This is quoted from the (1973) book entitled 'Zen Art For Meditation' by Stewart W Holmes and Chimyo Horjoka (Pages 109-111). This is a classic piece of US Cold War agitation and propaganda aimed at removing the history of 'China' from the record books. Interestingly, the US (Eurocentric) racism and Japanese (Ultra-Nationalist) racism overlap to an incredible degree - both flawlessly dovetailing to co-operate in removing the machinations of genuine Chinese Ch'an history from being observed by the average Western mind. The reference for the above piece is from the work of Alan Watts and DT Suzuki - both 'frauds' and the latter a untried Japanese War Criminal. The 'British' Alan Watts travelled around the US giving highly popular 'anti-intellectual' lectures that appealed to the American sense of inflated self-interest whilst terming this Eurocentric and racist interpretation of Asian spiritual culture as 'Zen'. DT Suzuki came from a long line of Japanese fascists who served the Japanese government and its requirement to indoctrinate and brain-wash the Japanese population into mindlessly following orders as part of the Imperial Japanese Military! DT Suzuki influenced Alan Watts (and his fellow Britton Christmas Humphreys) by falsely claiming that true 'Zen' has nothing to do with the Buddhist morality contained within the Vinaya Discipline (which forbids 'killing' in word, deed or thought)! Japanese militarism, on the contrary, demanded that this moral barrier was firmly removed from the highly moral Buddhism - and people like DT Suzuki was the man to do it! He taught entire generations of Japanese youth to inherently hate 'Westerners' and the 'Chinese' as both being examples of inferior races as part of their military training! Indeed, the Chinese Ch'an Buddhist - Master Xu Yun (1840-1959) - who witnessed the Japanese atrocities in China first-hand, was of the opinion that their barbarism and inhumanity stemmed from a corrupt generation of Japanese Buddhist clerics who refused to acknowledge or follow the Vinaya Discipline! Between 1931-1945, the Japanese Imperial Army, (Airforce and Navy) killed around 60 million men, women and children throughout Asia (with a large proportion of these deaths being within China). Despite China being a staunch ally of the West during WWII, China was 'excluded' from the all 'White' panel of Judges at Nuremberg - with the Japanese atrocities committed in China played-down by Western commentators. As the US-backed Nationalist government was forced to flee to Taiwan in the wake of the success of the Socialist Revolution of 1949, the US adopted a policy of immediately rehabilitating Japanese militarism and racist nationalism - dressing it up in the false garb of 'defending' democracy from the threat of Chinese Communism. The US followed exactly the same policy of rehabilitating entire regiments of Nazi Germans in Europe - switching Hitler for 'liberal democracy'! The US made use of the anti-Socialist aspect of fascist ideology and created a political climate where the Japanese nation did not have to acknowledge its extensive crimes in China, or make any amends for these crimes. The US restructured Japan so that Chinese Buddhism was falsely presented as a) corrupt, and b) having 'died-out' centuries ago! This racist lunacy was further strengthened with the equally laughable claim (still found in US and Japanese academia) that 'Zen' only exists in Japan! The Japanese nation has corrupted 'Zen' for so long that it is in no way the representative of Chinese Ch'an! Such an absurd idea has its roots deep within US and Japanese racism! DT Suzuki taught (in pre-WWII Japan) that the Zen of 'Killing' an enemy soldier was a simple as 'breathing-in and breathing-out'! Master Xu Yun - a representative of the Chinese Ch'an tradition that US and Japanese racism falsely state 'does not exist' - taught (by way of comparison) that a Ch'an practitioner should 'not kill - or cause to kill'! And yet US anti-intellectualism views militaristic Japan as the keeper of the peace and peaceful China as the perpetuators of war! Finally, the author Stephen W Holmes was a 'Officer' in the 'Cambridge Buddhist Association (which had DT Suzuki as its founding President)! Chimyo Horjoka took over as 'President' of the above entity with the death of DT Suzuki in 1966 and by 1973 had held that post 7 years, whose broader academic