London March for Homes – 31.1.15

 

 

CPB London Banner

CPB London Banner

The day began in Sutton with sleet and then a thin layer of snow, which soon gave way to freezing cold rain!  This inclement weather, however, did not deter thousands upon thousands of men, women and children from gathering at two different march starting lines – one in the Elephant and Castle area of South London, and the other in the Shoreditch area of east London.

Thousands Gathered at Elephant & Castle

Thousands Gathered at Elephant & Castle

Ordinary people from the length and breadth of the United Kingdom – and many from abroad – gathered to together to march through the deprived working class areas of London to City Hall where the rightwing London Mayor – Boris Johnson – sits in his opulent offices and implements the vicious and brutal cuts in housing, benefits, and services to the most vulnerable citizens under his care, as well as those employed in poorly paid jobs.

All Are Equal

All Are Equal

The Conservative London Mayor takes his orders from the current far-right national coalition government of the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democratic Party (the so called ‘ConDen Nation’), which came to power not through the exercising of choice and true democracy, but rather due to a statistical quirk in Britain’s ‘first past the post’ voting system.  Since ther coming to power in 2010, thy have systematically worked to dismantle the UK’s Welfare State (plunging millions into dire poverty), and to privatise the countries National Health Service by selling it to US shareholders and stock-exchange speculators.  Their rhetoric has demonised the Disabled, Immigrants, Ethnic Minorities, and people of African-Caribbean descent, and has unleashed a police force free from the constraint of concern for basic Human Rights.

Homes for Boat-Dwelors

Homes for Boat-Dwellers

Even those who choose to live their lives on boats residing on Britain’s waterways have come under take from the London attack on the rights of its citizens.  The National Bargee Travellers Association marched with their impressive banner just behind the London District Banner of the Communist Party of Britain, and kept the spirits up of everyone around with their creative and humorous singing and chanting of original slogans and campaigns motifs.  Moring space and facilities have been cut for water based travellers, along with welfare restrictions, and other hindrances.  The rightwing Lord Mayor – Boris Johnson – believes that only the middle or upper classes should live on the UK’s waterways, and that ordinary people should give-up their established lifestyles and make way for them.

DSC_1462                 DSC_1464

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gee & Mei-an in front of the Red Banner of Freedom

Gee & Mei-an in front of the Red Banner of Freedom

With the continuous and relentless diminishing of legal rights for workers and benefit claimants in the UK, poverty has increased immeasurably following the recession caused by the greedy bankers.  These middle class parasites have been absolved of any blame for the billions of pounds lost from the country due to their mismanagement of finance.  Instead, the poor have their rights eroded, their benefits cut, their wages lowered, their housing choices canalled, and their health care removed.  Many Disabled People have had their benefits stopped and have been told to get a job in an employment market that has no place for them, and vulnerable people have been made homeless by the cuts, and some have been driven to suicide or died of starvation.

Only Socialism Will Eradicate Corrupt Landlords

Only Socialism Will Eradicate Corrupt Landlords

People in record numbers are losing their homes all over the UK, or are struggling to pay their rent and are being evicted.  When the march moved through the working class area of London, many residents came out of their homes and held-up supporting placards, whilst others waved and cheered the protestors from their open windows.  This was a glimpse of the class solidarity that has been crushed down and obscured by a succession of rightwing national governments in the UK – but which is alive and well beneath the surface.

March Reaches City Hall

March Reaches City Hall

In the pouring and freezing rain, thousand of protestors reached City Hall which was surround by hundreds of police officers some of whom were armed.  The police presence was obvious, but it kept a discreet distance from the protestors.  Many people made heart-felt speeches berating the rightwing government and its crony London Mayor Boris Johnson.  More misery will unfold next month as the government unrolls its flagship benefit reform of ‘Universal Credit’ which is set to increase the deprivation and suffering of the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK.

