An Introduction to a Systematized Collection of Chenian Booklets No. 1 - 100

CW27: Introduction

CW27:1~6
Category I: No. 1 to No. 6_DICTIONARIES

CW27:7~19
Category II: No 7 to No.19_THEORY

Yogi C. M. Chen


It is with great pleasure that I now present to my readers this offering of a systematized collection of my booklets Nos. 1-100. The topics have been arranged in a natural and logical order to afford a full assimilation and deep comprehension of Buddhist thought and practice. I have been writing booklets in English for many years but have never before had the opportunity to organize them into a complete and whole system. Through the generosity of Dr. C. T. Shen this publication is now made possible and I would like to begin with a brief history of the conception and growth of my booklet series.

My initial attempts at writing in English occurred through the advice and persuasion of my first Buddhist Guru, Tai Shu. I first met and took refuge with this well-known teacher as a young scholar of 24 in Hunan Province. We met again several years later by chance in the Lao Shan (Mountains) of Changshih Province in China. The Second World War was about to erupt and fighting between China and Japan appeared inevitable. I was in the mountains helping Moyah Kunga Rinpoche build a pagoda of safety and refuge for our Guru Lola Rinpoche. Upon seeing Tai Shu again, he advised me to seek contact with the foreign Buddhists who were staying nearby in the Lao Shan. He told me that I must learn English and that this knowledge would help propagate world peace and the Dharma. I replied that the little bit of English that I once knew was completely forgotten and that I was not able to take on such a great task. Tai Shu answered, "I am not speaking from my own wishes and desires. You may be given a great opportunity to spread the words of the Dharma to Occidental people, so you must learn English." I could not imagine assuming such responsibility, but as I always considered Tai Shu my first Guru and believed his foretellings would come true, I kept this advice in mind and began to review my English.

During that period I had a dream in which another Guru, a Tibetan named Se Ka Chu Tzo, came and told me that after meditating in a cave for some time I must go to India. The violence of the Second World War was spreading throughout China so that shortly thereafter I had to return to my homeplace and help my family escape from the hardships of war. I settled them in a remote mountain region and then went to live by myself in meditation for two years in a cave named "The Flower Offering Cave." At the end of this time the War was won by the Allied forces and I received a telegram from my friend Mr. Wong Han Chu asking me to pilgrimage to India with him. In such a way my dream did in fact come true.

I left the "Flower Offering Cave" and went to my friends house to wait for my passport. While there, I prayed to the protector-deity Wei To to grant me help in obtaining my papers quickly. Wei To himself appeared to me and advised me again. "You must review English every day, even if only one word at a time. it is extremely important that you do this." I replied that I had just asked him to help me obtain my passport. I was not interested in learning English.

However, it did seem like a good idea to learn English for conversational purposes in India, so I located a bilingual edition of the Bible with English on one side of the page and Chinese on the other and read through it many times. I also decided that the best way to learn English was by actually using it, and so I just plunged ahead and sat down to write a small tract in English entitled "Still More Please," advising Christians to study Buddhism. This was my virgin attempt at writing English, but, when finished, there was no money to publish it.

In 1947 I settled into my long-term hermitage life in Kalimpong, India. I was corresponding with Dr. Evans-Wentz and he presented me with copies of the four well-known books he edited on Tibetan Buddhism. This gave me the opportunity on one hand to learn more English through English translations of Buddhism and on the other hand to attempt to write a criticism in English on the commentaries given by Dr. Evans-Wentz in these works. I was further motivated by this experience to correct some basic mistakes by students of Buddhism and decided to write a book entitled "The Discrimination between Buddhist and Hindu Tantras." I was supported in this project by Mr. Peter Gruber of New York who had a very deep personal interest in Tantra, but was unclear about the distinctions between the Buddhist and Hindu form. I finished this work and sent it to Peter but there was not enough money at that time to have it published. Soon afterwards through the help of my prayers, Peters business began to prosper and he donated some money to enable the translation of my Chinese work "The Lighthouse in the Ocean of Chan" into English. But there was still not enough money to have it printed. I earnestly try to be rich in Bodhicitta but poor in actual money, so I just prayed for a way that this Chan work could be published.

