Introduction of Chan-Kuan
Breaking through Samsara and the cyclic birth
Return to the eternal purity
At the Goldstream Meadows, on the outskirts of Greater Victoria, Canada, thousands of salmon return between October and November each year. That heroic vibe and struggle of life overflowing through the entire river is the best portrayal of life’s growth.
Why does salmon insist on returning to its birth place and die peacefully? This is the subject that every fish biologist has been diligently exploring. When we were exploring the existence of life, we found that the riverbank itself bears an intimacy bond like one of the “mother fish”. This cozy and mother-like call of nature makes salmon naturally return to the mother's embrace. This is “life’s nature” of the fish.
People nowadays are drifting in their samsara life, over a very long time, but may not necessarily just in this life, could have been endless eons already. Now under the circumstance of thorough “reflection and realization”, using strong willpower to pursue the truth of life. It’s as if the whole river becomes a battlefield, where millions of troops confront, with the wounded and dead everywhere. This heroic move of the fishes, is exactly the portrayal of Chan-Kuan.
Life is as pure as such. This is not death! This is in fact the beginning of eternity. This beginning of eternal purity is the true fascinating part of Huayen Chan-Kuan.
Huayen Chan-Kuan is the broad path of realizing the existence and pureness of life; it is the practice and realization of the eternal perfect world. It is not an ideal, but a real experience. This eternal life of “endless pursuing the absolute perfection (止於至善)” is the simple and lofty goal of Huayen Chan-Kuan.
What is Huayen Chan-Kuan?
What is the end of life? What is the value and meaning of life? Throughout history, different nations, countries, including religions are all searching for “that” -- the perfect end. Either it is called “Buddha”, or “Allah”, or calling it the highest “Truth”, no matter how you define “that”, they all represent the thousands of years of pursuit and hope of human beings for “that”.
“Huayen Chan-Kuan”, is the practical method that leads to absolute perfection. The key point is to completely abandon the mind and thinking, and release the initial force of life. Information in modern society is complicated. Too much information affects people’s mind and consciousness. The teaching of Huayen Chan-Kuan is to get rid of the complicated thinking process of mind, and directly train the stability of body and mind, which allows us to return to simple and innocent thought, further enter Dhyana, the tranquil and peaceful status.
Without medications, external forces, the experience and effectiveness of Huayen Chan-Kuan are the real practice that you have to put yourself through, so that you can restore the intrinsic nature of body and life.
Our unique features
Combining the Indian Mahayana Yoga and Chinese Lin-Ji School Chan (Zen) method, we reunite the Yoga school’s “Dynamic Active-Method” with “Chan-Kuan’s Subtle-Method” into a complete system of precision driven -- Life Transformation Project.
Transfer “body” and “mind” to the spiritual world; “Overtake Consciousness” and abandon the mind-domination; using the “without mind-domination” method, unleash the initial vital force of human life.
The training of the entire project has its system, goal, and lineage. It can be repeated, verified, taught, and tracked. It is no longer a mysterious and unspeakable state of life.
What makes Huayen Chan-Kuan unique from other Chan (Zen) practices?
Activity working to Stillness -- Release, Refine, Restore, Revive
Combine “Active” and “Stillness”
“Sitting Meditation” has become the stereotype of Chan (Zen) practice - looks calm and tranquil physically but the heart wanders like a monkey and the mind gallops like a horse. If you cannot let go the thoughts and delusions deeply locked in your mind, it will be difficult to attain the “immutability of the absolute (如如不動)” (achieve stillness both physically and mentally). In addition, modern day people’s internal vitality is insufficient and they lack internal heat. Therefore, combining “Active" and “Stillness” is a necessary method that is suitable for modern people.
First “release negative energy”, then “replenish positive energy”
Through Huayen's course, when “releasing negative energy”, students while under clear consciousness, could experience uncontrolled body reactions (such as involuntary tears, tremors, etc) as well as the “without-mind-domination” state of Chan-Kuan. This is by no means of hypnosis or implicit suggestions to guide the students into releasing their inner suppressions, but rather it’s through our school’s core method on experiencing the difference of “body” and “life”. Following “releasing negative energy”, it is more appropriate to “replenish positive energy”. The introduction of right mindfulness and right faith are the key steps linking into Dhyan.
Introduction to Huayen Purification Chan
Origin: Chinese Chan Buddhism is based on the East Mountain Teaching (Dongshan tradition). It has relied on this systematic practice system. Over the span of roughly 600 years, from the Tang Dynasty (DC618-907) to the Song Dynasty (DC960-1279), China has produced nearly 30,000 to 40,000 virtuous elders. Ever since the teaching was lost for 800 years from the Yuan dynasty to the Qing dynasty, much fewer people have reached accomplishment, with an estimate of around 100. Today, Master Sea Cloud (Haiyun Jimeng) has worked tirelessly to bring Mahayana Yoga practice from India and restructure it into a complete system of the East Mountain Teaching (Dongshan) practice method. This very complete system of practice has finally reappeared in the world, so please cherish it. It is very hard to happen upon such a great complete system of practice in any given lifetime.
The starting point of this practice is Purification Chan. The practice starts from destroying ignorance, and destroying ignorance is a specific practice unto itself, which is a specific practical transformation from the worldly daily life to spiritual life. This process is called Purification Chan.