 

 

My Mind Does Not Move – A Deeply Profound Experience

My Mind Does Not Move

My Mind Does Not Move

Original Chinese Language Article: By Dong Yong

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

The Photographer States:

On June the 6th, 2009, my friend and I visited the Bai Ta Temple in Chang’an. I was working on a series of Buddhist themed photography shoots. At this time, the temple was temporarily led by a young monk who was humble and courteous, and very devoted to meditation practice. He had an unperturbed mind that was very admirable. We were photography after 5pm in the afternoon, when into the courtyard came a young lay-Buddhist child. The right-arm of this cute little boy was injured, and was held in a sling. However, this injury did not stop the little boy from being mischievous around the monk – who sat quietly meditating and unaffected by the otherwise amusing performance. I was suddenly aware of a profound dynamic exist between the two with the monk exhibiting a quiet and peaceful maturity, and the child behaving with a youthful exuberance. This was an incredibly vivid scene of contrasts. Suddenly I understood the saying “My mind does not move” and I intuitively understood its meaning! I raised my Nikon D3X camera, and photographed this fun-filled moment. (I used the speed setting of 160 per second, with 400 sensitivity.)

Appreciation of Art

Monks practice meditation all the time, but it is difficult to maintain an undisturbed mind, particularly when a young child is playing and making noise. It is easy for a photographer to take a picture like this, but in fact the implications contained within it, are both deep and profound. Can a mind really be completely unmoving like a rock, and in a non-active state? Of course, it comes down to the fact that not all people can meditate, or become a monk; as most blindly wander the Earth, taken with this or that attraction. However, if I could attain to the state where my “my heart does not move”, then why should I worry about anything? I remember common sayings such as ‘Cleverness is like a Floating Cloud’ and ‘Be Calm’ – then I laugh as I wonder how many people have truly understood the meaning! I found Mr Song’s ‘My Mind Does Not Move’ a very good read, and I may yet realise its deep meaning. I think I applied this understanding to my photographic work and this is shown in the above picture where the interaction between the monk and child – like the interplay between light and dark – is captured in an instant through a single photograph.  This is three dimensional graphic art that cleverly captures subtle and underlying themes not always obvious to the naked eye.

(Dong Yong)

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015. 

Original Chinese Language Source Text:

http://epaper.xiancn.com/xawb/html/2012-01/15/content_82886.htm

我心不动》虚实结合 寓意深邃

拍摄者说

2009年6月6日,我和朋友来到长安白塔寺,拍摄佛教系列专题的摄影作品。当时,主持寺庙的是一个临时负责的小和尚,他谦和而彬彬有礼,很虔诚的修行、静坐,一副不受外界干扰的静定状态,很是让人敬佩。下午5点多,我们正在拍摄时,院里来了一个居士的孩子,这个可爱的小男孩右胳膊受了伤,挂着吊带。可是,受伤无法阻挡他的童趣和天真,在静坐修禅的和尚师傅旁边,他一点没受影响,只自顾自地表演逗乐。突然之间,这一静一动的两人之间,形成了一种微妙的对比和趣味,构成了一幅生动的场景。“我心不动”,这个寓意闪入脑海。我立即举起尼康D3X相机,抓拍下了这个情趣盎然的瞬间,当时,我运用的是速度优先,160分之一秒,感光度400。

艺术鉴赏

入定、打坐,也许是出家人修炼的常课之一,然而要在干扰之下,尤其是稚童的干扰下,还能恒静不动,就很难。摄影家拍摄这个镜头,看似信手拈来,其实包含深邃的哲理,包含了作者细腻的观察和深沉的思考:以静制动、心若磐石、谁能奈何?当然了,回到现实,并不是要所有的人都如和尚那般入定打坐,但在浮华浮躁的尘世间,你若有那么一点“我心不动”,有一点恒定,有一些坚持,难道还愁一事无成吗?记得冯巩在春晚表演小品时,强化过“神马都是浮云”和“淡定”这样的网络流行语,可是哈哈一笑之后,又有几人悉心感悟呢?于此说来,好好品读宋先生这幅《我心不动》,也许能幡然而醒呢。在拍摄技巧上,慢速度曝光使稚童影虚而和尚影实,虚实反差不仅使平面艺术有了立体感,还巧妙地诠释并升华了作品以静制动的主题思想。 (董勇)

Fake Chinese Monks and Nuns Discovered Professionally Begging on the Streets of New York – a Get Rich Quick Career Path?