Peter came again to visit me in my Kalimpong hermitage and saw the 100 Tibetan images which a very skillful and learned artist had drawn for me. I mentioned that if there was money available, color photos could be made of these images and they could be printed all together in a book. Peter left me $100 for this purpose and I proceeded to write to a local photography studio to discuss the costs. The studio replied that $20 would be more than enough to cover the cost of the photographs, but that it would take a great deal more money than that to have them printed. I decided that there was little use in having the images photographed if they could not be published, and consequently I still had in hand that 100 dollars.

The English Bhikku Sangharakshita was living at that time in a monastery he had built in Kalimpong. At his request, I had given a talk on preaching which he greatly appreciated. Being the editor of the Mahabodhi Society publication, he arranged to have it printed in their next monthly issue. But I have always had the idea that words on the Dharma should not be commercially sold. We Buddhists did not have to pay any money to obtain the blessed teachings of the Tripitaka. I thought, how much better it would be if my works could be printed and freely distributed all over the world. I began to consider that it might be possible to obtain the necessary donations to publish my books in small booklet form, a chapter at a time of each of my manuscripts mentioned above. It also seemed to me that young people today, being lazy, would prefer small pocket books which could be easily and quickly read at one sitting. With such thoughts and the remembrance of Peters $100, I decided to publish Booklet No. 1, "A Talk on preaching." This was the beginning of my series. There was no plan for publishing any booklets beyond those possible with the $100 immediately available.

600 of my Chinese Buddhist poems had already been published in Hong Kong. Peter greatly appreciated this literary form and arranged to have fifty of those poems translated into English. In India everything is considerably cheaper than in the West, and at that time 1000 copies of a twenty-page booklet cost only $20 to have printed and assembled. I was thus able to publish these poems as my second booklet, entitled "The Flute."

There was still some of the original $100 left, so I took the opportunity to publish the first Chapter, "The Crucifixion," of my virgin work in English, and this became Booklet No. 3. A very important chapter of "The Discrimination between Buddhist and Hindu Tantras," entitled "The Universe," became Booklet No. 4, and a chapter of my book "The Lighthouse in the Ocean of Chan," called "A Frank and Sincere Talk on Chan," was printed as Booklet No. 5. In such a manner I used the $100 given to me by Peter and my first five booklets were able to be distributed free of charge all over the world.

Since that time my readers have increased from 100 to more than 800 and I never even ask them for the postage charge. For each booklet I have to pass the first difficulty of obtaining money to cover the printing charges, and then must buy the stamps to send them. I have a poem about this:

After printing, Ive borne the hard job thats high cost,
Before getting stamps, I do envelop them first.
Though my foreign readers even ask for Air Mail,
Ive to wait for free help and call the Holy Ghost!

No matter how difficult it was, it was still my hope that after readers tasted one chapter from each of my books, they would be interested in sponsoring the publication of other chapters in booklet form, or even the whole work. As it happened, word spread about my booklet series and Buddhists from all over the globe began to visit me in my hermitage and some of them voluntarily and spontaneously donated money to continue the publication of my works. This unexpected change enabled the publication of 57 booklets before I left India and came to the United States.

The purpose of the first five booklets was basically to make my work known to the public and see how they would respond to the ideas and thoughts presented. Consequently, there really was no system or order considered in the publication of these first booklets. Having no funds of my won, I was forced to rely completely on the voluntary contributions of others and by necessity had to bend my writing efforts towards the subjects and ideas of interest to my patrons. Thus, I was never able to establish an overall plan for the progress and direction of my booklets, to lead my readers gradually and mindfully in the proper order from the gross to the subtle, from right view to right practice.

