Buddhist Meditations
Master Jing Hui Presents Sheng Huo Chan
14/12/2010 23:30 (GMT+7)
Font size:  Zoom out Zoom in

What is the Sheng Huo Chan of Buddhism? Please listen to how Master Jing Hui presents it to contemporary people.



In the 1990s, based on his genuine knowledge of truth and deep understanding of the problems contemporary people face, Master Jing Hui, Vice Chairman of the Buddhist Association of China, Chairman of the Buddhist Association of Hebei Province, and Abbot of Bailin Temple, presented the Sheng Huo Chan (the contemporary Chinese spelling of the accepted word "zen") to teach and spread the Chan tradition in the Bailin Temple.


     What is the Sheng Huo Chan.? It is to take the spirit and wisdom of Chan to be in perfect harmony with life so as to embody in everyday life the transcendence of Chan, the spirit of Chan, the artistic mood of Chan and the elegant demeanor of China. The Chan School came into being through the mutual blend of Buddhist culture with Chinese culture, featuring a principal part of typical Chinese culture. The essential aim and object of Sheng Huo Chan is to "lead an enlightened life, and a life of service." The Fundamental criterion for the Temple to deal with all sorts of day-to-day matters are to be "accepted, participated in, fulfilled and shared by everybody."

     Our life is full of the atmosphere and crux of Chan. When we mention in the saying that ``the power and application of Chan” we find their expressions in carrying water and chopping wood. The majority of us, however, are so self-absorbed that we do not realize our inherent potential to experience Chan. This is known as "ordinary people never bother to know what they use daily." Now, let's look at two parts of a story in which the ancients used everyday life as a turning point to talk, comprehend and practice Chary. Hopefully, they will help us understand the Sheng Huo Chan in depth.

In the late Tang Dynasty, there was a monk named Long Tan whose master was Tianhuang Daowu (748-807). Long 'fan had been mattendant to his master for quite a long time . As the days went by, he realized that his master had never gold him the essence of Chan training. So , one day, Long Tan said to his master:

"Since I came here, you have not yet told me the essence of Chan." His master replied, "I have never failed to show you the essence since you arrived here. " Long Tan asked," What all that you have shown me? "


His master then remarked. "When you make tea for me I take it; when you serve me a meal I eat it; and when you pay obeisance to me I nod in approval. Aren't all those matters demonstrations of the essence?" Pushed by his master into a deep corner in which he slowly turned everything over in his mind, it was at this instance that Long Tan attained full enlightenment, realizing his own Buddha nature. Then, long Tan once again asked his master for further advice:

 "How can I maintain the state of enlightenment?"

 His master replied with the following stanza: "Conduct oneself in a natural and carefree way. Let everything go as it is. Free from all attachments. That alone ensures full enlightenment."

 This piece of the story clearly tells us a simple truth: Those engaged in Chan training live a life suffused with the crux of Chan. It is only after they have whole-heartedly thrown themselves into such a life that they will come to comprehend the crux of Chan everywhere and experience the state of Chan everywhere. Of equal importance, this piece of the story also teaches us how to keep the state of an enlightened Mind——"Free from all attachments. That alone ensures full enlightenment."

    The key to experiencing Chan in everyday life is to keep one's original Mind. The next piece of the story with all its profound implication, might help us to learn how to keep the original Mind in everyday life.

   Once, Master You Yuan, who was a Vinaya master, asked master Hui Hai: "Do you make efforts in cultivating the way?"

    Master Hui Hai answered: "Yes!"

   You Yuan asked again, "How do you make efforts?"

    "I eat when I feel hungry and I go to bed when I feel sleepy."

    "Everyone does the same as you do. Does it mean that they make efforts as well as you do?"


  "Why not ?"

  "When they eat, they are not single minded in eating but caught up by various anxieties. When they go to bed they cannot fall asleep because of various concerns for personal gains and losses. That 's the difference."


The way of eating and sleeping of a Chap master differs greatly from that of ordinary people. This is the very reason why we cannot experience the state of Chars in everyday life. If we could truly eliminate those "anxieties" whilst eating and "concerns" in sleep, we would be as good as the ancient misters and would be at peace in the moment.


 Go back      Go top        Print view       Send to frinend        Send opinion
Xuân Nhâm Thìn
» Audio
» Photo gallery
» Buddhism Dictionary
» Lunar calendar