Mahabodhi Sunyata

Mahabodhi Sunyata is a Chan Dharma centre where studies of Chan Si Lun and Dao (Tao) are presented, together with the important base of Vipassana Jivitindriya (known in chinese as Zhi-guan), for those whose interest is to maintain their links with the modern world believing that they have no time or opportunity to do otherwise and for those who are not suitable for Chan study.

Registered as a legal religious entity nº 820 SG-A
and as ONG Tierra Pura nº G1S1-584.264.

The main Residence is in the woods at the left while the dormitories are at the right in Casa Vella.

The studies at the Seminary are only for serious students resident at the Seminary or not. Students are not accepted who seek relief from Samsara, a better way of life or an Awakening. Only those who seek to understand the Life Force, whatever that may be, are prepared for the journey which requires neither emphasis on logical or lateral thinking, but quantum thought and the capturing of direct experiences.

The commentaries of Huineng make it clear that not all can attain the levels required, for the Chan tasks are difficult both in practice and theory.

There have been several thousand persons over the years that have contacted us to help them in meditations more suitable for their particular attributes than Chan or Dao. As a result we present here, for those who are interested, the traditional base of Dharma studies (only in Spanish at the moment), which is our vision of the Dharma which is not directly associated with either Chan or Dao.

Through my own reception of early teachings from the great Nyanaponika Thera and Narada Maha Thera, their books are recommended without reserve, and the Bodhi Leaves of Sri Lanka which I first studied are excellent beginning texts. We have maximum respect for the practices of Theravada and encourge all students who seek that path to proceed with diligence.

In the same way, we respect the Vajrayana of China (金剛, jīngāng) and believe profoundly that these practices are valid for those who have encountered one of the few natural and correct teachers who understand the practices in depth.

We also present, for those who find it useful, the Indian Mahamudra of the old Masters of India, but do not recommend it to any but those are fully dedicated without swerving from the path.

We support the free critical thinking which Buddha recommended and as such do not consider ourselves Buddhist, but adherents to Buddha Dharma and associated Dao.

We then welcome to these pages those who come with an open and flexible mind ready to capture the truth which resides within each person and uphold historic truths rather than blind tradition.

What is Mahabodhi?

大菩提 Dà pútí


Maha signifies "great" and Bodhi (Sanskrit: बोधि), often translated in error as "illumination," is an awakening. The term Bodhi is based upon the root budh-, which signifies "to awaken" or to be conscious in a manner that is transcendental. Therefore it is an understanding that is profound and beyond mundane cognition.

Therefore, Mahabodhi signifies "to awaken beyond mundane cognition."

   太虚 tàixū

   The Original Essence of the Cosmos


Sunyata is often translated as "vacuity" or even "void," but these cause great confusion. A perhaps more correct translation is  "emptiness." One can describe "emptiness" as a state of being without characteristics, clearly suggesting that all that is perceived by the mind is illusion. But it is nonetheless useful illusion when duality is reduced to the point where there is neither duality nor non-duality.

Therefore Sunyata is the original essence of the Cosmos.

落叶归根 A falling leaf returns to its roots.

大菩提 太虚

Mahabodhi Sunyata

As a result, Mahabodhi Sunyata signifies "the great awakening to the truth regarding the original essence of the Cosmos."

This is the base of our studies and our practices, for the human creature, and in fact all life, is no more nor less than an amazing product of this essence.

We regret that the world is embroiled within two threads that are tangled. One is traditional knowledge and the other rigorous investigation of apparent truth. The resultant tangle will never be resolved unless tradition is willing to look at itself and correct the folly of past expedient means and investigators of science and history are willing to blend their understanding with experiences which reach beyond their present knowledge.

Shanjian was Founder and Director of Mahabodhi Sunyata for 20 years

Master in Chan and Dao

After rain, a Double Rainbow over the Seminary

Kuxinshan in meditation

Vipassana and Chan student

                                           Vipassana Students

The Seminary Contemplation cave

Shanjian in Malaysia


Shanjian in Beijing, China

Shanjian - Tree teaching

Shanjian and Dharma wheel

Seminary main building