“Beginning of Chan Session” of Diligence Being Completed in Shaolin Temple in Dingyou Year

Publish Date:2021-07-12

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On November 22, 2017 or October 5 of the lunar calendar, it is the birthday of Patriarch Bodhidharma. The origin of Chan, Shaolin Temple, will start its annual Chan Session in winter and today is the beginning of Chan Session. This Chan Session invited the elder monk Shaoyun, Master Xiuyuan, Master Yaorong and Master Longzhong as the first seats, Master Jingen as the west seat, Master Xufa as the rear seat, Master Changci as the court head, Master Yanrong as Karmadana and Master Yandian as the Guest Prefect. The total number of Chan Session is 136 this year.

In every winter, farming has already been completed. Shaolin Temple begins to hold the Chan Session and set aside for seeking realization. 7 days is a cycle for Chan Session. It is diligence of Chan Session this time. There are seven 7-days which is 49 days in total. During the Chan Session, all the Buddhist activities conform to the principle of simplicity. Everything of Permanent Residence Compound has to enshrine Chan Session, help masters fulfill themselves and ensure Chan Session to be completed. During Chan Session every year, many elders who practice meditation over the years and masters successively are back to the mountain. They come together to enshrine Chan Session.


After dinner in Dining Hall at 6:30 a.m., all the monks scheduled to Meditation Chapel in Shaolin Temple and were in rows along both sides of Patriarch Bodhidharma. Then an attendant held Chan Session Begins sign to enter Meditation Hall. The attendant raised the sign in the center and westward; raised the sign in the center and eastward; raised the sign in the center and walked toward the east side of the shrine. The attendant raised the sign toward Master Karmadana who greeted, received the sign and raised it up. Master Karmadana put the sign Chan Session Begins in the east of Shrine and then hung it at the door of Meditation Chapel. 

At 3a.m., after the ceremony of worshipping ancestors, the first seat, the west seat, the rear seat, the court head and Karmadana led monks to the Hall of Abbot to ask for life and death leaves from the Great Monk Yongxin. When the public came together, Karmadana called the public ask for life and death leaves from the Great Monk and bowed three times to worship the Great Monk. The monk spoke Greet and began to enlighten. Now it has been 13th year since Meditation Chapel was founded. There are many monks to attend Chan Session of diligence in winter every year while having many benefits and even body and mind to be reborn. During this practice of Chan Session, it is hoped that all monks could comprehend the main phrase and seek realization. All monks reverently bowed. Then the Great Monk Yongxin and all monks went out of the Hall of Abbot and took photos with delight between the two cypresses. After that, all monks followed the seats and Karmadana returned to Meditation Chapel. They changed Hai Qing and gathered in Dining Hall. The Great Monk Yongxin and all monks held tribute tea ceremony in Dining Hall. In the mean time, Master Karmadana read out Meditation Chapel regulations. 

The ceremony of Chan Session was held in Meditation Chapel of Shaolin Temple at 5:30 p.m. monks gathered in Meditation Chapel and Karmadana received the order of the Great Monk Yongxin to read out the list of monitoring incenses. After the ceremony of incense, Chan Session begins of Chan Session of the diligence in Shaolin Temple had been completed. (Editor: Zhang Hailong, Su Yunfei)

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