The series started in 1961. During the next year my talks with two well-known English Bhikkus, Sangharakshita and Kantipalo, were collected into a book, Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical. As there was not at that time enough money to publish this work as a whole, whenever a donation was given to me I chose an extract from this book to effectively aid the study and practice of my readers, namely, the booklets on Hinayana Meditation (Booklet No. 15), Mahayana Meditation (Booklet No. 16), and Vajrayana Meditation (Booklet No. 17).

The series continued to take form as circumstances dictated. During the mid-sixties, when many hippies came to visit me, I learned something of their thoughts and habits, and was inspired to write two booklets of advice for them: "Welcome Hippies by This Way," Booklet No. 52 and "Selected Han-Shan Poems for Hippie Reading," Booklet No. 53.

Living in the United States since 1973 I have observed that the practice of Buddhists in this country is quite different from that espoused and practiced by those living in the Orient. I felt the need to give help and advice to these friends and so I have given many lectures responsive to the circumstances of American life. These talks became the material for my booklets No. 78 and No. 79. "A Collection of Short Chenian Lectures," Parts I and II, which deal with many different topics but are without any internal order.

The desire of some Buddhists to have further knowledge of Homa or Fire Ceremonies led to the writing and publication of Booklets No. 68, "A Ritual of Fire Sacrifice to the God of Wealth," and No. 73, "A Ritual of Fire Sacrifice to Kurukula."

Everything in America is treated as a commercial enterprise, even the teaching of Dharma. Many Buddhist Centers charge a great deal of money for a short course of instruction. I am not in agreement with this kind of business. A certain Buddhist center was charging $400 for lessons in Nyingmapa teachings. A visitor of mine who could not afford these charges asked me to translate this teaching and then contributed to the publication of Booklet No. 63, "The Special Characteristics of the Nyingmapa School," and No. 66 and No. 67, "The Essential Teachings of Adi-Buddha," Parts I and II. At a cost of $250 for the publication of each booklet, this knowledge was thus made freely available to people all over the world.

Such examples as those given above indicate why my booklets have not been written and published in a logical series. I had to take the objective opportunity of immediate economic assistance in publication rather than my own subjective choice emphasizing the proper order of Buddhist knowledge. This is a deficiency on my part. It has been a great inner sadness to me that I have not been able to present to my readers from the very start a systematically arranged and edited work. An organized collection of my booklets has been very badly needed.

Soon after arriving in the U.S. I was unexpectedly and so fortunately visited, through the blessing of Buddha, by Dr. C. (Chia) T. (Theng) Shen. He took such a deep interest in my work that he willingly and generously contributed to enable the printing and reprinting not only of my Chinese works in Formosa but also my English booklets. If donations from individuals for booklets were not enough, Dr. Shen always provided the additional necessary outlay. All of my books, Buddhist Meditation: Systematic and Practical, Discrimination between Buddhist and Hindu Tantras, Lighthouse in the Ocean of Chan, and How to Develop the Bodhicitta can be obtained, free of charge by writing with your permanent address to his address below:

Dr. C. T. Shen
131 Tekening Drive
Tenafly, N. J. 07670 U.S.A.

(Please note that Dr. C. T. Shen is no longer providing this service.)

I have begun this preface with a history of why my booklets to date have not been published in a systematic order. At this point I would like to introduce an organized list of my booklets in a logical system. The new numbers are given first with notation of the old booklet number for your easier reference. I would also like to present a simplified world map of the dissemination of Chenian booklets indicating the many countries and the number of readers from each nation now receiving my booklets. Please note that many East European communist countries are not only accepting my booklets but are translating them for the availability of their countrymen.


LIST OF CHENIAN BOOKLETS 1-100

New No.
Title
Old No.
 
