Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chinese culture, Mahayana culture, Temple life, Vinaya

Ven. Hongyang’s memoir

If we are accepted as a disciple of another Sangha member from them we may get more names for that master to use to call us. Please note that students of a master are not in the same category as disciple. It is possible for a master to have many students but few will have even one or more disciples. The disciples are earlier fully ordained as Sangha and the lineage holder in that master’s line, the students are not.

Floating Clouds, Folded Palms ~ A Bhikshuni life in Iowa

Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Dharma Talks, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships, Vinaya

New Page as Traveling Sangha offering Dharma

I’ve decided to offer my humble services teaching dharma and precepts in English to temples and monasteries.  I’ve been encouraged by my dharma friends to start to let more Sangha know that I am now willing to travel to their way places.  I’ve strongly believed in practicing one tradition during one’s monastic life and for me that is Chinese Buddhism.  I’ve never dabbled or practiced other religions since taking refuge and five precepts.   And since becoming a bhikshuni I have experienced the guidance of the Vinaya precepts that have given me such comfort and solidity in my daily life!  I want people to understand that comfort and solidity is very important foundation for mind training.  Refuge and 5 Precepts are the foundation for everyone’s practice and should be taken as the basic framework for their practice.

Sangha can see the difference and you can feel the difference in your daily life when you have precepts even as a householder.  It does support you.  It does benefit your mind training.

For those interested in having me talk you can contact me via email venhongyang (at) gmail.com  and I will respond with information to help you decide to furnish an air ticket or a train ticket.  I have freed up my fall to spring schedule, and will open my spring to summer to accommodate your scheduled events and services.

If you are Western people you may not understand how to sponsor Sangha to give dharma talks and precepts.  You usually ask first then offer the transportation cost plus housing and dana monetary offering at the day’s end or end of event.

I only practice Chinese Buddhism and that’s the context of my Dharma talks and training/encouragement in Precepts (Refuge and 5 Precepts, next year qualified for VInaya Precepts and 8 Precepts giving training and ordination for monastics).  I will only transmit the Dharmagupta lineage as that is the one I hold myself.  I will not participate in multi-yana (Theravada, Mahayana combined lineages being offered as a choice to the candidates to pick one) ordinations ever, so don’t ask.  I will only transmit my dharmagupta lineage ordination line with only dharmagupta lineage masters beside me and of proper numbers.

Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chinese culture, On the Path, Western Holidays

How do Buddhists Celebrate Christmas?

IMG_3701 IMG_3795 IMG_3798 IMG_2901With Joy! It’s a popular holiday in the West so when i became Buddhist and traveled to different temples in the USA, I found that nearly everyone in those places big and small celebrates with the rest of the country!

Strange you may think, but no…. think about it.

To me Christmas is about the practice of generosity. Santa is a giver of gifts that are deserved and mysteriously leaves them overnight to everyone on Christmas Eve. to wake up to on Christmas morning. He wears red, the color of the heart in Chinese theory called the 5 elements.

The Christmas tree, an evergreen, the sign of life in wintertime, every culture notices this type of tree. Germans long before Christianity used to bring in pine tree boughs to freshen their home in the winter and add color and life in their harsh winters. Later they would bring trees into their home and eventually began to decorate them. Then Christianity came, but nothing was done about the tree issue until the Victorian age when the created myth about the trees began to be commercialized.

I love the lights too. the lights sparkle and immediately make you feel happy upon seeing them! I have a tiny white desktop tree with optic fibers that change color. I love that. I have red lights up on my doorway to the Buddha hall and lining the Buddha altar. I love the colors of Christmas time too. It does not bother me to know that Christians took the holiday that used to be pagan, that probably started as a way to keep the homes from smelling bad in the winter! Pine scents have been used for centuries to deodorize rooms!  There is often a reference to ‘luminosity’ in referring to the mind, this is the goal of many Buddhists who sincerely meditate and particularly attainable for those with discernment and skill.

I rarely go out during the holidays.  However, I do visit mom during this time of year.  Also this year I am going to celebrate Christmas Day with her and the family and I am bringing healthy snack food for them, that will be my contribution.  We have soup and sandwiches on Christmas Day.  Also they play Christmas Bingo, which is just drawing numbers and picking a numbered present.  I hardly go for Christmas celebrations due to the weather or mostly due to the fact I am not too attached to the day.  Mom asked me to come and convinced me to bring my daughter who usually serves up a Christmas meal to her friends without family nearby and like she does so for every holiday.  I bake goodies and breads for them to take home afterwards every holiday, they need fresh food besides pizza!

