Chinese Zen Comes West

Simon Child, Dharma Drum Buddhist Mountain

TT & WF Chao Distinguished Buddhist Practitioner Lectures

As Bodhidharma famously told us, Chan is a direct transmission outside the scriptures. As such Chan, as also other traditions of Buddhism, is not bound to a specific form and has adapted to the cultures it has encountered so as to be better able to communicate with the individuals living in those cultures. Traditional methods of practice arose in Asia as a response to the obstructions encountered in Eastern minds. What adaptations are possible, appropriate, and perhaps even essential to facilitate the transmission of Buddhism in Western cultures? With a different social structure and a different relationship to the sense of self, what approaches might work less well for Westerners, and what might work better, in their quest for realization of no-self? This talk will review the work of the late Dr John Crook and Simon Child in the Western Chan Fellowship, where our methods of training are rooted in tradition but also include innovations in order to relate more directly to the Western personality.

Dr Simon Child, Chuan-fa Jing-hong, has been teaching since the late 1990s and is the primary teacher for the Western Chan Fellowship ( He trained with Dr John Crook since 1981, and from 1992 he also trained with Chan Master Sheng Yen of Taiwan from whom he received Dharma Transmission in 2000, receiving the joint Dharma Drum lineages of Caodong and Linji Chan. He leads intensive Chan meditation retreats in Europe and in USA. He is a layperson married with two adult sons and works part-time as a family doctor.


6:45 p.m. Guided meditation
7:30 talk

Thursday, May 03, 2012 | 6:45 pm — 9:00 pm
The Circle Sanctuary, 3rd Floor, Old Union

Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford