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Pure Mind, Pure Land — A New Lifestyle for World Harmony Ven. Jian Hu Chung Tai Chan Monastery, Taiwan Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale, California &

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Presentation on theme: "Pure Mind, Pure Land — A New Lifestyle for World Harmony Ven. Jian Hu Chung Tai Chan Monastery, Taiwan Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale, California &"— Presentation transcript:

1 Pure Mind, Pure Land — A New Lifestyle for World Harmony Ven. Jian Hu Chung Tai Chan Monastery, Taiwan Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale, California & Buddha Jewel Monastery, Seattle, Washington, USA

2 Harmony on Earth? Paradise, Heaven, Utopia, Eden In Buddhism: Pure Land, nirvana, Buddha Land What makes a Pure Land?  People: in harmony, free from sorrows and delusion, beyond death and rebirth  Place: no suffering, crimes, injustice, poverty … In Zen Buddhism, we believe Pure Land can be realized here on earth.

3 Buddhism in China Buddhism has been a great force for harmony, inner peace, culture, and art Mount Emei, Sichuan Province, China

4 Buddhism in China Yungang Grottoes, Shanxi Province, China, 460~525 CE

5 Buddhism in China Five Bodhisattvas, 534~550 CE, Chung Tai Museum

6 Buddhism in China Diamond Sutra (in Chinese), the oldest dated printed book in the world

7 Buddhism in China Thunder Peak Pagoda by West Lake, Zhejiang Province, China

8 A Chung Tai Story Everyone coming together do something worthwhile —the power of harmony

9 Founder, Grand Master Wei Chueh Chinese Zen, or “Chan” lineage

10 “WHEN OUR MINDS ARE PURE, OUR LAND IS PURE.” —Vimalakirti Sutra

11 “When our minds are pure, our land is pure.” Case 1: If our land is impure, then our minds are impure. – What are the problems of our current world? – What are the causes? Case 2: To build a Pure Land, we need to purify our mind. – How to purify our mind? – How does “pure mind” lead to “Pure Land”?

12 Fundamental Buddhist Principles I.Pure mind (bodhi mind, pure awareness) II.Causality (cause and effect, karma) III.Dependent Origination (interdependence) IV.Emptiness  These are the tools for understanding and solving our problems.

13 Pure Mind

14 Three-feet long chopsticks (or, how people eat in heaven and hell) Zen Story

15 I. Pure Mind We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with an impure mind And suffering will follow you As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart. —The Buddha, Dhammapada (1:1)

16 I. Pure Mind We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world. Speak or act with an pure mind And happiness will follow you As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart. —The Buddha, Dhammapada (1:2)

17 Pure Mind What is an “impure mind”? A mind is impure if it is polluted with the “Three Poisons”: 1.Greed (desire, craving) 2.Anger(hatred, annoyance) 3.Ignorance (delusion, misunderstanding) The Three Poisons are in all of us. I. Pure Mind

18 What is a “pure mind”? A mind free of the Three Poisons – SHARING instead of GREED – KINDNESS instead of ANGER – WISDOM instead of IGNORANCE This is the “bodhi mind”, our true nature, which is also present in everyone. I. Pure Mind

19 What is a “pure mind”? A mind free of the Three Poisons – SHARING instead of GREED – KINDNESS instead of ANGER – WISDOM instead of IGNORANCE This is the “bodhi mind”, our true nature, which is also present in everyone. Pure Mind What is a “pure mind”? A mind free of the Three Poisons –SHARING instead of GREED –KINDNESS instead of ANGER –WISDOM instead of IGNORANCE This is the “bodhi mind”, our true nature, which is also present in everyone. Causality

20 II. Causality Cause and effect: Fundamental principle of nature Karma: Action Must consider consequences of our actions Impure mind  bad karma  suffering Pure mind  good karma  happiness

21 II. Causality Analysis of Problems and Suffering – Family – Education – Crimes & War – Business & Economy – Starvation, waste of food, meat eating, – Global warming

22 Zen Story Master Zihu caught a thief

23 II. Causality—Family Problems Desire: can become overly demanding of one’s spouse or children. Anger: impatience with them Ignorance: failure to understand what they are going through. Result: frequent misunderstanding, frustration, conflicts, miscommunication

24 II. Causality—Education Problems Greed: purpose of education is to make money? Anger: rebellious against learning, teachers Ignorance: what the true value of education is.

