Saturday, December 22, 2012

Calm Clarity Temple updated name

Calm Clarity Temple now has a simpler Chinese name.  安定寺 An Ding Si.  Of course it may change to something else, but since this is a simpler translation and an easier way for non Chinese to pronounce it, it may just be the permanent name in Chinese.

āndìng- stable / quiet / settled / stabilize / maintain / stabilized / calm and orderly

peaceful, tranquil, quiet

decide, settle, fix

sì - Buddhist temple, temple, mosque, government office (old)

This photo is from our Sangha gathering in Sacramental  CA at the City of Dharma Realm in 2011.  This is a Chinese nunnery founded by the late founding master Ven. Hsuan Hua and the monastics of the Sagely City of 10,000 Buddhas.
Americans and residents around the world all are Sangha, the flavor of Calm Clarity will reflect the tolerance of various traditions but our foundation is firmly set upon our ancestral heritage based in Chinese Buddhism.  To honor this we will follow Chinese services, style, robes, decor, and food but English will remain the core of communication and dharma talks, all services will be in English with some alternate Chinese services if requested.

Ames had the joy of hosting 6 Tibetan monks and their supporters at ISU

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Calm Clarity Temple Named in Iowa

The quest for a temple name has been settled here in Iowa.  Calm Clarity Temple is the name for the temporary location here in Ames at my apartment with use of my community room for large events.  The reason I chose this name after asking for input is that it is quite overwhelming to be the one to pick a name that will live on long after I'm gone and to be honest it has to sound good over the phone to the public.

Calm Clarity these are attributes that I myself have been told that I have.  These are desirable attributes for living a quality life.  In fact these are the attributes you need to progress and train with Buddhist methods if you want to achieve nirvana.  These 2 attributes "calm" and "clarity" will serve future Sangha residents and members who attend the temple as guiding principles.

安 an - content, calm, still, quiet, safe, secure, in good health, to find a place for, to install, to fix, to fit, to bring a charge against sb, to pacify, security, safety, peace, ampere.
靜 jing - still, calm, quiet, not moving
安定 anding - stable, quiet, settled, stabilized, calm and orderly
安寧anning - peaceful, tranquil, calm, composed, free from worry
心静xinjing - tranquil, calm
安静anjing - quiet, peaceful, calm

明 鏡 mingjing - mirror (as in a metaphor for sth beautiful, bright and flat - such as a lake or sth that provides clarity and insight)
明晰 mingxi - clarity/lucid
智 zhi - knowledge, wisdom

To pick a Chinese name using these attributes I would pick 安明鏡寺 An Minjing Si  Calm Mirror Temple.
It's the closest to my intended meaning in terms of function of the temple.

This temple will be dedicated to translation of the Buddha dharma to English.  My present project is the Mahayana Tripitaka Collection from the Taisho Edition.This collection is unique in that it has all the extent schools included including an esoteric division which I was intrigued to learn that esoteric practices originated in India and were carried into China when Buddhism spread it's influence there, this collection has many of the masters including commentaries; it also contains the complete Pala Tipitaka, the 4 abhidharma collections as well as Mahayana collections, the Vinaya collection is inclusive of all the schools.

It's been rarely touched and translations exist in scholars treatises and to my knowledge none of their works are online and free to read.  I hope that changes with this temple.

Buddhafolk Blog has more on this with more about the mission statement and goals

Following a brief discussion on Facebook, I've gone back to my first choice for the Chinese name of the temple, 安定寺  Anding it has various supportive meanings and it exists already overseas in various countries.  Since Iowa is known for stability, calm, and peace as a state environment that is good for living and families, this is a worthy link to the natural environment.  A very auspicious trait too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

à bas le ciel: The Only Statistic for Buddhism in the USA

à bas le ciel: The Only Statistic for Buddhism in the USA: There are not many statistics worth knowing for Buddhism in the U.S.A., and I would like to offer a few notes on some of the limitations ...

Well I hope everyone has a chance to read this slop from ARIS.  Not even one ethnic Buddhist or Buddhists of non White origins were interviewed. How skewed is that! It's plain embarrassing.

à bas le ciel: Religious Identity in Taiwan 2001-2011

à bas le ciel: Religious Identity in Taiwan 2001-2011: The statistics on religion in Taiwan are extremely interesting, but my initial warning (and final conclusion) here would be the standard ...

GuideStar Exchange Reports for Bhikshuni

GuideStar Exchange Reports for Bhikshuni

Why are the Chinese Buddhists and rest of Asians ignored by Western Buddhists ... or are they??

In response to Flower Ornament Depository blog post:  Why is Tibetan Buddhism more poplular?
5 weeks ago the blog showed up in my feed today when I looked through my subscribed blogs.

In the comments I wrote this edited less 2,900 words that originally written: 

I'm a mid-western woman and a Chinese Buddhist bhikshuni.  I do believe your article not based on realistic numbers or any numbers as you stated in the first paragraph.
I do not see what you are claiming.  Just because something is marketed in Shambala Sun, Tricylce, and Buddhadharma does not make it as well-known as you claim.  TB Westerners are really good business people.  It is remarkable how ad orentated these rags are, little content in them.
I do not agree with you.  Chinese Buddhism is about 160 years old in the USA and came with the Chinese immigrants working on the USA railroads.  TB is relatively new since the rush of English print books in the mid-90s only featured Japanese Buddhism and Tibetan Buddhism by said rags. 
Why we are not seen, maybe we are not desirable maybe not as marketable. US Media and religious organizations claiming diversity does not include us in all its so-called coverage of religion. It is because somehow Western people lump Chinese Buddhism as part of the hated-CC; we are to be hated for a government we are not a part of overseas and never were.  Chinese does not equal Commies.  But somehow that get played up in the politics of those engaging in persecution of one ethnic group that followed Buddhism for centuries. Our order survives because we understand Buddhist culture, endure to save it, uphold our precepts, struggle for time to cultivate and study on our own.  We have always mixed different Buddhist traditions in our temples, all forms. Most western people don’t realize that, if they did take the time to really understand Buddhist culture from a Sangha member’s view then they would really treasure their time in temples everywhere.
Real advanced TB practice requires fluent Tibetan, high level of reading skills in Tibetan Sanskrit, and great deal of time and patience waiting so you can gain access to a highly achieved master who can actually teach you well.  These masters are in demand and do not have time to dummy down for those too lazy to do this.  Most of the TB monks and very few of the TB nuns have any degree of traditional TB monastic education; mostly they are rim sitters which is sad for they cannot attain much levels at all.  Lots of this has to do with lack of language ability, for you can’t train if you can’t understand.  Interpreters cannot give you the details, they are too pressed for time. I’m fluent in Chinese so I know this first hand, at dharma talks you must be able to understand the high level masters very detailed instructions or you gain nothing.
Tolerance of other cultures should be given to understand how to excel in your Buddhist practice. It is not fair to say our Chinese Buddhist communities demand conformity from Western people, they do not.  They say over and over again, we do not want you to think we want you to be Chinese when you come into our temple we want you to be who you are, American.  Every temple says this even FGS, DDM, CTTB.  They have all races and all countries people in their communities, fully accepted and fully ordained. 
Realize there are Korean, Vietnamese, Cambodian, Thai, Burmese, and many more including Japanese (non Vinaya); there are new movements too here in the USA that are all colors of people.  The white elite it seems that is who you talk about most, I think maybe so; is such a small number as not to matter in the data about Buddhism here in the USA.  In all these temples from all these countries there are Americans who take refuge, a few ordain and you got way more than that 12 that you say you eyeballed when you visited 2 places.  Please let me know if you want to visit more diverse places now, I’ll send a recommendation for you ahead of your visit. I say start with CTTB and then visit Thich Nhat Hahn’s group in Deer Park.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Inspire u? Y u?

