Basic Knowledge about Attending Huayen Chan-kuan Retreat
Chan-kuan training is different from general academic education. Chan-kuan training results depend on the mutual trust and cooperation between students and instructors. The factors, such as how much knowledge a student has about the training, a student’s attitude towards offering and dedication to Master and the teaching, and a student’s physical and psychological readiness for the training, play important role in training results. The results also relate to a student’s fundamental knowledge about the truth and your inherent good spiritual potentials. Here is the brief guidance on basic attitude and knowledge.
a. Right Mind-Set
Firstly, a student must be able to follow guidance. Practicing Chan-kuan involves areas far beyond the ability of brain. In order to move forward smoothly in training, Master and teacher’s assistance is absolutely indispensable. You have to be obedient, humble, surrender yourself, change “unclean” habits, leave everything ever known behind, become “a piece of blank paper”, and ready yourself to fully accept the guidance and training to pursue the spiritual self.
b. Clear Objective
Secondly, you need to have the attitude of “three care-for with complete heart”, which is to care for the temple, care for Master, and care for the teaching. The caring attitude indicates your spiritual learning conviction. It is upon the caring attitude that the general consensus, mutual understanding of behavior, communication and thoughts on Chan-kuan can be achieved with Master and the teaching team.
c. Five Failing Behaviors to Avoid
There are five failing behaviors you must avoid on the truth seeking path. They include being preconceiving, using general knowledge to subjectively judge the unknown, being wishful thinking, being self-righteous, and taking it for granted. These behaviors may lead to enormous and unimaginable obstacles during Chan-kuan practicing process. Be mind of these behaviors.
d. Key to Break through the Bottle-neck, Constant Self-Enquiring!
Constant self-enquiring is different from questioning and doubting that resulted from brain thinking and analysis. Self-enquiring is being introspective while actively doing and working on life-transformation project. It is based upon strong faith in Master and his teaching. Without faith, it is not possible to carry you Chan-kuan practice or to engage in constant self-enquiries. Without faith, enquiries are at most superficial and meaningless doubt.
Constant self-enquiries are the most direct and persistent way of asking and seeking for the core or the key answers to true path. It can remove your worries and ignorance of truth, enlighten wisdom, and overcome various barriers on the quest for truth.
e. The Culture, Purpose, and Spiritual Value of Chan Hall
There are Dharma Hall and Chan Hall in Buddhism. They function like different classrooms in the current education system. Dharma Hall is similar to the well-equipped auditorium in university, which displays Buddha statue, Mandala, Sutra and all kinds of offerings, etc. All the general Dharma courses, lectures, events and ceremonies can be held in Dharma Hall. There are no particular limitations; anyone interested can participate in the activities in Dharma Hall. Dharma Hall’s door is always open to everyone. It is a great place to gain and accumulate fundamental merits for truth seeking path.
Chan Hall is a place where a student is actually working on truth seeking. It is different from Dharma Hall. It is more like a scientific laboratory in university, where only Chan-kuan is performed. People who come to Chan Hall have only one goal, which is to pursue the ultimate spiritual true life. Because of this, Chan Hall is also known as a testing place to find Buddha. The display in Chan Hall is very simple. It only contains necessary items, nothing else. It tells people that only looking in or examining your own mind and feelings; everything exterior is false, and only the real life transformation is real. Because of this, teaching in Chan Hall only aims at life transformation. The teaching demonstrates a much grander scale of love, but it is not what people expect from school.
Respect for Chan Hall is to respect your own spirit. To respect your own spirit, the first thing to do is to direct your attention at one point and stop any wandering thoughts. So as soon as you enter Chan Hall, you have to bring your full attention to the body, mind, and spirit, and not to be distracted by the surroundings. It is important to ignore other people’s affairs and not to make comparison to theirs. It is to test your limits, conquer yourself and unlimited transcend.
In addition, when entering Chan Hall, put aside all ideologies, such as core values, local customers and ethics, personal habits, and cultural manners and rules, etc. Chan Hall is a holy platform for you to free life’s shackles. Everyone comes to Chan Hall for the purpose of improving himself or herself, uplifting your fine qualities, and transforming your life. In the process, you would experience various types of emotions. The phenomena in Chan Hall are not to be judged by earthly principals.
Everything demonstrated from a student’s body, speech and mind perspectives in Chan Hall are respected, accepted, and protected. All participants should have the same understanding. Open your heart, respect and accept! Chan Hall is a fertile land that nurses your true spirit. Let us welcome the marvelous life transformation with the most beautiful and sincere heart!
“Yoga is not asana; yoga is a spiritual doing and growing.” said Venerable Master Haiyun, Mentor of Taiwan Da Huayen Monastery.
“Chan-kuan is not meditation; Chan-kuan is going on the quest for the essence, the truth, and the origin of life.” Said Venerable Master Haiyun, Mentor of Taiwan Da Huayen Monastery.
We are currently holding Chan-kuan retreats in every spring and fall. If you are interested in or have any questions about it, please feel free to contact:
Joy Chang / 1-630-202-4281 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Lei Jiang / 1-734-277-6172 / email@example.com