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Zen's Five Ancestors - Bodhidharma through Hongren

6 Mondays, July 2 - August 6, 6:30-8:30 pm. Taught by Ryūshin Dave Smith.

This class covers the early history and traditions of Zen as it was transplanted from its original home in the west to China. Much that has come to be Zen tradition has its earliest exemplification in these ancestors, including the emphasis on Meditation, Work-Practice, encounter dialogues, the “separate transmission outside the scriptures”, and ancestral lineage charts.

Writings attributed to the Five Ancestors offer a sketch of what has come to be called “practice”. Their teachings as described in written form, including the Two Principles and Four Practices, Hsin Hsin Ming or Inscription on Faith in Mind, The Five Gates, Wu Guan and Essentials of Cultivating the Mind, still offer both inspiration and guidance for Zen practitioners today.

The class will use the text Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings, by Andy Ferguson. Copies of the text are available at the Center for purchase.

Ryūshin Dave Smith is a senior member of Houston Zen Center. His dharma name, Ryūshin, means Dragon Heart/Mind. He has traveled in China and Japan and holds Bodhidharma in highest esteem. He has led meditation groups at the Unitarian Church in the Woodlands, and is a valued volunteer with Houston Hospice.

Each class begins with meditation.



Ryūshin Dave Smith

Ryūshin Dave Smith

Earlier Event: July 1
The Practice Period of Daily Life
Later Event: July 5
Introduction to Zen Meditation