Buddha dharma is the Three Outflow-free Studies, namely precepts (moral conduct), samadhi, and wisdom, with precepts being the basis of them all. The Five Precepts and Eight Precepts of Fasting are widely known in traditional Buddhism, but in fact, these are just precepts. The transliteration of “precept” is "Śīla", its meaning being “purification”, and the method of purification is the precept-body. Huayen's precept-body is Purification Chan. Samadhi comes from precepts, and Samadhi comes from the purification of the body, speech, and mind. A person can enter Samadhi only when these are purified.
Huayen Purification Chan or Yoga classes are different from the commercial yoga classes you see outside. They involve technical and spiritual aspects; it is not simply about delivering instructions in a mission-oriented way. The students need to communicate subtle changes of their mind and body to the teachers. Thus, an individualized style of teaching will allow you to master a set of methods to purify the body and mind in a short span of time.
The main content of Purification Chan is the “Body adjustment techniques" and the "Life energy inducing techniques". Master Sea Cloud (AKA. Haiyun,) the forty-second lineage master of the Huayen Sect, is compassionate and has disclosed this practice technique to the world, and the practice has three merits:
1. Effectively cleans up impurities and bad substances that are stuck in the body.
2. Deeply dispels the fears and pressures that hinder the natural development of the mind.
3. Purifying Chan is a prerequisite for Chan practitioners, as well as a necessary training for those getting started on the path. It is the device that ancient masters used to see the spiritual capacity of a person.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is the difference between Huayen Purification Chan and healthy exercises we see elsewhere? The orientation of Purification Chan is liberation, and good health is only its by-product. The ultimate goal of health-preserving exercises is self-cultivation, which is health.
A: Purification Chan is a broad term that encompasses the prerequisites a person should possess before practicing Huayen Chan-Kuan. It checks the practitioner’s path of resource-accumulation. It also acts as a test and a certification. Other places may also use this term, but their content is different from this one. So, the Huayen Chan Hall is different from other Chan halls. The Huayen Chan method is the proper transmission of mind dharma, unlike meditation we see elsewhere.
2. Does it mean that we can only learn Purification Chan only if we decide to also join in the practicing of Chan-Kuan? I don’t plan on learning Chan-Kuan yet. Can I learn Purification Chan?
A: Of course, Purification Chan is actually the very original source of health. You can come here to learn it just for the health benefits.
Purification Chan is the prerequisite of Huayen Chan, while attaining physical peace is the foundation of being able to effectively practice the path. Over the long years of teaching Purification Chan, we have discovered that the hard workers and professionals of society need this. We know that although these professionals have successful careers, they have three regrets: the threat of dying suddenly due to disease, dying with hatred, or being forced to step down from their position. Maybe their family, health, and children will also be affected. The instructions in Purification Chan can help with relieving all symptoms that have sprouted from high stress. Although these people might not want to practice, these people are the pillars of society and the wealth of humanity. Protecting their lives will be very beneficial for society. Thus, we can individually list Purifying Chan as its own thing in the process of practicing. It can relieve stress for the modern people, improve their health, help them attain peace of body, and in turn help humanity.
3. I am old and unhealthy. Can I still learn this?
A: Common chronic illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes etc., are not a problem for people who want to come learn and practice Purification Chan. We have taught many of these retreats and discovered that after these retreats, people who continue to practice the exercises that were taught to them, their chronic illnesses had obvious improvements. Of course, if you do have unique illnesses, or illnesses that need particular attention, please tell us beforehand.
Normally, people discover their health problems only when they do health check-ups. However, it is usually a little late, because the problems are already a result, not a cause. Modern medicine uses medicine to counter the disease, but medicine has two sides to its effects. When the medicine exhibits its good effects (inhibits the disease from progressing), adverse effects will stay hidden within the body. A method that treats symptoms does not address the root of the problem. Many people have a wrong understanding of “health.” Many people are considered healthy before their chronic illnesses manifest. However, the formation, maturation, decay, and destruction of the four elements are always ongoing. Thus, although the body may not be sick, it does not mean it’s healthy. The illnesses just haven’t surfaced yet.
If we give health a more suitable definition, it would be called the peaceful unification of body, mind and spirit. The first stage of Purification Chan can achieve this goal. The second stage is the liberation from the cycle of birth and death. However, we can achieve true health only through making our goal the liberation from the cycle of birth and death. You can only understand the meaning of this after you enter a Chan hall and begin the learning process.
East Mountain School Teaching
Chan-Kaun & East Mountain School Teaching
Triple Crane Retreat Center is part of the East Mountain School Teaching, which is one of the many lineages of Chan-Kaun. Below you will find the "Blue Print" giving an overview of the spiritual phases observed in East Mountain linages.
Ashtanga Yoga & Chan-Kaun
Master Sea Cloud has shown the connections and similarities between Chan-Kaun practice and Ashtanga Yoga in the Yoga Sutra, also known as the Eightfold Path of Sage Patanjali. Below you will find a chart highlighting the similarites in these profound time tested teachings.
As an authorized lineage carrier of Lord Lakulishas ancient linage, and Chan Buddhism Master Sea Cloud has clarity and insight to explain the nuances between these two great systems.
“Yoga is not asana; yoga is a spiritual doing and growing.”
Venerable Master Haiyun, Mentor of Taiwan Da Huayen Monastery.
“Chan-kuan is not meditation; Chan-kuan is going on the quest for the essence, the truth, and the origin of life.” Venerable Master Haiyun, Mentor of Taiwan Da Huayen Monastery.
We are currently holding Chan-kuan retreats in every spring and fall*. If you are interested in or have any questions about it, please feel free to contact: Master Zhong Hai (Winnie)
*Due to the pandemic Chan-Kuan retreats are not currently being scheduled. We look forward to adding them on to our schedule in the future.