Remember Buddhas Bodhi Day is also in December around 18th or so. Remember Christmas can be a fun day, it’s not about meeting the needs for wished for gifts, it is about the act of generosity, you can give time, acts of kindness, presents if you like, and food.  All from the genuine wish to give and nothing more than that.  Oh, I stay away from the stores and only buy groceries during the holidays… but love to buy discounted Christmas items afterwords for dharma crafts.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chinese culture, Dharma Talks, On the Path, Three Religions of China, Translation Resources

Teaching Schedule 2013

 

Calm Clarity Temple

 

2012-2013 Teaching Schedule for Ven Hong Yang, Bhikshuni

 

Handicap accessible building & parking. Sun Room Keystone Apts. 3115 Roy Key Ave, Ames, IA     Sat 1-4

 

No children please, no smoking except in the outside designated spot.

 

December 2012 Dec 29th            Buddhist Study & Practice – Mahayana

 

January 2013 Jan 27th                  Buddhist Funeral Service & Hospice

 

February 2013 Feb 23rd                 Buddhist practices: bowing, recitation instruction

 

March 2013                                     Buddhist view of suicide & self-immolation

 

April 2013                                         Buddhist faith, precepts and daily life

 

May 2013                                          Buddhist removal of greed, rage & sorrow

 

June 2013                                         Buddhist Practice – Surangama Mantra

 

July 2013                                           Buddhist Practice – Sending Hope

 

August 2013                                                Buddhist charity – actualizing local efforts

 

September 2013                            Buddhist culture – oldest USA form: Chinese

 

October 2013                                 Buddhist Study – Evening service

 

November 2013                             Buddhist Study – 7 Day Retreat

 

December 2013                             Buddhist social media in the West

 

Good men and women:  Please respect the teacher and the audience.  Listen attentively in mutual tolerance and good nature.  Please no debates and no coercion or you will be asked to leave.  These dharma talks are open to all.

 

Dana (Donations) accepted there is no set fee.

 

Calm Clarity Temple is in the planning stages. It is following in structure and practices of the oldest form of Buddhism in the USA: Chinese Buddhism. Chinese Buddhism has the oldest unbroken 2-part Sangha of Bhikshu and Bhikshuni with no married clergy. This temple is a nunnery for training and offering services and charitable care to the public.

 

Pure Land and Chan practices.  All talks and instruction in English.

 

This is also a translator temple.  Dharma work translating and training translators here so the translations is available to the public in English from the Chinese Taisho Edition of the Mahayana Tripitaka which is comprehensive in that it has the complete Pali collection from Theravada tradition, Esoteric collection which includes the Tibetan collection, Vinaya collection of all schools including Theravada (Tibet is Mahayana), Abhi dharma collection of all schools in both traditions of Theravada & Mahayana, commentaries and verses of esteem masters of various lineages.  Very little of the limited accessible translations are available in English.

 

Books: type:  “Ven Hong Yang” when you visit http://www.amazon.com for available book list.  Here is a nice photo of  a Chinese Bhikshuni on alms round.

English: Venerable Tzu Chuang, founder of Hsi ...
English: Venerable Tzu Chuang, founder of Hsi Lai Temple, in an alms begging round during Sangha Day, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chan - authentic Masters words, Chinese culture, Confuscianism, Daoism/Taoism, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Temple life, Three Religions of China, Translation Resources, Vinaya

Calm Clarity Temple

English: A talisman from one of the Lingbao Sc...

I had expected some fanfare at least a post comment or two on Facebook  oh well people are busy. but I finally picked the temple name.

Calm Clarity Temple

It came from knowing what attributes I  carry and promote as the abbess. My main attributes are Calm and Clarity.  I am not  saying I am the best but it’s the attributes I want to carry forth as a signature of this temple and it’s mission to meet the communities needs here and carry on my translation efforts to have a complete Mahayana English Tripitaka of the Taisho Edition of the Chinese Mahayana Tripitaka.

The reason this edition is so important is that it is inclusive of the Pali Cannon and has an Esoteric Division (yes, people  Esoteric came from China through India as well as accumulations of the effects of adaptations to local religious beliefs and cultures.  It has all the schools in Buddhism in both Theravada and Mahayana including I suspect some of the older ones, that are not all translated out into English, what we have today is scholars works and they are not accessible, largely out of print or not available to the public.  It has commentaries, verses, records, and lineages of our Sangha, this may not be interesting reading but it is really good for us to know what bits from history we can glean from these being translated.

