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Bristol Chan Group
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The late Venerable Chan Master Dr.
see below )
Crook (Ch'uan Teng Chien Ti) (Please
see below )
Venerable Jin-Ho, from Dharma Drum
The Passing of Chan Master John Crook
16th July 2011 / October 2011
It is with great sadness and
sense of loss that we announce that Chan Master Dr John Crook has died
suddenly at his home at Winterhead Hill Farm in Somerset, UK.
John was the first
Western Dharma Heir of the late Chan Master Sheng-yen. He was the
founding Teacher of the Western Chan Fellowship which is a lay Chan
Buddhist community with members and associates in UK and Europe. He was
a pioneer who brought great wisdom and creativity to the translation of
Chinese Chan Buddhism into a Western context. Through the establishment
of the WCF and the training of its leaders he has ensured that this
work will continue.
John's funeral, which was open to all
was held on Friday 29th July at Weston-super-Mare crematorium conducted
by Rev. Master Daishin Morgan of Throssel Hole Priory. It was a moving
occasion attended by many people, Buddhists and non-Buddhists.
John's ashes were scattered by his
family at the Maenllywd on September 10th with beautiful and very
fitting ceremony. This was witnessed by many members of the
Western Chan Fellowship and other colleagues.
Welcome to the Bristol
Group. We are a small loosely-defined group formed in 1989 to practise
Chan meditation. ('About
the group'). As
you'd expect from our name, we are based in Bristol. Chan is the Chinese
Japanese Zen and we draw on the wisdom and meditation techniques of
We welcome anybody to our
meetings who is interested in meditation, whether or not they have
meditated before. For details of our weekly meditation evenings and
other events please go to 'Meetings'
evening with the Chan Group'
describes what we do during these meditation evenings.
We are affiliated to the Western Chan
through which we have links with other Chan groups, throughout the UK and Europe and with the Chan Meditation
Center of the Institute of Chung Hwa Buddhist Culture in New York and Dharma Drum
Mountain Chan Centre in
Taiwan. The WCF runs a programme of 5 and 7 day intensive retreats in a
variety of styles at the Maenllywd, a retreat centre in central Wales. See WCF
We are very pleased to
Ven. Jin-Ho in our group, a nun
from Dharma Drum Mountain who is
studying in Bristol. She runs a meditation evenings form time to time
the University of Bristol Chaplaincy at No.1 Woodland Road and weekend
one-day retreats. Please see occasional entries in 'Latest News' below
From time to time, there
usually organised and run by Alysun Jones. Please
occasional entries in 'Latest News' below about this.
following John's death, this valuable resource is no longer available.
It was very much appreciated by the many of us who stayed there.
Personal retreats under
of John Crook may be
undertaken at Winterhead
Hill Farm near Shipham in the
Mendips, about 45 minutes to
drive from Bristol.
the link (WHF)
or phone 01934 842231 for details.
actively encourage newcomers to the Bristol Chan Group. If you would
like to find out more about it, please telephone :-
(0117 924 8819) or Pat Simmons (0117 977 4683)
Or email : firstname.lastname@example.org (Please
mention 'Bristol Chan' in the 'Subject' of your email and please put
your message in line rather than as an attachment. This avoids it being
deleted as a possible virus carrier or being treated as unwanted spam.)
We are very sorry to
announce the passing of our Dharma Advisor, The
Dr. Sheng-yen on Monday 2nd
Feb. 2009 at Dharma Drum Mountain in
Taiwan. He was the mentor and spiritual inspiration for many members of
the Western Chan Fellowship. For a fuller account, please see the news
panel on the WCF website at WCF.
News (9th April
- See above for the announcement of the passing of our
teacher and spiritual guide, John Crook.
- We are very sorry to have to announce the passing of Alec
Lawless, a long-standing member of the Western Chan
Fellowship and a friend to many of us. He was killed in an accident
on a boat in Turkey on Monday 26th March. His funeral is to be on
Sunday 15th April at the Memorial Woodlands near Bristol. Please ask if
you need to know more about this event.
- On Sunday, April 29th, we will be going on our annual spring
walk followed by a nice tea. This year we will be
walking in the Mendips near to Wells. You can download the details in a
flyer at Walk
- pdf or Walk- docx
- As a way of keeping in
touch with the various groups of the
WCF, John Crook wrote a number of Teisho.
Of these he writes "The
idea of these Teisho
talks/sermons) is for you to read them verbatim to your group meeting
on a suitable occason to stimulate thought, meditation and
discussion then -- or subsequently."
We have used these at
some of our Wednesday meditation evenings. The texts are available in
pdf files at
Teisho one ;
three ; Teisho
four ; Teishio
five ; Teisho
six ; Teisho
seven ; Teisho
; Teisho eleven
; Teisho twelve
John issued two teishos for the new year, 2010/11
New Year Teisho
(Not sure what happened to number 8 !)
Chan Forum is always available. To download, go
and Click the 'more'
under NCF44 to reveal the
link to the pdf file. The current issue is
in the recent past
- last year or so :
- In the past John Crook has given us a series of talks at
our Wednesday evening meetings during the autumn or winter. Clearly he
was not able to do that this year, so we were very pleased that Hilary Richards
gave a Dharma talk on Weds 14th December with the title 'Silent
Illumnation in Everyday Life.' This
talk was recorded,
- Our weekend conference, "
Western Buddhism: Engaged Buddhism ?", hosted by the
Chan Fellowship and the Bristol Chan Group was on October 29th/30th
had several major
speakers including David Loy and Jan Willis from the USA. A wide
range of perspectives were presented and these were brought into focus
by some participatory work. Was it successful? Well, we never know how
these events change people's lives or how they think, but certainly
many said they found the weekend inspiring and useful. Recordings of
the talks will be availble on the WCF website and print version in New
Chan Forum. In the meantime you can see the programme here.
- On 3rd and 4th September 2011 , we held a weekend of
'sitting' and teachings on the
'Six Paramitas' led by Kaiyo Diana Gerard of the San Fransisco Zen
Center. It was an enjoyable, interesting and usual weekend.
- On Tuesday May 3rd, Andy Ferguson gave us a most
interesting illustrated talk: "Toward a New Understanding of
Bodhidharma". Amongst other things it gave me (MRWM) a new
perspective on the oft-related conversation between Bodhidharma and the
Emperor Wu, and the stark differences in their understanding of
Buddhism. If you wish to know more, the track down his books, one of
which, "Zen's Chinese Heritage", is due to be reissued in the autumn.
- On Sunday 13th
February 2011, there was a meeting in memory
of our teacher, Master
Sheng-yen who died two years ago. This was in response to a request
Dharma Drum Mountain, founded by him in Taiwan. The idea was that there
would be memorial events throughout the world during the weekend of the
anniversary of his funeral. Our event was held at Winterhead Hill
Farm, the home of John Crook.
the group as a whole and several individual members had experienced
significant bereavements over the past 18 months, we made
occasion for general remembrance of other people dear to us who have
died. [Oct 2011] This is now especially poignant given that we have
just lost John as well.
Please note the change in domain name
bristolchan.co.uk . Please change any reference to bristol-chan.co.uk
in any bookmark file or in any email address books. The old domain name
will continue in parallel until it expires in November 2008 and maybe
beyond. Later: it has been renewed and therefore continues for the time
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Last update on
2012 Apr 09