Fake Chinese Buddhist Monk on the Streets of New York

Fake Chinese Buddhist Monk on the Streets of New York

Original Chinese Language Article: By Progressive Network

(Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

In China it is common to see people in tattered clothes haunting bridges, tunnels, bus stations, MTR stations, and other places. Sometimes it is not uncommon to encounter Buddhist monks who have ‘come down from the hills to collect alms’, or Daoist priests who visit homes to exchange Spiritual blessings for donations. With the development of the modern city, begging has grown tremendously, and this has seen the emerging of professional begging. It seems that begging in China has extended ‘out of the country’ and become an international phenomena.

According to a recent New York Times report, in the often crowded Times Square in Manhattan, there have been large numbers of Chinese nationals dressed in Orange, Brown, or grey robes of Buddhist monks and gathering to beg. The majority appear of be Chinese men with shaved heads, but there are also some Chinese women dressed as Buddhist nuns.

Reports state that these monks and nuns have a fixed “operating procedure”: they bless passers-by with a smile, hand out a lucky charm, and then demand a donation. They also often show the a picture of their assumed home temple, which seems to indicate that they are legitimately collecting donations for that temple. Then they open the donation book, which supposedly shows how many people have already donated various sums of money.

This group of people dress as Chinese Buddhist monks or nuns, but because nobody knows their real identities, or where they come from, the US authorities usually ds not interfere, with the police only coming forward when these beggar’s behaviour goes too far. When genuine Chinese Buddhists question the beggars about their Buddhist lineages or traditions, the beggars are usually silent, or just walk away.

It is reported that the attitude of the Chinese fake monks and nuns is very confidently. If a donor gives too little, they bluntly ask for $20 extra, or more. Giving out good luck charms or lucky trinkets whilst begging, is no illegal on the streets of New York and does not break the law, but this year New York police have arrested at least 9 “monastics”, with most charged with aggressive begging, or selling goods without a license.

These supposed Chinese Buddhist monks and nuns who are now begging on the streets of New York, are an extension of what can be commonly seen in China. Netizens (discussing this issue on the Chinese internet) have commented that these fake monastics abroad are shameful for Chinese people, and their behaviour makes China ‘lose face’ internationally.

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.

Original Chinese Language Source Article:

http://zixun.zhongsou.com/faster/24/2f3309900d726eb0e5532ed9792f5b90.html

纽约街头惊现华人假和尚尼姑行乞 职业行乞成发家致富快速路?

前瞻网   2014-07-08 11:26

在中国,常会看到穿着破烂的乞讨者出没于天桥、地道、汽车站、地铁站等地,或者遭遇“下山化缘”的僧人道士上门送福求捐。随着城市的发展,行乞者的队伍越来越壮大,职业乞丐也比比皆是,如今甚至“冲出国门,走向了国际”。

据《纽约时报》报道,在人潮汹涌的曼哈顿时报广场,出现了大批穿着橘色、棕色或灰色僧袍的和尚聚集行乞,大部分是剃光头的华人男子,也有一些类似服装的尼姑。

报道称,这些和尚尼姑有一套固定的“作业程序”:向路人含笑祝福,并递上吉祥符要求捐献。他们经常出示庙宇照片,似乎显示他们是在为庙宇募集香火钱。接着他们会打开献金簿,显示有多少人捐了多少钱。