DICTIONARIES
 
1
A Short Dictionary of Buddhist Hybrid Pali
46
2
A Short Dictionary of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, Part I
47
3
A Short Dictionary of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, Part II
48
4
A Short Dictionary of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, Tantric Terms
51
5
A Short Dictionary of Tibetan-English Buddhist Terms, Exoteric and Esoteric, Part I
49
6
A Short Dictionary of Tibetan-English Buddhist Terms, Exoteric and Esoteric, Part II
50
 
THEORY
 
7
The Pollution of Human Thought
60
8
A Talk on Preaching
1
9
How Ascent is Possible
91
10
The Merit of Practice in a Cemetery
87
11
Buddhist Principles: Admonitory & Pragmatical
29
12
A Chart of Buddhist Essential Principles & Practices in its Whole System
8
13
Why I Emphasize Three-Yanas-in-One
13
14
Three-Yana Meditations in One System Related to the Five Poisons
18
15
Why I Emphasize the Whole System of Buddhist Philosophy
65
16
The Three-Cs of Each Yana and Their Interconnections within the Whole System of Buddhism, Part I
71
17
The Three-Cs of Each Yana and Their Interconnections within the Whole System of Buddhism, Part II
72
18
The Subtle Discriminations between the Practices of Sunyata in the Three Yanas
57
19
The Special Characteristics of the Nyingmapa School
63
 
COMPARATIVE STUDIES
 
20
A Comparative Study of XXXXX and Buddhism
61
21
Buddhist Questions Answered
20
22
The Crucifixion
3
23
The Everlasting Life & Heaven
24
24
Still More Please! Part I
36
25
Still More Please! Part II
37
26
The Universe
4
27
Renunciation
23
28
Buddha & Divinity
21
29
Supernatural Power
22
30
The Final Goal, Buddhist & Hindu
24
31
Philosophic Background
41
32
Some Suggestions to the Buddhist World
44
33
The Right Attitude of a Practitioner
89
34
Correspondences among the Dharma Groups
100
 
POETRY
 
35
The Flute
2
36
Tang Poems in a Simplified Classical Form, Part I
64
37
Tang Poems in a Simplified Classical Form, Part II
69
38
Tang Poems in a Simplified Classical Form, Part III
74
39
Tao Poems
85
40
What is the Source of the Best Poems
88
41
Poems on Ahimsa
59
42
Cartoons and Poems on Ahimsa (poems same as No. 41 above)
92
 
VINAYAS
 
43
Mahayana Silas
12
44
How to Become a Bodhisattava
98
45
Vajrayana Silas, Part I
27
46
Vajrayana Silas, Part II
28
47
A Chart of Vajra Love and All Its Related Silas
31
 
ADMONITIONS
 
48
Welcome Hippies through This Way
52
49
Selected Han-Shan Poems for Hippie Reading
53
50
A Collection of Chenian Short Lectures in America, Part I
78
51
A Collection of Chenian Short Lectures in America, Part II
79
52
On Death
90
53
Buddhist Views on Contamination, Part I
82
54
Buddhist Views on Contamination, Part II
83
55
How to Choose the Doctrine
99
 
PRAYERS
 
56
How to Guide the Dying Person
97
57
Image & Decoration
96
58
Dragon King Sutra Stanzas
58
59
A Praising to All the Gods
75
60
Hymns to Tara
7
61
The Twenty-One Taras
62
62
Buddhist Tantric Golden Prayer Book
54
 
MEDITATION
 
63
Samatha
14
64
Dharmapadas in Practical Order, Part I
25
65
Dharmapadas in Practical Order, Part II
26
66
Hinayana Meditations
15
67
The Practice of the Pure Land School Simplified, Part I
32
68
The Practice of the Pure Land School Simplified, Part II
33
69
Mahayana Meditations
16
70
Four Foundations of Tibetan Tantra
9
71
The Yoga of Daily Life
10
72
Vajrayana Meditations
17
73
Chenian Commentary on the Tantric Ritual of Avalokitesvara, White and Red, Part I
55
74
Chenian Commentary on the Tantric Ritual of Avalokitesvara, White and Red, Part II
56
75
How to Transform a Human Body into a Buddha Body, Part I
42
76
How to Transform a Human Body into a Buddha Body, Part II
43
77
How to Transmute Human Consciousness into Buddhas Wisdom
45
78
A Safe Guide for the Practitioner of Hevajra Tantra
19
79
Tara Meditation
6
80
A Ritual of Fire Sacrifice to the God of Wealth
68
81
A Ritual of Fire Sacrifice to Kurukula
73
82
Dreams, their Interpretation, Yoga & Discriminations
81
83
White Dakini Phowa
84
84
The Essential Teaching of Adi-Buddha, Part I
66
85
The Essential Teaching of Adi-Buddha, Part II
67
86
Non-Death Yoga
77
87
The Essential Poems of Milarepa
38
 