career was in fine arts in the US. Neither one possessed the insight (or 'courage') to expose the anti-China narrative generated by the US post-1945, and indeed, colluded in this book to perpetuate in by writing China 'out of history!' I suspect that Cambridge University will be as embarrassed by its siding with a Japanese War Criminal and US anti-China racism - just as Oxford University's Buddhist Society will live to regret its mindless support for the equally 'racist' 'Pro-Tibetan Movement' - yet another manifestation of US anti-China racism! In the meantime, Bodhidharma conveyed the Indian School of 'Dhyana' Buddhism to China - where it became known as 'Ch'an.' Bodhidharma never visited Japan and so was not the 'founder of the Zen sect.' The modern Japanese government, in its zeal to wipe-out its historical associations with ancient China, mentions (on one of its governmental websites) the lie that 'Zen' came from India to Japan! Although it is often assumed that Ch'an spread to Japan from China during the 12th and 13th centuries (at the time of the Song Dynasty), there is also some evidence that the renowned Japanese Shingon Master 'Kukai' (空海 - Kong Hai) or 'Empty Ocean' (774-835) - was also taught 'Ch'an' and the 'Tea Ceremony' (茶流 - Cha Dao) whilst studying in China (between 804-806 during the Tang Dynasty - staying in temples in and around Chang'an! An English version of this narrative can be found in the work of William Scott Wilson. Chinese language sources suggest that Kukai also studied Sanskrit and insisted on checking that the Buddhist practices in China and Japan were extant in Indian Buddhist Sutra sources. Kukai, writing in the 9th century, confirmed that the Indian transmission of the Dharma to China was 'pure' and 'intact'! Killing the Dharma is killing the truth and this is exactly what posy-WWII US and Japanese policy has attempted to do. This can be countered by upholding the very Vinaya Discipline the contemporary Japanese people have rejected and the ancient Japanese people upheld! The ignorant Americans, however, have yet to uphold the Vinaya Discipline in any of its guises...
Email: For Your Files - How I Realised 'Enlightenment' or the More Modestly 'Self-Awareness' - This Experience Cleared the Path for Me to Encounter You! (22.11.2021)
What is interesting is that after decades of effective inner and outer martial arts practice, I have arrived at a profound 'stable' state of mind, body and spirit (whatever that is). This journey has traversed many inner and outer levels or states of being. Mostly, this has included a logical approach to physical training motivated by 'doubt' a) in the process itself, and b) in my ability to keep-up the practice or c) to carry-out the prescribed practice correctly. This 'doubt' was inward whilst the physical 'outer' Chinese martial arts techniques were superb and highly effective. This 'doubt' (which ceased to function about 14-years-ago in c. 2007) acted like a force of magnetism drawing my 'uncertain' inner-being toward to the solid and stable outer-structure of the martial arts techniques and how they might be used in self-defence (function) and mind and body health and fitness (longevity). There is now a great awareness. A great all-embracing sense of psychological being that appears to be united with mind, body and environment. This unity I term 'spiritual' because all this seems 'transcendent'. Of course, whilst being driven on by the inner doubt to practice physical martial arts (as a form of 'armouring' against external attack), I also committed myself to intense Ch'an meditative practice as a means to 'uproot' this doubt which all motivating throughout my entire life to 'take action' in many different arenas - it also contained an element of 'weakness'. As I interpreted this 'weaknesses' as a major problem that a) held me back in a state of fearful 'non-action', or b) sabotaged physical actions so as to render all exertion completely pointless! The mind 'cleared' and 'expanded' - it became all-embracing so that the body stopped appearing to be 'outside' of it and took its place entirely within psychological awareness. Although I had my initial experiences of the realisation of a 'still' and 'empty' mind with its awareness expanding and embracing all things around 1990 - it took another 15-years for this experience to settle-down (2005), and about