Ch'an Dao Links:
Scholar Cen Xue Lu - (1882-1963) - Xu Yun's Editor
(The primary Chinese source text for this translation is entitled ‘岑学吕’, or ‘Cen Xue Lu’, and is found on the Chinese language Baidu search-engine, as an encyclopaedia entry. This provides the broad and general outline for my English language biography of Cen Xue Lu. In addition I have referenced the Chinese text entitled ‘岑学吕的一封公开信 ‘, or ‘Cen Xue Lu’s Open Letter to the Public’, which addresses the issues of master Xu Yun’s declared age of 120 at his death. I have also accessed Cen Xue Lu’s Chinese language biography of Xu Yun (虛雲和尚年譜 – Xu Yun He Shang Nian Po), as well as Charles Luk’s ‘Empty Cloud’ English translation, and added extra historical background information from various and general sources.)
The name of scholar ‘Cen Xue Lu’ (岑學呂), although known in relation to master Xu Yun, is nevertheless often treated as a peripheral concern within English translations of master Xu Yun’s autobiography. Of course, within such translations the emphasis is always placed upon the providing of an accurate presentation of a Chinese text into another language – with precision of translation understandably taking precedence. Meaning that within the context of translation, it must not only reveal a reality that is recognisable within the original text, but also elaborate upon that meaning so that an unfamiliar audience can gain ‘new’ knowledge as a result of reading the translation. With regards to rendering specific Chinese philosophical concepts into European languages, the task is often formidable, although definitely not impossible. Cen Xue Lu did not translate master Xu Yun’s autobiography into English; but his vital and important contribution lies further back in the chain of events. Indeed, without Cen Xue Lu’s presence there might not have been an autobiography at all. The great Ch’an master Xu Yun (1840-1959) would probably not be as well known as he is today, (some fifty years after his passing), if not for the scholarly work carried out on his behalf by Cen Xue Lu. Indeed, it is Cen Xue Lu’s manuscript known (in Chinese) as ‘Xu Yun He Shang Nian Pu’, or in English ‘Empty Cloud Harmonious Honourable Yearly Record’, that Charles Luk (1898-1978) translated into English in the 1960’s, and which Richard Hunn (1949-2006) edited into a single edition in 1988. The title of this work, which is arranged quite literally as a ‘yearly record’ (Nian Pu) transliterates as ‘The Monk Xu Yun’s Autobiography’, with the terms ‘He Shang’ referring to a Buddhist monk.
Cen Xue Lu was not a Buddhist monk, and did not take up the study of Ch'an until the early 1930’s. He was born in Shunde County, Guangdong province, and was a native Cantonese speaker. At the time of his birth, master Xu Yun was already in his 42nd year. His background is described as impoverished, and it is known that both his parents died when he was young. From that time he was looked after by a woman surnamed ‘Lai’, who is described as a ‘secondary wife’. His early school years were difficult, but eventually he attended the Guangdong Military Academy. It is interesting to note that Cen Xue Lu, who would become a renowned scholar, did not have a privileged upbringing, but literally studied his way out of poverty through will power and determination. Furthermore, his education as a young man was purely military rather than spiritual. At the military academy Cen Xue Lu met and became friends with one Huang Mu Song (1884-1937), a person who was to play an important role in Nationalist military and political affairs. Cen Xue Lu grew up in a China that was experiencing all kinds of political and cultural upheavals, much of it blamed upon the destructive presence of foreign colonial powers. Intellectuals were looking for new ways for China to proceed, and the peasantry, at least in the of north China, militarily rose-up during the Boxer Uprisings (1898-1901), in an attempt to rid China of corrosive influences. Nationalist ideas were gaining important intellectual ground. Although China was still an imperial power in 1902 – the year of Cen Xue Lu’s graduation from the academy – the idea that perhaps there was another way for China to order its affairs was gaining support. In this respect, Chinese Nationalism was necessarily ‘republican’ and democratic in nature. It sought, as a movement, to abolish the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), and bring two thousand years of imperial rule to an end, and in so doing, usher in a new era of Chinese modernism. Cen Xue Lu, however, did not join the Chinese military despite his martial education, instead upon leaving the academy (he was 20 years old) he became a primary school teacher. After this, he became a newspaper reporter and whilst in Hong Kong in 1906, Cen Xue Lu formally joined the Nationalist movement, using his literary skills to propagate political propaganda amongst the readership. After the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, Cen Xue Lu was given local (Guangdong) government posts one of which was in Panyu County. At this time he did not believe in Buddhism and authorised the destruction of a Buddhist temple to make way for the construction of a new school in the area. He continued to assist the Nationalist movement up until 1931. In 1931, Cen Xue Lu developed a confidence in the teachings of the Lord Buddha. In 1933, at the Yong Quan Temple, on Gu Shan (Drum Mountain), in the Fuzhou area of Fujian province, Cen Xue Lu took refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, under the guidance of master Xu Yun. Cen Xue Lu was given the lay-Buddhist name of (Upasaka) ‘Kuan Xian’ (寬賢), which can be translated as ‘Vast Virtue’. In the years 1933-34 master Xu Yun was already in his 94th year. When he met Cen Xue Lu at Gu Shan, the Japanese Imperial Army had occupied the Shan Hai Pass and sent a wave of panic through the area. Many temples closed their doors to guest monks, but Gu Shan kept receiving monks travelling to the area by sea.
