Dharma Drum Publications

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Dharma Drum Publications is a nonprofit publisher of books on Buddhism and Chan (Zen). Our titles are published in appreciation of Buddhism as a living philosophy and with the commitment to preserve and transmit important works from the Chan Buddhist tradition. Dharma Drum Publications is a part of the Institute of Chung-Hwa Buddhist Culture, Chan Meditation Center, 90-56 Corona Avenue, Elmhurst (Queens), NY 11373. Tel: (718) 592-6593; Fax: (718) 592-0717; e-mail: ddmddp@yahoo.com; URL: http://www.chancenter.org/.

The Institute of Chung-Hwa Buddhist Culture is a nonprofit, educational institution founded in 1979 by Venerable Master Sheng Yen, Ph.D. Its primary objective is to promote a correct understanding of the practices and teachings of Buddhadharma. As part of the Institute of Chung-Hwa Buddhist Culture, the Chan Meditation Center is a place of serenity and self-cultivation. It offers a variety of activities ranging from Buddhist philosophy classes, beginner's meditation workshops and chanting ceremonies to intensive seven-day Chan retreats.

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../images/bullet.gif (1069 bytes) Chan Magazines (full text)   

bullet.gif (1069 bytes) Books by Chan Master Sheng Yen

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Footprints in the Snow
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

In this landmark memoir, a renowned Buddhist master traces his spiritual journey against the panoramic story of China from the pre-Communist era to the present.

 Master Sheng Yen devoted much of his life to spreading the teachings of Chinese Buddhism, a practice that antedates the more familiar Japanese and Tibetan traditions throughout the world. He became known in the United States after he began founding meditation centers here in 1980. In Footprints in the Snow, he tells the remarkable story of his life and spiritual education in Footprints in the Snow.

From descriptions of the private world of Buddhist masters to first-hand accounts of Chinese history, it is a rare document that is both an important look at China's past and a compelling spiritual journey across a lifetime. Sheng Yen’s story is of a life lived in the last years of the People's Republic of China, the Sino-Japanese War, and the founding of the People’s Republic of China. An eye-opening slice of modern history as well as an authoritative introduction to an ancient religious tradition, Footprints in the Snow will appeal to spiritual seekers, travelers who want to understand more about China, or anyone looking for a fascinating story.

Shattering the Great Doubt
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

Huatou is a skillful method for breaking through the prison of mental habits into the spacious mind of enlightenment. The huatou is a confounding question much like a Zen koan. Typical ones are "What is mu [nothingness]?" or "What was my original face before birth-and-death?" But a huatou is unlike a koan in that the aim is not to come up with an answer. The practice is simple: ask yourself your huatou relentlessly, in meditation as well as in every other activity. Don’t give up on it; don't try to think your way to an answer. Resolve to live with the sensation of doubt that arises, and it will pervade your entire existence with a sense of profound wonder, ultimately leading to the shattering of the sense of an independent self.
Master Sheng Yen brings the traditional practice to life in this practical guide based on talks he gave during a series of huatou retreats. He teaches the method in detail, giving advice for dealing with the typical pitfalls and problems that arise, and answering retreat participants’ questions as they experience the practice themselves. He then offers commentary on four classic huatou texts, grounding his instructions in the teaching of the great Chan masters.

The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

Here is a spiritual practice uncomplicated enough for anyone to learn, yet rich enough to be worked with for a lifetime. The traditional Chan (Chinese Zen) practice called Silent Illumination begins with nothing more than putting aside all thoughts except the awareness of oneself "just sitting." It’s so simple in execution that it has sometimes been called the "method of no-method", yet simple as it is, the practice is subtle and profound, with the potential for ever subtler refinements as the practitioner moves toward mastery of it. When fully penetrated, this radical form of emptying one's busy mind-stream leads to perception of the vast ocean of pure awareness.

Attaining the Way
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

This is an inspiring guide to the practice of Chan (Chinese Zen) in the words of four great masters of that tradition. It includes teachings from contemporary masters Xuyun and Sheng Yen, and from Jiexian and Boshan of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). Though the texts were written over a period of hundreds of years, they are remarkably lucid and are perfect for beginners as well as more advanced practitioners today. The main points of spiritual practice are covered: philosophical foundations, methods, approaches to problems and obstacles—all aimed at helping the student attain the way to enlightenment.

