Given that the prevailing subjective and objective conditions have not proven favourable for this otherwise interesting, groundbreaking and self-empowering opportunity, the International Ch'an Buddhist Institute (ICBI) is a) rescinding and abolishing the project of the 'Open Transmission' of the associated Master Xu Yun (1840-1959) lineage - effective immediately, b) Cancelling any subsequent lineage transmissions - either 'implied' or 'conformed' - through the use of this initiative, and c) clarify that the ICBI does not recognise, endorse or support any subsequent, assumed or further transmissions made by current ICBI Members using this agency to other (unknown) individuals outside the ICBI.
Lineage transmission is a grave and serious undertaking and although much emphasis is placed in the West upon 'effort', 'determination' and 'respect' - this appears not to yet apply to matters of a non-material or non-acquisitioned nature. In this matter of realising the empty mind ground there will be no supporting of any type of greed, hatred or delusion. The 'Great Doubting mind' will be re-emphasised time and time again to keep the genuine Chinese Ch'an Lineage of Master Xu Yun (1840-1959) both 'pure' and free from 'corruption'. if you experience 'agitation' in your mind at this announcement - 'good' as you will not pass through this 'Gate' a second time in this lifetime whilst I guard it. Set your mind on realising genuine Enlightenment and all barriers will instantly melt away!
Whilst Easterners are too busy modernising too be that bothered with Ch’an lineage transmissions – many Westerners, by way of contrast, attempt to ‘collect’ transmissions as if they are badges denoting rank or promotions signifying success! This is a complete cultural misreading and is usually accomplished by a huge psychological and physical barrier of ‘dishonesty’ which they feel cannot be seen. On the contrary, those trained in authentic Ch’an Buddhism are able to immediately ‘see through’ this disguise the moment it is made apparent. Many such people who have approached me cannot get pass, over or around me – as I sit like a heavy boulder in their path. I am not going anywhere and have no interest in banal conversation – show me your insight or go away. I do not care what you think (or do not think) as it is all a creation in your own head dependent upon your own conditioning in life – come to me when you have cleared it up and attained ‘stillness’ of mind, expansion of mind or integration of ‘form’ and ‘void’.
Other than that, we have nothing to talk about unless I deem it worthwhile and to the benefit of your own development. All this hold doubly-true for those who still decide to follow fake spiritual teachers in the West and support fraudulent lineages after I have explained the genuine Ch’an Dharma to them. This is why it makes no difference if we maintain an ‘open’ transmission as an act of ‘compassion’ on the ICBI site – as it is each individual’s behaviour that either validates or invalidates such an initiative – and the ICBI can withdraw such a fluid transmission if an individual concerned acts in a disrespectful, dishonourable, dishonest or disruptive manner.
Such individuals cannot uphold the ICBI lineage and claim to still support fake teachers and false transmissions! Furthermore, it is not the place of the ICBI to confirm or deny to individuals which lineages are ‘fake’ or ‘fraudulent’ as this is your own responsibility. The ICBI is a spiritual platform with its historical roots in China and it is Chinese culture which defines its everyday functioning. The ICBI colleagues in Beijing chose the UK as its first non-China base as a springboard into the West. As there are no plans for any further expansion – the UK is considered the cradle of genuine Ch’an outside of China. I will guard this gate for my Chinese colleagues for as long as my life will last and I will assist all and sundry to realise the empty mind ground – but for your own sakes – I certainly will not indulge anyone’s ego!
