How a Zen Buddhist Master Rejected Me… [SHORT FILM] – 禅宗佛教大师拒绝我 Zen Buddhism

This is my story of trying to persuade a Zen
Buddhist Master to share his secrets. Things have changed since I recorded this
so make sure to stick round to the end of the video to see what happens. I’m in China at the moment and for the last
4 months my Master, Master Gu, and I have been sharing Daoist philosophy here on YouTube. Taoism is awesome and I’ve heard Zen or
Chan Buddhism, the main form of buddhism in China and Japan, is also awesome. Now, I’ve found out about a little secret. There’s a Zen Buddhist Kung Fu Monastery
in the South of China that accepts foreigners. So here’s the plan, go there, learn some
buddhism from the master, share it with you and do some kung fu backflips. Sounds cool right? The only thing is I’m just turning up and
I’m not sure what the master will think about the camera but I guess we’ll find
out. wow it’s incredible here, it’s a legit
buddhist monastery. ok this is the room, no electricity but surprisingly
comfortable bed – even if it is a bit noisy. ok the shufu’s not here, I’ll start the
training and ask him when he gets here. so the shifu arrived yesterday, after each
meal he comes and sits on this tree. slowly all the monks and guests join him,
they ask him questions or meditate. it’s a special experience. he radiates an amazing energy. I’m meditating with him and joining in the
chanting and I’ll pop the question tomorrow. ok, today’s the big day, it shouldn’t
be a big deal I’m only asking him if he wants to share some Buddhist wisdom with you
but still. I’m tempted to film it, it would be pretty
awesome footage wouldn’t it? but it wouldn’t be very respectful… so I’ll fill you in
what happens. so I went to his study he was sitting crosslegged
in a big chair but he had guests. I asked him if I could talk to him and he
said later when we are meditating. so, so far so good. after dinner, I sat down by the meditation
tree but shifu was nowhere to be found. I sat there trying to meditate but actually
thinking about what I was going to say to him. one by one the other monks left, eventually
it was just me. 1 hour passed. at this point, I wasn’t too sure if he had
just forgotten or if this was a challenge straight out of Karate Kid so I just kept
sitting. My back and hips were absolutely killing me
but I kept at it. I sat there for two hours, until it got dark
and – yea sorry to burst your kung fu bubble but – he didn’t come. he must have been busy or something. although my back was burning the process was
enjoyable just for the anticipation that a Zen Master would eventually come and give
me his blessing. Just had breakfast. We had the conversation. Bare in mind I’ve only been learning Chinese
5 month but I’ll re-enact it for you. “shifu, my chinese name is, I am a disciple
of sang feng pai. me and my master share daoism videos. this has helped many people. would it be possible for us to talk about
buddhism? He then said something along the lines of
“when it is time to eat, you eat. when it is time for kung fu, you kung fu. when you
sit, you sit. whatever you do, you do that and only that. he didn’t need to say anything more, I knew
the conversation was over… I asked one of the monks why the master didn’t
want to talk. he said only those who are destined to meet
the master can receive his wisdom. I’m not too sure about that argument, what
about those who can’t afford to come to china? I’ve heard that Zen can be pretty cryptic. But anyway since the master won’t speak
to you and I’ve already done quite a bit of reading in preparation for our conversation,
I’ll try to explain what the master meant. Western society tells us that we need to learn
lots and work hard for the good of all. And sure, the efforts of generations of boffins
means I’m able to talk to you through the inter webs from China
But on the individual level constant use of the mind is tough. This is because the world is far too complex
for us to fully understand plus our brains are hardwired to simplify it through stories. For example “I am George and I’m not good
at football” – but you know if I didn’t tell myself that when I was younger I would
have been just fine at football. So, society teaches us to always be analysing
but we have to make decisions on limited and wrong information, so is it really any wonder
so many of us are anxious or struggle to make decisions? This is why the master’s advice is so important. When the master says “when it is time to eat. you eat”, he is saying you should be fully
engaged in that moment. when he says it is time for kung fu. you kung
fu. he means don’t try to intellectualise it, just do it. It’s only when we stop trying to analyse
the world, when we stop thinking about living in the world, that we actually live in it.
and It’s only then that we can gain wisdom, awareness of the world as it really is. When your mind is still like this, you find
decisions come easier as you rely on your intuitions and you’re not anxious because
in the present there is no right or wrong decision – there just is what is. Powerful stuff right? Well it would have been nice to get the Master
on camera but I gave it my best shot. At least I’ve got a funny story to tell
the grand kids. So over the last couple of days the master
has become more receiptive to the camera, that’s why I could get the meditaiton tree
shot. so I’m going to stay for another week, I’d
love to share the master with you because he’s such a legend. there’s no wifi so I’ll see you next week.