Orthodox Chinese Buddhism
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama called Master Sheng Yen, the author of Orthodox Chinese Buddhism, "a true spiritual practitioner of deep and broad learning." As a long-time monk, scholar, and founder of monasteries in Taiwan and America, Master Sheng Yen is uniquely qualified to explain the correct -- or "orthodox" -- beliefs that have guided Chinese Buddhism for over 1,500 years. Written while the author was on solitary retreat in Taiwan, OCB was Master Sheng Yen's response to many questions he received about Chinese Buddhism. Using a question-and-answer format, the book explores a wide range of subjects, from what it means to be a Buddhist to sudden enlightenment. This English translation is therefore a welcome addition to the Western literature of Buddhism, and includes new annotations, appendixes, and a glossary designed for the Western reader.

Song of Mind: Wisdom from the Zen Classic Xin Ming
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

"No words can explain enlightenment," says the seventh-century Chan classic Xin Ming (Song of Mind), yet paradoxically, this poem is a masterpiece of expressing what cannot be expressed in words. In his commentary, Master Sheng Yen takes a practical approach, opening up the language of Xin Ming to show students how to approach meditation, how to deal with problems that arise in their spiritual practice and how to accomplish the imperative task of integrating this practice into every aspect of one's life. "True understanding comes only with direct experience," according to Master Sheng Yen. "These lectures, the Buddhist sutras, songs, poems and commentaries are useful only insofar as they encourage you to practice and incorporate the Dharma into your daily life."

The book takes the form of a week-long retreat with Master Sheng Yen, with each chapter in the form of an evening talk given on a particular section of the text-giving this book a uniquely intimate feeling and creating an impression of being right there with the master as he brings this classic to life. 

Getting the Buddha Mind
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

A wonderful introduction to Chan Buddhism. Throughout this book there are detailed descriptions of the seven-day retreat: the schedule of each day, practice, posture, meals, interviews. Click here for more.

The Sword of Wisdom: A Commentary on the Song of Enlightenment
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

The Sword of Wisdom is a penetrating commentary on the Song of Enlightenment, a famous Chan text that speaks of proper methods and attitudes of practice. In this book, compiled from a series of lectures delivered during intensive meditation retreats, Master Sheng Yen gives valuable advice and guidance to those who are practicing Chan meditation. His lucid words offer fresh insight into a timeless philosophy that will be beneficial and inspiring to anyone who is interested in Buddhism.

"When I listen to Master Sheng Yen's presentation of Chan Buddhist teachings, my immediate and very profound feeling is that I am listening to words of wisdom from someone who is very experienced and a great practitioner."

--His Holiness, The Dalai Lama

Hoofprint of the Ox: Principles of the Chan Buddhist Path as Taught by a Modern Chinese Master
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

Drawing its title from a famous series of pictures that symbolizes the Chan path as the search of an ox-herd for his wayward ox, Hoofprint of the Ox is an inspirational guide to self-discovery through mental transformation. Click here for more.

Illuminating Silence: The Practice of Chinese Zen
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

A thought provoking introduction to Chan (Chinese Zen) through the teachings of the influential Master Sheng Yen. This is a rare opportunity to gain an insight into the practice of a Chinese Zen retreat and the ideas behind it. Click here for more.

There is No Suffering: A Commentary on the Heart Sutra
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

There Is No Suffering is Chan Master Sheng Yen's commentary on the Heart Sutra. He speaks on the sutra from the Chan point of view, and presents it as a series of contemplation methods, encouraging readers to experience it directly through meditation and daily life. Click here for more.

Subtle Wisdom
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

Master Sheng Yen, a dharma descendant from the founders of Buddhism in China, considers the concepts of suffering, enlightenment, and, compassion provides a glossary of key terms; and briefly recaps the history of Buddhism in China. But he goes beyond these issues to discuss contemporary matters and questions he has encountered in his years of teaching in the United States. Sometimes personal and always instructive, Sheng Yen's introductory work is perfect for those just coming to Buddhism, and for those who are already very familiar with the Tibetan and Zen schools.

"Chan cannot be separated from Buddhism. Since the time of the Buddha, masters have given 'transmission' of his wisdom to their disciples when they demonstrated experience and understanding of the Dharma. As a result of this form of recognition, lineages have developed and have become separate schools of Buddhism. This does not mean that each sect holds only part of the Buddhadharma. What is transmitted in the Chan school (and others) is, in fact, the whole of the Dharma." --Chan Master Sheng Yen

Faith in Mind
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

This guide to Chan practice is based on "Faith in Mind," a poem by Chan Master Seng Ts'an. Master Sheng Yen writes: "I did not adopt a scholarly point of view or analytical approach. Rather, I use the poem as a taking-off point to inspire the practitioner and deal with issues that arise during the course of practice. The Chinese phrase 'faith in mind' contains the two meanings of 'believing in' and 'realizing' the mind. True faith in mind is the belief grounded in realization that we have a fundamental, unmoving, and unchanging mind. This mind is precisely Buddha mind."

