Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chinese culture, Dharma Talks, Precepts Holders

Answering questions in Messenger: A Modern Sangha Western Chinese Bhikshuni

Buddhist Laity: Can you tell me why chanting is good to do?

Master: It helps you to balance your emotions. Then you can correct your thinking.

Buddhist Laity: Yes, I felt really calm with chanting today. So why do we dedicate the merit?

Master: So we keep our perspective and open opportunity for real assistance when needed.

We (You) give the assistance. Btw in those dedications in Chinese there is no “we”; it’s in command form implied “I”. Western translations that use “we or ours” are misinterpreting the original intent. It’s from the Christian perspective to use “we”; a common style in Christian liturgy.

Buddhist Laity: I’ve always dedicated merit but never asked why. Weird eh?
Master: Hardly anyone asks and very few have an answer for that question.
The whole service in temples is in command form “I” implied in non-English languages like Sanskrit, Pali, and Chinese. In English bits and pieces use plural and distorts the meaning.

Buddhist Laity: That’s interesting.

Master: Yep, that’s from my experience as translator.

Buddhist Laity: So it is an individual accountability rather than the collective?

Master: No. It’s individual practice with a group. Self-growth is most important focus and not accountability to a group or a leader. Group is for mutual support. So you don’t feel alone.

Some laity get their 5 precept robes in a knot when you can’t keep up or you are late but really that’s their issue not yours.

Chanting the sutras in the services links us to the ancient practice of “chanting sutras” that Sangha has done since Buddha passed. Sangha (meaning Bhikshuni, Bhikshu) still chant sutras.

Buddhist Laity: Thank you very much. I need to write this in a notebook. I think I need to start reviewing.

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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, 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 Buddhism, Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chinese culture, Dharma Talks, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Sangha Relationships, Theravada culture

Wow Finally Found some English Dharma talks that don’t flinch!

Ven. Guan Cheng has a 22 video series about the Diamond Sutra on youtube.  It’s in English and is done well for it does present the Chinese Buddhist view in a very clear useful way that we westerners can absolutely get and understand!

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6D738AB1EB1660E4

Posted in Buddhism, Dharma Books, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Translation Resources

Resources for Translators, a query answered

This is quite large, sorry.

Right now I’m editing a 100 page Chinese scroll in the yogacara bhumi sastra, well in english it’s past 300 pages so far, since font is set up for large typeface for easy reading. It’s a course translation very rare and I’m nearly done. It’s a teaching on the practice of dana; particularly emphasis is to reach out to ease the sufferings of those in great suffering, and  to the hungry ghosts (preta) and those unfortunates abandoned with no family, deceased from violent or suddent means, unborn deceased, and many others.

In the near future I’ll work on my vinaya translations and I’m looking for the commentaries in the chinese to be my next huge, pretty sure it will be huge number of scrolls on this. And of course I’ll finiIsh up the other schools translations as part of that work.

I heard from other scholars there are 4 or more versions of abhidharma in that Chinese collection and look forward to seeing all in english one day.

Buddhist Hybrid sanskrit in Chinese is a study all it’s own. Yes they have Pali in the Chinese texts, I find it all over the place, yes I’ve got notes, no…they aren’t typed up… they are in a tub…. a very very large one… maybe when I get old I’ll do something about it… hahaha…

The Buddhist Literary Heritage Project

http://www.buddhistliteraryheritage.org/

The Digital Dictionary of Buddhism has many links a valuable resource for translators and students of Buddhism

http://www.buddhism-dict.net/ddb/

Wikipedia has a list of the contents but has no links per line, there are resources tho’

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Portal_talk:Buddhism#T22_Vinaya_Division_I_.281421_.E2.80.93_1434_sutras.29

Columbia University

http://www.columbia.edu/~gas2122/oicb.html

Relevant Resources of Chinese Classical Studies

http://www.princeton.edu/~classbib/02electr.htm

Sacred Texts Archives -Buddhism

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/index.htm

Siddam

http://www.siddham.org/yuan_english/sutra/main_sutra.html

Fodian Net

http://www2.fodian.net/BaoKu/EFoDian.aspx

International Dunhuang Project

http://idp.bl.uk/

Buddhanet.net has a large pdf collection of all the traditions sutras and many short courses for self-study.

http://www.buddhanet.net/index.html

Translations of Gampo Abbey
http://www.gampoabbey.org/translation-committee.php

Free Dharma Texts (you pay the postage they list that’s all) – note all schools listed and most Chinese temples have them all in their librarys and to give away.

http://www.budaedu.org.tw/en/book/II-02main.php3

Early Buddhists Manuscript Project

http://ebmp.org/

An absolutely huge collection of various masters works translated into english – explore others on the sidebar besides Han Shan’s poetry.

http://www.poetry-chaikhana.com/H/HanshanColdM/

Mahayana Sutras in English
http://www4.bayarea.net/~mtlee/

Numata Center
https://www.bdkamerica.org/default.aspx

Alphonses Taisho Tripitaka index in english and chinese
http://www.e-sangha.com/alphone/tripitaka.htm

Tibetan and Himalayan library

http://www.thlib.org/avarch/mediaflowcat/project_tree.php

Ok, so this is some of my links, should be a good start for those interested in looking up interesting bits about Buddhism and serious scholars alike.

Posted in Buddhism, Buddhist community activities, Dharma Books, On the Path

News! Dharma material about to be published!

I have just finished proofing my first dharma translation project to make it ready for publication. It’s the re-translation of the Buddhist Liturgy and reformatted with English and hanyu pinyin and later it will be out in digital form. It was unexpectedly long project due to the publisher requirements and will be submitted this week! After speaking with the original translator and editor Ven. Master Lok Tok of the Enlightenment Temple in the Bronx, NY  of this dharma text, I was inspired to keep going on it. Amituofo! May many people benefit from this work!