这群打扮成佛教僧侣或尼姑道姑的人,因为没人知道他们的实际身份或来自哪里,所以美国警方通常不会干涉,只在他们行为太过出格时才出面。当有些真正的佛教徒质问他们属于什么教派,他们则通常默不作声或掉头走开。

据悉,这些华人假和尚假尼姑的态度还理直气壮,如嫌施主给得太少,会毫不客气的要求多给20美元或更多钱。本来用吉祥符或小饰物要求捐献在纽约当街乞讨并不犯法,但警方今年至少已逮捕9个”和尚”,大部分控以强行乞讨或无照兜售物品。

纽约街头这些华人假僧尼的行乞方式,在中国已太为常见。有网友评论称,丢出家人和中国人的脸丢到国外去了。

 

 

African Buddhist Monks Study Martial Arts and Medicine at China’s Shaolin Temple

African Buddhist Monks at the Shaolin Temple

African Buddhist Monks at the Shaolin Temple

Original Chinese Language Article: By www.80121,cn

(Translated By Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

It is not unknown in China today for foreign students to come and study Chinese medicine and Chinese martial arts. This article records a group of African Buddhist monks as they study and train in martial arts at the Shaolin Temple. To Chinese eyes, the 8 photographs of their training efforts might seem unusual – funny even – as we are not used to seeing Shaolin monks from other parts of the world! However, it must be remembered that these African brothers are legitimate Shaolin Temple disciples and are diligently training not only in martial arts, but also in acupuncture and massage. Their presence in China serves to remind us of the unique Shaolin Temple tradition, and is the consequence of the fame of this temple’s reputation spreading throughout the world. Not only this, but China now exports martial arts equipment and training DVD’s, and Chinese teachers regularly teach abroad. This explains why many Africans practice Shaolin martial arts. After training in China, these foreign monks return to their homelands and further promote Chinese Shaolin culture. According to a recent report, the Shaolin Temple in Henan currently has 20 ‘foreign students’ from 5 countries in Africa studying martial arts, acupuncture and message, Chinese conversation, Chinese writing, and Buddhist ritual courses. These foreign monks, according to reports, must spend a minimum of three months training at the Shaolin Temple.

Disciplined Foreign Monks at Shaolin

Disciplined Foreign Monks at Shaolin

African Monks Serious in Their Practice

African Monks Serious in Their Practice

Foreign Disciples Learn Correct Martial Arts

Foreign Disciples Learn Correct Martial Arts

African Men Practicing Martial Arts

African Men Practicing Martial Arts

A Powerful African Monk

A Powerful African Monk

African Monks Pray Before Eating

African Monks Pray Before Eating

African Monks Learn the Chinese Language

African Monks Learn the Chinese Language

 

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.

Original Chinese Language Article:

http://www.80121.cn/bbs/forum.php?mod=viewthread&tid=7854

非洲和尚练中国功夫搞笑图片,洋弟子在少林寺练功夫学针灸按摩

非洲和尚练中国功夫搞笑图片,洋弟子在少林寺练功夫学针灸按摩。虽然这些黑人兄弟们练得有板有眼、认认真真,但是看起来还是比较搞笑。少林功夫现在算是中国比较有特色的对外输出产品了,这么多非洲和尚练中国功夫。此外,洋弟子在少林寺练功夫学针灸按摩,回到非洲之后还可以推广中医。

据介绍,最近来自非洲5国20名“洋弟子”在河南嵩山少林寺练功夫,此外还要学习针灸按摩,汉字会话、汉字书写、佛教礼仪等课程。据介绍,这些非洲和尚需要在少林寺完成为期3个月的修行生活。

非洲和尚练中国功夫搞笑图片,一共有8张。

洋弟子在少林寺练功夫,非洲哥们练功夫有板有眼。

非洲和尚练中国功夫,非洲兄弟练功夫非常认真。

洋弟子在少林寺学功夫,出右拳。

非洲人在少林寺练中国功夫。

非洲和尚练中国功夫搞笑图片,这哥们很厉害

非洲和尚在少林寺吃饭前双手合十拜佛。

非洲和尚在少林寺学写汉字,此外还要学针灸按摩。

Vietnamese Ch’an Delegation Visits the Bailin Ch’an Temple, Zhao County, Hebei, China

