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.
Thich Quang Duc’s action produced a mind altering paradigm shift throughout the world that is still being discussed today. He demonstrated the power of Buddhist mind control during a very painful death – whereas no Christian believers (beyond the realms of imagination, superstition, or the paranormal) have managed to rise from the dead.
Therefore the teachings on karma and rebirth are applicable to the pre-enlightenment state and are not ultimately ‘real’ as they disappear with the realisation of profound emptiness. It is debatable that the Pali Suttas are ‘Hinayanic’, as all Mahayana thought clearly exists within their construct.
‘The Buddhist Scriptures tell us that when Gotama was twenty-nine years old, he saw for the first time an Old man, a Sick Man, a
It is bizarre to consider that as Japan descended into fascism and racism prior to WWII – the distorted, nationalistic Zen Buddhism of that time was popular in the West amongst intellectuals, despite a number of its masters expressing openly hostile attitudes toward the Western people. It is even more bizarre to consider that after WWII – many of these very same masters remained popular as they quietly pushed their formerly racist rhetoric into the background, and applied a more ‘neutral’ policy toward the acquisition of Enlightenment.
Numbers vary dramatically, but as we are not a commercial enterprise, this is of no interest. There is always a strong inner core that keeps the teachings of Master Xu Yun (1840-1959) alive in the UK. We have been asked to Hong Kong and China in recent years, and these are invitations we intend to honour in the near future. Our last Ch’an Week Retreat (in the Sai Kung area) of Hong Kong, attracted over 50 participants in 1999, and we had to abandon the building and sit in the beautiful countryside.