25 II. Causality—Education Problems Incredible food, napkin, paper waste at every high school Unable to deal with pressure and stress (high school suicides) Do not write well (West & East), twitterese Unhealthy food served in cafeterias California budget: “make us dumber, not safer” 1980: 17% on education, 3% on prisons Now: 9% on education, 10% on prisons Failure to see education as long-term investment on the well-being of a society

26 II. Causality—Crimes & War Greed – Wanting money, control, land, resources, people Hatred – Personal or national vengeance Ignorance – Misunderstanding of each other’s intentions and needs

27 II. Causality—Crimes & War E.g. Taiwan & China Same peoples, same culture, same language, same heritage 60 years of “cold war”, endless time and resources wasted (1.5hr flight  whole day) Finally, hope of cooperation this year Buddhism: China  Taiwan (1940s) Now, Taiwan  China (2010?)

28 II. Causality—Crimes & War Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By compassion alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal. —The Buddha, Dhammapada 1:5

29 II. Causality—Business & Economy Greed and deceit: maximize profit as 1 st priority – Corporal corruption: blinded by profit – Enron, Lehman Brothers, Bernard Madoff, Washington Mutual Bank (option ARM) … Anger: crushing opponents – Lawsuits – Unethical tactics Ignorance: – What customers really want – Success ≠ profit by any means

30 II. Causality—World Hunger & Over-eating 1 billion people overweight 1 billion people hungry Greed: eating for flavor, not need Ignorance: – School cafeteria promote unhealthy eating habits – Animal suffering – Where food come from, how they are made – More later II. Causality—World Hunger & Over-eating

31 II. Causality—Vicious Cycle Greed  dissatisfaction  more greed Hatred  vengeance  more hatred Ignorance  foolish behavior  suffering  anger In all cases, the problems start with selfish interest, and ignorance of others’ needs. II. Causality—Vicious Cycle

32 Dis- satisfaction Greed

33 II. Causality—Vicious Cycle VengeanceAnger II. Causality—Vicious Cycle

34 Foolish behavior Ignorance II. Causality—Vicious Cycle

35 Foolish behavior Ignorance VengeanceAnger Dis- satisfaction Greed

36 II. Causality—Vicious Cycle Foolish behavior Ignorance VengeanceAnger Dis- satisfaction Greed

37 II. Causality—Vicious Cycle Foolish behavior Ignorance VengeanceAnger Dis- satisfaction Greed

38 II. Causality—Vicious Cycle Foolish behavior Ignorance VengeanceAnger Dis- satisfaction Greed

39 II. Causality—Positive Cycle Reverse the negative cycle with: – Pure mind, right understanding – Sharing, kindness, wisdom Why? – To rid of suffering – To attain happiness and harmony Why don’t we do it?

40 Zen Story “Nobody confined me.” –Third Patriarch of China

41 II. Causality—Vicious Cycle Foolish behavior Ignorance VengeanceAnger Dis- satisfaction Greed

42 Benevolent behavior Understanding ForgivenessKindness SatisfactionSharing II. Causality—Positive Cycle

43 Dependent Origination

44 Also known as: – Conditional co-arising – Interdependence – Interconnectivity Understand the causal relationships we have with all things in life The key to turn suffering into happiness III. Dependent Origination

45 This is here because that is here This exists because that exists. This is gone because that is gone. This perishes because that perishes. —The Buddha III. Dependent Origination

46 III. Dependent Origination— Business Maximize own profit: greed and ignorance Google, Amazon.com and Twitter: maximize customer experience TOMS shoes: charity is part of biz model 75 Green Businesses Disciple donates large % profit from green biz to Zen center Take into account interdependence, should we maximize: mutual benefit? Customer satisfaction? Self and the environment?