Vietnamese Ch'an Delegation - 2012

Vietnamese Ch’an Delegation – 2012

Original Chinese Language Article: By Bailin Ch’an Temple

(Translated By Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD)

The visit to the Bailin Ch’an Temple occurred between the 9th and the 12th of October, 2012. The tour of the Vietnamese Ch’an delegation was led by Abbot Xin Xing of Baima Temple, who took the group to the Bailin Ch’an Temple where they received instruction. The resident master of the temple received the delegation with the utmost hospitality.

On the evening of the 9th of October, the Vietnamese Ch’an delegation – which numbered more than fifty people – gathered at the Bailin Ch’an Temple for three days of study and learning activities. Master Chuan Xue was responsible for arranging the reception. Master Chuan Xue led the delegation on a visit to ceremonial tower commemorating the founding patriarch, and then on a tour of all the temple grounds. The delegation then listened to a Dharma-talk, and then went on a visit to the Linji Ch’an Temple situated in Zhengding County – where they paid their respects in the Ch’an the Hall to the founding ancestor – Ch’an Master Linji.

For three days, the delegation took part in extended sessions of Chan meditation practice in the Manjushri Hall. Masters Cun Jie and Chuan Xue guided the foreign delegation that had travelled a long way to be in the heart of China, by emphasising the Zhao Zhou tradition of Ch’an practice, ritual and explanation.

During the visit, the Temple Supervisor – Master Ming Ying – was also enthusiastic to meet the Vietnamese Ch’an delegation. On the evening of October the 10th, the master had an informal meeting with the guests on the ‘Finger (Pointing at the) Moon Terrace’, and then led the group in paying their respects and praying for blessings for all beings, at the commemorative tower dedicated to Master Zhao Zhou. On October the 11th, Master Ming Ying guided the group through a tea-ceremony held at the same tower of the patriarch.

 

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.

Original Chinese Language Article:

http://www.baohuasi.org/gnews/20121014/20121014265277.html

越南禅宗参访团一行到河北赵县柏林禅寺参学

作者:柏林禅寺

2012年10月9日至12日 由越南白马寺住持心行法师率领的越南禅宗参访团到河北柏林禅寺参学,受到该寺常住法师们的热情接待。

10月9日晚间,参访团一行五十余人到达柏林禅寺,开始了历时三天的参学活动,传学法师负责安排了此次接待。法师陪同客人朝礼祖师塔、巡礼寺院、聆听开示并前往正定县参访临济宗祖庭临济禅寺。

三天以来,参访团员们每天在文殊阁禅堂进行禅修活动,由存洁法师及传学法师带领来自千里之外的禅修者体验赵州祖庭的禅堂仪规及修行方式。

参访期间,柏林禅寺监院明影法师热情会见了越南禅宗参访团一行。10月10晚,法师在指月楼会客厅与客人亲切座谈,并一同在赵州塔前供灯祈福;10月11日下午,明影法师带领客人们在祖师塔前举行茶供仪式。晚间,邀请随团的九位法师在指月楼会客厅座谈交流,客人认真介绍了对禅宗的认识和他们的修行情况。

12日上午,与柏林禅寺僧俗共修了三天的越南禅修者,告别古佛道场,由明玉法师陪同参观名胜古迹赵州桥,随后赴邢台玉泉寺及大开元寺参访

Marx in Soho

Chinatown London

Chinatown London

I must say that I much preferred his grounding breaking work which involved the precise and in-depth critique and analysis of political economy in his classic Das Kapital – but hairdressing will do just as well!   This picture raises some interesting questions, for instance, how many Chinese business people possess the Germanic surname ‘Marx’, and why would a hair salon be named after the founder of Scientific Socialism’?  Of course, the owners of this business (whom I have never met), might well be from the mainland of China and like many modern-day Chinese, be proud of their Marxist heritage – and why not?  The UK’s London Chinatown is one of the most diverse places in the world, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in due course, a Gramscian Grocery Shop and an Engels delicatessen did not spring-up at some point in the not too distant future!