In 1935, Cen Xue Lu took up the important task of the collecting of data about the minority peoples of China, and about the peoples living on and around China’s borders. This involved the gathering of ethnographical and demographical information through the Mongolia – Tibet Association (蒙藏會), headed by Huang Mu Song. This study was intended to be comprehensive and far reaching and Cen Xue Lu gathered and published much information on China’s tribal peoples, including the Miao and Yao, as well as the Hui (Chinese Muslims of Arabic descent), the Manchu, the Mongolians and the Tibetans. The Han people (i.e. the ‘Chinese’) were also studied. Cen Xue Lu gained a reputation for meticulous data gathering and information presentation. His produced documents were logically presented and of the highest academic calibre. He was responsible for the shedding light onto groups of people who were not greatly understood at that time. In 1937, due to a change in political leadership, Cen Xue Lu was removed from his post. He decided to retire from public life at this time and took up residence in the Tsuen Wan area of the New Territories (Hong Kong), where he lived off of the land.
In December, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Army attacked and destroyed the British military defences in the New Territories and on Hong Kong Island. The Japanese forces brutalised the Chinese inhabitants who were left defenceless following the surrender of the British forces in the area. The British colonial authorities had pursued a deliberate policy of not arming the local Chinese population, due to the fear that they might use the arms to over-throw the (foreign) British rule. As it transpired, the Chinese martial traditions provided a distinct Chinese response to the Japanese threat, utilising cleverness, forward planning, local knowledge, and traditional weaponry to inflict small but significant defeats on the Japanese, here and there. Through this modern weaponry was eventually captured by the Chinese resistance and used effectively against the Japanese invaders. Another source of modern weaponry consisted of the arms hastily abandoned by retreating British forces as they desperately tried to reach the temporary safety of Hong Kong Island. Out of consideration for the plight of the local inhabitants of Tsuen Wan, Cen Xue Lu came out of his hermit-like existence, and using his knowledge of military training acquired in his youth, organised the local villagers into armed para-military units - these units were specifically armed with abandoned British weaponry. This created a well organised local response to the military presence of the Japanese. Guard patrols were organised to confront bandits and Japanese soldiers. In this way, Cen Xue Lu demonstrated the distinctly Chinese notion of a scholar. Not only must a scholar be well read, but he must also be able to defend himself and others when the times dictate. However, despite this organised resistance, by the spring of 1942, food, and other essential supplies were running-out. Cen Xue Lu was forced to leave the area, helping those that he could, get to safety.
