Intrinsic Awakened Nature : Manifest the Wisdom of the Pure Mind ~ Venerable Master Miao Tsan

In the fourth book in a series of contemporary Zen studies, Intrinsic Awakened Nature, Venerable Master Miao Tsan of the Vairocano Zen Monastery explores the manner in which many Western and Eastern religions share common principles, despite the distinct ways in which they spread their teachings. Buddhism focuses on the Buddha nature, or the Mind, which creates and animates the world around us. Though it is the source of everything, it has neither substance nor form. Western religion uses the more anthropomorphic “God” to define the functionality of creation and has therefore tended to label Buddhism as a kind of atheism.

But if we look more closely, the Buddhist teaching that the Buddha nature is innate in each sentient being is really just another way of saying, “God lives in your heart.” The concept that God creates men is very similar to the concept that the Mind creates all phenomena. The glorification of God and the solemn dignity of Pure Land resonate with similar qualities.

Intrinsic Awakened Nature provides important perspective on the similarities in Western and Eastern pursuit of eternity, happiness and the ability to understand the meaning of life. Beneath their religious, linguistic and cultural differences lies a shared core value. The superficial differences have perplexed thinkers for centuries and left many modern people conflicted about which religion or ideology most deserves their loyalty. While it is impossible for any of us to completely assimilate the different aspects of another culture without inadvertently creating a third culture, Master Miao Tsan shows readers a clear path to understanding the most important aspect of any spiritual teaching: At the source of any sound religion or ideology lies the one and only Universal Truth.

Venerable Master Miao Tsan breaks through attachment and dogma to show the Universal Truth that lies at the heart of both Western and Eastern religions and ideologies. The abbot of Vairocana Zen Monastery in Garden Grove, California, he has conducted hundreds of meditation courses as well as several Zen-Seven and Zen-Three retreats in the United States, Mexico, and Taiwan. He lectures extensively and has given meditation courses and interviews at universities and medical centers around the world. He has a large, devoted following in both Asia and the West. He is the author of Just Use This Mind and The Origin Is Pure and several other books published internationally.
Just Use This Mind – Venerable Master Miao Tsan

Zen Master Miao Tsan, abbot of Vairocana Zen Monastery in Garden Grove, CA, lecturer and author of the new book, Just Use This Mind: Following the Essence of Zen to Oneness of Mind, Body and Spirit (Bright Sky Press, January 2011)

The Hidden Geometry of Flowers: Living Rhythms, Form, and Number ~ Keith Critchlow

Professor Keith Critchlow, Professor Emeritus at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts, has launched his new book, The Hidden Geometry of Flowers: Living Rhythms, Form and Number.

In this beautiful and original book Professor Critchlow has chosen to focus on the flower as teacher of symmetry and geometry (the ‘eternal verities’, as Plato called them). In this sense, he says, flowers can be treated as sources of remembering – a way of recalling our own wholeness, as well as awakening our inner power of recognition and consciousness. What is evident in the geometry of the face of a flower can remind us of the geometry that underlies all existence.

Working from his own flower photographs and with every geometric pattern hand-drawn, Professor Critchlow reviews the role of flowers within the perspective of our relationship with the natural world. His illuminating study is an attempt to re-engage the human spirit in its intimate relation with nature.

Professor Keith Critchlow is a well-known lecturer and author. He is a founder member of RILKO (Research Into Lost Knowledge Organisation), a founder member and Director of Studies of Kairos and a founder member and President of the Temenos Academy. He is Professor Emeritus and founder of the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts Programme at the Royal College of Art, now The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts. His many previous books include Order in Space, Islamic Patterns: An Analytical and Cosmological Approach, Markings: Aerial Views of Sacred Landscapes, Soul as Sphere and Androgyne, and Time Stands Still: New Light on Megalithic Science (Floris Books, 2007).

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Hidden Geometry of

Keith Critchlow excerpt from the book launch of ‘The Hidden Geometry of Flowers’ published by Floris Books.