CHAN
 
88
Chan & Shivas 112 Meditative Ways
11
89
A Frank and Sincere Talk on Chan
5
90
The Essentials of the Chan School
86
91
Chan Poems
80
92
Offspring Chan: Its Portraits, Koans & Poems
70
 
EXAMPLES
 
93
Padmasambhavas Rainbow Body
95
94
Naropa
34
95
Milarepa
35
96
Chunpolongo: His Personal Teaching of Realization
40
97
Dropakula: His Personal teaching of Perfect Liberation
39
98
Chenian Activities in Photographs
76
 
IMAGES
 
99
Tibetan Art
30
100
Statues in Yunkang Caves
93
  300 Tibetan Images  
  500 Tibetan Images  
  An Introduction to a Systematized Collection of Chenian Booklets No.1 100
94

COU***IES AND NUMBERS OF READERS

1. United States 329
2. Canada 27
3. Mexico 3
4. Bahamas 1
5. Cuba 1
6. Nicaragua 1
7. Costa Rica 2
8. Columbia 2
9. Venezuela 2
10. Trinidad 2
11. Guyana 3
12. Brazil 3
13. Peru 2
14. Bolivia 2
15. Paraguay 5
16. Uruguay 3
17. Chile 3
18. Iceland 2
19. Ireland 3
20. England 39
21. Scotland 5
22. Spain 5
23. France 14
24. Belgium 5
25. Netherlands 7
26. Denmark 12
27. West Germany 23
28. Switzerland 8
29. Italy 5
30. Albania 2
31. Yugoslavia 5
32. Bulgaria 5
33. Hungary 7
34. Austria 4
35. Czechoslovakia 6
36. Poland 5
37. East Germany 5
38. Norway 2
39. Sweden 6
40. Finland 3
41. Portugal 4
42. Morocco 2
43. Libya 2
44. Ghana 5
45. Nigeria 2
46. Greece 2
47. Egypt 3
48. Kenya 2
49. South Africa 5
50. U.S.S.R 2
51.Turkey 3
52. Israel 5
53. Saudi Arabia 3
54. Iran 2
55. India 129
56. Nepal 3
57. Sri Lanka 5
58. Burma 3
59. Thailand 3
60. Malaysia 15
61. Singapore 5
62. Indonesia 3
63. Hong Kong 11
64. Philippines 8
65. Taiwan 9
66. Korea 3
67. Japan 29
68. Fiji Islands 2
69. Australia 32
70. New Zealand 5

I have tried to classify my booklets into eleven basic categories and within these categories to list the booklets in a sequential order. The basis of each of the individual categories and their relationship to each other I will try to explain below.

According to Buddhas teaching, there are three stages of Knowledge: the first is hearing, the second is thinking, and the third is practicing.

The first category is under the heading of Dictionaries. A dictionary is a tool of knowledge and as such is a necessary preparation for reading and thinking and therefore appears as the first category. I published several small dictionaries in booklet form with simple word to word translation so that beginners could have some help in understanding Buddhist terms. People who are not yet committed as Buddhists do not want to spend a lot of money on dictionaries, and so for these people I published a compilation of terms necessary for basic understanding of the tenets of Buddhism. This systematized collection of my booklets is intended for serious Buddhists and those followers who have read my works since 1961 should have already possessed their own large dictionaries of Buddhist terms. Therefore, it is not necessary to reprint the small dictionaries previously published. However, I have indicated the name and original booklet numbers of those small dictionaries.