I honor my interest in Daoism with the recognition of a specific school, the Complete Reality School, it’s burned it’s place in my noggin.  I like it very much, I also have a title memorized “The Master Who Embraces Simplicity” from my early days of study of Chinese culture included the Three Religions of Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism.  I liked monastic life for it was easy fit for my lifestyle the way I lived it and the way I thought about my life.  To honor me, and my past lives I chose Calm and Clarity for the temple attributes.  When you choose a temple name it’s to have a purpose to benefit the country, the states, the county and the town in which you live; that’s responsibility towards society creating positive conditions for prosperity, reduce conflicts and improve the quality of life for everyone.

The mission carries on the Bhikshuni one.  To create awareness of Vinaya Sangha residing in the USA. To provide Buddhist services and offer instruction in Buddhism to the public, and conduct creative, charitable, and education programs for interested persons.

The primary specialty is the translation of the Mahayana Tripitaka Taisho Edition in Chinese to English.  Serving as translator, education of translators, networking with translators around the world, being a part of the development of an international database the would provide free online access to all English translated Tripitaka materials.

English: Venerable Tzu Chuang, founder of Hsi ...
English: Venerable Tzu Chuang, founder of Hsi Lai Temple, in an alms begging round during Sangha Day, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Posted in Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders

Peace in every step, trust in precepts, certainty in mind- how to endure difficulties as robed Sangha

USA Sangha see all of uphold our precepts from all the traditions

Peace in every step, trust in precepts, certainty in mind helps a Sangha endure.  This is the only way to endure difficult times.  There is no other way if you wish to remain a monk or nun with precepts.  Otherwise do not wear our robes.  Go back and stay in lay-life.  How we endure is based upon the guidance of the Vinaya precepts we were given.

It is a parajika offense to support suicide by writing your support for it through images, posters, online posts, providing means of suicide the implements  the knowledge on how to do it, the people to carry the instruments for your behalf to give to the person you want to kill.  Arguing with a Sangha member in favor of the act of self-immolation in and out of Tibet is a parajika offense by written words or in speeches.  Because you say it with your words… get it.  Now GET OUT OF THOSE ROBES !!! I have argued with Tibetan Sangha particularly it’s the Westerners who really argue and I have enough. You westerners get a clue, you are not Tibetan even robes. Thus not supported by their system. Parajika offense is the most serious and you can never abandon it and call your self monks.

It is pointless to argue with anyone in the freetibet bandwagon, they are incapable of logic.  Their leader promotes suicide, it is so shocking that this thinking comes from the West to effectively kill, probably end Tibetan Buddhism as it was.  Every time I do engage them, by standing up for Vinaya and supporting life, they accuse me of being a Chinese govt supporter or a spy! I mean, really that no kind of logic.  I am defending the right to life, not debating, I am standing up for the sake of the Tibetan Sangha not politics. Only those two things are my concerns in countering statements that are pro-suicide.

You cannot debate Buddhism people,  I hate the way western people think their rambling emotional aggressive accusatory style in speech is debate when it is not.  Buddhist debate is seriously controlled by the Sangha, and done in privacy of the Sangha sima.  Buddhist debate is only done for proof of education and shows the level of understanding by the student, its specialized in style and has to be learned.  It is not the stuff of forums or Facebook or comments field.

They don’t debate they just bitch.  They don’t read, just use emotional statements, they don’t accept logic.  If you counter with logic and reputable sources they just get emotional like teenagers do when they are overwhelmed.  It is a rancid movement full of emotion, abuse, and does not favor life.  When it started early one the movement was pure in intention but not effective.

Now the only effective thing is that the FreeTibet movement is doing is that they are good at marketing, selling posters, Buddhist goods, tshirts with burning monks images, and buttons and the like.  They are emotional campaigners who promote officially suicide for political gain of a very, very few people.  Most of them  do not understand the history of Tibet, nor it’s warrior and warlord society, it was brutal, it was aggressive, repressive, and offered nothing to the whole of the country.

Westerners are not used to monks who commit violent acts, nor will they easily accept teachings from a tradition that is violent.  It does not accord with their own understanding of Buddhism and the Sangha.  Monks who abandon their Vinaya precepts and kill, fight, torture, enslave and many still do.  I am not saying there are no Tibetan monks who uphold strictly the Vinaya for there are indeed many that do and some are highly attained and they do not touch politics at all.  But those monks who abandoned their  precepts they go back the monastery or commit the acts within the monastery in their robes thus they mock their preceptors, their elders and the saints, and those formerly held precepts and preach kindness and compassion with beautiful smiles on their faces.

If there are robed Sangha members joining with the FreeTibet movement with this purpose then upon the joining they have openly committed parajika offense.  They are no longer considered monks by the rest of our global Vinaya Sangha. 

Gendun Drup, 1st Dalai Lamathis is the first Dalai Lama in Tibet.