In this beautiful and original book, renowned thinker and geometrist Keith Critchlow has chosen to focus on an aspect of flowers that has received little attention. This is the flower as teacher of symmetry and geometry (the ‘eternal verities’, as Plato called them). In this sense, he says, flowers can be treated as sources of remembering – a way of recalling our own wholeness, as well as awakening our inner power of recognition and consciousness.

What is evident in the geometry of the face of a flower can remind us of the geometry that underlies all existence. Working from his own flower photographs and with every geometric pattern hand-drawn, the author reviews the role of flowers within the perspective of our relationship with the natural world. His illuminating study is an attempt to re-engage the human spirit in its intimate relation with all nature.

Han Suyin Obituary : Chinese-born author best known for her 1952 book “A Many-Splendoured Thing” [Updated Nov 6, 2012]

Evolutionarymystic Note:

It was way back in the 1970s when I got hold of this book ” A Many Splendoured Thing” by Han Suyin. I remember it was published by Penguin Book, but I guess this edition is no longer in print (?).

“In 1952, she married Leon F. Comber, a British officer in the Malayan Special Branch, and went with him to Johore, where she worked in the Johore Bahru General Hospital, and later opened a clinic in Johore Bharu and Upper Pickering Street, Singapore.

In 1955, Han Suyin contributed efforts to the establishment of Nanyang University in Singapore. Specifically, she offered her services and served as physician to the institution, after having refused an offer to teach literature. Chinese writer Lin Yutang, first president of the university, had recruited her for the latter field, but she declined, indicating her desire “to make a new Asian literature, not teach Dickens”.

She spent at least 10 years in Johor Baru, later working in an anti-tuberculosis clinic located above Universal Pharmacy, at 24 Jalan Ibrahim!Long before Guardian, Apex or Pharmacare existed, Universal Pharmacy was where JB folk went for pharmaceutical needs as it was well stocked with a wide range of imported merchandise on the ground floor. A broad wooden staircase led to the clinic upstairs where patients consulted Dr Elisabeth. Conversant in Hakka, Mandarin, Cantonese, Malay, French and English, she is well remembered by older generation Johoreans. She now lives in Lausanne, Switzerland, and maintains her name as Dr Elisabeth C.K. Comber.The building that Universal occupied has been demolished and is now a vacant lot opposite Johor Central Store. So the next time you pass Johor Baru’s busy Jalan Ibrahim, check out that space next to the motorcycle service shop and picture what used to be Universal Pharmacy and the clinic upstairs where Dr Comber, GP, once worked.

Here are additional personal information by Dr. Tan Chow Wei of The People’s Dispensary, Johor Bahru.

Here are some of the less known facts about the great Han Suyin, even missed by the NST reporter (because he missed interviewing an expert in JB history):

She practised medicine in JB in the 50s where she opened her first clinic near the old Cathay cinema (where Johoreans go to savour the famous beef noodle). The clinic was known as Chow Dispensary (In those days, clinics or surgeries were known as dispensaries, the word polyclinic was not even born. So when you see a clinic such as The People’s Dispensary, you instantly know that it is a “grandfather clinic”!). Han Suyin was then affectionally called “Dr.Chow”. She later relocated her clinic to the up-stair of the 2-storey shop house above the Universal Pharmacy, still retaining the name “Chow Dispensary”. It is just a stone’s throw away from the oldest clinic in JB, The People’s Dispensary, where Dr.Tan Chow Wei (who is also a Hakka) is proud to be associated with. She used to visit Dr.Yeoh Hon Shu, the founder of The People’s Dispensary and more than 20 years her senior, (who incidentally, was the first GP in JB to have a post-graduate degree, MRGP.) By the way, next to The People’s Dispensary, where the Chinese Association was (Now being converted to museum of Chinese history in JB), was the birth-place of Robert Kuok, the richest man in Malaysia.

Han Suyin’s husband then, Leon Comber was a Malayan Special Branch Officer during the 1948 to 1960 ‘Emergency’ period. (After many years in book publishing he is now a research associate at the Monash Asia Institute of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia).