another two or three years for all vestiges of 'doubt' to completely dissolve (2007/8). What did happen around 1990, however, is that my physical use of outer Chinese martial arts technique deepened, expanded and matured, and since the time of 'teaching' in my own right (as opposed to 'training' under a teacher) - I have never lost a fight in the training hall. (Around a year before this experience, I was following a strict Chinese (Mahayana) Buddhist 'monastic' regime and sitting in meditation for hours a day practicing the hua tou 'Who is hearing?' Suddenly, whilst sitting in my 'cell' and without warning, my mind 'ceased to move' becomingly utterly and completely 'still'. This was accompanied by deep sense of permanent ecstasy! My Chinese teachers correctly taught me with 'silence' - whilst my Western teacher Richard Hunn (1949-2006) - my Western Ch'an teacher - correctly taught me with words! Ironically, he drew my attention to the authentic Chinese Ch'an texts. 'Neither be attached to the (realised) inner void - nor hindered by (the 'external') hindering phenomena'. It was deep within the 'silence' of my Chinese Ch'an Masters (including Chan Tin Sang [1924-1993] that I discovered the poignant meaning of Richard Hunn's spiritually 'vibrant' words. This is how I knew that Richard Hunn was correct in his understanding. Later, this dual instruction [into non-duality] led to the next shift in perspective This occurred a year later after a further period of intense practice, and was a product of a complete change or 'turning about' [see the 'Lankavatara Sutra'] at the deepest essence of the mind. It was such a profound and important 'first principle' that I nearly omitted it from the list of all the important events! I was once meditating sat on the ground outside 'returning' all sensory data 'back to its 'empty ground' essence - when a cool and refreshing Summer's freeze blew gently across my face. Suddenly, my mind instantaneously 'turned the right way around' immediately abandoning its previous 'inverted' functionality and appeared to 'expand', assume an 'all-embracing' position of being, whilst this 'new awareness' thoroughly permeated the physical-body and penetrated the physical universe throughout the past, present, and future! This permanent shift in psychological and physical manifestation changed 'me' from the DNA-chemical foundation upward and influenced all the views and opinions I now hold!) This includes not only transforming the experience of sparring with students (which is now unified experience premised upon wisdom, loving kindness and compassion) - but also manifested within the otherwise 'brutal' realm of 'honour fights' whereby unknown and unfamiliar individuals suddenly turn-up at my training hall and (disrespectfully) ask to spar! They wish to gain fame and fortune through 'out of control' violence which involves (for them) the 'beating' and 'exposing' a local (Chinese) gongfu teacher! How did this happen? I think whereas my opponents were still motivated by a deep and profound sense of 'doubt' (often involving a profound 'self-hatred') - I no longer experienced this 'doubt' which 'divides' human-beings during combat. Doubt by this time in my life had become nothing more than a profound sense of enhanced 'awareness' full of compassion and understanding. This is all held in place by a physical (martial) ability that can use 'gentleness' just as easily as 'harshness' to 'control' or 'regulate' physical interactions.
Signed: Adrian Chan-Wyles [陳恒豫 - Chan Heng Yu] (22.11.2021) - '釋大道' (Shi Da Dao)
Witnessed and Authenticated by Yau, Gee-Cheuk [邱芷芍] (22.11.2021) - 'Gee Wyles' - Wife of Adrian Chan-Wyles
Thank you for your interesting email.
RHACS tends to emphasis support 'at a distance' for those engaged in a self-administered (and self-disciplined) programme of seated-meditation. The guide books that support this 'mindfulness' practice are those written by Charles Luk (1898-1978) entitled 'Ch'an and Zen Teaching - Vol I-III' and 'Empty Cloud' - the English language translation of the original Chinese language biography of Master Xu Yun (1840-1959) who lived into his 120th-year. Of course, 'mindfulness' is a key Buddhist attribute that expands far beyond the usual limited and/or divergent understanding that currently abounds. If you wish to discuss 'mindfulness' - please feel free to email further.
