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Studies on Humanistic Buddhism V: Humanistic Chan Buddhism


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Volume five of Studies on Humanistic Buddhism contains 8 articles translated from Chinese, 1 article that was written in English, and 4 student papers. The theme of the articles is Humanistic Chan Buddhism, particularly Fo Guang Chan as developed by Venerable Master Hsing Yun. Chan is the Chinese version of what in English is often known by the Japanese pronunciation—Zen.

The topic of Chan was chosen because it is the foundation upon which
Venerable Master Hsing Yun developed Humanistic Buddhism. He was the
48th lineage holder of the Linji school of Chan. The past tense is
used here because Venerable Master Hsing Yun passed away on the 5th of
February in the year 2023. He was one of the main protagonists in the revival of Buddhism, and in giving Chan a breath of fresh air. It is fitting that most of the articles in this volume discuss Venerable Master Hsing Yun and his take on Chan. One was written by the Venerable Master himself. He taught us that Chan is an intrinsic part of life, not a theoretical abstraction. He reminded us that Chan does not discriminate. Not only is it available to both monastics and laypeople, but also that “Chan is not exclusive to Buddhism…Chan is the treasure that lies within everyone.”

Our journal is just one humble fruit from the lofty tree Venerable Master Hsing Yun planted, nurtured, and grew. Within the fruit, each seed seems tiny, yet each contains the Buddha’s light. Let’s scatter these seeds widely. “The bodhi seeds of the Buddha’s light are sown across the five continents; when the flowers bloom and bear fruit, the whole universe will be illuminated.”

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