Jerry Heath


  1. To await the master to share his wisdom is like giving something you have to another , and ask them to give it back to you.
    Wisdom cannot be implanted to another.
    Knowledge can, but not wisdom.

  2. If it is in the stars, you will have the means to get there. It's pretty simple.

  3. Hello George, I really enjoy wanting you're v I deos. I've spent a long time living in Asia, including in Wuhan and Xiamen and am a Buddhist Practitioner and Chinese martial artist. What your Chan master has presented here is mainstream Buddhist philosophy not just Chan philosophy. The Buddhas central teaching is Pay Attention Be Aware. It's that simple but also that profound.

  4. When the Master was saying "when you eat, you eat" he was quoting a famous Chan Master, Linji Yixuan (simplified Chinese: 临济义玄; traditional Chinese: 臨濟義玄; pinyin: Línjì Yìxuán; Wade–Giles: Lin-chi I-hsüan; Japanese: 臨済義玄 Rinzai Gigen; died 866 CE) was the founder of the Linji school of Chán Buddhism during Tang Dynasty China. In Japan the school is known as Rinzai. The Linji quote is: " when hungry, eat your rice; when tired, close your eyes."

  5. The Pure Land school is actually the more popular Buddhist tradition in China, more than Chan/Zen. However, Chan Buddhism has historical been closely associated with martial arts, in China and Japan. 禅武合一 – Chan and martial arts are one – is a commonly-known principle. When you do Gongfu, do Gongfu – great – but ask yourself this question and develop a sense of the curiosity: Who is practising Gongfu? Oh and Chan Buddhism is not mutually exclusive with the Pure Land school; many Chan practitioners also incorporate Pure Land into their practices.

  6. 0:23 that's not buddha, that's budai and has nothing to do with the actual buddha.

  7. bro, Zen isn't "the main form of Buddhism in China and Japan" by any means… that would be like saying that "Methodism is the main form of Christianity in England and Wales…." 😉
    that's not to say it isn't a very influential school….

  8. Zen Buddhism is in master li hongzhi book lecture 9. Falun gong.

  9. I'm a runner in training for the great Welsh marathon in Llanelli Wales U.K. in 2019 April.

  10. I feel like your sense of past and future is shame and worry. Although that might be projection because that is a part of what my sense of past and future involves. But when you said that bit about right and wrong, that's the impression that I got.

  11. he is telling you, when you meditate, you meditate, dont think of making videos.

  12. George i teach my five sons to follow the sun. Sleep when the globe rolls away from the sun and rise when our globe points back to the sun. Darkness has some value .

  13. Thank you for what you are doing here. 🙏🏻
    Please, thank Master Gu also. 🙏🏻

  14. I just saw this and wanted to share, an Australian master called Sri Avinash is transmitting the enlightened state, called the Satori Transmission. You can see in video people are experiencing a taste of enlightenment because of him within minutes. 👐 Check out the video of him doing it! #sriavinashsatoritransmission 💕💙

  15. Actually it's funny, because in his rejection the monk gave us the essence of Chan buddhism which is to be in the moment and nothing else. It's as simple as that. Thank you.

  16. Exactly, you must be always focused on the present and what you are doing at that moment, dont think just feel. The way your master explained it is perfect 🙂 Keep up the great work

  17. He might of been saying that when u meditate u should just meditate an not think about what ur going to say to him 😂 by the way do u pay to train at that monastery

  18. The amount of concentration it would take a heart surgeon to clamp an artery is the amount of concentration we should have in all we do. Those who are meant to visit such places have been picked long before their existence, so Zen master is correct on that. Everything has happened, is happening and will happen accordingly to plan all we really have to do is be present and allow life to unravel.

  19. feel subscribing it spontaneously? the only one on the whole youtube i found and effortlessly subscribin it.cheers

  20. The zen master likes his world the way it is because anything else would cloud his vision or way of life. Strength or weakness? A matter of perspective.