Why the Bourgeois Will Never Allow True Democracy

Chartist Riots - UK

Chartist Riots – UK

It is interesting that Germany (the defeated enemy of WWII) lies at the heart of the EU policy of dismantling Welfare Systems and National Health Services, (preferring that all EU countries ‘privatise’ their services and sell them to the USA), whilst Germany herself remains thoroughly ‘Socialistic’ in its social care and welfare programmes! This means that the people of greater Europe suffers ‘austerity’ whilst Germany’s citizenship remains safe and secure in its socialised financial cocoon. The US profit-mongers get fat whilst we – the ordinary people – get thinner, being told by the middle class media that are suffering is ‘good’ for us! Research has shown that a number of former high-ranking Nazi officials have lived-out their lives in the relative luxury of a ‘new’ Germany whose reconstruction was paid for by the very Allies they attacked! Greece – the victim of Churchill’s duplicity and Nazi atrocity – has finally thrown-off the yoke of EU-Germanic neo-imperialism!

History clearly demonstrates that the capitalist system never takes any attacks upon it by lying down and passively acquiescing to its own demise, no matter how slight or significant the defiance. This is why I doubt the bourgeois system will take this latest affront lying down. After all, when the offices of a racist French magazine were attacked by representatives of the religion they routinely attacked and demeaned, the bourgeois – in a shameless display of sham ‘togetherness’ – ignored ‘why’ the magazine was attacked, and instead used their media to focus upon the ‘physical violence’ of the attackers, rather than ‘psychological violence’ of the racist magazine concerned. The message the bourgeois were sending is simple; confront any aspect of middle class injustice, racism, hypocrisy, or self-aggrandisement, and it will kill you and defame your mission after your death! The bourgeois, through their actions, demonstrate that if the oppressed want to continue living in their retched existence, then they must never attack the hand that oppresses them.

The Greek democratic success has follow just weeks after the Charlie Hebdo affair and the subsequent stage-managed aftermath. If history repeats itself, the bourgeois media will now swing into action and bombard the masses outside of Greece with anti-Greek propaganda that will include, ridicule, sarcasm, racism, pseudo-history, and warped economy and political analysis. The USA and the EU will use their respective intelligence services to attack Greece and weaken the internal support for the new leftwing government, and isolate it in the international community through punitive actions. The working class will be threatened out of their revolutionary mind-set, and involuntarily pushed into supporting the very system that oppresses them. Any deviation from this line will result in instant arrest, imprisonment, or worse. Like the investigations into Blair’s illegal ‘oil wars’, important participants may have the tendency to ‘disappear’, or commit suicide whilst their hands are tied behind their back. However, what the bourgeois cannot stop is the inevitable force of history that will end in their own demise – an outcome their destructive actions only serve to bring ever closer!

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.

Dharmakaya, Mind Ground, and Void

Empty Mind Ground

Empty Mind Ground

The following terms are interchangeable depending upon circumstance, and the Ch’an masters made use of them in a more or less free-flowing style, but do not let their apparent ‘casual’ approach to Buddhist terminology mislead you as each term possesses a distinct and startling meaning, designed to cause such a ‘shock’ to the deluded system, that it is immediately and radically transformed here and now:

1 Dharmakaya (法身 – Fa Shen), or ‘Truth Body’ represents the pure and unsullied state of reality that although existing within the world, remains entirely unpolluted by it.  It is not ‘created’, nor does it ‘diminish’ in anyway.  It has no shape, and is limitless.  It stands for nirvana within samsara – and its realisation is non-conditioned.  The illusion is that samsara exists independently of nirvana, and that nirvana is somekind of ‘superimposed’ spiritual state over delusion.  This is why Hui Neng says (in the Altar Sutra) that when the six sense-roots are purified of delusion – despite still being in the world, they remain ‘unsullied’ by their daily association.