After this Cen Xue Lu travelled to Qujiang, (situated in the district of Shaoguan, northern Guangdong province), where he visited the Nan Hua Temple (南華寺), famous for housing the mummified body of Hui Neng – the 6th Patriarch of Ch’an Buddhism. The Patriarch’s body is sat in the meditation posture even to this day, although master Xu Yun had it and the mummy of Han Shan (1546-1623) secretly moved to Yunmen in 1944/45 to escape wartime damage. Since the fall of Guangzhou to the Japanese in 1937, the provincial wartime capital was established at Qujiang. It was often the case that high-ranking Chinese leaders would meet at the Nan Hua Temple. For this reason, the area attracted attention from the Japanese air force. On one such occasion, a Japanese bomb fell just outside of the temple wall, but did not explode. At this time, master Xu Yun was meditating in the main hall, and all the guests had taken refuge in the Hall of the 6th Patriarch. The Japanese bombers circled continuously until two collided and exploded. After this time the Japanese air force was reluctant to fly near the temple when on missions. Cen Xue Lu had last seen Xu Yun in 1933, nearly a decade ago. In that time Cen Xue Lu had worked as a sociologist, a historian and a wartime leader – he had also spent a number of years in seclusion. Here, Cen Xue Lu, after undergoing many experiences since the fall of Hong Kong (to the Japanese), met master Xu Yun for the second time in his life. Master Xu Yun was then in his 103rd year. Master Xu Yun said to Cen Xue Lu; ‘You have returned? Occasionally come to this place and rest, and then you will know exactly.’ Master Xu Yun always continued ‘to hit the centre-point’ in his Ch’an teaching – but Cen Xue Lu did not understand. Later, when Cen Xue Lu asked about his early life, Xu Yun took a deep breath and sighed before asking; ‘You have been trying to understand for a long time, but what have you achieved? During this time, what have you achieved?’ Cen Xue Lu was shaken with fear to hear such a forthright assessment of his progress. The Nan Hua Temple was central as a place of refuge from the dangers of war to the local Chinese people. Some times even bandits would take refuge there. On one occasion a group of bandits had robbed retreating Chinese soldiers, and when reinforcements arrived, the commander planned to attack forty villages in the area – in an attempt to get back the stolen money and goods, as well as to punish the bandits, their families and supporters. The elders of local villages came to the temple and asked Xu Yun to intervene on their behalf. Xu Yun spoke to the commander and negotiated a peaceful settlement, with all the loot being returned.
In September 1944, Cen Xue Lu’s first wife passed away. In August of 1945, the Japanese war of aggression came to an end with the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japanese cities by the US air force. Cen Xue Lu commemorated this event by writing a poem that states that the atomic age has brought an end to a century of humiliation for China. Shortly after this, Cen Xue Lu gave a lecture about Buddhism. His words were recorded by a reporter and preserved under the title of ‘Buddhism and life’. In 1946, he returned to Shunde County – the place of his birth – and is elected as speaker of the County Assembly. He uses his influence to re-build Buddhist temples that had previously been destroyed – following the example of master Xu Yun. In October of 1946, his second wife - Madam Huang – passed away after an illness. Cen Xue Lu arranged the details of her funeral and over-saw its completion. Then in April 1947, he returned to the Nan Hua Temple in Qujiang, where he lived for several months. In 1949, Cen Xue Lu retired back to the Tsuen Wan area of the New Territories. He was invited to take an important academic post in Guangzhou – at the Research Institute for Culture and History – but declined the offer on account of his advanced years - instead he stayed in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, master Xu Yun has come to Hong Kong after being invited by Upasaka Fang Yang Qiu to inaugurate his Buddha-shrine. Master Xu Yun spent a month in Hong Kong, and met with Cen Xue Lu again – asking him to edit the Annals of the Yunmen Monastery. Their conversation is as follows;
Cen Xue Lu; ‘The world is changing fast, where should I go to maintain my practice?’ Master Xu Yun; ‘To a student of Dao, his home is everywhere and if you only lay down everything, the place where you are is a Bodhimandala (place for realising truth). Please set your mind at rest.' Cen Xue Lu; ‘The monasteries will be greatly affected by what happens on the mainland; why don’t you stay here temporarily to expound the Dharma for the benefit of living beings? Master Xu Yun; ‘There are others who can expound the Dharma here. It seems that I have a special responsibility to the temples on the mainland. As for myself, my mind is beyond going or staying, but on the mainland, all the temples and monasteries are in a state of uncertainty. If I stay here, who will look after the tens of thousands of monks and nuns whose plight will worsen; how can my mind be set at rest if I stay here? This is why I must return to the mainland.’