  21. In all honesty I think he was saying, you first master one art and stick to it, ie Kung Fu. Then once you've mastered it properly you can move on to something else like meditation. Don't mix different arts. Basically you shouldn't have told him about your previous master and practice. Anyway I'm sure you'll find a master.
    Sweet dude. A brother from the UK.

  22. I was once here. The master slapped my hands with chop sticks because I couldn't use them how he taught me. That is my fondest memory of the Master. I still don't know how to use chop sticks.

  23. George this video was fantastic, and so inspiring. I'm living in southern China right now (Shenzhen) and I want to experience a Zen Buddhist environment for myself, would you share the name of this monastery with me?

  24. I'm interested in Chinese language and culture but will probably never visit China . I think I will only ever see the arts and philosophies as an outsider . Does that cause worry not at all . Mysteries are what keeps life interesting . There are things in this country too that are fascinating , ballet , ancient stone monuments wild plants and animals even Morris dancing . A squirrel popped up over the fence yesterday said hello and went its way . There's magic everywhere if you look . Thanks for all these people making life as rich as it is .

  25. Gautama contradicted himself with his message to desire non-desire which he never followed making him a hypocrite and a fraud, since he never died of hunger, desiring to survive all the days of his wasted life.

  26. So should I not watch your video and just live in the world. I feel I spend a lot of time living my life through watching informative video on YouTube. But on the other hand I would never get all this information and my mind and soul would feel empty.

  27. Excellent video! As a now non-practicing Buddhist, I can go back to the mid-70s when I was heavily into Zen. The overarching teaching was, yes, when you eat, just eat. When you sit, just sit, be in the moment because there is nothing else. Unfortunately, people will forever be doing something but their minds are away on a different subject! Thanks!

  28. Why do we need blessing from a fellow human? When you are alert and aware, you are automatically self blessed. While we respect the earnest and disciplined, but we must not fall for hero worshiping. Worshiping anything is unnecessary and superstitious. It’s unZen and nothing to do with Tao.

  29. This is little kids stuff – study for 40 years then make a video – nothing worthwhile is available in books – let alone YouTibe videos – train for 40 years and you might understand – this just gets in the way of real training.

  30. you should talk to discovery channel or natgeo about a possible show doing what you're doing here full time

  31. If you really want your heart touched and your spirit awakened try a pilgrimage to Medjugorje.

  32. All religion is pagan superstitious bullshit it’s all materialistic in nature and symbolic in nature.

  33. There isn’t any wisdom he holds captive that you yourself do not also own within. You are both a part of the same moment, a same creation. You find it in simple contentment. Stillness and movement.

  34. This particular temple is trying to preserve its authenticity by not broadcasting their status as accepting of foreigners. They actually discourage any guests from doing any advertisement (other than pure word of mouth, which is a reflection of the temple's very name), especially after a bad year where they received a lot of guests who treated the place like a hostel. They raised the price a little bit and had to turn away some sketchy individuals in recent times. While I admire your cause, publishing this video is not helping their case at all.

  35. To die but not to perish is to be eternally present because the time is always now; now is the time!
    People who believe in relativity know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

  36. there is however another thing hidden in it and is far more important than this what you mention. and it is fact that apart from thinking is your mind play on you that you are actually doing what you perceive that you are doing while you are not doing it. example are meditations. i watched on tube documentary about buddhist monks and there monks talk about meditation and their experiences. what stuck in me was fact that one monk said that even if he is meditating he still have days where negative emotions arise. just for note. when you go to do meditation usually you decide to do it every single day and you do not want to miss any of the days to make it for example morning. but with this schedule comes new problems and it is overcoming other daily issues. at the end you finish to make meditation with mixed and various results and many time you compromised what and how you will do it. this however is not good way of doing it. it is better when you choose one particular way of doing it and not compromise nothing and do it same way all the time and your days should be rather deficient elsewhere then there and build up to make it all the time same way without compromises or disturbances or whatever. many people do not realize that they can even slightly force themselves to do it or they force they life affairs to make mediation every single day in particular time. this routine is good but only if serve purpose. other than that is sort of cheating on level of mind and this is what i thinking when somebody tell : WHEN YOU EAT EAT, WHEN THAT THAT, WHEN YOU DO THIS DO THIS… do not look for ways to do it because results of even slight push or other disturbance or decrease intensity of your awareness or whatever brings different results. and only correct ways of doing something are correct ways of doing something. you can use hammer many ways, or cut with sword many way but to be master is do it same way always. do not underestimate it and learn to recognize those cheats what you do on yourself. otherwise it will not work for you.