2) Cittabhumi [心地 – Xin Di), or ‘Mind Ground’ signifies the psychological fabric from which all perception emerges and returns to.  The process of ’emerging’ and ‘passing away’ is a correct to observe – but is an illusion in the over-all scheme of things.  When the mind is confused through identification with dualistic interpretations, no sense of perception can be made as it manifests as a jumbled cascade.  When the surface mind is quietened through meditation or enlightened interaction – its ’empty’ nature can be truly perceived – as if for the first time.  As all is ‘non-substantial’ and free of any independent existence, the jumbled mind appears to be ’empty’ and ‘still’.  This is an important stage of developed awareness.  In reality, however, the empty mind ground is the root of all perception AND non-perception, and so the realisation of ’emptiness’ and ‘stillness’ must also return to it. This is not nihilism or creationism – both are imply another duality that must be pursued to their manifesting root.

3) Sunyata (空 – Kong), or Emptiness’ denotes the reality of things that appear to be ‘substantial’ and ‘independently’ real to the undeveloped mind and its senses.  Emptiness is not ‘nothingness’ and must never be confused with it.  Non-substantiality is not a negation of existence, but rather a clarification of how things actually are in reality.  Therefore, emptiness is also considered ’empty’ of ’emptiness’.  This does not go beyond Nagarjuna’s tetralemma – or ‘four part logic’:

1) All exists.
2) All does not exist.
3) All exists and does not exist.
4) All neither exists nor does not exist.

Nagarjuna – who read virtually all the known Buddhist sutras of his time, deduced that the Buddha was teaching from this philosophical position – which by necessity – has no position.

Master Xu Yun and Tibet 1911-12

XuYun-Port-02

Many forget that the Nationalists dared to attack and destroy the Shaolin Temple in Henan in 1928 – killing many of the monks. Xu Yun’s editor, Cen Xue Lu – a member of the Nationalist government – tends to play down Nationalist policy and its effects upon Buddhism. For instance, in 1911-12 when the Nationalists came to power, Xu Yun’s biography mentions that Tibet had been part of the Qing Dynasty and remained part of Nationalist China. At the time that Cen Xue Lu was editing Xu Yun’s biography just following Xu Yun’s passing in late 1959 – Tibet had become an international issue as the USA tried to undermine Mao Zedong’s Communist regime in China through the issue of Tibetan independence and the encouragement of nationalism – and this fact appears to have influenced how Cen Xue Lu carried-out his editing task. This was attempted by agents of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) infiltrating Tibet and encouraging otherwise peaceful Buddhist monks to take up Western fire-arms. There is archive footage of some of these monks surrendering their weapons – all out-dated rifles of Western design. The CIA caused the Tibetan monks to break their vows – but they also made Tibetan laypeople dress-up as ‘monks’ and pretend to be ordained Sangha for the newsreels. All this political activity had its roots further back in Tibetan-Chinese history. In Cen Xue Lu’s own biography (which I have translated into English on the RHACS site), he says that when he worked for the Nationalist government, he took part in policies that saw the demolishing of ancient Buddhist temples and monasteries in China to clear land for modern building projects. It was only when he met and talked with Master Xu Yun that he was persuaded to change his ways. However, within Xu Yun’s biography – for the year 1911-12 (Xu Yun’s 72nd year) Cen Xue Lu accesses the Yunnan Provincial Records for the full story of Xu Yun’s pacification of Nationalist Military Commander Li Gen Yuan. Cen Xue Lu did this because Xu Yun – with his customary humility – said only a few words in his biography about this obviously important event. The Yunnan Records discuss how the Living Buddhas and High Lamas of Tibet refused a Nationalist Government order to raise the Republic of China flag and pledge allegiance to China. As this request was met with silence, the Nationalists intended to send a massive army to punish the Tibetans. Xu Yun at this time not only converted the Nationalist Army Commander to Buddhism – but also managed to bring peace to the situation between China and Tibet. Xu Yun achieved this by requesting that the well known Tibetan Lama living in China – the Venerable Dong Bao – also known as the ‘The Dharma King of the Four Gems’, be sent to Tibet to mediate between the Tibetan authorities and the Nationalist Government. Xu Yun was sent to personally meet with Dong Bao and deliver a Government letter requesting his help. At first Dong Bao declined due to old age, but Xu Yun said that the Tibetan people still tremble at the memory of a previous punitive Chinese army led by Zhao Er Feng – and that bloodshed could be avoided through discussion. Hearing this, Dong Bao agreed to go and this matter was eventually solved peacefully. It is interesting to note that Cen Xue Lu omitted a section of the Yunnan Provincial Records from his quote in Xu Yun’s biography due to its insensitivity toward the issue of Tibetan independence – but it is also true that in the modern Western narratives surrounding the issue of Tibetan independence, Xu Yun’s involvement in the Tibetan-China issue is also completely ‘written out’ of both Tibetan and Western historical narratives.

