Ch’an / Zen - Home

The Ch’an tradition
The word Ch'an is Chinese for the Japanese word Zen and means meditation. Ch'an is a school of Mahāyāna Buddhism developed in China from the 6th century CE onwards. From China, Ch'an spread south to Vietnam and east to Korea and, in the 13th century, to Japan, where it became known as Zen. The central concept of Ch’an is infinite compassion which is primarily symbolised by the archetype of Kuan Yin (Kanzeon in Japanese). She listen to the cries of suffering from all sentient beings, no one is excluded. 

MahaKaruna Ch’an
This specific group stands in the tradition of MahaKaruna Ch’an, a lay community led by Ton Lathouwers from whom I have received authorisation as Ch’an teacher (sensei). Ton Lathouwers has received dharma transmission (Ch’an master) in 1987 from the Chinese Ch’an master Teh Cheng. See for more details the link in the menu on right.

Teh Cheng (1923 - 2002)  coördinator and head of the Sangha Agung Indonesia, in which all Buddhist schools of Indonesia were united. He was the highest authority of the Guang Hua Ssu monastry of Linji (Rinzai-) Ch’an Buddhism in Fujian, China.

Hisamatsu Shin’ichi (1889-1980), founder of the most important renewal movement in Japanse zen, the FAS Society was another key inspiration for MahaKaruna Ch’an. Ton Lathouwers started his zen study in 1971 under the guidance of  Masao Abe, an associate and student of Hisamatsu Shin’ichi.

The Ch’an practice
The Ch’an practice supports the awareness of the Buddha nature in ourselves and in others. An awareness that requires a clear mind of non-attachement, as a basis for wisdom and compassion. Therefore, the Ch’an practices in sesshins (retreats), practice group meetings and daily life are; zazen (stiitng mediation), kinhin (walking meditation), samu (working meditation),sutra singing, dhamma talks (teisho) and private talks (dokusan) with the teacher and koan study

One cannot say what Ch’an or Zen is or isn’t. It is about not creating   separation, making opposites or labels. It can only be experienced in yourself, uniquely, preferably with the guidance of a teacher, while asking ourselves who is student and who is the teacher….

Ruud Baanders Sensei

Gan'ji he Kang'kai zhi Guang
感激 慷慨
(Licht van Dankbaarheid en Vrijgevigheid)