The first two stages of Knowledge, hearing and thinking are both based on Theory. The second category is therefore that of Theory. The term "theory" can refer to the full spectrum from a general idea to a specialized concept. Accordingly, all of the booklets in this category have been arranged to be read from general to specific, from shallow to deep, and from exoteric to esoteric.

Many English readers are not able to differentiate among the precepts of the various Eastern religions, between Buddhism, and Hinduism, Taoism or Chan, and some people even have difficulty with the basic differences between Christianity and Buddhism. For this reason the third category in order of increasing Knowledge is that of Comparative Studies. Under this heading Buddhism is compared with Christianity, with Hinduism and with other modern thoughts and philosophies. All of these ideas can help further clarify and increase comprehension of Theory.

The fourth category is Poetry. It appears that in English literature, poetry and prose developed at equal rates and with equal popularity. In Chinese culture, poetry became a much more highly refined literary style. Much of the poetry sung and written by Tibetan Buddhist sages, such as Milarepa, or by Chinese sages, such as Han Shan, has been translated into English and published. These works have been much appreciated and widely read in the West so that many Buddhist English readers are familiar with and are fond of this kind of poetry.

A poem itself may have an influence that is beyond the Knowledge that comes from other literary forms. The impression made by prose works is often superficial, but a poem can enter the mind and heart very deeply. So to effect a lasting influence on beginning Buddhists, poetry can be very important. For this reason I have published many booklets on poetry. They have been mainly selected for their subject and meaning, as renunciation or impermanence, to stir the reader to understanding of Buddhist doctrine.

I have attempted to translate these poems into English, but I am a Chinese poet, not an English one, and never learned the rules of classical English verse from my teachers. I know that I cannot write good classical English poetry, but I have some sense of rhyme and rhythm and have tried to make these poems a little more interesting than free verse. I have seen many translations in free verse of Chinese poetry, but few in a traditional simplified classical form, which, I believe from my correspondents comments, increases the interest of the reader.

Fifty of my Chinese poems were first put into English by a very good translator who was himself a poet, Dr. Philip Chou. These 50 became Booklet No. 2 "The Flute" and were widely distributed. An English scholar who gained great interest in Buddhism from reading my poetry wished to have more of my poems translated, but we were unable to locate Dr. Chou and so most of my 1200 Chinese poems to date still remain untranslated. It is very difficult to find among the present generation a good classical poet, even in the west. My English prose is very poor, but so much poorer is my English poetry. Nevertheless, I have tried to translate the poetry of the Tang Dynasty into simplified classical form. This poetry was very much influenced by the Chan school of Buddhism. The Tang poets emphasized the identification of poetry and Buddhism and said, in fact, that poetry is Chan and Chan is poetry. I have also tried to translate some Tao poems (Booklet No. 85) and Chan poems (Booklet No. 80).

The above four categories are all related to the Knowledges of hearing and thinking. The next stage of Knowledge is that of Practice, and the first important aspect a practitioner should know about is the Vinayas, which becomes our fifth category.

His Holiness Karmapa, when he came to the United States, performed the initiation granting permission for practitioners to accept and keep the Bodhisattva vows. These vows were carefully itemized by the ancient sages, but most of those Americans did not know what exactly the vows consisted of. All those who had read my booklet No. 12, "Mahayana Silas," knew all the Bodhisattva vows traditionally taken by Buddhists. The reprinting of these vows will be very helpful to many people and my booklets on the Vajrayana Silas, Nos. 27 and 28, may serve to aid serious Buddhists in keeping the Vinayas and prevent them from committing a sin and falling into bad realms. These works are very important and I hope readers will pay attention to them and read them over carefully one by one before taking a vow to practice them.