47 III. Dependent Origination— Economy MicroFinance (Muhammud Yunas): based on trust, helping the most needed, empowering local people, self-sustaining (*e.g. two Berkeley girls help China) Sustainable economy  must take responsibility for the environmental – Zero or positive impact for all our endeavors Denmark experience: world leader in wind and renewable technology

48 III. Dependent Origination— Education The purpose of education – To make $$$? – Confucius: become a virtuous person, serve the country – Buddhism: Education for enlightenment and service Pu Tai Schools (Elementary—High School) – Education of mindfulness and right understanding – Core: Respect, kindness, harmony, and truth – Knowledge: languages, culture, science, world-view

49 III. Dependent Origination—Education War on terrorism: – Fighting hatred with hatred (vicious cycle) – Do not get to root of the problem “Three Cups of Tea” –story of Greg Mortenson – Fight terrorism one school at a time – Iraq war costs $2 billion a week, how many schools would that build? – Counter hatred with compassion and wisdom III. Dependent Origination— War & Crimes

50 III. Dependent Origination— Global Warming “American way of life”—“the good life” ? – The way we eat – The way we use and waste resources – The way we dispose and pollute – self-destruction and destruction of earth – Not sustainable – Not true expression of equality and freedom

51 Current (U.S.) utility policy demanded: cheap, reliable, ubiquitous energy for users – Which ignored: energy efficiency, CO2 emission, better energy management, clean fuel alternatives, and enormous problems for our children – Problems: air pollution, asthma, acid rain, deforestation, bio-diversity loss, global warming “Dirty Fuels System” –Thomas Friedman III. Dependent Origination— Global Warming

52 Fuels from hell: coal, natural gas, oil – From underground, limited, pollute earth Fuels from heaven: solar, wind, hydro – From above ground, unlimited, clean Clean Fuels System – Smart grid energy management – Little or no poisonous waste to nature – Everyone’s responsibility Energy 2.0: every household an electric generator III. Dependent Origination— Global Warming

53 III. Dependent Origination— Buddhism on Environment Be like the honeybee That draws the nectar from the flower Without diminishing its beauty and fragrance —The Buddha

54 Master Sengzao: “The sky and the earth are of my same root; all things are of my same body.” 天地與我同根,萬物與我同體 Strict regulations on cutting trees Encourage creation of parks, forests, bridges Many Zen teaching takes place while planting trees Prohibits polluting the environment. E.g. spitting on living grass or water source is prohibited. III. Dependent Origination— Buddhism on Environment

55 Killing  land becomes barren, weaken useful herbs Stealing  frost and hail, locust and pests, famine Carnal indulgence  wind, rain, and dust calamities Lying  surroundings become stinky and dirty III. Dependent Origination— Buddhism on Environment

56 “When eating meat, think of it as eating the flesh of your own child.” –Lankavatara Sutra, the Buddha The Buddha once sacrificed himself for a pregnant deer, which moved a king to forbid hunting in Deer Park. The great Buddhist King, Ashoka, widely planted forests, forbid meat in the royal kitchen, and set up animal hospitals. III. Dependent Origination— Buddhism on Environment

57 Chung Tai Chan Monastery – Community of nearly 2000 people, monastic and lay – Simple, thrift, sharing, reuse everything lifestyle – Wash garments by hand, sun-dried – Organic veggie farm: 40~70% of food – Kitchen waste becomes fertilizer and soap III. Dependent Origination— Buddhism on Environment

58 Chung Tai Chan Monastery – Carpool network across Taiwan – New green classroom building at Pu Tai School – 223 Solar panels provide 110% electricity at Calif. (20k sq ft) center – Annual Green Action Day, with interfaith panel III. Dependent Origination— Buddhism on Environment

59 Spiritual health  physical health & environmental health Inner Pure Land  External Pure Land Silent meditation: key to purity & peace III. Dependent Origination— Buddhism on Environment

60 Problems: – Junk food cheap, health food expensive – Demand for cheap meat  great strain on environment and great suffering for animals – Top killers in developed countries: heart diseases, cancer, stroke, diabetes, high blood pressure (not crime or terrorists) – Exorbitant medical expenses III. Dependent Origination— Meat-Eating and World Hunger

