7-Day Intensive Huatou Retreat
"Don't be concerned with whether or not you get enlightened, just simply pick up the huatou."
Stone lion with wasp's nest
|Teacher: ||Guo Gu (Jimmy Yu, Ph.D.)|
|Begins: ||Thursday December 26, 2013|
|Ends: ||Wednesday January 1, 2014 11:00am|
|Openings: ||Available - register online|
|Deadline: ||December 22, 2013|
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 Gu (Jimmy Yu, Ph.D.)
Guo Gu is one of Master Sheng Yen's senior lay teachers and translators, assisting with and leading activities at the Chan Meditation Center, Dharma Drum Retreat Center, and Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan. In 1982, while still quite young, he learned meditation from Master Sheng Yen, and began practicing Chan intensively in 1989. He was also the personal monastic attendant and assistant to Master Sheng Yen for almost nine years, and then in 1995, he was given permission by the Master to teach (inka) Chan. He has led retreats in various parts of the United States, Europe, and Asia.
Guo Gu is now the guiding instructor for the Western Dharma Teachers at the Chan Meditation Center. He received his doctorate in Buddhist Studies in 2008 from Princeton University, and is now an Assistant Professor at Florida State University. Currently, he is the teacher of the Tallahassee Chan Group which meets regularly at the Tallahassee Buddhist Community in Florida.
Guo Gu is the author of The Essence of Chan, and you can read his article "You Are Already Enlightened" in the Winter issue of Buddhadharma magazine. You can also listen to Dharma Talks by Guo Gu here and here.