Huayan (Avatamsaka) Buddhism.The Vibrant Dharma of the Flower Ornament School.A 6-part class series offered in 2011 at Green Gulch Farm.Some Huayan related web videos from elsewhere are also posted below.We sometimes think of Zen as non-religion, a technology for the mind,but in fact Zen practice emerges from and is completely suffused with the elaboratedoctrines and cosmologies of medievel Chinese Buddhism. Whether we see ourselves as “religious” or not, in developing our understanding of Zenmeditation we can only benefit from facing these sometimes wildly religiousroots head on. This class will do just that by introducing the teachings of theHuayan or “Flower Ornament” school (also known as Huayen, Hua-yen, Hwa Yen).Based on the Avatamsaka Sutra and folding in a wide array of Buddhist teachings,Huayan is often described as the pinnacle of Chinese Buddhist thought andthe cornerstone of Zen. By turning the cold and clear Classical Buddhist “Emptiness” into a bright, vividly colorful, infinitely reflecting universe offlowers and vows, Huayan marks a culmination of the Chinese transformationof Indian Buddhism. As we study Huayan, we will thus come to better understandthe historical development of Buddhist thought through India and China. This class will explore doctrine and history but will stay close to practice – as we look at teachings like “the golden lion,” “the hall of mirrors,” “Indra’s net,”the “ocean mirror concentration,” and the mutual non-obstruction of all existingthings, we will seek not just to understand the teachings intellectually but toconsider how to put them to use in our day-to-day life and meditation.We will also spend some time at play in the Flower Ornament Sutra itself,reading and listening to together enter its holographic and oceanic universe.
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Huayan Class #3Huayan Class #4
Huayan Class #5Huayan Class #6
The first 20 minutes or so of each Huayan class at Green Gulch we spent together chanting the Avatamsaka Sutra. Some recordings of that chanting together are below for anyone who'd like to participate in the sound of the sutra.Huayan Sutra Chanting