Me, Ven Hong Yang, Bhikshuni

Much of what I write is very earthy, sometimes it's not all that easy to accept basic dirt.  So I all I can say is this, living is great as a Sangha.  I am happy and in my element as a bhikshuni.  It has definitely felt like fitting into a glove hand tailored just for me.

I love my robes and respect my tradition, I am grateful for this life that led me to take full ordination as a bhikshuni.  I do not doubt the choice.  I do not feel sad ever about uphold precepts, it's easy.  I do not feel deprived of human affection for I get loads of attention.

I became a bhikshuni in the Chinese Mahayana tradition and that is only because I have an affinity for Chinese culture, have family that is Chinese and long history with families and friends of Chinese origin.  I'm not a commie (geese isn't that obvious!) and didn't magically turn into Chinese like many who on objected to my trying to save Tibetan monks from self-immolation accused me of being (how stupid is that!).  I don't have to respect such monks, all Westerners full of polluted thinking.
My daughter Liz

I am grateful for my choices because I got loads of benefits from getting closer and being around my growing daughter to see her now almost 21 this month, and so happy!  Even though my tonsure temple was not the best for me, it was good that she was allowed to stay with me there and I kept in touch with her loads more than being in Iowa or California. Because of that she grew healthy and strong.  And I saw it.  I am so proud of her! She joined right in and even when it was difficult for her or uncomfortable, she kept happy and got a good grounding in Buddhist life in a temple.

It is always inspiring for me to visit with other Buddhists, I am isolated here in Iowa from my Buddhist community, so I get on Facebook now almost daily.  I love it, I get to visit with monks and nuns from all kinds of traditions in Buddhism. That is so precious to me, it helps me and sustains me while here in Iowa.

Special mention, it's very common for monastics to have pets, mine is Pepper she is a rescued kitten in the first photo, right after having her fixed.  And now a hefty fur ball that purrs when she decides you must sit on the couch so she can lay on or near your legs and snooze. I've promised the shelter she is with me for life, and she will be.  I want her comfy settled and happy every day too.  She snorted when I asked her if she wanted to take refuge in the Buddha and receive 5 precepts, so I took that as a no. Which I have to settle for it is her choice.
Pepper at 4 months old and 5 pounds, just after surgery

Pepper now at 13 pounds and 7 years old

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New blog for Sangha in USA

I've included some links to some of the largest monasteries in the USA, the Hsi Lai Temple the headquarters in the USA for Fo Guang Shan which was founded by Ven. Master Hsing Yun, who promotes traditional Vinaya Sangha and new school called Humanistic Buddhism, it's a very large group that has temples everywhere in the USA.  Very good group and well-trained. Great at large crowds and attracts large crowds, lovely tea houses, active well educated and nice Sangha largely bhikshuni and some bhikshu.  This is a closed community to outside Sangha, however, if you choose to pursue residency be warned you more often are asked to return to lay life and apply to them for monastic training.

Bhikshuni be warned in the Chinese Buddhist Bhikshuni Sangha it is not normal to return to lay life and expect that you will be accepted again even if you are told to do this, just don't.  Many women are treated harshly by resident bhikshuni who try this, most if not all fail and only achieve novice status.  I strongly do not recommend anyone doing this at all.  I am hoping one day that tolerance for outside traditions and recognition of full ordination of monastics who want to reside within their Sangha will be in their future.  Sangha outside their FGS system may visit for very short stays, you will find them friendly and very nice. I count them as my long time friends and ally's.

I've also included the Sagely City of 10,000 Buddhas a totally friendly group of orthodox 2-part Sangha which observes additional teachings of wearing the work robe (5 strip) and the strict segregation of genders on their very large monastery grounds.Everyone there speaks English and it's known for tolerance of both Theravada and Mahayana schools in residence.  This is a closed community.  Ven. Master Hsua Hua donated the land for the Theravada monks of the Abhayagiri Monastery to be built and reside.  Limits outside Sangha residence to short, very short stays.  One day they hope to have enough housing for visiting Sangha who wish to apply for long term stays.

Chuang Yen Monastery, the visiting monastic by policy.  This place has provisions for allowable with permission a 2 week stay at the longest which is unfortunately very, very short.  But historically this has served it's purpose as a wandering monastics way place. Very nice area, remote but they have active amount of laity and very good Sangha in residence.

If there are any communities that have open doors to outside Sangha then let us know, it will be shouted from the rooftops (not literally but we will post links or information).

Friday, October 26, 2012

In response to suffering

Today I read of yet another child's death. Yesterday two children, killed by their nanny. What kind of mind does this? Sorrowing, angry, and full of repetitive rages?  These last few months the child murder rate is dangerously rising?  What happened to the parents? What happened to their caregivers? What happened to the stranger who grabbed and killed?

Caring hearts all cry the same.

I can't logic this out.  But I can pray.

Namo Guanshiyin Pusa

Please watch over our world's sufferers much closer.  Actively assist those children facing violence, protect them. Enable the human's who can act, to act to protect our precious jewels. This is violence is not stopping but it seems to be increasing, aid those haters, angry, sorrowful, regretful, imbalanced, and swiftly calm their minds, enabling them to seek help of a long lasting kind to keep them stable.  To those murdered please teach them no revenge, to let go of their sorrow, sense of loss and fear, moving in to their next life or to their heavens let them be at peace.  May all sentient beings in the past, present and future benefit from this prayer from this bhikshuni who is caring and thinking of all of them, who is a mother, who was a wife, who was child, who was born into this human realm.  May all my ancestors of all my lives, my loves, my children and my children's next lives and families benefit and have full and peaceful lives. Amituofo!

I bow to Observe World Sound's known as Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva.

Ven. Hong Yang, Bhikshuni
8th rains October 26 2012.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Build the Nunnery Editing ideas?

Build the first Iowa Buddhist nunnery

Build the first Iowa Buddhist nunnery. The need to train in English is what has been missing for 160 years of Buddhist history in the United States. This place will meet the needs of residents of this state interested in Buddhist study. The nunnery monastics will provide traditional services, cultural, educational, and practical training for those interested in Buddhism.

To understand Buddhism in the USA you need Sangha that speak English. To train you need to be able to ask detailed or receive detailed instructions in order to progress or you are the perpetual visitor with no real depth. You are limited by language or can’t access masters of higher levels to grow. Even you may never know who the Elders are that are talented, capable dharma masters famous in their temples for being teachers but they live in obscurity to most in the USA. Personal contact with robed Sangha is lacking for most interested in Buddhism and greatly needed. Temples in the East coast or West coast have some limited English programs but all are ethnic funded and full training is better in their own language, clearer, higher level of instructions and attainments by laity is very possible but not if you don’t know their language. This is a significant obstacle to your practice in Buddhism. 

The first Bhikshuni fully trained and ordained has arrived in Iowa. This is a good first step for Iowa. Ven. Hong Yang is an Iowan and a woman fully ordained in the Dharmagupta lineage of the Bhikshuni Sangha in Taiwan. 