After this, Cen Xue Lu worked upon his self-cultivation through Ch’an meditation whilst living in solitude upon the mountains of Tsuen Wan, in the New Territories. Cen Xue Lu’s biography now recounts the tragic and awful events that unfolded within the mainland of China during the early months of 1952. Cen Xue Lu refers to what happened as the ‘Cloud Gate Incident’ (雲門事变 - Yun Men Shi Bian). This is significant, as the Chinese word '事' (shi4), which can also refer to an ‘event’ or an ‘affair’, implies that a task has been undertaken that involves the deliberate fulfilling of official orders. This tragic event must be viewed within historical context; in 1949, the Nationalist movement under Chiang Kai-shek had been militarily defeated by the Communist forces of Mao Zedong in 1949 – with Chiang Kai-shek and his remaining forces fleeing to the island of Taiwan. Around this time Cen Xue Lu left the mainland of China to take-up residence in the British colony of Hong Kong. Mao Zedong, however, pursued a policy of rapid moderniastion through an ‘anti-traditionalist’ approach, which declared that any thing ‘old’ was a hindrance to progression, and should be uprooted from Chinese society. Part of this attack was the notion that religion encouraged ignorance amongst the masses. In 1945, the Soviet Red Army entered northeast China and destroyed the Japanese occupation forces located in that part of the country – before handing this vast territory over to Mao’s forces. From this base of operations, the Chinese Communists successfully conquered the whole of Mainland China, and defeated the Nationalists. Modernisation was to be achieved in an instant, at the cost of everything considered ‘old’, including those who thought that traditional cultural methods were correct. As some one who was already famous within his lifetime, and who was a symbol of the old religious order, master Xu Yun was an obvious target. Through his pure living and venerable age, he linked a modern China on the brink of immense change, to a very long imperial era. He had the power 'through example' to influence the masses in a way that the new government could not tolerate. In early 1951, ideological changes were making themselves felt throughout the Buddhist communities of China. At this time at the Yunmen Temple around 120 monks and nuns had gathered to receive the precepts from Xu Yun.
On February the 24th, approximately a hundred cadres from the local Security Bureau surrounded the monastery – preventing any one leaving or entering. Master Xu Yun was imprisoned within the Abbot’s room, whilst the monks and nuns were detained in the Dharma and Meditation halls. These one hundred cadres searched every inch of the monastery – including the roof tiles, statues and flooring bricks – for two days but found nothing illegal. They then arrested the head monks Ming Gong, Wei Xin, Wu Hui, Zhen Kong, and Wei Zhang, and took them away. All of Xu Yun’s personal correspondence, documents, registers, commentaries on sutras, and over a hundred years of his Dharma words were sealed in bags and took away. The monastic community was accused of all sorts of crimes. In reality, the local Security Bureau had acted upon unfounded rumours that there were gold bars, silver bullion, arms, ammunition and a radio-transmitter hidden in the monastery. The cadres chose twenty-six monks to be severely beaten until they told the authorities where the items were hidden – all took their beating and said afterward that no such objects existed within the monastery. The monk Miao Yun was beaten to death. The monks Wu Yun and Ti Zhi had their arms broken – other monks went missing and were never seen again. After ten days of this activity the cadres found nothing, to turned their attention toward Master Xu Yun.
On the 1st day of the third lunar month, master Xu Yun was taken to another room that had all the windows and doors sealed-up. He was denied food and water, and was not allowed out to go to the toilet. Xu Yun meditated in this dimly lit room for three days until a group of cadres entered and began to interrogate him. They asked him where all the gold and silver was, but Xu Yun truthfully answered that there was none in the monastery. The cadres first beat Xu Yun with wooden sticks; when this did not produce the desired result, they switched to iron bars. Xu Yun’s head and face was profusely bleeding, and his ribs were broken – that day master Xu Yun was beaten this way on four separate occasions. Throughout the beatings he sat in meditation and entered Samadhi concentration. Finally, the cadres threw him to the ground and eventually left – empty handed. Xu Yun’s breathing was very weak, but his attendants carried him to a bed and helped him sit in the meditation position. On the fifth day, hearing that Xu Yun was still alive, the cadres returned and were shocked to see the master sat upright in meditation. The cadres, in a furious fit of temper, beat, punched and kicked Xu Yun to the ground again, creating more bleeding wounds before leaving. His attendants again carried him to a bed and helped him into the meditation position. Although Xu Yun eventually reclined on to his right-side, and despite the fact that he was severely injured, he did not die. Instead, on the eleventh day he began to talk and told monk Fa Yun that whilst in this terribly physical condition he had visited the Tushita Heaven and the inner chamber of Maitreya Buddha, and heard the Dharma being expounded. When the cadres saw this they trembled with fear, and although they stayed at the monastery for a month, making life difficult for everyone, they never touched master Xu Yun again. However, Xu Yun was weak and the beating had rendered him both deaf and blind. His disciples thought that he would die – so they asked him to dictate his life story which is preserved as the Xu Yun He Shang Nian Pu, and is the consequence of Cen Xue Lu’s editing skills, without which Xu Yun’s autobiography might have been lost. Cen Xue Lu was sent the draft copy of Xu Yun’s life story (disguised in the cover of a Chinese Classic book) up to the year 1952 – for safe-keeping – in Hong Kong. As he lived in retirement Cen Xue Lu was able to dedicate his full scholarly talents to the project of turning this rough draft of notes into a proper book with a clear beginning , middle and end, presented in logical order of chapters based upon the passing years of Xu Yun's life. Of course, on the mainland of China, Xu Yun’s life continued and the subsequent events of years 1953 – 1959 were recorded by his attendants. These events were smuggled out of China to Cen Xue Lu in Hong Kong and eventually integrated into the biography.
