Hsu-tung moved to China’s most famous Pure Land temple, he had been the
abbot of Tamaopeng Hermitage, the most renowned Zen temple in the
Chungnan Mountains. I asked him about the difference between Zen and Pure Land practice.|
In Zen, we keep asking who’s chanting the name of the Buddha. All we
think about is where the name of the Buddha is coming from. We keep
asking, until we find out who we were before we were born. This is Zen.
We sit with one mind. And if the mind runs off somewhere, we follow it
wherever it goes, until the mind finally becomes quiet, until there’s
no Zen to Zen, no question to question, until we reach the stage where
we question without questioning and without questioning we keep
questioning. We keep questioning, until we finally find an answer,
until delusions come to an end, until we can swallow the world, all its
rivers and mountains, everything, but the world can’t swallow us, until
we can ride the tiger, but the tiger can’t ride us, until we find out
who we really are. This is Zen.
Land practice, we just chant the name of the Buddha, nothing more. We
chant with the mind. We chant without making a sound, and yet the sound
is perfectly clear. And when we hear the sound, the chant begins again.
It goes around and around. The chant doesn’t stop, and the mind doesn’t
move. The sound arises, we hear the sound, but our mind doesn’t move.
And when our mind doesn’t move, delusions disappear. And once they’re
gone, the one mind chants. The result is the same as Zen. Zen means no
distinctions. Actually, Pure Land practice includes Zen, and Zen
practice includes Pure Land practice. If you don’t practice both, you
become one-sided. (R2H: 95)
|Fo Guang Shan (FGS) (Chinese: 佛光山; pinyin: Fo guang shan; lit. ‘Buddha’s Light Mountain’) is an international Chinese Mahayana Buddhist organization and monastic order based in Taiwan that practices Humanistic Buddhism. The headquarters, Fo Guang Shan Monastery is located in Dashu District, Kaohsiung,
and is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. The organization is
also one of the largest charity organizations in Taiwan. The
organization’s counterpart for laypeople is known as the Buddha’s Light International Association.
Founded in 1967 by Hsing Yun, the order promotes Humanistic Buddhism
and is known for its efforts in the modernization of Chinese Buddhism.
The order is famous for its use of technology and its temples are often
furnished with the latest equipment. Hsing Yun’s stated position for Fo Guang Shan is that it is an “amalgam of all Eight Schools of Chinese Buddhism” (Chinese: 八宗兼弘; pinyin: bazong jianhong). The Fo Guang Shan order has an associated college, Fo Guang University, which offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both Buddhist Studies and secular fields.
In Taiwan, Hsing Yun is popularly referred to as one of the “Four Heavenly Kings” and Fo Guang Shan is considered one of the “Four Great Mountains” or four major Buddhist organizations of Taiwanese Buddhism, along with Dharma Drum Mountain, Tzu Chi, and Chung Tai Shan. (Wikipedia/Fo Guang Shan)
|We arrived at Master Yang’s room on the east wing [of Pahsienkung Taoist temple]. ... Master Yang had been meditating, and he didn’t bother to uncross his legs. ... I asked him about cultivating the Tao. ...|
Q: What difference do you see between Buddhism and Taoism in terms of practice?
Buddhists and Taoists walk the same path. They just dream different
dreams. Essentially Buddhism and Taoism are the same. Their sacred
texts talk about the same things. It’s just that Taoism emphasizes
life, and Buddhism emphasizes nature. But people who truly cultivate
cultivate both. In terms of actual practice, Buddhism is somewhat
better than Taoism. Even though Taoists talk about cultivating the
mind, they often have a harder time suppressing feelings of pride. But
to cultivate either of them successfully is very hard. (R2H: 214-8)