Monday, November 22, 2010

Zen master Liu Huayang

Hui Ming Jing (慧命經) was written by Zen master Liu Huayang (柳華陽). For him, the kind of Taoist meditation that he practiced was the same as the Dharma as taught by Zen's sixth Patriarch Hui Neng, and his text interpreted many Buddhist texts in such as way as to support his contention. Taoist Richard Wilhelm called Liu's meditation method a hybrid of Zen and Taoist practice.

One of the students of Liu was Zen master Liao Ran (了然). And Liao Ran was one of the masters of Zhao Bichen 趙
避塵 author of the famous text Taoist Yoga (仙宗性命法訣) translated by Charles Luk, who was a Zen practitioner himself with one of his masters being a lineage Patriarch of Zen Buddhism, the famous Xu Yun (虛云) who was persecuted during the Cultural Revolution (and was reported that, after being beaten up seriously, laid unconscious for a few days and woke up again in good general health conditions!). Incidentally, it was Carl Jung who encouraged Charles Luk to translate classic texts on the subject (as mentioned by Charles Luk).

Although some Zen masters, such as the famous master Yin Guang (
印光法師) said these people, in particular Zen master Liu Huayang, were defaming Zen Buddhism, it does seem very likely that Taoist and Zen deep meditation methods did have many similarities in the past, if not influencing each other in the course of their separate developments.

For the modern man, it is suffice to know that Hui Ming Jing is an important book and classic on the subject of Taoist meditation, and worth our efforts to dig out what is relevant to us - as a Living Practice.

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