The completed autobiography was finished some ten years after the first drafts were handed to Cen Xue Lu. This text has remained more or less in constant print in the Chinese language. However, in the West, English translations of the autobiography remain sparse. It is interesting to note that Charles Luk (1898-1978) – who was also living in Hong Kong - started translating Chinese texts into English as early as 1956, with Xu Yun’s autobiography first appearing (in English) in serialised form in the World Buddhism journal. Roshi Philip Kapleau (Rochester Zen Center) gathered these translations together, and released them in a single volume in the West in 1974, whilst Richard Hunn (a Western disciple of Charles Luk), produced the 1980 and 1988 editions with the latter being a fully re-edited version of Luk’s translation. Xu Yun had asked Charles Luk to create accurate and reliable translations (in English) of key Chinese Buddhist texts – and near to the end of his life, Charles Luk requested that Richard Hunn improve upon the English text of Xu Yun’s autobiography. None of this would have been possible without the dedication and expertise of the retired scholar and lay Buddhist Cen Xue Lu. Regardless of who accesses the Chinese text, and into what language it is being translated, the work of Cen Xue Lu looms large. He is the ever present, but often unrecognised catalyst behind the finished text itself. The Chinese text has not been without its controversy, particularly with regard to the age of master Xu Yun at his passing. Cen Xue Lu is of the opinion that the age is correct, as it is the age that master Xu Yun ascribes to himself, with a birth date of 1840. In Xu Yun’s 71st year (1910-11) he received a letter from Bhiksuni Qing Jie – previously known as ‘Miss Tan’, one of his two former wives – both of whom had become Buddhist nuns when Xu Yun left home to follow the Dharma. In it, she informs him of the death of his stepmother (previously Madam Wang), the Bhiksuni Miao Jin, who had chanted gathas (poems) before passing away in the seated meditation position in 1909-10. Qing Jie also mentions that it has been over 50 years since Xu Yun left home. This would take the date of this event to around just before the year 1859/60, assuming that Qing Jie’s letter was written in 1909/10 (in fact the autobiography records the exact date of this letter to be the 29th of March, 1910), at the time of Miao Jin’s passing. This tallies with master Xu Yun’s statement that he left home (with his cousin Fu Guo) at the age of 19, in the year 1858-59, and went to Gu Shan (Fuzhou), where his head was shaved by the elderly master Chang Kai. Furthermore, Qing Jie gives the death date of Xu Yun’s father (Xiao Yu Tang) as 1864/65 – Xu Yun was 25 years old at the time– and mentions this event as occurring at exactly the same date in his autobiography. Both his parents are described as being ‘old’ when they had him – Upasaka Chen Yung Chang’s stone inscription of Miao Jin’s gathas - mentions that Xu Yun’s mother was over 40 years of age at the time of his birth, explaining that she died just after the delivery.