The way is perfect like a great
Without lack, without excess.
Because of grasping and rejecting,
You cannot attain it.
Do not pursue conditioned 
Do not abide in acceptance of
In oneness and equality,
Confusion vanishes of itself.

--From the poem, "Faith in Mind"

Zen Wisdom: Conversations on Buddhism
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

In this book, Chan Master Sheng Yen answers questions from his students with clarity and depth. Collected over several years, these conversations focus on the simple yet seemingly elusive principles of Chan practice. Combining wisdom with knowledge of the contemporary world, Master Sheng Yen shows us that Chan and the Buddha's teachings in general are still fresh and relevant in the present day. 

He explains that, to practice Chan, we need to learn the teachings of the Buddha, and to apply those teachings in daily life as well as in Chan meditation. He also emphasizes Chan as the way of a bodhisattva, for whom wisdom and compassion are inseparable. Zen Wisdom will provide clear and useful guidance to beginners as well as seasoned practitioners of the Buddha's teachings.

The Poetry of Enlightenment
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

"To my knowledge there are no anthologies of Chan poetry in Chinese, Japanese or English which describe in detail the method of practice and the experience of Chan. Furthermore, there are few prose sources in English dealing with the same topics. The purpose of these poems is to specifically show you how to practice, what attitudes to cultivate and what pitfalls to beware of. Finally, they attempt to describe the ineffable experience of Chan itself. These poems flow directly from the minds of the enlightened Chan masters; we get a glimpse into their experience at the time of, and after their enlightenment. In contrast, reading a kung-an (koan) gives us an objective account of what happened and we don't really know what was in their minds.

It is my hope that this collection will give those who are interested in practice a new way of looking at Chan and a more balanced view of the scope of Chan literature. These poems are offered to make this tradition available to Western readers, who may otherwise not be aware of their existence. They include works by Shih Wang Ming, Master Fu, Seng Ts'an, Niu T'ou Fa Jung, Yung Chia Hsuan Chueh, Shih T'ou Hsi Ch'ien, Tung Shan Liang Chieh, and Han Shan Te Ch'ing."

--Chan Master Sheng Yen

Complete Enlightenment
by Chan Master Sheng Yen
Forward by Thich Nhat Hanh

Complete Enlightenment is the first authoritative translation and commentary on the Sutra of Complete Enlightenment, a central text that shaped the development of Chan and East Asian Buddhism in general. Master Sheng Yen incisively applies the sutra to practice in contemporary life.

"The Sutra of Complete Enlightenment is a Dharma discussion between the Buddha and several great bodhisattvas in the presence of a large Sangha. If you know how to be there and how to listen, you will be able to actually participate in it. It is still going on."--Thich Nhat Hanh

"Complete Enlightenment is a sublime sutra of Mahayana Buddhism. Chan Master Sheng Yen has brilliantly elucidated this great teaching of the Buddha on healing the ills of everyday life and realizing Buddhahood, as it is, through the paths of sudden and gradual enlightenment."--Tulku Thondup

"Complete Enlightenment is a treasure house of the Dharma. Master Sheng Yen's wisdom and compassion, kindness and clarity beautifully illuminate this ancient Buddhist text of liberation. This is a wonderful book."--Joseph Goldstein


Dharma Drum
by Chan Master Sheng Yen

In Dharma Drum, Master Sheng Yen offers fresh insights into the ways we can bring Chan study and practice into our daily lives. Part One includes anecdotal explanations of the history and concepts that shaped Chan Buddhism, along with careful explanations of methods for meditation and other practices. Part Two pulls us into the rhythms of practice itself, with aphorisms and bits of guidance for people at any level of practice.

"In Buddhism, awakening from the long dream of life means realizing your self-nature. ... Although we may understand that our lives are dreamlike, we still bear responsibility for this sleeping and waking dream. We must make our minds simple, peaceful and tranquil. Sincere and rigorous practice lets us calm both body and mind, which in turn allows us, day by day, to reduce our karmic obstructions."

--Chan Master Sheng Yen


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