61 Greed: excessive demand from environment Ignorance: total disregard for: – Environment – Other living beings – Natural course of things – The effect of our actions Buddhism: view food as medicine III. Dependent Origination— Meat-Eating and World Hunger

62 III. Dependent Origination— Mindfulness Eating This offering is the fruit of many’s work and care Reflecting on my conduct, am I worthy of a share? Be wary of the poisons, the foremost being greed Seeing food as medicine, I take only what I need Solely for cultivation, to realize the Buddha Way With gratitude I accept, this offering today. —Five contemplations before a meal

63 III. Dependent Origination— Meat Eating & Health Greed Great demand for animal flesh Human suffering Massive manure pollutes water, land, and air Crowded space for cheap meat Grow faster for cheap meat Mega-farms (factory farming) Growth hormones, antibiotics, enter human body Many diseases: bird-flu, hoof & month, SARS, Mad Cow, Salmonella and E. coli, H1N1, etc. Fat, cholesterol causes heart diseases, cancer, stroke, high blood pressure, etc. Exorbitant medical expenses

64 III. Dependent Origination— Meat Eating & Animal Suffering Greed Weak heart, lungs, and organs, chronic pain Growth drugs and excessive demand for eggs, milk, and flesh Crowded space, grow faster Mega-farms Hens forced to lays 260 eggs/yr instead 20 Natural lifespan of chickens: ≥7 years; farms: 6 weeks Cows forced to milk 10x natural capacity In-fighting, debeaking, branding Unethical treatment, great animal suffering Massive extermination: 23 million chickens/day killed for food (U.S.) Many diseases Great demand for animal flesh Feeding dead animals to themselves Never see sunlight or turn around; living in own feces

65 III. Dependent Origination— Meat Eating & Earth Greed Great demand for animal flesh Deforestation, extinction of species (1 acre lost every second) Feed animals grains instead of grass Mega-farms, factory farming 3x the damage to earth: trees lost, burning, livestock farming 1 billion people malnourished, largest % ever in human history Produce methane and other green house gases Nitrogen fertilizers depletes soil and pollutes earth Earth suffers: livestock industry pollutes more than transportation Meat eater uses 20x resources vs. a vegetarian (≥50% crops for livestocks)

66 III. Dependent Origination— Meat Eating So many inter-related problems with one false belief: we are meat-eaters. The question is not whether animals can reason or talk, but: CAN THEY SUFFER? With that we destroy our health, the health of life forms on earth, and the health of the planet.

67 III. Dependent Origination—Go Vegetarian Carnivore Sharp clawsSharp front teeth (tearing)No flat molarSmall salivary glandsStrong acid in stomachIntestine 3~6x body lengthHandle fat & cholesterol Herbivore Flattened nails or hoovesBlunt front teethFlat molar (grinding)Well-dev’d salivary glands20 times weaker acidIntestine 10~12x body length?? Human Flattened nails Blunt front teethFlat molar (grinding)Well-dev’d salivary glands20 times weaker acidIntestine 10~11x body lengthHEART ATTACK

68 III. Dependent Origination— Go Vegetarian Anatomically, physiologically, and historically, humans are primarily herbivores (studies from Stanford, Harvard, etc.) If difficult to change eating habits, start with Go Vegetarian One Day A Week

69 III. Dependent Origination— Go Vegetarian “The biggest step people can take to help combat global warming would be to stop eating meat.” —Chairman of IPCC, United Nations The meat industry contributes more than 18% of all the greenhouse gases, more than all air, land, and water traffic combined. —United Nations Actually, it causes much more: 51% of all GHG—the biggest contributor to global warming. —World Watch

70 III. Dependent Origination— Go Vegetarian If everyone goes vegetarian for just one day, the US would save: – 100 billion gallons of water – 1.5 billion pounds of crops fed to livestock – 70 million gallons of gas – Reduce 1.2 million tons of CO2 – Etc…. Starting on the right foot, everything falls into place: healthier, ethical, no animal cruelty, eco-friendly, solves world hunger.

