng-yen, a master trained in both the Caodong and Linji schools. He first visited the United States in 1978 under the sponsorship of the Buddhist Association of the United States, and subsequently founded the CMC Chan Meditation Center in Queens, New York and the Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, New York.
Our Teacher Dharma Master YongHua, was born in South Vietnam in 1955 and came to the US for college in 1974. He earned his BA in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1982. After becoming a top level executive, he became disenchanted with the corporate life and grew weary of the worldly life. In 1995, he decided to leave the home life under Great Master Hsuan Hua and stayed in City of Ten Thousand Buddhas for four years. After becoming a fully ordained monk, Master went to Taiwan to learn Chinese and precepts. Two years later, he came back to the US and practiced in seclusion abode. A few years later, a temple was offered to him. Therefore, he started teaching Chan and Pure Land in parallel.
Bodhidharma is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. Nine years of wall-gazing He lived in a cave, where he "faced a wall for nine years meditating, not speaking for the entire time. In one legend, Bodhidharma refused to resume teaching until his would-be student, Dazu Huike, who had kept vigil for weeks in the deep snow outside of the monastery, cut off his own left arm to demonstrate sincerity.
Master Hsu Yun (in the middle)
Hsu Yun was a renowned Chinese-born Chan Buddhist master and one of the most influential Buddhist teachers of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Venerable Hsuan Hua Hong Kong 1953
In 1959, Hsuan Hua sought to bring Chinese Buddhism to the west. He instructed his disciples in America to establish a Buddhist association, initially known as The Buddhist Lecture Hall, which was renamed the Sino-American Buddhist Association before taking its present name: the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association.
Chan Master YongHua
After working for the corporate world for decades, he decided to leave the home life to study Chan under Great Master Hsuan Hua. Master YongHua now devotes his time in propagating Mahayana Buddhism and training left home people.