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What is "Youyuan" 有緣?

Updated: Aug 1, 2022

“Youyuan” is used at Jinyin Temple and among all disciples of this lineage around the world. It is used as a greeting, a way of expressing gratitude, a parting phrase, and with other subtle meanings that it carries. In our sangha, we say “youyuan” frequently; it means “hello”, “thank you”, “so long”, and so much more.

You-yuan is in the Chinese language and literally means:

有 - to have

緣 - causes of (fateful) connection

“Yuan” (pratyaya in Sanskrit, paccaya in Pāli) is a concept that originated from Buddhism. The term was later adopted by Daoism and other Chinese indigenous belief systems. Its popular use is comparable to karma. And while karma means a self-sustaining mechanism of the law of cause and effect, yuan means indirect cause. For instance, a seed to a tree is a direct cause, while sunshine, water, air are all indirect causes to the tree as well.

Our Guru has taught that sincerity is the key to build a harmonious, inclusive, and “youyuan” world. When we say “youyuan” to each other, it reminds us of the pre-established connection, as well as sincerity and integrity in our nature and in between people; “youyuan” embodies the qualities of mind that we develop and strengthen in our practice — kindness, understanding, inclusiveness, trust, which lead separate beings, entities and nations to come together. When people have sincerity in their heart, the yuan, the connection and cause of this connection would be established further.


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