Posted in Buddhist community activities, Buddhist Culture, Dharma Books, On the Path, Precepts Holders, Sangha Relationships, Solitary Living, Temple life, Vinaya

Sangha Conduct – Advice to Americans in robes invite for contributors

English: Chinese Buddhist monks performing a f...
English: Chinese Buddhist monks performing a formal ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Regarding my invite for Sangha members to contribute their wisdom to Sangha Conduct-Advice to Americans in Robes.

Only Sangha fully ordained in robes presently in good standing are asked to contribute.

Living anywhere you have to deal with Americans in robes, or if you are an American in robes; any ethnic group, any tradition. Declare your tradition and give me a brief autobiography

Living in solitude on your own or living in community.

Any level of English, it will be edited for typos and grammar as best I can do.

ANY STYLE, poetry, plain speak, write like you telling another Sangha member some needed advice.  Share stories if you wish, keep the dharma names in them or make an obvious fake name, something like Ven.  ChattyKathy or Ven. Snipesalot… you know be creative or not.  ANY way you write is perfectly ok.

The deadline is Monday June 24, 2013.

And no limits to length on your contribution, but at least a page not a sentence. No Koan, no gungan; Haiku if you must but need to include a lesson or verbiage to add to it or increase our understanding in the Vinaya or Buddha dharma or life in general.

All your work if you have citations include them if not I will find what I can if citing sutras or other ppls words declare in the sentence (paraphrased/written by/from NAME if have year or page great if not just a name).

Write for the Sangha not the public.

It will be on Amazon through my account for sale. Selling a book there does not make you rich, I’m not rich, occasionally I get a partial tank of gas out of it every few months or so. Mostly it’s for benefit of future generations. You can sell it too, I’ll give you advice a bit later on that.

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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.

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, Chinese culture, Conflicts in Buddhist Life, Mahayana culture, Sangha Relationships

Mentally ill sufferers cannot find a “cure” in Buddhism

My wife reading in bed. And it wasn't because ...
My wife reading in bed. And it wasn’t because she was trying to get to sleep. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Buddhism
Buddhism (Photo credit: shapour bahrami)
English: Image for mental health stubs, uses t...
English: Image for mental health stubs, uses two psych images – psychiatry (medicine) and psychology (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Trazodone
Trazodone (Photo credit: Divine Harvester)
Rethink Mental Illness
Rethink Mental Illness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mind training is certainly beneficial but if the person cannot make their own effort outside the temple or retreat place it cannot be beneficial. Too many times in the USA people turn to Buddhist centers or temples for “cures” for their very serious mental health problems and go away devastated when they cannot benefit outside after the retreat or service. 

The truth is that the mental illness must be addressed first, for many that means medicine. The psychiatric world in the United States has in the past met the needs of the mentally ill with therapy and behavioral therapy. But alas, the person’s insurances will only pay for 10 sessions a year or for the lifetime. That along with medicines has proven stability. Because of the insurance company policies it forced a change so that now, psychiatrists only rely on medicine not therapy. 

The second problem is the choice entirely of the mentally unwell. They often stop therapy first not because of insurance but because they want to slip “out of it”. They are addicted to the state of being unwell. They stop progressing deliberately. And because in most cases by our rights for health choices are protected by law parents, spouses, and friends cannot force them to continue the beneficial treatment. This happens in every case I have seen personally. The person makes a deliberate choice to return to the unwell state and refuses to go to therapy or in many cases take medicines. So they slide down into chaos and they love it. It’s true and seems unbelievable. 

I am a twin of a sister who has history of depression (she hid it until we were forced to deal with her breaks from reality in psychotic episodes requiring hospitalizations for month at least 3 to 6 times a year) and repeated suicides (3 big life threatening attempts a year), now she is in a nursing home – she attempted suicide and had a stroke that left her paralyzed on the left side of her body due to overdose of Trazodone.   http://www.livestrong.com/article/83762-side-effects-trazodone-overdose/  My twin sister is the one on your left in the coat and white sneakers sshe had been through 3 years of psychotic breaks and repeated hospitalizations at that point the stroke happens later in 2007.

She was a prescription abuser a former nurse who knew exactly how to work the system to her benefit. She would be hospitalized doing really great, then get released and continue therapy for 1 week or 2 weeks and stop and slide downward so fast it was scary. No reasoning, no pleading, no rescuing, no logic to it, just her choice to slide down.

I am a bhikshuni, it took me years to get what was going on with her, because I was her twin and I was easy to fool because I was used to her behavior. I was always copying her in world outlook and caused myself unnecessary grief when I reasoned the same way due to the fact I didn’t know her history. I tell you, something you must not apply as cure like our Buddhist training. It’s for our each and every one of us to use to relieve our suffering and correct our own thinking is gradual process, not a therapy. I had to figure my sister out myself… parents hid her problems from me. I had to unlearn unheathly thinking. It took me quite awhile and now I am very happy to be me without all that learned unhealthy thinking. Because I had my truths: I am happy always, I see the world as positive place, I see others as my support, I see me as worthy, I see my faults and know I can correct them, my goals are changing and support my life satisfaction

I do not suffer from depression or mental illness when my sister started having breaks with reality, I ran to the doctor for evaluation and worry about myself becoming unwell and raising my daughter. I was reassured by the doctor and received counseling to get over my stress, because I had to rescue her many times and was a single mom with a 4 year old newly separated from my husband and hurting from that myself. They said I was handling myself beautifully. I would wait until the house was quiet and cry from the stress (they said I needed that and not to repress it). Almost every night. Until time took care of me. I got over it because I had moved on.