The Zen of No Ch’an

Needless to say, the traditional Chinese Ch’an Buddhist – Master Xu Yun – had no formal or informal ties or connections to Japanese Zen Buddhism, and never practised (or advocated others to practice) a Japanese Zen that does not follow the Vinaya Disciple, and which deviates from established Ch’an practice.

Sila or ‘Moral Discipline’ as Qi Cultivation

The maintaining of physical discipline in the Buddhist sense, is a form of what is known in China today as ‘qigong’ (氣功), or to use the much older name – ‘daoyin’ (導引). Qigong is the cultivation of inner energy (qi) through directed willpower and effort (gong), whilst daoyin is the practice of ‘directing’ and ‘leading’ (dao) inner energy (qi), whilst ‘yin’ is the wilful process of ‘pulling’ the inner energy (qi) through the body and causing it to flow to all areas without hindrance.

Master Xu Yun: On the Relationship Between Ch’an & Pure Land Buddhism

Then Mahakasyapa transmitted to him the Tathagata’s Mind Seal, making him the second Indian Patriarch. The transmission was handed down to following generations, and after the Patriarchs Asvaghosa and Nagarjuna, Chan Master Hui-wen of Tian-tai Mountain in the Bei-qi Dynasty (550-78) after reading (Nagarjuna’s) Madhyamika Shastra, succeeded in realizing his own mind and founded the Tian-tai School.269 At the time, our Chan Sect was very flourishing.