About the Lieu Quan School of Thien

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Sentient Light
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Location: Fairfax, Virginia

About the Lieu Quan School of Thien

Post by Sentient Light » Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:13 pm

The Lieu Quan Thien school is the most dominant Thien school in Viet Nam, having descended from the Lam Te Thien (Linji Chan) tradition. There's a wide diversity of practices within Lieu Quan, combining elements of samatha-vipasyana from Theravada, Pure Land practices, and koan contemplation. Thich Nhat Hanh is of the Lieu Quan school, but it also includes more traditional teachers like Thich Thien An, Thich Tinh Tu, Thich Phap Hoa. (I am not sure about Thich Thien Tam, who is definitely in the Lam Te lineage, but seems unclear whether he is part of the Lieu Quan lineage or sister/cousin lineage. I'll consult the biography on him later and see if it says.)

The following is a short write-up on Grand Master Lieu Quan's transmission of the lamp, link here: http://www.mindfulnessbell.org/archive/ ... meditation
Reprinted from The Mindfulness Bell, Volume 1 Number 2, Spring/Summer 1990 wrote:
Master Lieu Quan was born in the village of Bac Ma in the Phu Yen province of Vietnam in 1670. He lost his mother
at the age of six. His father used to bring him to the Hoi Ton Temple, where he met the abbot, Te Vien. At the age of
ten, he was accepted in the temple as a novice. He studied with Te Vien for nine years.

When Master Te Vien passed away, Lieu Quan went to the far away province of Thuan Hoa (now Hue) to study
with the Master Giac Phong at the Thien Tho Temple, now called Bao Quoc. One year later when he received news
that his father was sick, he asked permission to go back to his village where he worked as a logger to support his
father. Four years later, his father died and he went back to study and practice at Thien Tho Temple. He was
ordained as a bhiksu in 1697 at the age of 27.

In 1702, he met Master Tu Dung and began to study with him at the An Tong Temple in Thua Thien. For five years,
he was given the Congan: “All Dharmas return to the one. Where will the one return to?”

In 1708, he went back to his teacher. Master Tu Dung told him:
Alone let yourself go down to the abyss.
The only way to be reborn is to die.
Who could blame you after that?
Lieu Quan clapped his hands and laughed. Tu Dung said: “Not ripe yet.” Lieu Quan tried once more: “The hammer is
iron itself.” Tu Dung shook his head. Lieu Quan went back to his cell. The next day, Tu Dun was passing by Lieu
Quan’s cell and called out to him: “Our conversation of yesterday is not finished yet. Tell me again!”

Lieu Quan replied, “If I had known that the lamp is fire itself, then the meal could have been ready a long time ago.”
Master Tu was delighted by this reply.

Lieu Quan was 38 when he received this transmission and set up the Thien Tong Meditation Center. He allowed the
Vien Thong Center to be built by his students at the foot of the Ngu Binh Mountain. Lord Nguyen Phuc Khoat used
to come to this center to practice. In the years 1733-1735, four national ceremonies of ordination were organized
in the Thua Thien province over which Master Lieu Quan presided. His disciples numbered as many as 4,000. In
1740, he presided over an ordination at the Long Hoa Center and in 1742, at another one organized at the Vien
Thong Center. Practice centers of the Lieu Quan School were set up everywhere in the country. The Phu Yen
province is one of the strongholds of the school, along with the Hoi Tong, Co Lam, and Bao Tinh temples.

On the morning of the 21st day of the 11th month of the lunar calendar, 1742, Master Lieu Quan asked his
attendants to bring him a pen and a piece of paper. He wrote this gatha:
During the 70 or more years
I have been in this world,
Form and Emptiness have always been the same.
Today, all vows fulfilled,
I am going back to my home.
Do not tire yourselves out asking questions
concerning schools and patriarchs.
After finishing the gatha, the Master sat quietly drinking his tea. Monks living at the center came to see him. Some
of the monks cried. Lieu Quan said, “Please do not cry! Even Buddhas have to enter nirvana. My coming and going is
clear. There is nothing to be sorrowful about.” The monks stopped crying. He asked, “Has the mui hour (from 1-3
p.m.) come?” People said, “Yes.” Lieu Quan said:
The great way of Reality,
Is the pure ocean of the true nature.
The source of Mind
has penetrates everywhere.
From the roots of virtue
springs the tradition of compassion.
Vinaya, samadhi, and prajna -
The nature and function of all three are one.
The fruit of transcendent wisdom,
Can be realized by being wonderfully together.
Maintain and transmit the wonderful principle,
In order to make known the true teaching!
For the realization of True Emptiness
to be possible,
Wisdom and Action have to arise together.

Thiệt (Reality) tế (Domain) đại (Great) đạo (Way)
Tánh (Nature) hải (Ocean) thanh (Clear) trừng (Calm)
Tâm (Mind) nguyên (Source) quảng (Broad) nhuận (Penetration)
Đức (Virtue) bổn (Roots) từ (Loving Kindness) phong (Tradition)
Giới (Precepts) định (Concentration) phúc (Merits) tuệ (Wisdom)
Thể (Body, Self-nature) dụng (Function) viên (Complete) thông (Communication)
Vĩnh (Eternity) siêu (Transcending) trí (Wisdom) quả (Fruit)
Mật (Mystically) khế (Corresponding) thành (Realization) công (Work)
Truyền (Transmission) trì (Maintaining, Practicing) diệu (Wonderful) lý (Truth)
Diễn (Expounding) xướng (Speaking) chánh (True, Legitimate) tông (School)
Hành (Action) giải (Understanding) tương (Together) ứng (Corresponding)
Đạt (Attaining) ngộ (Awakening) chân (True) không (Emptiness).
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

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Kim O'Hara
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Re: About the Lieu Quan School of Thien

Post by Kim O'Hara » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:37 am

:thanks:

I like TNH's teachings but don't know much about the tradition he comes from.
Sentient Light wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 6:13 pm
... Lieu Quan said:
The great way of Reality,
Is the pure ocean of the true nature.
The source of Mind
has penetrates everywhere.
From the roots of virtue
springs the tradition of compassion.
Vinaya, samadhi, and prajna -
The nature and function of all three are one.
The fruit of transcendent wisdom,
Can be realized by being wonderfully together.
Maintain and transmit the wonderful principle,
In order to make known the true teaching!
For the realization of True Emptiness
to be possible,
Wisdom and Action have to arise together.
I see Taoism in there as well as Theravada and Mahayana. Am I right or am I being misled by similarities of language?

:namaste:
Kim

Sentient Light
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: Fairfax, Virginia

Re: About the Lieu Quan School of Thien

Post by Sentient Light » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:27 pm

Kim O'Hara wrote:
Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:37 am
:thanks:

I like TNH's teachings but don't know much about the tradition he comes from.

I see Taoism in there as well as Theravada and Mahayana. Am I right or am I being misled by similarities of language?

:namaste:
Kim
Nope, you're correct. Lieu Quan's lineage took a lot of influence from Taoism, although Taoism as an established religion was already declining in Viet Nam at the time.

Some other info I uncovered on Vietnamese Wikipedia:

Thich Thanh Tu, the revitalizer of the Truc Lam Thien lineage, and his disciple Thich Minh Chau (the guy who wrote that Madhyama Agama/Majjhima Nikaya comparative analysis), were both Lieu Quan Thien masters, so Truc Lam as it stands today is also an offshoot of Lieu Quan.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:

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