Training Through Change

‘The human body is subject to the unstoppable change of aging. This is a forgone conclusion that no known agency can prevent. As time goes by the body changes, this is an important and crucial point that must be acknowledged as martial arts mastery is based entirely upon the aging process.’

Scholar Cen Xue Lu (1882-1963) – Xu Yun’s Editor.

‘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 inHong 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.’

The Mahayana Transformation.

‘Collectively, the schools of early Buddhism are often historically referred to as ‘Hinayana’ so as to distinguish them from the emergence of the Mahayana. Whereas the Mahayana becomes historically recognisable around the 1st century CE in India, the Hinayana schools are seen to decline around four centuries later – in the 5th century CE. This demonstrates that both types of Buddhism coexisted for hundreds of years (inIndia) and there are records of monasteries containing monks who adhered to either tradition – living and practicing side by side. The emergence of the Mahayana created the conditions for earlier Buddhism to be viewed as ‘narrow’ and in some way ‘incomplete’. As the Mahayana interpretation represents a substantial expansion and elaboration of the teachings contained within earlier Buddhism, this sets the agenda for the historical interpretation of history with regard to what may be described as the ‘perceived’ developmental history of Buddhism as a distinct academic entity.’