A cool history this Iowan. She was tonsured at Xi Fang Temple, Brookyn, NY. She left home resolved on 9/11/2001. She decided to stay in XFT helping in NYC, many needed to recover their spirits. She working with and trained as a sramaneri alongside the other temple's masters. She is a 11 year English-Chinese translator of the Taishio Tripitaka which is in Chinese. She has published 5 books, 3 volumes translating the standardized daily recitations in the Chinese Buddhist temples into English and one rare translation of the Bao Hua Mountain monk Ven. JiXian De Qing. The translation project will continue in the nunnery. She and others will offer training to those interested in becoming translators. Also she is in charge of a historical documentary film of Buddhism in the USA is currently underway digitizing material from actual Buddhist monks and nuns who reside in the USA as they offer it documenting what has never been documented called “Sangha Walks”. See more about this on

Iowans are savvy to Buddhist trends but lack access to reliable dharma masters in traditional Buddhism. Due to the increased awareness of Buddhism and most often one of its famous methods is meditation a decision has been made to create a stable place right here to learn about Buddhism. We need a stable place so many dharma teachers can come and teach about Buddhism. A variety of masters offering training in different schools will improve access to higher level reputable traditional teachers. The teachers invited to come here are from the Vinaya Sangha; they must hold full precepts and be properly trained. In order to attract them to our place, it needs to be set up first properly. If prayers alone can motivate the Dalai Lama to come to Iowa like he did last year then it's quite the timely to fulfill his instructions to us residing monks and nuns to become leaders of Buddhism in Iowa. A broad base and open respectful minds will be the cornerstone of the visiting public to this new nunnery.

Iowans are proud of their history. The historical significance to note here is of being the first nunnery that is Buddhist, second to that is the protected training environment for women and thirdly that English be the primary spoken and service language. So that the members of the public that asks for, learns well, practices and brings back benefits to their community by enjoying traditional services, counseling, mental health services, meditation, classes, cultural events art and cultural events.

Iowans are by their very nature generous and curious. Donate if you want to make your historical mark right now! Be proud to be sponsor and make your mark in Iowa history and add to Buddhist US history in our Sangha Walks project that will also flourish in a permanent collection online and media. Care about yourself enough to create merit and virtue, benefit all aspects of your life and reduce the karmic cause and effect of negative seeds sprouting in their due time when you contribute selflessly.

What We Need & What You Get

We are open to a house, or commercial building or land purchase. We recognize it requires more money for remodel or building on the space. We wish to keep it minimal but safe. Green but efficient use of space, growing fruits and vegetables, but technology embraced in media. We are wishing to create a healthy and secure environment for you and your family to enjoy your studies and classes at our nunnery:

We need at least $40,000 total funding. We at least need a down payment of $3000 plus 6 months operating expenses of $18,000. We may need remodeling funds including the purchase of new appliances or major repairs up to $20,000. Basic utilities run about $200 a month, food needs around $300 per month. Core living costs are covered also we need liability insurance of $5,000 to cover public events to meet legal requirements and codes.

The rewards for Indiegogo: There are very traditional Buddhist rewards offered. The malas and the Jade were brought from Taiwan from very traditional Buddhist family store. Most temples sell them for basic food or medicine needs. The ones offered here are the personal purchase made by Ven. Hong Yang during her training and ordination. This means the good karma of her training and ordination has a ripple effect that is passed on in good intentions to anyone who buys or donates or receives on of these! See the rewards for details.

All funds raised in excess of this project if not needed must be dispersed as the Vinaya guides us. The basic 4 requisites of food, clothing, shelter, and medicine are all that Buddhist monks and nuns require. Woman have the hardest time in Buddhism to receive even the 4 requisites after they become nuns so this funding source is also greatly needed and appreciated so priority will go to this group out of compassion for the need is great. May your good karma of your generous act increase and grow 10-fold throughout your life and those of your family’s.

The Impact in Iowa and the Mid-West

Stability is made when a place to practice is also available that is basic in comfort and accessible to all who study Buddhism from traditional teachers known as the Sangha, the robed ones. Mind training is an individual effort but training is offered in a group setting that also can give one the advantage of feeling and being emotionally and socially supported.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Two Vinaya Mahayana masters talk - A facebook Q&A

Ven Huei Guang’s photo album of his retreat and preparation just before receiving dharma transmission from Ven. Ben Huan in China.

於2008年,蒙深圳弘法寺 本換老和尚慈悲親自傳授,禪門正法眼藏,臨濟正宗法脈。此禪門法脈源流源自於釋迦牟尼佛,祖祖印心相傳,直到近代虛雲老和尚→本煥老和尚→慧光 (第45代臨濟正宗傳人)。

2008, I received the transmission of the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye in the Noble Linji Ch'an Dharma Lineage with the compassion of my Master, Ch'an Master Ben Huan, from Shenzhen Hongfa Temple in China. This lineage of Dharma transmission trace all the way back to Sakyamuni Buddha. The ancient Masters have transmitted one after another until recent era to Ch'an Master Hsu Yun. Then the Dharma transmission is from: Venerable Master Hsu Yun→ Venerable Master Ben Huan→ Hueiguang (45th generation lineage holder of the Linji Ch'an).


此體系在習慣上,稱為剃度恩師,得戒本師,傳法尊師。中國佛教傳統上,出家是一回事,受戒是一回事,傳法又是一回事,並非一定都由同一位師父主持。又禪宗重在傳法,得法的人, 即稱為法子。當然在家也可得法,但畢竟是少數。出家得法的,多是已在別的師父那裡剃度及受戒。

In Chinese Buddhist tradition, there are 3 systems of transmission:
1. Tonsure system: a person become tonsured as a novice monastic under the Master's school. He/she is given a Dharma name 法號 at the time of tonsure based on the Master's lineage. This name is also called "the outer name 外號" because it is use by all people to address you. This name is used for life. At the same time, the Master will give the novice sramanera (or sramanerika) ten precepts.
2. Ordination system: a novice will become fully ordained as a Bhikṣu monk/ Bhikṣuni nun with the Triple Platform Ordination (Observing the Śrāmanera, Bhikṣu and Bodhisattva precepts) . This ordination must be presided by 10 monks with at least 10 years of seniority with a pure practice in upholding the monastic precepts. In this ceremony, the 10 Masters represent the Triple Gem accepting the novice into the Sangha. At this time, another Dharma name 法名 is given. This name is also called "precept name 戒名 or inner name 內號" because it is use only by one's Master. This name represents your precept lineage transmission.
3. Dharma transmission system: This system upholds the Treasury of the True Dharma Eye through the generations of transmission. This is the Mind to Mind seal of the Dharma that is beyond the scriptures. At this time, another Dharma name 法名 is given. This is also called "the inner name 內號" and use only by one's Master. This name represents your Dharma lineage transmission. After receiving this name, one will use this name instead of the name received during precept ordination to write one's Dharma name (Inner Name)(Outer Name). For example, my Dharma name is "Chang An Huei Guang 常安慧光", where "Huei Guang" is my name given at tonsure and "Chang An" is given at Dharma transmission.Therefore, these systems of transmission should not be ended.

It is customary to refer to one's own tonsure Master as "Gracious Master", precept Master as "Root Master" and Dharma transmission Master as "Venerable Master." In Chinese Buddhism, these 3 systems are separate and are not performed by the same Masters. Moreover, due to the strong emphasis on the Dharma, when a person receives the Dharma transmission, he/she is recognized as that Ch'an Master's Dharma son/daughter. Of course lay Buddhists may also receive this Dharma transmission, but there are very few incidences. Most of the monk/nun who received the transmission has already been tonsured and ordained by other Masters.
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You, Fasheng Shi, Benny Heng and 30 others like this.

