using the arrow buttons.
by clicking on the page.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider when zoomed-in.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field, and select "This Issue" or "All Issues"
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
displays sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays a slider of thumbnails. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse the full archive.
about your subscription?
Buddhadharma : Summer 2009
buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly summer 20 0 9 54 Chan Master Sheng Yen—a lineage holder of both the Linji and Caodong schools of Chan Buddhism and the twentieth century’s most influential proponent of Chan—was born to a farming family in Jiangsu Province, China, in 1930. At thir- teen, he became a monk, during a time when Chan Buddhism had declined greatly and there was no systematic training for monks. Communist interference prompted him, with his fellow monks, to leave his home province for Shanghai. Eventually, in order to escape increasing Communist interfer- ence in mainland China, Master Sheng Yen moved to Taiwan by joining the Nationalist army, which promised recruits early release from service once in Taiwan or after the army defeated the com- munists. He ended up serving in the military for ten years. In his ninth year, he met the Linji master Ling Yuan, who offered him his first genuine guidance in meditation practice. Finally, after ten years of military service, he re-ordained as a disciple of the eccen- tric Caodong master Dong Chu, who was known for meting out extremely rigorous training. After two years with this teacher, he entered solitary retreat for six years. At the age of thirty-eight, he moved to Japan and spent six years earning a doctorate in Buddhist literature from Rissho University. He also used his time in Japan to visit and take teachings from a variety of Zen masters, including Bantetsugu Roshi (one of the main disciples of the renowned Harada Roshi), who encouraged him to move to America and teach. In 1975, he moved to New York, where he decided to teach not only in the immigrant Chinese community but to Americans as well. He divided his time between New York and Taipei throughout his life, and travelled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and North America. His North American headquarters remained in New York City, where he established the Chan Meditation Center. He chose the name “Dharma Drum” as the name attached to the collection of institutions he founded throughout the world, including the Dharma Drum Order of Chan Buddhism, Dharma Drum Mountain (his world headquarters in Taiwan), a 125-acre retreat center in upstate New York, a publishing arm, and centers and meditation groups throughout North America, Europe, and southeast Asia. Master Sheng Yen attracted more than 300,000 students in Tai- wan alone. In his home country, Dharma Drum looks after seven monasteries, a center for Buddhist education and an institute of Buddhist culture. In his lifetime, he published dozens of popular books and more than a hundred shorter works and scholarly texts. He also lectured at more than forty universities, and led more than 140 week- long Chan intensives in the West. He described his philosophy as “spiritual environmentalism”—purifying the environment by first purifying the mind. In addition to his spiritual teaching, he was an active humanitarian, participating in many social and cultural organizations, such as the 2002 World Economic Forum in New York, at which he was the only Buddhist invitee. Despite his many accomplishments, he was known as a humble and unprepossess- ing man. His last teaching was contained in this simple poem: Busy with nothing, growing old. Within emptiness, weeping, laughing. Intrinsically, there is no “I.” Life and death, thus cast aside. a HuMBle CHaMpion of CHan Barry Boyce looks at the life and legacy of Chan Master Sheng Yen providedBYdHarMadruMMountainCulturalandeduCationalfoundation,allrigHtSreServedrikkiaSHer