Sri Lanka: Letter (Number 1) From Buddhist Monk Mangala Thero [Regarding My Eldest Daughter Sue-Ling-Chan-Wykes] (13.8.1997)
My oldest daughter - Sue-Ling-Chan-Wyles - was born on August 8th, 1997. I was married to her mother - Cindy Chan - in Beruwela, (Sri Lanka) on December 13th, 1996. The Venerable Mangala Thero (a very learned Theravada Buddhist Monk now deceased) gave Sue-Ling the Dharma-Name 'Dhammika' - or 'She Who Diligently and devotedly Adheres to the Dhamma'. The Buddha advised a follow of His Dhamma to 'avoid' mixing with evil or negative persons - as their psychological and physical 'taints' (kilesa) or negative karma generated by excessive greed, hatred and delusion. Such people must help themselves - with those already possessing a pure mind (that is beyond corrupt) assisting them in this task. Those still attempting to purify and stabilise their minds must - for a time - separate themselves from the masses until their minds are strong enough to truly help and assist others. Sue-Ling is a grown woman now finding her own way in the world - and she is engaged in a number of ongoing projects designed to help and assist many different people. This is the ;essence' of Dhamma!
Sri Lanka: Letter (Number 3) Ven. Mangala Thero - Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple - Moragolla - Beruwela - Sri Lanka (c. 2005)
Over a number of weeks, Mangala Thero introduced me to the fundamentals of the Theravada School as taught in Sri Lanka. When returning to the UK - I had him featured in a Taijiquan magazine. However, some years later (around 2005), the Ven. Mangala Thero set me the following letter:
133. He converts his body to accord with his mind: he takes the body and mounts it on the mind. He makes its going swift to coincide with that of the mind; for the mind’s mode of going is swift.
He arrives at blissful perception and light perception: he arrives at perception of bliss and perception of lightness that are canascent with the supernatural-power consciousness whose object is the material body. The rest should be understood in the way already described. But here there is only the going of consciousness. (21)
21. “’There is only the going of consciousness’: there is only the going that is the same as that of the mind. But how does the body whose going [being that of matter] is slow, come to have the same going as the mind, which quickly passes? Its going is not the same in all respects, for in the case of converting the mind to conform with the body, the mind does not come to have the same going as the body in all aspects. For it is not that the mind then occurs with the moment of a material state, which passes slowly instead of passing with its own kind of moment, which is what establishes its individual essence. But rather the mind is called ‘converted to accord with the going of the body’ as long as it goes on occurring in a continuity that conforms with the body until the desired place is arrived at. This is because its passing occurs parallel with that of the body whose going is slow, owing to the resolution. ‘Let the mind be like this body.’ And likewise, it is while the body keeps occurring in such wise that its arrival at the desired place comes about in only a few quick passes of the mind instead of passing slowly, as in those who have not developed the roads to power – and this mode of occurrence is due to the possession of the perception of lightness, to say nothing of the resolve, ‘Let this body be like the mind,’ not because it arrives at the desired place in a single consciousness moment. And when taken thus the simile, ‘just as a strong man might stretch out his bent arm, or bend his outstretched arm’ (Vin 1 5) can be taken literally. And this must be accepted in this way without reserve, otherwise there is conflict with the Suttas, the Abhidhamma and the Commentary as well as contradiction of natural law (dhammata). Bhikkhus, I see no other one thing that is so quickly transformed as the mind’ (A 1 10) - here it is material states that are referred to by the word ‘other’ because they do not pass quickly. And in the Abhidhamma only matter is called pre-nascence condition and only consciousness post-nascence condition. And wherever states (dhamma) arise, there they dissolve. There is no transmigration of dhammas by force of the roads to power. But it is possible to affect alteration of the mode in which they are present (bhava)” (Vism-mht 397)
Visuddhimagga – The Path of Perfection – The Classic Manual of Buddhist Doctrine and Meditation – Part 2: Concentration (Samadhi) - Chapter XII – The Supernatural Powers - Translated from the Pali by Bhikkhu Nanamoli, BPS, (2010), Page 397
