Chan – our linage…

4 03 2010

2,500 years ago, Shakyamuni Buddha addressed a crowd at the Spirit Mountain, he remained silent and did not speak a word; he just held up a flower and twirled it, showing it to everyone.  No one could comprehend his meaning, except for Maha Kasyapa, who smiled in response.  Then Shakyamuni announced to the crowd, “I have the treasury of the eye of true teaching, the ineffable heart of nirvana. The true form which is formless; the teaching without words or formality. This I entrust to Maha Kasyapa.”

This was the beginning of Chan. Later the reverend Kasyapa was considered the first patriarch of Chan in India and Ananda was the second patriarch; the patriarchy was similarly transmitted through the generations.

Until it reached the twenty-eighth patriarch, Great Master Bodhidharma who introduced Chan Buddhism to China at Shaolin Temple the around the Sui and T’ang dynasties (ca.600), it flourished in the T’ang and Sung dynasties.

Then around 950AD, Chan was introduced to Japan as the Soto Zen(same word as Chan in Chinese). Around 1300AD, it was again brought to Japan as the Rinzai Zen.  Soto Zen was later introduced to the US.  Most of the western Zen was of the Soto origin.

For centuries in China, it was taught without scripture and through direct communication of the heart only.

As the 85th patriarch of the Chan Buddhism, 48th patriarch of the RinZai, being enlightened and realizing its true benefit, Master Miao Tian vowed to teach to everyone. That was twenty some years ago.

Now, there are over 60 meditation centers in Taiwan, and over 100,000 devoted Chan meditators today.

After experiencing the physical and mental benefits ourselves first hand, we volunteered ourselves to setup and manage American Zen Association in Los Angeles following the teachings of Taiwan Chan Budhist Association.   In Taiwan, we labeled our association as Chan Buddhist, because it is more convenient to describe our practice in Buddhist term.  We do not however restrict our teachings to Buddhist formalities or sutras.  We welcome Christians to label some of our practices into Christian terms.

Without question, Heart Chan Meditation is the most complete, detailed and effective practice to unify our body, mind and spirit, in turn to attain enlightenment.  By enlightenment, we mean a connection to the universal life force and wisdom, which can be label in anyway to suite any religious school, whether be it Christian, Islam or Buddhism.

It is our purpose in life to satisfy all spiritual relationships of the world. By fulfilling the well-being of others, one becomes truly fulfilled for oneself.


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