“Han Suyin” is a pseudonym. What does it stand for? According to her daughter, Tang Yungmei, Han Suyin stands for “the clear voice of the Han people.” There has been some debate about the origin of Hakka people whether they belong to “Han” people or a minority from “Xiongnu”. From most of the evidence gathered, it can be concluded that Hakkas are likely Han people rather than a derivative from the Xiongnu.”

Han Suyin’s conclusion is:

“The word Hakka does not denote a racial group, for the Hakkas are Han People, Chinese People. It was a word applied to all displaced peasants, and only after the tenth century came to design a special group. Moving en masse these refugees from misery were ‘people who sought a roof, hence called Guest People’ which was more courteous than calling them displaced persons or refugees…”

“The Hakkas say they are the true people of Han, and that they have escaped degenerate habits brought by foreign rule. They are proud of their singularity” As the Guest People, especially among the overseas Chinese, where their clans are prosperous and strong.”

So we can see that Hakka people are the Han people, not belonging to a minority. That is one main reason why Han Suyin chose “Han” as her surname.

She used to say: “I am a Hakka, my roots are in China.”

Source: Dr. Alex Tang

“This love story made in 1955 and set against the backdrop of war is a many-splendored thing: it features a drop-dead gorgeous Eurasian doctor seeking meaning in her life (Jennifer Jones), a dashing but married American war correspondent who’s macho yet not afraid to declare his love (William Holden), and a couple of murky subplots to give their relationship its oh-what’s-going-to-happen-next edge (her Chinese heritage, his wife, the outbreak of the Korean War). One scene builds beautifully upon the next, accompanied by dialogue that often sounds like poetry: “I will make no mistakes in the name of loneliness,” the doctor says near the beginning of their relationship. The movie also makes few mistakes as it combines thoughtful words with Oscar-winning costumes to tell its tale. It even leaves you with a hummable tune–the Academy Award-winning title song–as you reach for the Kleenex.” –Valerie J. Nelson

Then the movie came out in the silver screen in Hollywood – a heart-wrenching, moving and touching scenery shots as described in the novel.

Enjoy, Namaste.

By John Gittings, The Guardian

Colonial Hong Kong, a doomed love affair and the echoes of revolution in China were the explosive mixture that made the reputation of the author Han Suyin, who has died aged 95. The film of her 1952 book A Many-Splendoured Thing may have been just a classic weepie, but the original novel shocked Hong Kong with its tale of her love affair with a married man and its sympathy for the appeal of communism to China’s downtrodden millions.

She would shock people many times again as she acted out the philosophy expounded in the film by Jennifer Jones, playing a character based on the author: “To go on living, one must be occasionally unwise.” Her defence of Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution, though later recanted, came to overshadow her huge literary talents. The ambiguities of her identity, as the daughter of a Chinese engineer and his Belgian wife, were always close to the surface. Her writings offered more than one version of her life. Elizabeth Kuanghu Chow was born in Xinyang in the north-central province of Henan. Her father, who came from a landowning clan in Sichuan province, met his wife while studying abroad and took her home to semi-feudal China.

As a child in Beijing, she remembered traveling to school by rickshaw and seeing the bodies of those who had died of starvation – “big or small bundles of rags” – on the pavements. From the age of 12, she decided to become a doctor against the wishes of her mother who urged her to marry a foreigner – preferably an American because “all Americans are wealthy”. Mother and daughter existed in a “chasm of aversion”. After leaving school she paid for her fees at Yenching University in Beijing by learning to type. A Belgian businessman became her father substitute and arranged a scholarship for her to continue her medical studies in Brussels. In 1938 she returned to China to work in a French hospital in Yunnan, but was diverted on the way, meeting a handsome young officer, Tang Pao-huang (Pao), who educated her in the Nationalist version of patriotism.

They were married that year in Wuhan, just before it was abandoned to the Japanese, and fled on the same boat as Chiang Kai-shek, head of the Nationalist government. They travelled west to Chongqing, the Nationalist wartime retreat, where she discovered her father’s relatives. There, she also learned how to write. A missionary doctor, Marian Manly, encouraged her to record the story of her journey with Pao, polished the text and suggested avoiding subjects such as prostitution which might cause “misunderstanding”. The intention was to attract American readers to the Chinese cause. Later she regretted her “idealised version” of reality. But ideals were the currency of the time: Bertrand Russell said that Destination Chungking (1942) – published under the pen name Han Suyin, which she kept – told him more about China in an hour than he had learned there in a year.

