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Thread: Death of Master Sheng Yen

  1. #1

    Death of Master Sheng Yen

    I just received word that Chan Master Sheng Yen passed away in a hospital in Taiwan last night at 4 A.M. (Taiwan time). A wonderful and sincere teacher. Of course, he has gone no where ... or perhaps somewhere good. Of that I am sure.

    You can read a little more here:

    He departs with the respect of many people for many
    things, not least of all that, faced with kidney failure, he declined offers
    of a life-prolonging transplant, saying "Using a good kidney on an old man
    would be a waste...." That appeared in Chan Magazine (spring, 2008). He was
    79 at the time.

    His death poem (composed shortly before his death)

    > ???*??
    > 空裡???*?
    > ??'????
    > ??*??可????
    > Busy with nothing, growing old.
    > Within emptiness, weeping, laughing.
    > Intrinsically, there is no "I."
    > Life and death, thus cast aside.

    (JUNDO: The above resonates with other themes we were discussing here today. Thank you for the teaching Master Sheng Yen!)

    His biography

    I am saddened to inform you that Venerable Master Sheng Yen of the
    > Dharma Drum Mountain in Taiwan and the Chan Meditation Center of New
    > York passed into Nirvanic bliss in Taipei on February 3rd, 2009, 3 am
    > (Taiwan time: February 2nd, 4 pm) at National Taiwan University
    > Hospital at the age of 79.
    > Master Sheng Yen was born into a humble farming family in Nantong
    > County, near Xiaoniang Harbor, in Jiangsu Province on January 22, 1930
    > (December 4 in lunar calendar). Master Sheng Yen became a monk at age
    > thirteen. He began as a frail novice, yet he was destined to become
    > one
    > of the most influential Buddhist clerics in modern Chinese history and
    > in the renaissance of Western Buddhism. Master Sheng Yen was a Chinese
    > lineage holder of both the Linji and Caodong Chan Buddhist schools,
    > the
    > founder of the Dharma Drum Order of Chan Buddhism, the founder of the
    > Dharma Drum Mountain Center for World Education, the first Chinese
    > cleric who received a Ph.D. degree in Buddhist studies from Rissho
    > University in Japan, a stellar Buddhist scholar of Ming Buddhism
    > and of
    > Master Ouyi Zhixu (1599-1655), and an active advocate of environmental
    > protection.
    > Master Sheng Yen came to New York in 1976, soon after receiving his
    > Ph.D. He might have confined his activities to the pastoral
    > guidance of
    > the immigrant Chinese community. Instead, he embarked upon the more
    > difficult challenge of teaching Chan to Americans. He overcame many
    > obstacles: language, culture, prejudice, logistics and financial
    > difficulties. Until 2006 when he became ill, he divided his time
    > between New York and Taipei, training generations of Chan
    > practitioners
    > with methods skillfully adapted to the contemporary problems facing
    > his
    > students.
    > Master Sheng Yen was a dedicated scholar and prolific writer. His
    > collected work, /Fagu Chuanji/, amounts to over 100 volumes, covering
    > topics as diverse as Tiantai and Huayan philosophies, vinaya, Buddhist
    > scriptural commentaries, Indo-Tibetan and East Asian Buddhist
    > histories, Chan Buddhist studies, and comparative religions. He also
    > wrote many popular books introducing Buddhist teachings to both
    > beginners and those with a more advanced understanding of Buddhism.
    > He spoke out for what he called spiritual environmentalism: the
    > essential task of purifying our environment by first purifying our
    > minds. This is more than just philosophy. It is a call for personal
    > commitment coupled with practical goals that will benefit all the
    > peoples of the world. Many in Taiwan and in other countries have
    > responded to this exhortation with great enthusiasm.
    > Master Sheng Yen was one of the foremost contributors to the vital
    > Humanistic Buddhism of Taiwan that blossomed in the 20^th century. He
    > was an exemplary leader of contemporary Chinese Buddhism, combining a
    > deep understanding of Buddhadharma with an equally profound concern
    > for
    > the welfare of all sentient beings. He was a warm, insightful, and
    > inspirational teacher to his many students around the world. All who
    > encountered him were touched by his personal concern and his
    > remarkable
    > ability to communicate difficult ideas simply??always with wit,
    > compassion, and a profound sense of humor. Master Sheng Yen will be
    > deeply missed by Buddhist practitioners, scholars of Chinese Buddhism,
    > and everyone who had the good fortune to meet him.

  2. #2

    Re: Death of Master Sheng Yen

    I just read that on Dosho Port's blog and was going to post here about it.
    :cry: Sad news indeed. A truth we must all face, but we face it together.

    Gassho, Shohei

  3. #3

  4. #4

    Re: Death of Master Sheng Yen

    Yes, it is sad. May he go forth in Nibanna. Master Sheng Yen was a great teacher.

  5. #5

    Re: Death of Master Sheng Yen

    Gratitude to Sheng Yen.


  6. #6

    Re: Death of Master Sheng Yen

    I'm really sorry for his death :cry:

    He was a great teacher...

    .................................................. ........................

    Deep Gassho for him....

    Gassho, Mujo

  7. #7

    Re: Death of Master Sheng Yen

    May he continue to inspire us all to live the Dharma as he did. Deep bows to Chan Master Sheng Yen.


  8. #8

    Re: Death of Master Sheng Yen

    I was saddened to read this. I have no words but a quote from Buddha that seems to fit Master Sheng Yen's life.
    The whole secret of existence is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.


  9. #9

    Re: Death of Master Sheng Yen

    Someone who touched the lives of so many will be sorely missed, though he lives on, and his journey continues. Peace and sympathy to all who sorrow at his passing.

    Deepest, most sincere bows,

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