Stephanie Brigden, director of the Free Tibet campaign group, said the spate of protests were “aimed at sending the next generation of China’s unelected regime a clear signal that Tibetans will continue to fight for their freedom”.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/9663194/China-Communist-Party-Congress-teenage-Tibetans-set-themselves-on-fire-in-protest.html

The protests have divided exiled Tibetans with some seeing them as a legitimate protest while others worry they contravene Buddhist beliefs in the sanctity of life.

This shows that they do not have a large amount of support to continue this horrific trend. Since 2011 they have promoted this one method as a means to force China to end political repression of Tibet and declare it independent.

Many gathered for a candle-lit prayer vigil in Dharamshala, home to about 10,000 exiled Tibetans, on Thursday in front of a large poster bearing the faces of those who have self-immolated.

last paragraph states:

Last week, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay urged China to address Tibetans’ grievances saying she recognised their “intense sense of frustration and despair which has led them to resort to such extreme means”.

Here is a good short article on CNN.com and reasonable summary of why it is not working for those promoting suicide in Tibet.

So why does the self-immolation of one man accomplish so much, but the same gesture performed by so many others accomplishes nothing? Perhaps the question should be phrased differently, because a closer look at Bouazizi’s deed and the Tibetan cases reveals that it is something other than the sheer number of self-immolations that makes them a catalyst for change.

Tunisians could easily identify with Bouazizi’s extreme predicament. His actions spoke to the community’s shared frustration and despair. But the demands of Tibetan self-immolators are varied. Some want a “free Tibet,” as do all Tibetan exiles, but others only want freedom of religion, or political autonomy, or the opportunity to study in Tibetan as opposed to Chinese, or the return of the Dalai Lama to Tibet.

Self-immolations that prompt political change are extraordinary and rare events. The ancient Greeks had two different words for time: chronos for ordinary time and kairos for time of special quality — a particularly propitious time for which our “right time” is a rather weak translation. For self-immolations to be politically successful, they have to happen in kairos. Bouazizi, Đúc and Palach had many imitators, but none since have achieved so much.

That’s why the high number of self-immolations among Tibetans lately could be read as an implicit admission of failure. Even though the first self-immolation by a former Tibetan monk, Thupten Ngodup, on April 27, 1998, in New Delhi, had some public impact, it failed to cause the political commotion that Bouazizi triggered in the Arab world. Nor have any of the other Tibetan self-immolators since.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/28/opinion/bradatan-self-immolation/index.html

Ok, since after this the piece is after all an opinion, gets sloppy.  Instead of saying more constructive and effective methods should be offered and participated by Tibetans the writer goes on to state that since the young teenagers who have only known occupied Tibet are doing it, they must be doing it for the attention.  So therefore the most effective means is suicide because it keeps the free Tibet issue in the world’s mindset and eventually we will get tired of it and do something!?

when you are in flames your presence cannot be ignored anymore.

It is a shouting game of sorts, except that no party shouts. The Tibetans express themselves by burning; the Chinese authorities do the same by shooting Tibetans. Then, another monk or nun engages in self-expression and everything starts anew.

Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan monk who spent more than 30 years in Chinese prisons and labor camps, once said: “For those who use brute force, there is nothing more insulting than a victim’s refusal to acknowledge their power.”

Rarely has the desire for recognition been so desperate and moving.

That’s how the article ended. Approval granted, gee… I guess this mean that CNN supports suicide to get attention???!!! And yes it just an opinion piece.

This is not a healthy turn for Western minds, suicides are illegal in our country.  In fact if the person survives one there is the inevitable court date to grant a mental facility authority over their life with repeated court appearances to monitor the person.  All to protect their right to life which they threw away or keep throwing away.  I think with our problems in our own country with a sharp increase of suicide among soldiers, depressed persons, emotional persons that CNN does not need to end an article showing the Tibetans want attention so they are now getting kids to kill themselves in Tibet because those kids got influenced because they were born in Tibet and thus are a product of the new Tibet. The lame line concludes… awwwh it’s so sad… but moving??? Huh?  moving as in inspiring??? where? whom? I don’t think so!! It’s suicide for attention.

Then I cam across a bitter fight over a name change.., a name change!  There are factions in Dharmasala right now being pushed by many Westerners to promote free speech… brentwerner is a vocal promoter.  They changed it from TGIE tibetan government in exile to CTA central tibetan authority…  And now life and limb are at risk, and those western supportors are confused… saye whtf? it’s free speech man… they openly criticize the repression, saying why now the Dalai Lama becomes the same s the Chinese govt, a Maoist.. well they said he stepping backward into what was Tibetan history of internal conflict….well he did study Mao they said and liked it way back in the 60s when the same fight erupted over people promoted to power.

