10-Day Intensive Huatou Retreat
"Don't be concerned with whether or not you get enlightened, just simply pick up the huatou."
Photo by Moonching Wu - firstname.lastname@example.org
|Teacher: ||Guo Ru Fashi, a Dharma Heir of Master Sheng Yen|
|Begins: ||Friday June 15, 2012 check-in 4:00-6:00pm|
|Ends: ||Sunday June 24, 2012 11:00am|
|Openings: ||Available - register online|
Huatou, when translated literally, means "the origin of words" or that which comes before words and language. This refers to the state of mind before any words or conceptualization has arisen, and more precisely, that which exists before thought arises. Thus, huatou is the source of all words, the source of all thoughts, the fundamental nature of the mind. Yet huatou is also a method that we use to point directly at this mind, and in the process, put aside all other concerns.
When we investigate huatou, we utilize questions such as "What is my original face before my parents gave birth to me," or "What is wu?" These puzzling, seemingly illogical questions rouse a sense of deep questioning about ourselves, which is referred to as "the doubt sensation". If one can then penetrate the this doubt, one discovers that which one has always had, and subsequently finds real peace and ease within oneself. This is the generation of wisdom and compassion.
The Huatou method will be taught in the context of daily life activities, such as sitting, standing, walking, sleeping, working, and eating. Chanting and gentle yoga exercises further harmonize the body, breath, and mind. The retreat also includes daily lectures, meditation instruction, guided meditation, and personal interview.
Note: This is an intensive retreat, intended for practitioners who:
- have established a routine personal practice
- have prior retreat experience (3-day or longer meditation retreat)
Guo Ru Fashi
Guo Ru Fashi is one of the earliest monastic disciples of the late Chan Master Sheng Yen (Shifu). He became a monk under Shifu's guidance at the age of thirteen. When he was eighteen, Guo Ru Fashi studied Buddhist principles at the Fo Guang University, later earned his Bachelor's degree at the National Taiwan Normal University, and then gained a doctorate degree from the University of Georgia. In 1984, at the invitation of the Malaysian Buddhist Association, he served as a national specialized teacher of Buddhism in Malaysia and head of education at the Malaysian Buddhist Studies Institute. For over 20 years, has been teaching Buddhist principles and Chan practice extensively throughout Asia. In 2005, he received Dharma transmission from Shifu, thus taking on the role of one of the Head Trainers at Dharma Drum Mountain's Meditation Hall in Taiwan.
Guo Ru Fashi's Dharma talks include teachings from a broad spectrum of Buddhist theory. At the same time, his talks are full of the wisdom of how to apply these teachings in our daily lives. His manner of speaking is energetic, as he brings his enthusiasm for helping others into the talks, expressive in confidence as well as humor. You can listen to his Dharma talks from a 2009 retreat in our Teachings section.
Guo Ru Fashi has carried on the style of Chan training that Shifu utilized in his early days of teaching, making use of methods which are specifically characteristic to huatou practice-such as shouting, hitting, and pressing students in a dynamic and spontaneous manner. In this way, he helps huatou practitioners to suddenly put a stop to the mind's grasping consciousness, thus allowing the mind to be without any attachment. In this way, one opens up to the reality of life, experiencing completeness and freedom.