Sunday, October 10, 2010

From Discomfort and Loathing to Awe at Wolong-Si

It’s a rough ride traveling internationally these days, and the prospects aren’t anything but dim for the future. I had a typically more than uncomfortable experience going economy to my trip to Xi'an, where I'll be on business. Luckily I did have time to make it to Wolong Temple. I'll have more to say about this Chan temple, the amazing recent history of Buddhism in China, and the immediate ancestor of this temple (and of Gao Min Temple in Yangzhou), Lai Guo.  He was a contemporary of the other great Chinese Chan teacher of the twentieth century, Hsu-Yun.

This is an aspect of Chan Buddhism, and Chinese Buddhism you pretty much never hear about, in the Western Buddhist media.  Meanwhile, feast on some photos. The first one before is a photo of Lai Guo, the ancestral teacher of the current generation at Wolong Temple.  One of the monks there was amazed to meet an American Zen person, and gave me a copy of Lai Guo's Seven  Chan Gate Record.  Unfortunately my Chinese is horrendously bad - I do not say that I speak any bit of Chinese and would have been thought a complete fool had not some student who just happened to know much much more English than I could type words into my iPhone Chinese dictionary could muster.  So, I have no idea what's in this work of Lai Guo, but if you Google him you'll find out a bit about him.  I'll have more to say on this later.  (Click pictures for more detail.)

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