Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Dharma Books, Dharma Talks, On the Path, Temple life, Translation Resources

Lack of common language limits understanding in Buddhism

English: Buddha. In the Jewel of learning (Dha...
English: Buddha. In the Jewel of learning (Dharma).In the Jewel of community (Sangha). The jewelled and golden Buddha sits with mind focussed and concentrated like a Cobra at Samye Ling Monastery. A striking image and you can do walking meditation round the lake. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Dharma Wheel. This is one of the most importan...
Dharma Wheel. This is one of the most important buddhist symbols, and represents the Noble Eightfold Path taught by the Buddha. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lack of common language limits successful understanding.  I have seen, heard and read about the constant struggle of laity to achieve success in their own practices because they did not have a common language with a dharma master or wat, vihara, temple or center in which they sought to study and practice Buddha dharma.  I have first hand knowledge of ordained Sangha that do not know their adopted culture or it’s language and are stuck as a servant, living years at a lower level of practice than what they can achieve had they been aware of detailed teachings.

These Westerners and some Asians have little or limited access to their own dharma master’s meetings and teachings due to poor translators or no translators.  Since they do not have any notable level of training they often seek outside of Buddhism to survive in work or in other religious practices or faiths beyond Buddhism, even if they have been a novice of 30 years or fully ordained for 5 years.  If they do not have competency at least one of these areas:  listening, speaking, writing the temple language or even if they are not pursuing a line of Buddhist study and just seem to be taking up space then it keeps them at the ‘newbie’ level.  They are the same as a tourist would be in their own understanding and ability or lack of ability to teach Buddha dharma with any degree of skill.

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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 community activities, Buddhist Culture, Buddhist Health and Wellness, Chan - authentic Masters words, Chinese culture, Mahayana culture, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships, Translation Resources, Vinaya

Build Iowa’s First Nunnery

 

Build the first Iowa Buddhist nunnery

Build the first Iowa Buddhist nunnery. The need to train in English is what has been missing for 160 years of Buddhist history in the United States.  This place will meet the needs of residents of this state interested in Buddhist study. The nunnery monastics will provide traditional services, cultural, educational, and practical training for those interested in Buddhism.

To understand Buddhism in the USA you need Sangha that speak English.  To train you need to be able to ask detailed or receive detailed instructions in order to progress or you are the perpetual visitor with no real depth.  You are limited by language or can’t access masters of higher levels to grow.  Even you may never know who the Elders are that are talented, capable dharma masters famous in their temples for being teachers but they live in obscurity to most in the USA.  Personal contact with robed Sangha is lacking for most interested in Buddhism and greatly needed.  Temples in the East coast or West coast have some limited English programs but all are ethnic funded and full training is better in their own language, clearer, higher level of instructions and attainments by laity is very possible but not if you don’t know their language.  This is a significant obstacle to your practice in Buddhism.

The first Bhikshuni fully trained and ordained has arrived in Iowa.  This is a good first step for Iowa.  Ven. Hong Yang is an Iowan and a woman fully ordained in the Dharmagupta lineage of the Bhikshuni Sangha in Taiwan.

A cool history this Iowan.  She was tonsured at Xi Fang Temple, Brookyn, NY. She left home resolved on 9/11/2001.  She decided to stay in XFT helping in NYC, many needed to recover their spirits.  She working with and trained as a sramaneri alongside the other temple’s masters.  She is a 11 year English-Chinese translator of the Taishio Tripitaka which is in Chinese. She has published 5 books, 3 volumes translating the standardized daily recitations in the Chinese Buddhist temples into English and one rare translation of the Bao Hua Mountain monk Ven. JiXian De Qing.  The translation project will continue in the nunnery.  She and others will offer training to those interested in becoming translators.  Also she is in charge of a historical documentary film  of Buddhism in the USA is currently underway digitizing material from actual Buddhist monks and nuns who reside in the USA as they offer it documenting what has never been documented called “Sangha Walks”.  See more about this on www.sanghawalks.org