The sixth category, also under Practice, is that of Admonitions. When the lists of necessary vows for serious Buddhists were written down by the ancient sages, they only covered the cultural and moral situation of that time. But many new conditions and activities have come about in this modern era and there has been no attempt to update the vows to correspond to the new situation. In this section, I have tried to give advice to help serious practitioners keep the Buddhist precepts and to rid themselves of mistaken habits. For example, we know that wine was forbidden by the ancients, but as new drugs such as LSD were not available then, they were not expressively forbidden. Some teachers today use this as an excuse to encourage and continue the use of drugs. Certainly if Buddha were here now he would forbid LSD and marijuana, as well as wine and alcohol. In this section I have given advice about this problem.

Many other important practical problems are brought up and discussed under this heading. I am a person who has always promoted the Dharma in a traditional manner, not in a modernized version which may wrongly guide and mislead others, and I have tried in this section to give good advice to beginning practitioners. Many young American Buddhists follow their own habits and do not understand contamination in a Buddhist sense so I wrote two booklets to give counsel on this subject: Booklet Nos. 82 and 83, "Buddhist Views on Contamination," Parts I and II. This category of practical Admonitions directly follows that of the Vinayas, as it is basically an attempt on my part to bring the understanding of Buddhist practice into the context of our modern age. It is an important section as it directly relates to the thoughts and actions in our lives today.

The third practice and the seventh category is that of Prayers. Chanting sutras and repetition of hymns and prayers is a basic foundation of Buddhism that inspires belief and leads to higher practices. Prayer is a simple preparation practice and as such is discussed before the higher practical knowledge gained through Meditation. I have written several booklets translating important Tibetan prayers such as Booklet No. 58, "The Dragon King Sutra Stanzas," and Booklet No. 7, "Hymns to Tara."

The eighth category is Meditation. Everyday Buddhists come and ask me for instruction in Meditation. Actually, there are many different degrees of Meditation practice, each involving a large number of preliminary steps. Not only is this category the most important but also the sequence of the meditation practice is most essential, from simple to complex, shallow to profound. the reader must carefully follow the correct order. Do not practice the higher meditation exercises before successfully completing the lower ones.

The first booklet of this series is on Samatha and I emphasize this practice as the initial necessary condition of meditation. Many centers teach meditation but none teach the nine stages of Samatha as a basic foundation. Other forms of meditation are just a waste of time until Samatha is achieved. Without it, no meditation can be fruitfully practiced. Very detailed instruction on this subject is given in my work, "Buddhist Meditation - Systematic and Practical."

Some of the meditations described in my booklets are very high doctrine and require initiation from a knowledgeable guru before they can be successfully practiced. The reader is admonished here once again not to attempt these practices before receiving the proper instruction. One must ask his Holiness Karmapa or Kalu Rinpoche for initiation and permission to follow and practice these higher teachings.

The ninth category is that of Chan, or as it is called in Japan, Zen. Chan is a school of realization, not meditation. For Chan is the truth itself, the very Dharmakaya and highest achievement. In China, Chan is treated as Mahayana practice, but I consider it as Vajrayana, even higher than Mahamudra and the Great Perfection Doctrine. That is why I place Chan in a separate category following Meditation. There are many wonderful stories concerning Chan, some of which are in this reprinted collection, but for greater depth and insight my whole book The Lighthouse in the Ocean of Chan should be read.

The first to the fourth categories may be thought of as in the Position of Cause. The fifth to the ninth categories may be considered as in the Position of Course. Theory is within the first group and may be thought of as Cause because one must have such knowledge as a base before beginning to practice. Practice is within categories five through nine and stands in the Position of Course, for it is the active means of achieving an end.

The tenth category then is in the Consequence Position, and is that of Examples of real-life Buddhists who gained realization through their practice. They are able to exemplify to us the truth of Buddhas teachings through their own achievement. The Position of Consequence follows Cause and Course and is the final realization accomplished through understanding of Theory and practice.