Ven Hong Yang Shi 

Dear Ven. Hueiguang

Would u mind explaining how one gets to hold a lineage? Are there 45th generations of monks and nuns along with you? or just yourself?
forgive my curiousity, I just only have some idea of history from acadmeic studies done way back in 90s.
January 8, 2011 at 10:43pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi And the story of the Ven. Master Hui Neng who I read about in the prelude to the Platform Sutra.
January 8, 2011 at 10:45pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi There are many people who received this title: 45th generation lineage holder. When a Ch'an Master see that his/her disciple has right understanding and practice of the Dharma, he/her will transmit this title to him/her which recognizes this monk/nun/or lay practitioner as a Ch'an Master who is able to teach the correct understandings and practice of Ch'an.
January 8, 2011 at 10:49pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi you know it's very intersting because isn't this different in Japanese tradition? And most academic work I used to read had most of the stories around one lineage holder picking only one other suitible monk. So I suspected it was only partly true.
January 8, 2011 at 10:51pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi As i met more monks and nuns over the years seemed to be disproving the academic myths too. Many had so many rich experiences learning from this or that master while living their monastic lives. But my tonsure master never said about the details of what is actually done in many other places or even idea of how other temples do their things or specialize...etc.
January 8, 2011 at 10:53pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi However, it is not so easy to receive this recognition or transmission. Because the Master will be very careful to give someone this transmission of the Dharma. This carefulness will guarantees that the Dharma taught in the future will not be corrupted and degenerates.
January 8, 2011 at 10:53pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi It's a view I very strongly agree about. I really see that it is important. What I wonder is there very many westerners holding the lineage transmission?
January 8, 2011 at 11:01pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi To become a lineage holder, you must learn under a Ch'an Master and become his/her disciple and allow him/her to guide you in the understanding and practice of Ch'an. You must be a diligent and ardent cultivator. With right understand and practice. The Master will give you this transmission.
January 8, 2011 at 11:04pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Oh, I see. My tonsure temple was only Pure Land, no meditation and no time for it. I was shocked when arriving there to find nothing I knew from my temporary stay at Hsi Lai Temple. But I stayed as I wanted to learn the liturgy so I would know what the Chinese laity liked and how they benefitted. So one day I can help english speakers to benefit the same way.
January 8, 2011 at 11:07pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi I liked what little I saw of Chan by some Chan masters there. And what I studied on my own.
January 8, 2011 at 11:09pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi Becoming tonsure as a monk/nun and receiving the Dharma transmissions are two different process. One may become a monk/nun and never receive this transmission. This Dharma transmission is the seal of the right Dharma, when a practitioner is recognized as a Master of Ch'an. Otherwise, we do not know if the teaching of a particular Ch'an practitioner who teaches Ch'an (or Zen) is authentic and in accordance with the Buddha's Enlightenment and teachings.
January 8, 2011 at 11:16pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi I do undestand that. I learned only a little about it from Buddhist history class but it wasn't detailed enough. I think it's important for western people to understand this difference and learn to recognize who they learn Chan from
January 8, 2011 at 11:19pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi Its very important to have this Transmission before teaching any one Ch'an. Otherwise, it is like the blind leading the blind. As of now, there is only Japanese transmission of the Zen to the west. Some westerners who are good practitioners have received the authentic transmission. But many just study under some Masters for a while or never even study under any Masters and never received this transmission. However, they still give teaching to people on Ch'an Dharma as if they had received this transmission and are Ch'an Masters. It is very misleading and confusing. Therefore, it become harder a student to find a good teacher who possesses cultivated inner virtue and wisdom and practice under him/her as a disciple.
January 8, 2011 at 11:31pm • Like • 2

Ven Hong Yang Shi I absolute believe the same thing. It's easy to see this living here in the states. The chan masters who are real aren't authentic enough for those americans faddist who just show up once in a while or a month and then are gone
January 8, 2011 at 11:35pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi hahaha.......
January 8, 2011 at 11:38pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi spiritual materialism.......practicing the Dharma or Ch'an becomes a fashion.....hahaha
January 8, 2011 at 11:41pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi It's really shameful to see that behavior after I had such fortunate luck to have early meditation training from my first teacher (a proper trained shaolin layman who learned from a chan master who lived in the mountains. But now even years back he said I could teach students but I didn't because I was ready to leave home and become a nun.
January 8, 2011 at 11:41pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi Sadhu! Sadhu!
January 8, 2011 at 11:44pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi It wasn't much better these past years people here commented that my robes should be pink...why I asked? It was because they wanted monks and nuns to support breast cancer awareness...then I asked what does the red robe mean to you? Proudly they said heart disease. Yellow? lost or missing people. These were not kids but university professors and construction bosses.
January 8, 2011 at 11:44pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi They do not know what the robe represents. That is why they have their own ideas.
January 8, 2011 at 11:49pm • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi One wanted to buy a sky blue haiqing...cuz it was better color than black. I didn't try after that cuz I got the distinct idea that they were going to wear for fashion or streetwear.
January 8, 2011 at 11:56pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi hahaha.....
January 8, 2011 at 11:57pm • Like

Shaoke Zhang congratulations, Chang'An Shi.:-)
January 31, 2011 at 4:26pm • Like

駱觀靜 我可以使用師父的法照在msn上嗎
June 15, 2011 at 9:58am • Like

Hueiguang Shi 可以!
June 15, 2011 at 10:05am • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi what is the 字號? My tonsure master picked my 法名 and it's the top one in my ordination book, he uses that one and I use it too but he also wrote the 字號 and that's another name which for now I don't use. He gave no instruction on this. Any ideas?
June 15, 2011 at 1:45pm • Like

Hueiguang Shi 法名 is our Dharma name or 內號 inner name that our ordination Master has given us. This name is called by our master and it tells us which school of transmission that you belong to. 字號 or literal name, I think is the 外號 outer name that a monk or nun is usually refer to by others in the community.
June 21, 2011 at 2:36am • Like

Ven Hong Yang Shi Thank you, my tonsure master chose the names but uses the 法名 rather than the 字號. In his small temple everyone uses it too. From what you say is the outer name to be used by everyone else. I think that's better.
June 21, 2011 at 11:38am • Like

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Living practices for Buddhists

As the last post introduces Pure Land practices for Buddhists in the West it is a new idea. Practicing all your Buddhist life with the intent of when you pass, if you do not attain Buddhahood or develop Bodhicitta you can do so without obstacles in the Pure Land.  The Pure Land is a place for to live peacefully after you die and practice Buddhism and once you do, you gain almost immediately Bodhicitta and attain Buddhahood swiftly.

Amitabha Buddha the Sanskrit name which means Immortality Buddha created the Pure Land through his cultivation   This Buddha is one of the five dhyana Buddhas. They are under Vairocana or Primordial or Root Buddha.

Now as this post is entitled living practices I would like to emphasis the Pure Land tradition as practiced in China and elsewhere is not a funerary tradition, in Japan it is often criticized as such.  I have heard from various Japanese clergy there that this is part of a big trend in abandoning traditional Buddhism in Japan.  Part of this is due to high costs to live, lack of donations, and a failure to meet the needs of modern society.

However, since Pure Land offers a variety of studies from mantras, Buddha name recitation, sutra recitation, sutra study, community practice and social activities, including artistic image creation and calligraphy.

Sutra practice includes private study, recitation for 1, 3, 7, 49, 54, 108 times per day or more
Sutra practice always includes merit returns to yourself and for all sentient beings at the end of each study session, end of each recitation period every time.
Sutra practice is really wonderful when you join a larger community that is reciting the sutra you like to study.