Bhiksuni Qing Jie’s letter appears to form the central core of key worldly happenings in Xu Yun’s life (up until 1910) and may well have acted as some form of diary when it came time to describe the years from 1840 onward. In other words, when dictating his life story in 1952, master Xu Yun (or his attendants) may have referenced this letter to provide important background information. Whatever the actual case, it is obvious that all the dates contained within Xu Yun’s autobiography accord exactly with the dates presented in the letter itself. Of course, once this is understood it is important to appreciate that the autobiography itself does not rely solely upon this important document. Master Xu Yun’s memory is definitely at work throughout its pages. Qing Jie’s letter of 1910, as recorded within the autobiography, suggests that Xu Yun was in his 120th year at his death. The Chinese Communist regime, established in 1949 was producing a new academic climate of philosophical materialism that poured scorn on religion and spirituality. The last decade of Xu Yun’s life appears to be a living defiance of this type of thinking, and it was in the best interests of the regime to attack and demean Xu Yun’s reputation at his death in 1959. The age of 120 years appears to be linked with the pure religious life that Xu Yun lived. Mao’s materialist regime believed that it could answer all of humanity’s needs and that there was no need for spiritual development. The past had to be wiped-out so that a new future could emerge from its ashes. When questioned about Xu Yun’s age, Cen Xue Lu stated in an open letter that although there was no corroborating objective evidence to establish Xu Yun’s birth-date, nevertheless, he felt the date to be correct in accordance with the information he had received from Zhen Ru Monastery. By that time, and considering the many wars and social upheavals China had experienced over the last 120 years, it was not surprising that actual paper records no longer existed, or had not been found. Cen Xue Lu did not add or subtract from the biographical material he received from the mainland of China. For instance, Cen Xue Lu’s meeting with Xu Yun in 1933 (at Gu Shan) is not mentioned in the text (although it is obviously recorded in Cen Xue Lu’s biographical details), but a conversation between Xu Yun and Cen Xue Lu in 1949 (in Hong Kong), is included, although it is clearly distinguished as an addition to the text. He worked upon the manuscript for around a decade – until after Xu Yun’s death in 1959. As editor, his job was to arrange the material into an appropriate order, and in so doing create a coherent, continuous narrative running like a thread through its entire length. The details of the text speak for themselves. The debate of the length of Xu Yun’s life detracts from the actual quality of that life itself. However, lengthy life-spans are not that unusual; Cen Xue Lu lived for just over 80 years, and Charles Luk also lived for 80 years, whilst the Nationalist general Zhang Xueliang lived for 100 years (1901-2001). Occasionally Western scholars have doubted Xu Yun’s age, usually taking their cue from the official mainland Chinese scepticism. Holmes Welch, for instance, believes that it is a Chinese habit to exaggerate the age of those they respect, but at the same time offers no actual evidence to support a deliberate fabrication of Xu Yun’s age. In fact he offers no examples of such fabrications at all within Chinese culture. This situation is compounded by the fact that scepticism has even emerged from those claiming to follow in the lineage foot-steps of Xu Yun – particularly in the USA where one Buddhist practitioner is of the opinion that Xu Yun’s autobiography is a forgery created by Cen Xue Lu and Charles Luk, and that there was nothing particularly special about Xu Yun at all. Of course, this kind of mindless speculation demonstrates a lack of depth of the understanding of Ch’an Buddhism in general, and the point of Xu Yun’s life example inparticular. Charles Luk, it must be remembered, translated Xu Yun’s autobiography into English more or less exactly from Cen Xue Lu’s finished text. Although Charles Luk had personally trained under Xu Yun, Luk makes no mention of this in his English translation, with the only additions being explanatory footnotes. These footnotes are essential in explaining Buddhist concepts to a Western audience.
Cen Xue Lu led an extraordinary life. He was directly involved within the Nationalist political and military movement that sought to end the imperial order and establish a modernisation of China very much in the Western model. He developed a reputation for sound and accurate scholarship, and later in his life became very interested in the Buddhist religion. He participated directly in the war against Japanese imperial aggression in Hong Kong, and after 1949 assisted in the preservation of the Xu Yun biographical text. His diligence in the task of developing it allowed a Chinese readership to remember and learn about Xu Yun – at a time when Chinese traditional culture was being destroyed. This text, when translated into English (and other European languages) swept through a receptive Western world, bringing the life of Xu Yun to a new audience. Cen Xue Lu not only edited the Xu Yun text, but also protected it from external attack. His contribution to the preservation of Xu Yun’s memory is pivotal and vital. Without Cen Xue Lu’s presence in the world, it is unlikely that the Xu Yun text would have survived as it has to the present day. In this achievement, Cen Xue Lu should be remembered with respect.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2012.