Author’s Note: In 2017, I wrote a short article about the Pali term ‘Bhavana’ and since then, I have been asked to write a more in-depth article regarding the meaning and application of this term in its Pali and Sanskrit context (both different and yet overlapping in places). Whereas in my earlier article (referenced below) I focused a great deal on the Chinese language term for ‘bhavana’ - in this outing I have limited myself to just the briefest of references to the Chinese equivalent – an act of considerable will-power considering Chinese Buddhism is one of my academic specialities (both ethnically and academically). However, I have always held the Theravada tradition in high regard and have been helped tremendously by its many practitioners and institutions around the world! From my Chinese Ch’an practice (and penetration of the empty mind ground) - I have come to see and appreciate how the many different branches of Buddhism (and reality in general) all manifest from the same stout trunk... Although what I convey to you is academically correct – you do not have to accept my conclusions. Always think for yourselves and make-up your own minds! ACW (17.9.2021)
When I was studying Theravada Buddhism in Sri Lanka (in 1996), a term I came across continuously was ‘bhavana’ (‘भावना’ Pali and ‘भवन’ Sanskrit) - this was invariably used to refer to the act of seated ‘meditation’ and all the psychological and physical discipline required to successfully carry-out this important Buddhist practice. Indeed, within the Chinese written language, ‘bhavana’ is referred to as ‘修習’ (Xiu Xi) - or a central method of mind-body transformation – literally ‘self-cultivation method(s) or ‘habits’’ or ‘disciplined paths which intersect at a certain point of development’. A more succinct translation could be ‘paths of self-discipline' with the caveat that what is being suggested is the strict disciplining of the mind and body through the correct application of the Vinaya Discipline and the Bodhisattva Vows. Therefore, the single act of seated meditation has a wealth of supporting disciplinary activities surrounding its application, and does not appear does not suddenly appear out of a vacuum of non-effort. In other words, ‘bhavana’ refers to an act of ‘meditation’ which is the summation of the entire Buddhist path! Although the emphasis was always upon seated meditation, of course, standing, sitting and lying-down is allowed in the Buddhist Suttas – which very much depends upon the meditation teacher and the practitioner involved. Compassion, loving-kindness and wisdom must always be the driving force behind the practice of ‘bhavana’.
As a ‘noun’, the Sanskrit dictionary states that भवन (bhavana) refers to:
The Pali dictionary suggests that ‘bhavana’ (भावना) refers to 'mental development' (lit. 'calling into existence, producing') in what in English is generally referred to 'meditation'. The Theravada School of Buddhism distinguishes two types of bhavana:
Interestingly, the very similar Sanskrit term ‘भावना’ (bhāvnā) refers to feeling, sensation, emotion and sentiment and is certainty moving toward the Buddhist (Pali) implications. Perhaps the Buddha modified a Pali term which once referred to the external practice of building houses and cultivating fields for farming – but changed its onus from this ‘objective’ meaning to a purely ‘subjective’ meaning relating to states of mind and patterns of thought and emotion. Just as rocks, weeds and stones are removed from the soil to make it fertile – the Buddhist practitioner uproots greed, hatred and delusion from the psychic fabric of the mind so that the mind becomes ‘fertile’ to receive the fruits of Buddhist self-cultivation. The Pali term appears to be referring to ‘that which arises from within’ - whilst the Sanskrit term is referring to ‘that which arises from without’. I would suggest that the inner perception of boundless space integrates with the awareness of boundless outer space – and that this is how the Buddha ultimately reconciles the two distinct meanings of this term. If a practitioner applies the Dhamma correctly – then like a plant growing from a seed into a might tree – the fruits of the Dhamma will manifest in the mind, body (and through behaviour) the environment!
As a number of sincere practitioners have contacted me of late enquiring about the Pure Land Teachings as preserved within China - I have decided to make a simple offering of photographed pages presenting Charles Luk's expert guidance on this matter as recorded in his book entitled 'The Secrets of Chinese Meditation'. I have chosen the original (1964) hardback edition - as quite often later editions were sometimes altered here and there to suit the agenda of various publishers. This is Chapter Three (3) of that book which runs from and to pages 81=108.