The most important scriptures of the Pure Land school are the three texts as determined by Honen in Japan:
1) the Sutra on the Buddha of Infinite Life (also known as the Larger Sutra on Amitāyus, abbreviated to Larger Sutra; the Sanskrit text is popularly known as the Larger Sukhāvatīvyūha Sutra);
2) the Sutra on Visualization of the Buddha of Infinite Life (abbreviated to Contemplation Sutra); and
3) the Sutra on Amitāyus Buddha (also known as the Amida Sutra or the Smaller Sutra on Amitāyus, abbreviated to Smaller Sutra; the Sanskrit text is popularly known as the Smaller Sukhāvatīvyūha Sutra)

Pure Land Buddhism is part of the sudden teachings according to the ancient Elder Master Ou I of the Tian Tai school.  Pure Land Buddhism Dialogues with the ancient masters by Chih I and Tien Ru

for core teachings refer to this site in English click the English lotus on the right.
This is founded by Ven. Jing Gong
Amitabha Buddhist Society of the USA

Mahayana Sutras in English
Mahayana Sutras in English with several versions of same sutras

Friday, August 31, 2012

Dying Practices for Buddhists

Dying practices for Buddhists.  This is a rather unusual concept for Westerners and maybe some new Buddhists from Asian countries.  Dying practices have been a part of Buddhists life since the beginning.  What I am teaching you now is the standard practice of Chinese Buddhist temples.  It is a part of Pure Land schools around the world.

What is dying?  Dying is the end.  The absolute ending of you as you know yourself in this body shell.  There is no more after this.  No more you.  If you feel scared then it's useful for you to start this practice while you live an active life now.  Dying is the ending of your breath without assistance, leading to the end of your heart beating.  It in actuality is a rather longer than you thought process, made complicated by your own willpower and the body attempt to protect itself by living until it can't.

To the family is very distressing to see you weaken, and struggle for breath (body takes over making you die in stages so your passing is smoother and from your own perspective you don't seem to notice-brain protects you), comfort medications and attentive hospice nurses help 100% make this passage smooth.  However, the end happens, the final breath... a minute later or so the heart actually stops beating.  The shell body is dead, a final removal of body waste is quick and efficient (modern hospices have the dying wear disposable diaper pants).  Your family mourns, your mind is free of the shell body and you begin to peruse your new found freedom safely for 49 days if you care to stick around and visit family and friends.  Still afraid? Hope you keep it in perspective death comes to us all, some in tragic ways, others by illness or natural aging.


Purpose:  Mind Calming to enter Pure Land, training in mind calming with directed willpower to enter the Pure Land also improves removal of attachments to body and moderation of emotions but this is all side effects of a practice of Mindfulness.  Remember all Buddhists seek Enlightenment as a result of Buddhist practice and study.

Do not use this or any Buddhist practice for mental health issues, nor any "cure" for for lifestyle, stress, medical replacement or supplement.  It is never the purpose, the only reason is for seeking Enlightenment.  Everything else is Karma, genetics, your habits, addictions, etc.

Method 1

Reciting the Buddha name practice of 1 time, 3 times, 7, 14, 21, 49, 54, 108 times.  This is simplest method.

Namo Amitabha Buddha (Sanskrit version:  naa-moe  ah mee ta baa  booda)

南無 阿彌陀佛  namo amituofo (Chinese version:  nah moe  ah me toe foh)

I bow to Immortality Buddha      This is the literally the correct version.

Versions in print elsewhere use "Infinite Life or Infinite Light"  Buddha.  This means literally Immortality.
I bow to Infinite Life Buddha              
I bow to Infinite Light Buddha

Some liturgical texts in some places use these.
Homage to Infinite Life Buddha                              

I strongly will never support this as it's a rift from Church of England Christian or protestant versions of liturgies.  It's not accurate.  We are not honoring a King in the Roman Empire.  I will never approve of it.  It's outdated sources that often we see in our emerging Buddhist liturgies.  Cast it out!!

I return and rely to Infinite Life Buddha

This is  a Thomas Cleary version.  I think it is pretty as practice but not good mind training.  We didn't forget the Amitabha Buddha, we are seeking Amitabha Buddha.  Amitabha Buddha did not ask you to rely on him.  All the practices in Pure Land are meant to be self-regulating and self-willed.  Amitabha Buddha can be invited to come to meet you, even you wishing him to come to you but it's first time meeting for us all. This phrase is in the Catholic English Mass "I return and rely"  directly.  Not Buddhist in origin.

NOTICE:  No standards exist in English liturgies, and really the facts are in this great world is that nobody cares except those worldly scholars who are trying to make their mark in this Saha world.  So pick a version you like and have an affinity for.

Method 2

Read the Amitabha Sutra (short or longer version)  as a practice, learn the meaning and the Pure Land teachings.

Then you recite the sutra with out analysis for 1 time, 3 times, 7, 49, 54, 108 times a day.

The mindfulness you can gain is from the corrective thinking and good habit of sending out merit to all sentient beings.  In case you don't know it you benefit yourself greatly, your immediate family, and all your friends.  Even the fact you are exposing your pets to the sutras will make it very likely that in their next life they can become humans who will encounter Buddhism in their lives.

Some of my books will help you get started.
These are large print in English and in Chinese with hanyu pinyin

  morning service  (Surangama mantra in English)
  Evening Service (Amitahba Sutra shorter) * use this for beginning practice
 7 Day Retreat Service, Clean Altar Service

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sangha Activists non Western approach

Sangha activists have always existed.  In fact, my own tradition has several and mostly they are unknown in the West.  Why is that?

Perhaps those in the West who claim to be activists are actually not.  They are not effective.  They show too much emotions, too much law breaking, too much noise, spouting slogans and stink of commercialism.


Sorry for you.  But really when you apply the 8 fold Noble path in daily life you get a much better short term result.  If you further take refuge and 5 precepts you can have longer term results, if you are fully ordained and well trained you can effect immediate results.

Those householders and not necessarily Buddhists often haunt the Buddhist temples.

They haunt will on the hunt.

They hunt for unwitting Sangha to support their cause.

Sadly some are coerced into a cause, donations  held in front of their noses perhaps, but alas that would be just sheer guesswork. Some have interests in stopping suffering to children, animals, women, gays, forests, migrant workers, slaves, elderly, environment, the hungry, politics, and the war shocked.  What ever the noble intention the Sangha member has; it turns ugly rather fast if they are in the public eye, often pushed into waving signs, shouting, screaming at the law, screaming at the public conducting themselves in manners that are extremely deplorable and shameful for Sangha. Even worse the extreme is suicide in a public way, in horrific ways like burning themselves, forced by others out of misguided desperation for change.

But we live in America or the West you protest!

I say those in robes who have faith, practice diligently, uphold their full Vinaya precepts, uphold Bodhisattva ideal by practicing it daily (not in substitution for Vinaya precepts which are not less than Bodhisattva precepts/ordination) are the ones with Right View. Right Effort in this case is to stand up to support those who ask for their help directly by conducting Buddhist services for the persons who ask, addressing issues in their dharma talks skillfully, and helping householders create solutions that work by pulling together skilled concerned persons of any faith or no faith at all who can effect changes.  That means it's ok to make media statements, ok to offer comparisons and support in counseling, services, social media, join in public debates skillfully, join in committees, join in communities that are not violent, not proponents of bad behavior or break the laws of their country.

Not all is fair in life, but that does not mean lack of public address to a situation is not the same as not caring about an issue.  What matters is how long a change can be considered stable, and long-lasting.  But then that is the issue, everything changes, we are always in flux.  Situations of dire nature today are later resolved and then disappear, only to reappear later in time.

Moderation and decorum are still in effect of public Sangha behavior.  Screaming, shouting, shaking fists, waving signs, burning or supporting someone to burn, blocking law, blocking workers, blocking businesses, blocking public access.... All are not appropriate to Sangha behavior.

Sangha need to be leaders and as such in robes obey and conform to Vinaya guidelines regarding behavior.

