2014 Fall Chan Meditation beginners' workshops

Chan Meditation classes for beginners will be held in September and October 2014, please see upcoming events for more detail.

2015 Summer major event

Great news! Ven. Guo Jun is planning to do a Chan retreat in the Vancouver area in August 2015. More information will be posted when available.

2013 Fall Meditation Class Review 

Chan(Zen) Meditation workshop in Courtenay, BC

Description of the Chan teaching retreat in Courtenay with Diane

Nine of us met in Courtenay at the Bowling Green for two days to share the teaching of Chan Master Guo Jun as represented by Diane Kennedy. Essentially, the weekend was an intensive review of was to induce a profound relaxation state and prepare the body/mind for the experience of Just Sitting. We practiced Deep Inhalation Sigh (DIS), Progressive Muscular Relaxation (PMR), the breathing patterns three-one-five (3-1-5) and four-two-six (4-2-6), Deep Abdominal Breathing (DAB), Deep Body Scan (DBS) and Just a prelude to Silent Illumination.

(click on the picture for larger image.)

2013 Summer Retreat Flash Back 

This year's summer retreat was held at Sea to Sky Retreat Center. The beautiful setting with views of an emerald lake and mountain peaks was very conducive to relaxed intensive practice. Master Guo Jun reviewed techniques taught last year and progressed us along with even more tools and inspiration. We were encouraged to connect with ourselves and with the environment. There was a new twist with the teacher interviews as they were conducted outside under the huge pine trees. Also, we had lots of opportunity to experience hiking with our open and settled minds and on the last morning together we ventured up to a peak for sunrise. Master Guo Jun indicated that he feels the community has progressed to the point that we should begin to offer longer retreats and that he hopes to be able to return next summer for a longer period.

7-day Meditation practice and Hiking Chan (July 17-23, 2013)

(Please click on the picture for more detail.)

Art Chan workshop and Dharma talk (July 26-28, 2013)

* 2012 retreat flash back is available here: Master Guo Jun in Vancouver, 2012


Quote from Chan Master Guo Jun:
"Sitting itself will not give you enlightenment. Meditation will not give it to you. It will only lead you to the brink. Retreating from the world will not liberate you. Happiness is not found in a secluded forest hut or an isolated cave. Enlightenment comes when you connect to the world. Only when you truly connect with everyone and everything else do you become enlightened. Only by going deeply and fully into the world do you attain liberation. This is the meaning of the star-the sudden illumination of our connection to the rest of the universe."
~"Essential Chan Buddhism" by Guo Jun~

What is Chan (Zen)?  

Chan (Zen) is inconceivable and inexpressible. The five principles of Chan which summarize the Chan approach are:

  1. Not relying on words and languages.
  2. A special transmission outside the teachings (In the Chan expression, "Finger Pointing to the Moon." The finger refers to Chan teachings).
  3. Direct pointing to the mind (which is often referred to as the moon).
  4. Insight into the mind and seeing into one's own nature.
  5. Sudden awakening and attaining Buddhahood.

Chan, the Chinese expression which is also popularly known as "Zen" in Japanese, is not something new brought here to the West by Asians. Chan is present everywhere: in space without limit and time without end. Nevertheless, the teachings of Chan have been brought from India to China, and further on to Vietnam, Korea, Japan, and finally the West. Although the Dharma of Mind (Chan) is beyond thinking and speech, the Dharma of Teachings is transmitted by Chan Masters in order that Chan practitioners will be able to realize Chan.

The core of Chan teachings are listed in the form of questions and answers (Q&A) as follows:

  1. Q. What is Chan?
    A. Chan is to live an ordinary life with an ordinary mind. Ordinary life is the life of inner peace and true happiness. Ordinary mind is the mind of wisdom and compassion (loving-kindness).
  2. Q. What is wisdom and compassion?
    A. In our daily life, wisdom is the living attitude that does not put our "self" (self- centeredness) into the situation. In our daily life, compassion is the living attitude of impartially helping all sentient beings in "just the right way."
  3. Q. How do we cultivate wisdom and compassion?
    A. Wisdom and compassion cannot be attained through cultivation; wisdom and compassion are intrinsic to all sentient beings.
  4. Q. How do we manifest "ordinary mind"?
    A. "Letting go of all conditions and letting not one thought arise" is the prerequisite of Investigating Chan. At the right moment of "great resting,"the ordinary mind (Chan mind, Great mind, or Buddha mind) manifests simultaneously.
  5. Q. What is "true awakening/true liberation"?
    A. A truly awakened and liberated one is able to see "things-as-they-are" and "things-in-themselves," that is, he/she has the profound insight of "independence" and "interdependence" ("Inter-being" and "Inter-penetration"), which are manifested spontaneously from the true nature of ultimate no-self.

Chan (Zen) Community Canada 

Chan (Zen) Community Canada is popularizing the Chan (Zen) teachings by way of establishing the local Chan (Zen) Communities, and for the purpose of carrying out the Chan (Zen) practice and compassionate caring. Hence, all Chan (Zen) practitioners in the local Community is able to nourish their intrinsic merits and wisdom so as to contribute to the peace, harmony, altruism and happiness of the worldly communities.

The calligraphy logo of Chan (Zen) Community Canada looks like a practitioner meditating, was painted by our primary teacher Chan (Zen) Master Guo-Jun, is actually a Chinese expression of "Emptiness" (i.e. "Sunyata" in Sanskrit or "Ultimate Emptiness", "Emptiness in Its Ultimate Principle" in Chinese)--the essence of Chan (Zen).