Talks on Meditation by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

The Chan

Put everything down. Let no thought arise.
Biography of Master Hsuan Hua.

1. Why Investigate Chan?
When thoughts cease, confusion ends.
Freedom over birth and death is freedom to come and go.
The great functioning of the entire substance is clearly understood.
By investigating Chan and sitting in meditation, we can
gain enlightenment.
We want to learn how not to be attached to self and others.
Meditation and samadhi are vital to our Dharma-body.
Sitting long brings Chan, which cleanses and purifies the mind.

2. What is Chan?
Concentrating on a focal point is the key to success in everything.
Twirling a flower, the Buddha revealed the mind-to-mind seal.
Only quiet contemplation can initiate Chan.
Thought cultivation eliminates false thinking.
Silencing the mind reveals our wisdom.
The flavor of lightness and ease is infinitely wonderful.

3. Ten Benefits of Chan
Ten benefits of Chan are gained from proper practice.

4a. How to Investigate Chan, Sitting Meditation
The vajra posture quells demons.
Full-lotus posture makes it easy to enter samadhi.
Once your legs no longer ache, you have really begun investigating Chan.
Sit straight without leaning.
Sweet dew cures many illnesses.
Eyes contemplate nose. Nose contemplates mouth.
Mouth contemplates heart.
Heat, Summit, Patience, First in the World.
Subduing guest-dust afflictions is like letting muddy water settle.
Investigate Chan while walking, standing, sitting and reclining.
Concentrate! Persevere!
Sit like a big bell. Walk like a light breeze.
As skill increases, afflictions decrease.
Sitting in meditation is like unraveling a silken cocoon.
Sit perfectly still.

4b. How to Investigate Chan, the Meditation Topic
Fighting poison with poison, a false thought stops false thoughts.
Go with care. Avoid demonic possession.
Concentrate on a single meditation topic.
Let not a single thought arise.
Be mindful of the present.
Be as a cat is when stalking a mouse.
Be as a dragon is when guarding its pearl.
Our meditation topic works like the Headbandtightening Mantra.
If you are apart from this, you have gone amiss.
Sweep away all dharmas. Separate from all marks.
Contemplate at ease to find wisdom.
When we gain the One, all things are done.

5. The States of Chan
The States of the Four Dhyanas.
Merging with the great void, we have a sudden breakthrough.
When sitting in meditation, do not seek for spiritual penetrations.
Demonic power causes you to think of retreating.
States may be false or true.
As soon as you cultivate the spiritual path, demons will appear.
If we awaken to what we see, we can transcend the mundane world.
With samadhi power, we need not fear demons.
By neither hurrying nor slacking off, we will succeed.
Do not be moved by sounds.
Do not harbor thoughts of hatred and love.
No matter what happens, remain in unmoving suchness.

6. The Koans of Chan
A Golden Pagoda, a Silver Pagoda, a Muddy Heap.
Seeking a method to avoid death.
Enlightenment must be certified before it counts.
How Chan meditation can halt the process of birth and death.
The mind of Elder Master Wei Shan did not move.
An old monk in meditation is worth ten thousand taels of gold.
Do not be attached to states.
Chan Meditation – It is Hard! It is Easy!
Neither coming nor going.
The Three Cart Patriarch.
Cast aside birth and death.

7. Questions and Answers on Chan

8. Verses on Chan and Chan Potential

Clue about Chan Samadhi.
Wonderful Truth In Us All.
Topple Mount Sumeru.
An Intensive Course.
Return of Spring.
Self-portrait of Hsuan Hua Sitting in Chan.
Playing a Flute Without Holes.
Walk with Me.
Vajra Seed to Bodhi Sprout.
Who will there be?


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