Two Buddhist Brides Wed in Taiwan  This is an English article.
Recently Ven. Zhao Hui from Taiwan received flaming on Facebook and elsewhere for her public action of Blessing Wedding for a gay couple (two women) who had been partnered.  It was reported around the world as groundbreaking, one for she is a woman presiding in such a leadership role and two the gay couple was groundbreaking and advocating for Taiwan to address the issue of gay marriage in the first place.

I am aware of various Elders,  all of them happen to be bhikshu, who have come down in the recent past against gays and surmise why they are gay and they do not support the lifestyle, discuss loosely the impact and rejection by those gays who want to become ordained fully and the potential harm those who do not give up the lifestyle after attaining robes.  They are not in touch with the reality of householders who are gay, they spend too much time analyzing and nothing about doing.  It contrasts greatly with the actions of Bhikshuni who are providing counseling, programs, and services to LGBT groups in their countries.

I'm not gay, bi, nor transgendered, never was; not even in my past lives memories.

Being a Sangha member does not make you gay nor does having disciples or becoming a friend to those people who are gay or bi or transgender, nor does supporting their rights, nor does being in community doing normal Buddhist activities with proper focus on the Vinaya, that has the privileged of being that mature and diverse to welcome them as laity.

Being in favor or human rights and in this case the rights of gays to marriage is not a declaration of gayness or indication of gayness.  It's stupid and very childish to assume so, I had to delete a Chinese poster who asked in an APP on Facebook if I was gay would they sleep with me!  So stupid! What arrogance they had to post that!

However, everyone regardless of gender, gender choice, or gender attractions deserves protection under their country's laws, inheritance rights, marriage services, full family services, counseling that is unbiased and non-coercive, full social security inheritance of spouses/partners, rights to employment with out bias, rights to retirement without bias, rights to defend their country in military service without bias or hate crimes, full access to legal services... and anything else the straight or majority in their countries have to offer.

Having said the above it bears repeating, Sangha are not to engage in debates about sexuality, sexual orientation, or support those that do.  That matter of sexuality is a private matter of householders.  We can offer only counseling to help people who want advice on how to apply Buddha dharma to their daily practice so they reduce their own suffering.

As Sangha we lead, we need not spout,shout, or force on others views on a vast array of worldly concerns.

We are supposed to live as left-home persons not as householders.

Here is some advice for those who insist on worldly names for themselves by using coercion.

If you as Sangha are so concerned about the rain forest then you better move there and help conserve it. Do not engage in politics, protests, nor coercion.

If you as Sangha are so concerned about human trafficking then go to those kids and rescue them yourself, join the local law enforcement and provide lifetime counseling to those kids stuck in those hell-holes, and the families that support them or are created by their own bodies.

If you as Sangha are so concerned about the suffering of LGBT community get involved with counseling them, provide lifetime Buddhist services for them without fear of catching something, stand up professionally and join the law, psychiatric, medical, social services, family counseling, community activities of non-sexual nature, join in politics as last resort by addressing the lawmakers, forming petitions without coercion by just announcing the existence of services and petitions or a what can you do to support this LGBT community page.  Ven Chao Hui is a leader with compassion, she offered only one Buddhist service to a happy couple.  She spoke in support of gay rights.  There is a list of of many good things to do. What can you do?

If you are Sangha so concerned with hunger, then cook for the hungry; go to the famine places with lots of money, resources for farming, resources for counseling, medicine, and doctors and nurses. Most of all be prepared to offer grieve counseling to the remaining survivors.

If you are Sangha so concerned with freedom of Tibet or engages in political protests, genocide of non-Buddhists, or any type of violence against another, then you are on the wrong path.  If you can't understand the Vinaya guidelines then you should not shame your robes and elders with political protests, screaming about how unfair the law/govt is, engage law breaking and worst of all supporting suicides by self-immolation in the name of politics or killing another human being.  The last act mentioned is immediate parjika and you should disrobe.

We have many Sangha who are rescuing abandoned babies, children and elderly.  We have many Sangha who are teaching the poor, educating the youth in their community, conserving the environment in their daily life, engaging in public works projects that help whole districts, collecting donations for the hungry, cooking for the homeless, providing free medical care to anyone who is in need.  The reason so many are unknown to you is that we are very, very busy and too busy to step in front of a camera or arrange a press conference or a protest.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Walking as Sangha actually doing it!

Walking in public. How we deport ourselves as Sangha matters to us.  There are times I just plain wonder about myself though.  Due to my injuries in hip and back my walking is just not up to par with regular folks.

I feel ashamed when people make embarrassing or rude comments about my walking. I want to walk perfectly, but the recovery process of my hip and legs is awfully slow.

Even when I was visiting a monastery, the laywomen quickly named me the "Dancing Master" due to my sway being exaggerated because of the hip injury.  I was in lots of pain and needed my walker.  But I was trying to tough it out and used one cane until it was too extreme, then I pulled out the second cane and to my relief the edge was taken off within a few days.  But their sneering kept up.  I felt so sorry about that.

Deportment in temples is important and I know it.  When you can't deport yourself well due to an injury like mine you have got to face it's reality.  Hiding away is not an option, no matter who sees you. Elders see you and the laity are quick to make rude remarks about you in front or behind you. That's life.  You are judged on this image rather quickly and it stays in their brains long after you leave.

I've had the unfortunate injury for years after leaving the temple where I suffered pressure to lift well beyond my capacity and denied access to medical and proper amount of exercise.  That's the way it was both good and bad, it was my lot. Being American I always thought that it would not be that way in America.  But in actual experience it was and is not always up to you exactly how you want to live your daily life in community.

I am not saying community is bad. It's great! I am a big fan of living in community.  But it is important to be very familiar with your hosting community or your residing community. You need to investigate each one so most of your criteria are being met, it won't be possible to meet all of your expectations but as I found out, you need to be focused on healthy living and access to fresh air and the design of the place be very beneficial  to your need of exercise and good fresh food.

If you find yourself in a situation like I have where your body is injuried and you are in a temple or monastery.  You have a right to ask for accomodation, and being caring monastics they can offer advice and try to work around your injuries.  You should have access to health care providers to deal with your condition.  If you can get some health insurance, if you cannot then try to see if they have visiting doctors... most if they don't have health insurance will have a pretty good program where visiting nurses, doctors and specialist will come monthly or every 2 weeks. Find out where and how to arrange visits.

Social services will come to you if you need them.  Call them. Ask for a home visit.  They have people who do this in all 50 states.

Physical therapy.  Seek a professional.  If you can't try to use common sense and a plan set up by your doctor.  Do yoga, gentle exercises of 30 seconds a movement or learn something like Taijichuan or swim
BTW modest swimwear is available, just search for it.  Amazon has lots. If you can just buy a swimsuit and wear your monastic shirt over it with cut off pants or baggy shorts. That's good enough.

More later... Here is me doing physical therapy retraining my hip and back to do our bowing practice in Chinese Buddhism.  My PT people were great, they fixed up a homemade bowing platform from a step and some soft cushions.  It works well.  Let your PT ppl be a part of your Buddhist practice, they will get benefits and become more excited and the good seeds get planted in that way!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Fall Harvest Refining Buddhist cultivation

This year fall is seeming to arrive early.   Here in Iowa the whole state has been dealt a devastating blow with an early spring drought that has not seen much rain.  We are facing rising corn prices and other crops as well due to the extensive damage done with the heat wave we had all summer long.

How are we to progress with so much economic stress? The cost of living is horrifically rising again; gas is going up, that means heat and electric will rise too. Facing hardships which has been non-ending since the worsening economic crisis of the Bush era presidency policies of greed and corruption.