71 III. Dependent Origination— Go Vegetarian Solution for energy crisis: difficult, high-tech – Change from Dirty Fuels System to Clean Fuels System requires countries, local governments, utilities, businesses, and households to work together Solution for livestock problem: simple, no-tech – Go vegetarian (1-day, 2-day, 3 … day a week) But both requires everyone to get involved

72 Emptiness

73 “It is neither this nor that, but it can be this or that.” Emptiness—Snap out of fixed concepts and beliefs Green house gases are not bad—they are crucial for our survival—just keep in balance Problems are not bad, they make us wiser

74 Emptiness Less is more Benefit the self by benefitting others— the Bodhisattva Way When the self is empty, the self becomes infinite, all-embracing, completely open

75 Zen Story These budding green bamboos Are the body of the Buddha; Those vibrant yellow flowers Demonstrate the prajna wisdom. Nature continuously speak the Dharma to us. —Master Huizhong, Tang Dynasty

76 Emptiness — Learning from Nature Lotus effect: self-cleaning wall paint Algae (diatom): grow bio-silicon cells Green plants: turn CO2 into starch; CO2  bio-degradable plastics Learn from shells (mineral scaling), starfish (bio-lenses), sea sponge (fiber-optics), bacteria (batteries), spider (silk), locust (collision avoidance), gecko (self-clean adhesives) …. (ref: Janine Benyus, Biomimicry)

77 Emptiness — Learning from Nature Green chemistry, instead of (harmful) industrial chemistry Fertile agriculture: earth more fertile even as we take from it (ecosystems do this naturally; perma-culture) Integral approach—many functions together, minimal resources 3.8 billion years of R&D, 10+ million species are our teachers Are we on top of the food-chain? Crisis  Hope (wisdom of emptiness)

78 Zen Story Bodhidharma and the Pearl

79 VI. From pure mind to Pure Land

80 V. From pure mind to Pure Land Pure mind, pure awarenessRight understandingPure actions (karma)Pure world (harmony)

81 VI. From pure mind to Pure Land Key concept: turn from a mind that is self-centered to a mind that is centered on sharing (well-being of others) But is this satisfying on a personal level?

82 A mind that is not focused on the self is, ironically, the happiest. Healthy mind  physical health,  inner peace,  harmony with others,  Pure Land. At all levels: person, family, business, society, politics, global affairs VI. From pure mind to Pure Land

83 Family level: communication and understanding Business: fulfill people’s needs first, profit model follows Society: focus on education, giving back what I gained Globally: governments cooperate to serve citizens of the world Result: A lifestyle that makes world harmony possible.

84 Zen Story Layman Pang Pang: “Difficult! It’s like spreading ten buckets of sesame seeds on top of a tree!” Wife: “Easy! I see the Buddha’s meaning on every blade of grass.” Daughter: “Neither easy nor difficult; when I’m hungry, I eat; when I’m tired, I sleep.”

85 The right way is actually, the most natural way When the starting point is right, everything falls into place. Prajna wisdom: – The highest form of giving is non-giving: to give without thinking that you’re giving – The perfection of kindness is when nothing can cause anger—the mind is always at peace. VI. From pure mind to Pure Land

86 Example: Chung Tai Chan Monastery – Puli, Taiwan, founded by Grand Master Wei Chueh A Buddhist community of 100+ monasteries and Zen centers, monastics, and hundreds of thousands of disciples Living according to the bodhisattva principle: attain enlightened wisdom and to share that wisdom VI. From pure mind to Pure Land

87 Pure Mind, Pure Land— A New Lifestyle for World Harmony (Actually, this way of life existed since the dawn of civilization)

88 Many thanks to Ven. Jian Wei, Ven. Jian Tan, Ven. Jian Ying, Ven. Jian Zong, Jian Shu, and Ven. Jian Ren feedback and suggestions; and Diana Ma for technical consultation. Most of the photos are taken by Ven. Jian Nian Powerpoint design by Charlene Tse


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