ACW – SDD (13.8.2021)
The Chinese Vinaya allows for the convention of ‘self-ordination’ should a man or woman find themselves in remote areas, or out of touch with Sangha. Later, when circumstances permit, the monk or nun should seek confirmation from a Master, although such a confirmation is not always available. Nevertheless, Chinese Ch’an Buddhism demands the strict observance of part of the Vinaya for the laity, and all the Vinaya for the monastics. On top of this commitment, everyone irrespective of status should take and keep the Bodhisattva Vow with the understanding that every monk or nun occupies a position in society less than that of the poorest lay-person. This observation (and attitude) sets the standard for the appropriate level of humility and strength of spirit. As the empty mind ground underlies the laity and the monastic community – it logically follows that outside of presumed social status – all manifestations are of the same essential foundation and value. To accept ‘transmission’ a person must have a mind free of greed, hatred and delusion – as a mind full of greed, hatred and delusion is not able to accept this task. Transmission is nothing less than the recognition of the empty mind ground recognised by the teacher in the mind of the student – the latter of whom ‘projects’ this understanding forward for the benefit of future generations! Greed, hatred and delusion must be given-up here and now in this exact moment. This is the essence of Dharma-Practice through the Guild of Hui Neng. Those who want to accept this transmission are invited to state that they have received a Cao Dong lineage through the Authority of the ICBI. ACW (4.10.2020)
During a written conversation with long-term ICBI Member - ‘Ben’ - probably around a year or more ago, he suggested that as a spiritual and humanitarian act of compassion, the ICBI should consider ‘universalising’ and ‘internationalising’ the Cao Dong Dharma Lineage as translated from Master Xu Yun (1840-1959) to Charles Luk (1898-1978), and then to Richard Hunn (1949-2006) and his disciple Adrian Chan-Wyles (b. 1967) - that is, myself. I thought this was a very good idea that encompasses the highest elements of both ‘lay’ and ‘monastic’ Buddhism, and which would further benefit the thousands of people who gain much comfort and inspiration from the Chinese Ch’an and Japanese Zen traditions. The Chinese ‘Cao Dong’ lineage, is, of course, the Japanese ‘Soto’ lineage transmitted to Japan from China during the 13th century by Master Dogen. Although I have written elsewhere about the historical, political and military realities manifesting within Mainland China during the 1930s and 1940s, these factual observations are not designed to negate or denigrate the Japanese Zen tradition, which is culturally relevant for the country and culture it serves. This is because the empty mind ground [心地 - Xin Di] (i.e. ‘non-perception’ in the Pali Suttas) underlies ALL reality without exception. When material reality manifests – it is simultaneously ‘perceptible’ (in the Pali Suttas) - bearing in-mind that the Buddha describes reality in the Four Noble Truths as arising from matter, sensation, perception, volitional thought and consciousness. As enlightenment within the Ch’an School is described as ‘being neither attached to void, nor hindered by phenomena’ - reality cannot be limited to the ‘void’ (idealism), or ‘phenomena’ (materialism). This is a reality express in the Five Ranks of Prince and Minister as preserved within the Cao Dong lineage. Therefore, anyone who sincerely puts into practice the Path of the Guild of Hui Neng (which includes and yet transcends the ‘lay’ and ‘monastic’ paths) may consider themselves ongoing inheritors of the ICBI lineage of Cao Dong as discussed and agreed with key lay and monastic Members of the Buddhist Association of China (2020). This transmission is separate and distinct from any ‘private’ arrangements or transmissions conveyed to specific individuals for various and precise reasons of spiritual development. This development depends entirely upon a self-monitoring ‘virtue’, ‘compassion’ and ‘wisdom’ and is only relevant if driven by a pure and pristine spiritual honesty. The mind must be clear and the heart must be all-embracing.
Adrian Chan-Wyles (Shi Da Dao) - (4.10.2020)
Buddhist Association of China
Adrian Chan-Wyles (釋大道 - Shi Da Dao) is permitted to retain his Buddhist Monastic Dharma-Name within Lay-society by decree of the Government of the People’s Republic of China, and the Chinese Buddhist Association (1992). A Buddhist monastic (and devout lay-practitioner) upholds the highest levels of Vinaya Discipline and Bodhisattva Vows. A Genuine Buddhist ‘Venerates’ the ‘Dao’ (道) as he or she penetrates the ‘Empty Mind-Ground' through meditative insight. A genuine Buddhist is humble, wise and peace-loving – and he or she selflessly serves all in existence in the past, present and the future, and residing within the Ten Directions – whilst retaining a vegetarian- vegan diet. Please be kind to animals!
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