References:

Empty Cloud: Translated by Charles Luk & Revised by Richard Hunn, Element Books (1988) – Chapter Eight ‘The Peacemaker’ Pages 84-89.

Xu Yun’s Autobiography in the original Chinese Language: http://book.bfnn.org/books2/1184.htm

Buddha’s Warriors: The Story of the CIA-Backed Tibetan Freedom Fighters: By Mikel Dunham

Wiki CIA in Tibet: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CIA_Tibetan_program 

©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.

Xu Yun on Different Types of Monks

Xu Yun (1840-1959)

Xu Yun (1840-1959)

Research by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD

Note: Xu Yun is in conversation here with the Nationalist Army Commander Li Gen Yuan (李根源), who was at the time, deeply antagonistic toward Buddhism. This negative attitude toward religion was not uncommon within the Nationalist government at the time and led to the demolishing of many temples – culminating in the 1928 destruction of the Shaolin Temple in Henan. The year is 1911-12 and the Nationalists had just ceased power and were asserting themselves politically. Xu Yun was in his 72nd year of life and through the use of gentle logic, he persuaded Commander Li to not only leave the Buddhist temples alone, but also to convert to Buddhism! ACW 23.1.15

‘The Master Xu Yun replied, “The title ‘Monk’ is just a name, for there are holy monks and worldly monks. It is not fair to blame the whole Sangha because there are one or two bad monks. Can we blame Confucius because there are bad Confucian scholars? You command the provincial troops, but despite military discipline, do you expect all your soldiers to be as intelligent and honest as you are? We regard an ocean as large because it does not have to reject a single fish or shrimp, and the self-nature is like the ocean of the Buddhadhama because it can contain all things. The duty of the Sangha is to preserve the Buddha’s teaching, guard the Triple Gem, and to convert and guide others in hidden ways – but its influence is tremendous; it is not altogether useless.”

(Empty Cloud: Translated by Charles Luk & Revised by Richard Hunn, Element Books (1988) – Page 87)

Xu Yun’s Original Chinese Language Autobiography Text Extract – Edited by Cen Xue Lu:

‘公曰。「和尚是通稱。有聖凡之別。不能見一二不肖僧。而棄全僧。豈因一二不肖秀才。而罵孔子。即今先生統領兵弁。雖軍紀嚴明。其亦一一皆如先生之聰明正直乎。海不棄魚蝦。所以為大。佛法以性為海。無所不容。僧秉佛化。護持三寶。潛移默化。其用彌彰。非全廢物也。」’

(虛雲和尚年譜 – 鼓山門下弟子順德岑學呂寬賢編輯)

 

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