  37. The Tao is beyond language for in it there is no yesterday, no tomorrow, no today.
    Do things wu-wei by doing no-thing. Achieve without trying to achieve anything.
    What is it you are feverishly seeking?

  38. actually he gave you the utmost supreme wisdom.all you ever need to know. its up to you if you choose to listen.

  39. Love you're doing George. I'd love to have an experience like this if you wouldn't mind sharing some of the details some time…

  40. George, thanks so much for sharing! I'm really enjoying following along with your adventures, even as I begin my own tai chi lessons here locally. You're inspiring! Best wishes to you and much love.

  41. Its not so much when you eat you 'should' just eat. Its that 'you are' eating. You are shitting. You are pulling your pants back up. Youre it whatever youre doing. Talking about anything is neither past or future youre talking in the present, youre eating in the present etc. Youre it always. 30 years ago matters not because youre always just right now. Listen to alan watts if you new agers need additional clarity and just wake the fuck up already

  42. Basically he is saying you can't film while walking. One job at a time. No multi tasking. Concentration is the key for success in everything.

  43. In Indonesia there is call TriDhrma : One tample With 3 Religion inside.
    Taoism, Budhism,Confuism

  44. "The essence of the Way is detachment and the goal of those who practice is freedom from appearances."
    (The Zen teaching of Bodhidharma)

  45. The universe really is not all that complex. However, through science and religion we try very hard to explain everything. The human mind (society's mind) makes life complex with the "because". There is no such "because" outside of ourselves. It just is . . . "The wheel turns and turns. The thread weaves in and out. And so, we have our rug we call life." Paraphrase from The Wheel of Time

  46. Was kinda obvious to me what he meant the moment you've said his words though. I'm feeling so much wiser now lol.

    And yeah, it's like women say: "Women can do multiple things at the same time".

    And when someone says that I'll respond with: "They might be able to do all of those things at the same time, but it doesn't matter if none of those things are done the good way".

  47. Perhaps a subtle lesson that if you want to ask about Zen then you ought to devote yourself to Zen; if you want to ask about Daoism, then devote yourself to Daoism. Don’t worry about filling your head with both and trying to analyze the differences, merits, and issues with either. Just pick and live one, rather than trying to create competition.

  48. Your forms and positions are lovely George – perhaps work more on your flow, you'll REALLY feel the difference. 🙂

  49. Everyday, I start my zen practice in the morning perfectly…when I shit, I shit!

  50. Love your vids, Jud. Howeverrr… 0:24 In terms of absolute numbers Zen isn't the main form of Buddhism in Japan – Pure Land Buddhism is. That being said, I married into a fambly of Soto Zen Buddhists, which I really get a (cosmic) buzz out of.

  51. I recently watched a cartoon about the famous Shaolin Way. It showed a Karateka, Taoist, and Buddhist crossing over death and suffering. The Shaolin monk was the only one who passed. I feel this is an insult to Zen, as though reflection enough is not good enough to learn. I feel this is an insult to Taoist practicioners, emphasizing that Taoist masters would be too attached to long life to stare into death and not pass. I feel this is an insult to Shaolin, as it implies that only Kung Fu can bring the way, which a humble Monk would not depict.

  52. Those simple words of his was the most important lesson to teach. You're overthinking it lol

  53. love Chan (Chinese zen) more then Japanese "zen" less rigid.
    read Huang po, layman pang, huineng, Bodhidharma, master fenyang, lin chi, yangshan, Huanglong, yangoi, wuzu, Foyan.👍👍✌✌

  54. China very strict about photography in temples and teachers, it would prefer eliminate most temples..it's anti religion in action but speaks tolerance in public relations. I not criticising just the way it is.

  55. Coming from the sparse ascetic aestheticism of Japanese Zen Buddhism, it's very interesting to see how colorful the Chan Chinese temple is. Same sect of Buddhism, yet culturally and aesthetically so different. I wonder how different the practice is also, although what the Master said about eat when you eat, sleep when you sleep, etc. sounds exactly as the teachings one hears in the Japanese Zen temples. Did the master ever speak to you on camera?

  56. I think what he meant is that you should spend your time focusing on the present moment and nothing else.

  57. When you were explaining some Buddhist teachings, wouldn't you of the Buddhist monk you met agree with a view I espouse: Each moment we live is actually all three as one. As we live, we are living in the present, past, & future all at the same time.

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