-/AFP/GETTY IMAGES – A picture taken late June 1977 in Paris shows renowned Chinese-born British writer Han Suyin, who died on Nov. 2, 2012, at her home in Lausanne, Switzerland. She was 95.

In 1942, when Pao was posted to London as military attache, she followed him with her adopted daughter and resumed her medical studies two years later. The marriage had chilled in spite of a reconciliation engineered by the Labour politician Stafford Cripps. Through her publisher Jonathan Cape, she joined the circle of progressive Asia-minded intellectuals around Kingsley Martin, Dorothy Woodman, Margery Fry and JB Priestley. But medicine remained her goal.

Pao was posted to Washington and later to the Manchurian front where he died, fighting the communists, in 1947. Han Suyin remained in London to take her finals and then moved to Hong Kong. It was there that she met and had a passionate affair with the Times correspondent Ian Morrison. Their relationship was the basis of A Many-Splendoured Thing, which became a bestseller. It is an unashamed love story: the idyllic scenes on the hillside overlooking the harbour are in the book as much as the film, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955). A sharp piece of social satire, the book pulls apart the preposterous world of expatriate Hong Kong. But faced with the choice between the revolutionary mainland and the outside world, Han Suyin was unable to make the “sacrifice of self”. In a far-sighted passage of A Many-Splendoured Thing, she praised those who went back but warned that: “They may see their words twisted, their devotion warped, and their best intentions serve ends which they had not conceived.”

She moved to Malaya and married, in 1952, Leon Comber, an official in the police service. Her bestseller was followed by And the Rain My Drink (1956) and The Mountain is Young (1958), set respectively in Malaya and Nepal. The first of these examined the suffering caused by British suppression of the Malayan emergency. The second arose out of a visit to Kathmandu for the coronation of King Mahendra, and her meeting Vincent Ruthnaswamy, a colonel in the Indian army, who, in 1971, became her third husband.

She took to fame with an alacrity which some found off-putting. “I could be a top-grade, highly paid [medical] specialist,” she told a journalist in 1958. But she was “possessed of a demon” that forced her to write instead of practising medicine fulltime. In the 1960s she began to identify more consistently with the struggle of ex-colonial Asia. A frequent visitor to China, she wrote essays for the pro-Beijing Hong Kong journal Eastern Horizon. A selection of these was re-issued in Tigers and Butterflies (1990). Her themes were women, peasants, the divide between town and country, exploitation in many forms, and the incomprehension of the affluent west for labouring Asia.

William Holden and Jennifer Jones in the 1955 film Love is a Many-Splendored Thing, based on Han Suyin’s bestseller. Photograph: Mondadori/Getty Images

As the Vietnam war’s shadow lengthened, she denounced a society – which she knew well from lecture tours – so numbed by advertising that it could not distinguish between “napalming 50 children and sucking the latest sweet”.

From this new perspective she now reviewed her own life in three volumes of autobiography, The Crippled Tree (1965), A Mortal Flower (1966) and Birdless Summer (1968). She had been invited regularly to China since 1956, when she had her first of many private meetings with Premier Zhou Enlai. She was not alone in being charmed by the rhetoric of the Cultural Revolution. In her book China in the Year 2001 (1967), she hailed the “remaking of man” in China as a watershed for the world. Many of her friends, Chinese and foreigners, suffered terribly in those years. Later she claimed to have intervened in many cases but the extent to which she did so is unclear. In a mildly critical article, Water Too Pure …, written in 1972, she deplored the “innocent victims”. It remained unpublished until 1990.

She laboured to produce a detailed history of Mao and the Cultural Revolution, resulting in The Morning Deluge (1972) and Wind in the Tower (1976). Neither offered much original insight, and the credibility of the second volume was undermined by the political upheavals following Mao’s death in 1976. Another autobiographical volume, My House Has Two Doors (1980), tried to reconcile some of these contradictions.