The last and eleventh category is Images. I previously published in Booklet No. 30, "Tibetan Art," drawings of many Buddhist deities. Also printed was two large sheets of 300 Buddhist images and another set of more than 500 images. All of these copies have already been distributed to more than 800 readers and 100 libraries all over the world, and they cannot be conveniently reprinted in this collection of my work.

China has a proverb which says, "A sparrow is a little bird, but his five organs are complete" which means that although the sparrow is a small creature, all of his necessary organs are present and complete in themselves. My booklets are small in size but the basic principles of the most important doctrines of the three yanas are whole and complete within them. They contain every kind of literary form: prose and poetry, criticism and essays, lectures and letters; dictionaries, translations, biographies, charts and lists, Chinese and English calligraphy, cartoons, portraits, and engravings, images in black and white and photographs in full color. It is my hope that this new schematized edition of my work will allow my readers to gain greater understanding and realization of Buddhas teachings. This opportunity is made possible through the support of Dr. C. T. Shen, to whom I have written this poem:

In past lives I merited no riches Im ashamed!
Little donations to spread the Dharma sometimes came!
As the globe turns over I stand here in the West,
I am so blessed to have met Doctor Chia (C.) Theng (T.) Shen!

With tears I experienced the difficulty of a poor hermit to propagate the Dharma all over the world, as described above in my recollections. Yet I have now received more than ample consolation in meeting the Bodhicitta practitioner Dr. C. T. Shen who encourages me by his generosity. Through his merit this systematized collection of my booklets 1 to 100 is being published and distributed to all my readers. What a rare opportunity we are favored with! I beg all of my readers to give thanks with me to Buddha and the Bodhisattva C. T. Shen.

This book will end with the presentation of images and it is also the auspicious ending of this introduction. I pray that every person after reading this book will begin to practice and achieve full realization and will become himself a Buddha as depicted in the images. This is my last wish and hope for this preface.

C. M. Chen
29 March 1977


CATEGORY I: DICTIONARIES

Booklet No. 1: A Short Dictionary of Buddhist Hybrid Pali

Booklet No. 2: A Short Dictionary of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, Part I

Booklet No. 3: A Short Dictionary of Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit, Part II

Booklet No. 4: A Short Dictionary of Hybrid-Sanskrit Tantric Terms

Booklet No. 5: A Short Dictionary of Tibetan-English Buddhist Terms Exoteric and Esoteric, Part I

Booklet No. 6: A Short Dictionary of Tibetan-English Buddhist Terms Exoteric and Esoteric, Part II

The above-mentioned dictionaries are not being reprinted within this work. The first edition of these dictionaries may be found in and borrowed from the National Libraries of most nations of the world.


Category II: THEORY

No. 7. The Pollution of Human Thought (posted May 16, 1999)

No. 8. A Talk on Preaching (posted on May 16, 1999)

No. 9. How Ascent is Possible (posted on May 16, 1999)

No. 10. The Merit of Practice in a Cemetery (modified on May 16, 1999)

No. 11. Buddhist Principles: Admonitory & Pragmatical (posted on May 16, 1999)

No. 12. A Chart of Buddhist Essential Principles & Practices in its Whole System (posted May 26, 1999)

No. 13. Why I Emphasize Three-Yanas-in-One (posted on May 16, 1999)

No. 14. Three-Yana Meditations in One System Related to the Five Poisons (posted on May 17, 1999)

No. 15. Why I Emphasize the Whole System of Buddhist Philosophy (modified on May 16, 1999)

No. 16. The Three-C's of Each Yana and Their Interconnections within the Whole System of Buddhism, Part I (posted on May 17, 1999)

No. 17. The Three-C's of Each Yana and Their Interconnections within the Whole System of Buddhism, Part II (posted on May 17, 1999)

No. 18. The Subtle Discriminations between the Practices of Sunyata in the Three Yanas (posted on May 17, 1999)

No. 19. The Special Characteristics of the Nyingmapa School (posted on May 17, 1999)


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