Chan Center in Bern

Chan (abbreviation of Ch’an na) is the Chinese translation for Dhyana, meaning meditation or meditative absorption. Chan emerged in China between the 6th and 8th centuries, and later on was transferred to Japan under the name of Zen.The lineages of transmission of Master Sheng Yen are both Linji (jap. Rinzai) and Caodong (jap. Soto). In the tradition of Caodong there is the practice of Mo Zhao or Silent Illumination: in the mind nothing is moving, but it is bright and illuminating. In the tradition of Linji the student uses Gongan (jap. Koan) or Huatou, and repeat them incessantly to arouse the great doubt sensation in order to eventually shatter it and awaken to enlightenment.

Weekly Activities

06:00-07:30 Meditation

18:00 – 19:00 Having faced the challenges of daily life we allow ourselves an hour of relaxation to sharpen our awareness. Following some physical exercises to calm down we meditate for half an hour.

06:00 – 07:30 Meditation

06:00 – 07:30 Meditation

06:00 – 08:30 yoga, meditation, morning ceremony and ritual rice-breakfast. 09:00 – 10:00 and 10:00 – 11:00: meditation and yoga. You can join us for meditation at 9:00 or 10:00. You can leave at 9:00 or 10:00.

19:00-21:00 Meditation

Location & Contact


Shifu Shengyen was born in 1930 and became a novice at 14 in Jiangsu. During the period of Communist unrest, he fled to Taiwan with the Nationalist Army. At 30 he became a monk again and spent six years in solitary retreat. Later on he studied in Japan and earned a doctorate in Buddhist literature from Rissho University in Tokyo. Afterwards he began to teach in the United States and followed his teacher in guiding the Nongcun Monastery in Taiwan. He also founded Dharma Drum Mountain (DDM). To promote Buddhist Studies and education of the monastics was a main concern of Shifu Shengyen. He established the Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies and Dharma Drum University. In recent years he also engaged in public dialogues with leading figures in the fields of technology, art, and culture, and has collaborated with other religions. 

Shifu Shengyen is a lineage holder of both Linji (Rinzai) (as a Dharma heir of Master Lingyuan) and Caodong (Soto) (as a Dharma heir of Master Dongchun). He has both strengthened the essence of Huatou Chan and revived the practice of Silent Illumination (Mozhao) in the Caodong Tradition. Dharma Drum Mountain (Fagushan) is an order of Chinese Humanistic Chan-Buddhism, founded in Indian Buddhism and inspired by Tibetan Buddhism. As in engaged Buddhism in the West, it combines individual practice with social engagement in the world and maintains several relief organisations. Shifu Shengyen passed away on February 3, 2009.

Ven Chang Wu is a Buddhist monastic in the Chen/Zen tradition. In the past 15 years, she delivered regular classes in Buddhist philosophy and meditation, to a wide range of people from different background and age group. She led regular intensive meditation retreats to seasoned practitioners in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada; various meditation centres in The USA, such as DDRC and CMC in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Texas, Chicago, Pittsburgh; as well as Mexico and Taiwan.

Apart from leading meditation retreats, she was a teacher on Buddhism and meditation practice at the Sheng Yen Academy and Dharma Drum Sangha University in Taiwan. In addition, she played an active role in organising and participating in scholarly conferences and interfaith dialogue around the world. Ven. Chang Wu is currently the Abbess of Dharma Drum Vancouver Centre.

Hildi Thalmann, Chang She (“Always Letting Go”). After many years of practicing meditation in the Christian contemplation and Japanese Zen tradition, she became a student of Master Sheng Yen in 2004. She attended many retreats with Master Sheng Yen and his successors. In 2008 she received teaching permission by Master Sheng Yen. Since then, she was regularly involved in teaching assignments as part of Chan Bern ( and as an assistant at retreats with Asian and Western Dharma heirs of Master Sheng Yen. She is the mother of 2 grown children, Dr. med., previously she worked as a child neurologist, Master of Science of Religion.”

To give something without expecting or hoping for anything in return is called Dāna in Buddhism. This includes gifts, alms, donations, offerings and gifts that can be given not only materially but also generously in the form of energy and wisdom. Dāna is one of the Perfections Pāramitā and an important virtue.

Verein Chan Bern 

Postkonto 60-592636-0 

IBAN CH97 0900 0000 6059 2636 0

Chan Bern 

Brunngasshalde 37, 3011 Bern, Schweiz 

Kategorien: Sangha

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