She plunged into Deng Xiaoping’s new China, for the first time not feeling obliged to plead China’s cause against a critical world. She lectured frequently to students who were beginning to ask their own questions and she welcomed the 1989 democracy movement. It “filled her with joy”, and she blamed the ruling party for missing “a great opportunity … to rejuvenate itself”.

Her biography Eldest Son: Zhou Enlai and the Making of Modern China (1994) told the story of “the most dedicated and selfless personality in China’s history”. She dismissed as inane suggestions that he should have opposed the Cultural Revolution, and the book failed to impress a more sceptical generation. In a slim volume of autobiography, Wind in my Sleeve (1992), she wrote of her “grief, anger, desolation” at the Beijing massacre but the book attracted little attention.

She decided that “the world was in such an intellectual mess that I would write detective stories” but she continued to visit China regularly. She funded educational projects and one for cultural relations between India and China was named after Ruthnaswamy – described as an “ambassador of friendship”. He provided a strong and genuine emotional bulwark in her later years. In A Share of Loving (1987), she wrote a little noticed, tender account of her struggle, with her husband, to care for his brain-damaged son.

Han Suyin settled in Lausanne, Switzerland, and remained a splendid grande dame – it helped obscure the fact that she could be and often was a grand writer. Half-Chinese, but striving to be whole Chinese, she was as full of contradictions as her motherland. When the epic of modern China is re-examined she and her works will provide important and readable evidence.

Her husband died in 2003.

Han Suyin (Elizabeth Comber), writer and doctor, born 12 September 1917; died 2 November 2012

A Many-Splendoured Thing tells the story of a married British foreign correspondent called Mark Elliot (Ian Morrison in real life and based in Singapore where he lived with his wife and children) who falls in love with a Eurasian doctor originally from Mainland China who trained at the Royal Free Hospital Medical College in London University, only to encounter prejudice from her family and from Hong Kong society.

On the surface it is a love story but there is an historical perspective relating to China, Hong Kong and the peoples and societies that populated the island. This includes many who have fled from the final stages of the Chinese Civil War, both Chinese and Europeans long settled in China.

It portrays an insight into class and race prejudice that is as relevant today in Hong Kong as it was in the fifties. Although it is technically a novel, the book is strongly autobiographical. Han Suyin’s real life lover was killed in The Korean War in 1950. Two years later, she married Leon F. Comber, a British officer in the Malayan Special Branch.

Matt Monro – Love is a many splendoured thing (慕情 / マット・モンロー)

William Holden, Jennefer Jones in Love is a many splendoured thing(1955).
song: by Matt Monro
“Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing” is a popular song with music by Sammy Fain and lyrics by Paul Francis Webster. The song was publicized first in the movie, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955), winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song. From 1967 to 1973, it was used as the theme song to Love is a Many Splendored Thing, the soap opera based on the movie.
Love is a many-splendoured thing:
It’s the April rose that only grows in the early Spring.
Love is nature’s way of give a reason to be living:
The golden crown that makes man a king.
Once on a high and windy hill,
In the morning mist, two lovers kissed,
And the world stood still.
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing.
Yes, true love’s a many-splendoured thing!

Once on a high and windy hill,
In the morning mist, two lovers kissed,
And the world stood still.
Then your fingers touched my silent heart and taught it how to sing.
Yes, true love’s a many-splendoured thing!

Nat King Cole – Love is a Many Splendored Thing

The Four Aces – Love Is A Many Splendored

The Four Aces is an American male quartet popular since the ’50s. Over the last half-century, the group amassed many gold records. Its million-selling signature tunes include “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing”, “Three Coins in the Fountain”, “Stranger in Paradise”, “Dream”, “Tell Me Why”, “Its No Sin”, “Shangri-la”, “Woman in Love”, “Perfidia”, and “Sincerely”. The original members, responsible for every song made popular by the group, include Al Alberts, Dave Mahoney, Lou Silvestri, and Rosario “Sod” Vaccaro

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