Western ppl need to stay out of it,  stop condescending to a foreign ex-pates who abandoned their country and took their wealth with them.  Tibet has a long history of warlords among their people that was the reason they feel in the DL time, and in the past.  Now it comes again in India.  I wonder how long India will tolerate them.

Tibetan Buddhism is riddled with violence in Tibet and outside it. The attempted killing of Katrol Rinpoche by his own teacher and his repeated rapes is only the first time we hear from a victim directly. It has used the Tibetan warlord tactics fully, which means they abandon their precepts as monks to carry out politics.  This is the norm for them.  I now because what I read about them will not acknowledge their lineage as Vinaya.  For they have admitted they openly abandon precepts to carry out gains in political power.  I will not support Tibetan Buddhism as it is.  It must reform to be considered Buddhist to begin to regain their ancient wealth in Buddhist history and contributions to it they must retreat back into the guidance of good monks and nuns.  I am not saying there are not good monks and nuns who never abandon their precepts in Tibet for any reason.  There certainly are.  However, regarding Vinaya precepts being abandoned freely by the monks that hold them, this is certainly shameful and will bring the downfall of Tibetan Buddhism.

Many in the West are naive, especially those who jump on the freetibet movement after studying in Tibetan Center.  Later they leave, and it’s the case now because of this  warlord mentality over-reaching the guidance of the Triple Refuge and 5 Precepts they were given.  As people West lose patience with the suicides they will withdraw their donations.  Thus inhibiting the growth of authentic teachings being offered and hurt the potential for their continue practice in the West.

Right now, I see most of the intellectuals in the West are gone, leaving the sincere but new to the culture, the crazies, the emotionally weak, the depressed, the psychotic and those you really do not need in your movement.  Right now I see anarchists joining your movement for the sheer joy of destruction, yes I’ve checked their FB walls, they care only for anarchy, not about Tibet, not about your causes or your conflicts.

Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chinese culture

Invisible visablity and I thought I was the only one who grew up that way! :( Now I know of many, many others!!!

 

Description unavailable
Description unavailable (Photo credit: Maja_Larsson)
National Geographic Magazine (1948) ... My 16-... National Geographic Magazine (1948) … My 16-year-old daughter wants to get her driver’s license! ….item 2.. Help! My family makes me explode with anger. — Please give me some advice! (February 10, 2012 / 17 Shevat 5772) … (Photo credit: marsmet542)
Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician (with hi...
Benjamin Spock, American pediatrician (with his first granddaughter, Susannah) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did a google search on invisible visability, and guess what lots of books and lots of blogs from women came up, just similar to me. Hmmm..   All were devalued, unwanted by their mothers and probably once I read more their fathers too.

Wow!  What is with those parents of the 40s, 50s, and 60s! Bad parenting all round?! Why? They were cherished as a generation.  What changed their minds?

Was it Dr. Spock?  Drugs!? what…??

I have nothing to add to their words, except one thing.  You get over it.  You get on with your life.  And you don’t have regrets.  If you do it right, your mom has no regrets.  This is true compassion if you practice Buddhism you will get me.  Being invisible just gets you more freedom.  It gives you the authority to make all your choices in life and really see they are truly your choices.

In my case growing up unwanted didn’t even enter my mind as such a possibility   It came when mom confessed to me that was the case a few months after Dad died.  But it sure explained a lot! I got it.  I didn’t miss it.  I don’t mind it!  I never got angry, never needed to.

I had bliss in not having all the facts. I see now it’s made me more aware, more caring than the rest of the clan, less obstructed by emotional self-whipping that they engage in and less prone to addictive behavior that they have.  Lucky me!!!!!

I am truly happy at 52 realizing that hell, it don’t matter one bit!  I made choices all my life for my well being  that’s what you get when you are unwanted by your mom and dad.  That’s the first gift of freedom, personal responsibility for your own well being!  You raised yourself! Some areas of my life are mysteries like having to make small talk with small groups, making relationships work in the moment like power networking for livelihood and survival.  I’d just like to say it’s really not all that necessary to live a good life, it is more peaceful when you don’t have to keep a scorecard.

I feel sorry for those keeping angry about it, harboring the hate from neglect or abuse.  I can’t because I didn’t feel it, it was abuse an emotional type, but really I CHOOSE to forgive and forget it.  I love my life as it is, I’ll continue to adapt, accept, and move on when things happen or I happen to it.  Either way it’s so good!

English: Benjamin Spock, Miami Book Fair Inter...
English: Benjamin Spock, Miami Book Fair International, 1989 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)