Posted in han shan

Master Silly Mountain

Han Shan Deqing (1546-1623)  is an important figure from the history of Ch’an Buddhism who isn’t well known. They called him Silly Mountain(not to be confused with the other monk named Han Shan, who they called Cold Mountain).

He lived in China and is regarded as a great reformer. He spent a lot of time just wandering from monastery to monastery giving teachings and helping spread the dharma. He was renowned as a great lecturer and commentator and he advocated practicing Ch’an and Pure Land practice side-by-side, which is  pretty universal in modern Ch’an Buddhism today.

It has been suggested that he questioned the value of the system of Dharma Transmission, saying that real enlightenment is beyond such things as certificates and doing the right rituals. Even today, in the modern west,  that’s a scandalous thing to say. Throughout much of the Ch’an/Zen community Dharma Transmission is considered beyond questioning.

Han Shan wrote many commentaries, lectures, and poems. He was a great inspiration to Master Hsu Yun and as such he is revered in the lineages that are descended from him, but outside of those groups he’s largely unknown in spite of his great accomplishments. Master Hsu Yun has long been an inspiration to me, but I’ve only recently delved into the teachings of his hero, Han Shan Deqing. (the hero of my hero is my hero? maybe)

You can read the “The Maxims of Master Han Shan” here.

I’ll close with an example of a poem that Han Shan Deqing wrote (source). I think this a profound statement about our practice on the path and requires no commentary from me:

 

“When the bow’s stiff, its string is first to snap;

The sharper a blade is, the easier to chip.

Trouble results from a talkative tongue,

Harmful deeds reflect a hardened heart.”


 

Upcoming Events

9/9/18: 9:00AM-10:15AM

tam bao

Dharma Talk and Meditation

Tam Bao Buddhist Temple

16933 E 21st St, Tulsa, OK 74134

I’ve been invited to travel to a beautiful Buddhist temple to give a dharma talk. While we’re there, we’ll have the opportunity to visit the largest Buddhist statue in America.

To learn more about this group, click HERE

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Author:

Daniel is a Buddhist Meditation and Mindfulness teacher. His background is rooted in the Zen Tradition and he was empowered to teach through the Dharma Winds Zen Sangha. Daniel runs a meditation group in Kansas City called Fountain City Meditation

One thought on “Master Silly Mountain

  1. Hi Daniel – never heard of Han Shan De Ching until I got your email today – thanks so much for the reference.  I was able to find a few more poem he wrote and here’s one them that I translated in honor of tonight’s full moon. All the best – Joe All is Well in the Company of the Full Moon (by Han Shan De Ching)

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    | | | | All is Well in the Company of the Full Moon (by Han Shan De Ching)

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