Iowans are savvy to Buddhist trends but lack access to reliable dharma masters in traditional Buddhism.  Due to the increased awareness of Buddhism and most often one of its famous methods is meditation a decision has been made to create a stable place right here to learn about Buddhism. We need a stable place so many dharma teachers can come and teach about Buddhism.  A variety of masters offering training in different schools will improve access to higher level reputable traditional teachers.  The teachers invited to come here are from the Vinaya Sangha; they must hold full precepts and be properly trained.  In order to attract them to our place, it needs to be set up first properly.  If prayers alone can motivate the Dalai Lama to come to Iowa like he did last year then it’s quite the timely to fulfill his instructions to us residing monks and nuns to become leaders of Buddhism in Iowa.  A broad base and open respectful minds will be the cornerstone of the visiting public to this new nunnery.

Iowans are proud of their history.  The historical significance to note here is of being the first nunnery that is Buddhist, second to that is the protected training environment for women and thirdly that English be the primary spoken and service language.  So that the members of the public that asks for, learns well, practices and brings back benefits to their community by enjoying traditional services, counseling, mental health services, meditation, classes, cultural events art and cultural events.

Iowans are by their very nature generous and curious.  Donate if you want to make your historical mark right now!  Be proud to be sponsor and make  your mark in Iowa history and add to Buddhist US history in our Sangha Walks project that will also flourish in a permanent collection online and media.  Care about yourself enough to create merit and virtue, benefit all aspects of your life and reduce the karmic cause and effect of negative seeds sprouting in their due time when you contribute selflessly.

What We Need & What You Get

We are open to a house, or commercial building or land purchase.  We recognize it requires more money for remodel or building on the space.  We wish to keep it minimal but safe.  Green but efficient use of space, growing fruits and vegetables, but technology embraced in media.  We are wishing to create a healthy and secure environment for you and your family to enjoy your studies and classes at our nunnery:

We need at least $40,000 total funding.  We at least need a down payment of $3000 plus 6 months operating expenses of $18,000.  We may need remodeling funds including the purchase of new appliances or major repairs up to $20,000.  Basic utilities run about $200 a month, food needs around $300 per month.   Core living costs are covered also we need liability insurance of $5,000 to cover public events to meet legal requirements and codes.

The rewards for Indiegogo:  There are very traditional Buddhist rewards offered.  The malas and the Jade were brought from Taiwan from very traditional Buddhist family store.   Most temples sell them for basic food or medicine needs. The ones offered here are the personal purchase made by Ven. Hong Yang during her training and ordination.  This means the good karma of her training and ordination has a ripple effect that is passed on in good intentions to anyone who buys or donates or receives on of these!  See the rewards for details.

All funds raised in excess of this project if not needed must be dispersed as the Vinaya guides us. The basic 4 requisites of food, clothing, shelter, and medicine are all that Buddhist monks and nuns require.  Woman have the hardest time in Buddhism to receive even the 4 requisites after they become nuns so this funding source is also greatly needed and appreciated so priority will go to this group out of compassion for the need is great. May your good karma of your generous act increase and grow 10-fold throughout your life and those of your family’s.

The Impact in Iowa and the Mid-West

Stability is made when a place to practice is also available that is basic in comfort and accessible to all who study Buddhism from traditional teachers known as the Sangha, the robed ones.  Mind training is an individual effort but training is offered in a group setting that also can give one the advantage of feeling and being emotionally and socially supported.

Build Iowa’s First Nunnery

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Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Chan - authentic Masters words, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Translation Resources

Indiegogo Build Iowa’s First Buddhist Nunnery

http://igg.me/p/158236?a=813234

Build Iowa’s First Buddhist Nunnery. Please click to go to the Indigogo site and

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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 Dharma Books, Dharma Talks, On the Path, Translation Resources

Rise Up! Morning Service is out!

It’s now out on amazon! I’m tickled pink to see my book there! I am waiting for their search inside feature to get put in.  It will be fun to see how it works.

http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Up-Buddhist-Practice-Morning

Vol 1 Morning Service