Triple Crane Retreat Center’s Three Great Missions:
1. Deliverance of the exposition of the Ultimate Truth
“To not have read the Avatamsaka Sutra, is to not perceive the invaluableness of Buddhism.” The Avatamsaka Sutra, also known as the Flower Adornment Sutra, or in its full title《The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra》, is the first sutra expounded by Shakyamuni Buddha upon attaining enlightenment while seated beneath the Bodhi tree. Its contents both elucidates the sublime elegance of the ultimate abode of the tathāgata, and edifies the manifold means to attain such a state. Those seeking spiritual cultivation whom follow the sequential stages mapped out shall advance towards realizing the immeasurable wealth of one’s inborn spirituality, and through sustained accomplishments will ultimately bring the state of the tathāgata into fruition.
The purpose of the Da Huayen North American Triple Crane Retreat Center is to deliver exposition of the ultimate truth, and to provide guidance in practice centered on 《The Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra》, which can be further divided into two modes: the application of expedient means under the “approach of consummate interfusion”, and the Huayen Chan-Kuan “approach of sequential practices,” which is founded upon the knowledge that “There is but a single pathway through Nirvana’s gate, to return to the ultimate reality.”
The former encompasses the five main practices of Mahāyāna Buddhism – the Chan School, the Pure Land School, the Vinaya School, the Esoteric School, and the School of Doctrine, with emphasis on a large-scale training approach to spiritual cultivation supplemented by ‘life education’, to cultivate the right mindset of a spiritual practioner, to establish a healthy and sound mind and personality, and to condition oneself to utilize wholesome comprehension. From an individualistic perspective, one may deepen one’s individual prosperity and merit, leading to a structurally happy and sound life; from the group perspective, it leads to a stable and peaceful society, and a prosperous nation.
The latter – Huayen Chan-Kuan – is unique to the Da Huayen Retreat Center, and is the direct inheritance from the lineage of Mahayana Yogacara, built upon the use and practice of techniques of subtle observation. The unique trait of Chan-Kuan is to first establish the basics of how one inhibits the interference from one’s brain and may recall through the use of various purification techniques one’s innate life energy, enabling oneself to delve further within through authentic cultivation via deep introspection and steadfast concentration. Through the practice of such techniques, one can thoroughly transform one’s life, to transition from mortal to noble person, and enter into the realm of perfection.
2. The Establishment of American Buddhism
The Ultimate Truth is singular and unwavering, whereas culture constantly evolves with the passage of time, across geographies, climates and ethnicities. And yet, our minds are clouded by worldly distractions making the Truth difficult to grasp, as such the conveyance and education of the Truth must be packaged with culture as its medium in order to make it accessible to the masses. As a result, between different religions, or even within the different sects of a religion, there exists differences in the formation, messages, disciplines, ceremonies, rituals and covenants; even in the food consumption, dress attire, architecture and artistic statements, these are all expressions of our commendation of the Truth.
Upholding the spirit as described above, the Da Huayen North American Triple Crane Retreat Center undertakes its mission in the hopes of disseminating the DNA of the Buddhadharma’s wisdom, with the hopes of aiding in the nurturing of an American arhat, one that was born and has grown immersed in American culture. Such spiritual achievers shall fulfill the needs of the American people, following the principles of the Truth and assimilating with American spirit and cultural values, they shall construct a lineage of Buddhism widely received and beneficial to the bodies, minds and spirits of the American people – i.e. a style of Buddhism uniquely American.
We excitedly anticipate the establishment of American Buddhism, with the hopes of providing a surge of new energy in America, to allow the enrichment of the essence of American culture and spiritual cultivation; concurrently, the growth of American Buddhism will expedite the understanding and tolerance between various ethnicities, allowing us to find the commonalities amongst the differences. Through these commonalities, we shall experience growth together, and America shall become a peaceful refuge and paradise for all humanity.
3. Chinese Buddhism as a benchmark
The third mission of the Da Huayen North American Triple Crane Retreat Center is to provide, through the deliverance of Chinese Buddhism as the benchmark, a platform upon which American Buddhism shall be established.
The practices taught by the Da Huayen Retreat Center incorporates the ceremonies, tantric chants, and rituals of traditional Chinese Buddhism, as well as the five main practices of Mahāyāna Buddhism. In addition, through symposiums, education centers, research institutes, museums, sutra publishing, life education centers and youth organizations, the Retreat Center continues towards its goal of achievements in the modern realms of Buddhist scholarly research, general studies, personnel training, art appreciation, sutra exaltation, and life education. Finally, the Chan-Kuan centers undertake the responsibility in the guidance of the Huayen Chan-Kuan, the core of the life education transformation project, which satisfies the modern individuals’ needs for sound physical health, alleviation of emotional stress, and growth in spirituality.
It is our belief that upon this comprehensive platform, not only will we nurture outstanding spiritual cultivators and promulgators of the Dharma, we may become a cornerstone in the establishment of American Buddhism.