Shattering the Great Doubt: The Chan Practice of Huatou

Shattering the Great Doubt: The Chan Practice of Huatou

by Sheng Yen

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Overview

Shattering the Great Doubt: The Chan Practice of Huatou by 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 wu [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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590306215
Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
Publication date: 05/12/2009
Edition description: Original
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Chan Master Sheng Yen (1930–2009) was a widely respected Taiwanese Chan (Chinese Zen) master who taught extensively in the West during the last thirty-one y ears of his life, with twenty-one centers throughout North America, as well as dozens of others throughout the world. He has co-led retreats with the Dalai Lama, and he is the author of numerous books in Chinese and English, including Song of Mind, The Method of No-Method, and his autobiography, Footprints in the Snow.

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