The answer in mind training is to remain consistent in your daily practice and even if your schedule is interrupted you still embrace study of Buddha dharma while you are in a pause or even in a few minutes of an erratic frenzied life.

Carry your practice into your chores.  Vacuum the floor, sweeping or mopping are repetitive actions that allow you to clean thoroughly and meditate with awareness. Dusting regularly is another good action. However, as much as you like to try to say it, shopping is not meditation it is actually an addiction; a short term anti-anxiety solution with the only result in less cash, more debt if you use credit and lots more stuff in your home.

Built in pauses in your daily schedule in  or out of monastery life.  Find them, use them. Treasure them.

As Fall approaches gather in the harvest. Count your benefits, see the result of your efforts. Store what is valuable and that can carry you through the long cold Winter and nurture you welcoming the Spring in new growth.

I bow to Immortality Buddha (Namo Amituofo!)

Monday, July 30, 2012

Defending Dharma in Social Media a Sangha warning

Bhikshuni page on Facebook original posting 7/30/12
Defending dharma while in social media. 
A recent posting by a Buddhist who left the path left many shocked at a nude picture of two women and further insult the FB member decided to label it "Buddha field 2012".  This defamation of the Triple Jewel did cause Ven. Hong Yang to take notice and request it to be privated or removed as the Facebook member had only posted dharma material and appropriate content before that time. The request was not well received and what issued is what I now understand is flaming. What abhorrent behavior for someone claiming to be Buddhist to afflict upon a Sangha member! Since it wasn't privated Ven. Hong Yang decided to report it to Facebook as it was nude photo showing everything and she has friended many youth relatives and young Buddhists around the world. Thank you Facebook for your speedy response!

Sangha members are defenders of the Buddha dharma, it is our duty to correct Buddhists and non Buddhists who post inappropriate content here on Facebook and elsewhere in internet and social media. 

  • Befriending Sangha members and being friended by Sangha members entails a certain amount of responsibility for content in excess of FB guidelines meaning that you are not exempt from the temple that guides you concerning social media content, nor from the precepts you have taken and you must observe the 8 fold path guidelines while on social media, nor from abandoning your practices while on FB and elsewhere, in fact dubious content is a reason for admonishment by Sangha that you friend. 
  • You should take it with appropriate appreciation and grace being respectful and learn something from your mistake. Nobody is asking you for unreasonable actions beyond Facebook policy like privating posts that are offensive and show nudity and graphic violence to those who know you and like that sort of crap.

It is sad that not one other Sangha member became involved beyond the FB members own previously affiliation with a non-Vinaya order of Buddhists well known for their efforts in dharma talks and upholding their precepts.

A warning to all Sangha who are active in public places and in social media:

Sangha with my deepest respects to you all and to all elders on my friends list and in community, you need to get on the ball! Start speaking out! Just because you're on Facebook for any reason and I don't care what for does not exempt you from teaching, upholding and admonishing while on this public platform!

It is just pitiful that you stayed silent on matters that you know are wrong view regarding Buddha dharma and by your lack of involvement allow a situation specifically regarding Triple Jewels or any part of it like something so new to me as flaming a Sangha member to go on even for a day!

I know you all saw those posts and conversations... soo from now on get more involved, please, otherwise by your silence you do approve and that results in mis-leading information and a deterioration of public images of Sangha in media such as this one and affects so many Sangha and laity here even many more non Buddhists viewing our news feed and profiles.

From now on instead of being silent speak out, that is your right as Sangha members and it's a duty you should not ignore anymore.

離開該路徑的佛教最近張貼留下許多震驚于兩個女人的裸體圖片,並進一步侮辱 FB 成員決定它貼上標籤"佛場 2012"。此誹謗的三重珠寶並造成的通風條件香港楊,特此通知,要求它必須民營化,或刪除隨著 Facebook 會員只發了佛法材料和適當的內容在該時間之前。不好收到請求,併發出什麼我現在明白燃燒。有人自稱佛教僧隊員折磨什麼令人憎惡的行為 !因為它不是民營化的通風條件香港楊決定向 Facebook 報告,這是裸體照片顯示一切都和她有好友許多青年親屬和世界各地的青年佛教徒。感謝您您迅速反應 Facebook !

僧成員是佛佛法的捍衛者,這是我們正確的佛教徒與非佛教徒張貼在這裡不合適的內容,在 Facebook 上和其他地區互聯網和社交媒體的責任。

認識僧成員和被好友僧成員需要一定數量的超過 FB 指引意義你不豁免從殿,將指導您關於社交媒體內容,也沒有從你採取的訓詞,雖然對社交媒體,也沒有放棄您的做法,雖然 FB 和其他地方,你必須遵守的 8 折路徑指引的內容負責、 可疑內容其實是有原因的訓誡的僧你的朋友。
你應該隨身攜帶的適當升值恩典被尊重和從你的錯誤中學習的東西。沒有人要求你的 Facebook 政策之外的不合理行動像是進攻性的 privating 個職位和顯示裸體和圖形暴力到那些知道你和喜歡那樣的廢話。

這是可悲的沒有一個其他僧成員成為涉及超越 FB 成員自己以前的佛教徒非毗尼順序與隸屬關係眾所周知在佛法會談和維護其戒律的努力。


用我最深的敬意,向你都和我的朋友清單和在社區中的所有長者的僧,您需要得到球 !開始說出來吧 !只是因為你在 Facebook 上因任何理由,我不在乎什麼並不免除您從教學、 堅持與諫雖然對此公共的平臺 !

這是你呆沉默你知道是佛佛法的錯了意見,並由你缺乏參與允許三珠寶或其任何部分它喜歡一樣東西對我作為燃燒僧成員繼續下去,甚至為一天的新的具體情況的事宜,只是少得可憐 !

我知道你們都看到了所以從今以後更多參與,請這些職位和交談 ... ...,否則為您做批准由你的沉默,在 mis-leading 的資訊和公眾中的形象僧的媒體,如這一惡化的結果和影響這麼多僧及平信徒在這裡查看我們的新聞和設定檔的更多更多非佛教徒。


Ven. Hong Yang Bhikshuni 釋宏揚,比丘尼

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sanitizing Buddhism and the erasing Sangha in America by Elitists

This is a re-post of my blog "buddhafolk" on  I feel it is important enough to re-peat elsewhere.   I'm gonna comment on what I wrote in it.

2,555 years ago Buddha passed away leaving the disciples and the rest of the Sangha to remember his teachings and pass them along to the next generations.  Very little has changed in the Sangha who carefully follows the Vinaya which are his guidelines of monastic conduct and instructed in his last bequest.  They carried Buddha's teachings (the Dharma) to various countries teaching and forming practice places for generations with a great deal of sacrifice and effort. 

Comment:  To ignore this well documented and academically sound declared bit of history is ridiculous and childish.  It is a horrible reflection of what passes for elitism and worse yet those who try to claim they are still Buddhist at all when all the while their books, films, websites and centers promote themselves as the experts of what is and is not Buddhist or proper practice.  Is this not a sign of a CULT?

Recently in media by Buddhist orientated sites online and in print through Tricycle, Buddhadharma, and Shambala Sun much has been made about the national form that Buddhist followers should or as they assume will eventually take in the USA.

Comment:  see for  yourself on their websites: it also has a blog where much is discussed concerning this and it's self-declared only source for Buddhist practitioners the  This is the link for another one  All have blogs or blog links.

