The Difference Between Gong-an and Ko-an Practice

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.

Camelford Ch’an Week Retreat (North Cornwall)

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.

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