Their Protestantism of Buddhism or rather a sanitizing or erasing/rewriting of Buddha's history and rejection of what they identify as irrelevant to modern Americans today.  This means all the ethnic Buddhists from Thailand, Sri Lanka, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Korea, India, Tibet, Nepal, Indonesia, Phillipines, Malaysia or other American countries or Europe are to be cleansed and shunned from Americans or American Buddhists as it starts with white men who are protestants who already rejected the catholics because they have monks and nuns... or maybe they are jewish who didn't like christians at all and or even those who prefer to embrace every oddball newly created religion and market it.

They are trying to dummy-down traditional Buddhism because they couldn't figure out  how to make it work for themselves.  Now they are trying to keep it elite and promoting a new version or a rather a odd form of Japanese Buddhism; Wow, even to do that is to disparage the efforts of the Japanese Buddhists in our American history.  But a recent picture in a news article features Japanese robed zen married clergy,  a couple (women are nuns only in Japanese Buddhist tradition and not to hold priest roles like the men can opt for marriage or monk's life)  in a zendo.  The writer asks "What's an American Buddhist?

Well, it's a circular article first stripping away the Triple Jewel.  No Sangha, no ethnic trappings as they are not considered true or authentic enough to be Buddhist or relevant.  Then at the very end it says careful least 900 years later the adherents reject the efforts of the fabled American Buddhists who magically created a new world order of Buddhists here.
One way to look at this question is through the example of practice. When done correctly, what Buddhist meditators refer to as “sitting”–whether following the vipassana or zazen (or other) approaches to sitting meditation–does not rely on ceremonial chanting and recitations and actions that typically surround collective meditation sessions. This is not to say such ceremonial activities normally performed in an ancient or modern Eastern language are not useful or helpful. This is only to say they are not a necessity for the gradual expansion of consciousness that is the result of regular meditation. If one accepts this basic premise, which can be supported by the sutras attributed to the Buddha, then the conclusion that North Americans could conceivably develop their own Buddhist tradition some day is perfectly rational, if not probable.
This is based on opinion and not on reality, meditation has always been taught as a method but not the exclusive one, the first thing Buddhists do worldwide is to take the Triple Refuge and 5 Precepts.  The next thing they do is join in services that always recite sutras and repeat the Triple Jewel in refuge and action, join in volunteer work in the community and when it's time and there is an opportunity they choose or not to sit on a cushion with the goal of being enlightened eventually.  This provides the stable framework necessary before one sits on the cushions.

2,555 years the core of Buddhist practice has always been formed from the Triple Jewel, being carried and protected by the Sangha who observes the Vinaya.  Also because people who come to Buddhism from new countries took the time to study Buddhism in it's traditional form and upheld it, so the Buddhist culture developed as the Buddha instructed us Sangha who traveled to adapt to the countries conditions and culture with lots of variations in languages, practices and kept the core that is the Triple Jewel.  

The problem in the USA and in many parts of the world is that there is no one identified unified culture.  We are a global society in the USA in reality, much of the myth the elitist create is not real and not reflecting the reality of the people in the USA. There is no one culture.  There can be no one form of Buddhism defining the United States and that is really ok.  The myth is there must be one form of Buddhism for each country, that's the fakery being created by these elitists.
North American Buddhists are likely to create their own traditions and schools of thought, but they should do so with the awareness that they are forging a new Buddhist culture, not the ‘true’ Buddhist culture.
This is so strange that it is very insulting to North American Buddhists anywhere.  There is no need to forge a new Buddhist culture at all.  It does not work.  People in history have tried and when they diverge from the Triple Jewel they are not Buddhist at all, their movements become perverted and vanish.
The worst kind of approach a Westerner would take is to accept wholeheartedly without question any practice offered from any teacher without investigating and studying the history and knowing the standard teachings of Buddha and his disciples.  So 'wholesale acceptance' of Buddhism from the East is not likely the problem here.  It is lack of acceptance and adaptability. Just the last two. 

Comment:  and we can throw in lack of effort to read or study.

Also they seem to have a need to make their own piss in the snow, a male pre-occupation.  That last bit is sadly the reason there is an effort by rags that call themselves the voice of American Buddhists or rather trying right now to lead the Buddhist movement with their money and media forming a horrific laughable council of teachers that fell on it's face and nobody paid attention to it other than to point them out.  Led by the protestant versions of Japanese Buddhism and fringe trend setting teachers and all their writers who make them money... virtually ignoring the Sangha ""(they had one show Bhikkhu Bodhi who got rightfully upset with them and whom they posted as somehow he misunderstood..or he mis-heard them and gee wasn't that embarrassing for him to explode on them during the conference type post on their blog) on whose back they cruelly stepped on to reach their goal as King of the Mountain, they virtually stood and pissed on the the living Jewels, all the while laughing in the faces of those who donate and sacrifice to make Buddhist temples and monasteries in the Americas.  This is soooo christian and not worthy of what is American today.

Comment:  Here is some blogs and with very snerky comments regarding that... starts first with the host of the fabled council of teachers....


an onward:

This sanitizing of Buddhism is wrong.  It is a symptom of lack of effort and study of Buddha dharma.  It's rote repetition of wrong teachings based on fear of loss of their own leadership due to aging and somehow they must keep their flame alive and make a historical memory so their efforts don't seem wasted to others.  The fact of the matter is the hippies are old and their start into Buddhism was filled with false intentions, most are failed monks and they are damn mad that people did not support them when they were innocents in robes, so they formed their careers by damning the robes and those that wear them.  All of them... look up the writers for yourself in the rags, tricycle, shambala sun, buddha dharma, the big 3 have featured all white... and all secular people claiming to be experts and leaders of Americans 'cuz they failed to be monks.

Comment:  Kornfield among many others comes to mind with his large spirit rock center, was told by his staff that only a specific Theravada monk,  just one is their chosen one, so I was only welcome if I could be a temporary short-term volunteer... geese don't think it was exactly what I had in mind... I declined.

They said they failed to be monks because they failed to get enough dana to do as they want to do (and become hits in their homelands).  Instead they were ignored perhaps bored in their robes, fearing poverty and they lacked the balls to stick it out they left their robes because there is no money in them.  Then these ex-monks damned repeatedly the very people who had virtuous roots that helped them succeed and go forth and being accepted.

Playing king of the mountain pushing off their competitors.  They promoted themselves as experts saying they have really represented Americans cuz they can have sex and create families... and they want their kids to be able to participate fully in their activities in the zendo cuz they don't feel welcome anyplace but where they want to go and meditate while they ignore how bored their kids are waiting for them and let their kids run around doing things unsupervised while they zone out in hippie bliss or their mental version of it.

I'm sorry this is not how Americans do things, they do things by hard work, patience and sticking things out enduring because they know what really works. This fad by elitists is misleading and harmful and it does NOT meet the needs of common folk and it's common folk that need proper Triple Jewels not fads.  They aren't looking for trends while they work on the line or pack boxes into a truck, they are looking for a community that is stable, intelligent, active in the town, around the corner or even in the grocery.... but not at the expense of their own minds.  

That's where traditional Vinaya Buddhism excels, it's stable it has lots of variety and enough well trained Sangha of monks and nuns to be able to endure and offer Buddha dharma as requested without all the bangs and whistles of slick rags or media blitz... and we will be long enduring whether the elites want to come to us while we are busy meeting the needs of the community where we live and reside in the Americas in and out of temples. 

At my estimate we are well over 10,000 Sangha living in the USA alone and not all of us are ethnic imports from overseas but created, born and raised right here from every ethnic group that can be thought of here.  

Here are some Iowas some Califnornians, some Nova Scotians, some Germans, some Chinese, a few Texans, some Burmese, and a majority of whom are Midwestern people as common as you can get and their shenanigans while enjoying and some indeed being those participating in traditional Buddhist offerings.