Long ago the Japanese scholar Ui Hakuju suggested that this short treatise was a correspondence by letter, and hence originally there was no title. Zongmi replies that he will lay out the branch and the mainline master-disciple transmissions, with his own Heze house of Chan, of course, as the central or orthodox line of descent down from the first Chan patriarch of China Bodhidharma, and will discuss the relative depths of their teachings, that is, provide critiques.
He supplies a very lengthy genealogical chart of all transmissions section 7 , consisting of a total of seventy-four names and one title. This is the earliest extant Chan genealogical chart to trace all lineages descending from Bodhidharma. The remaining five questions sections 5, 20, 21, and 22 are specific and elicit focused responses from Zongmi. At some point an editor must have deleted the epistolary format, the dating, polite formalities, and so forth, to produce a compact treatise.
That editor could have been Zongmi himself or perhaps the editor s of one of the posthumous collections of his writings. Zongmi does not hold back in his wide-ranging references to Buddhist technicalities, indicating he considered Pei virtually on the level of a trained monastic in formal Buddhist discourse.
The analytical bifurcation by the Chan Notes of the Chan houses into idea and practice is maintained in the Chan Letter , though the latter enhances the vocabulary for the first half of that dichotomy. Though the Chan Notes does have a short set of evaluations at the end of section 5 , this passage is little more than the seed of a fully elaborated set of critiques. First, at the time of writing the Chan Letter , Zongmi was residing in the capital and its environs, and the distant Sichuanese Chan houses would not have been well known to a general capital audience.
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The wishing jewel, in the form of a flaming ball pointed at the top, is a staple of Buddhist iconography, often found in the hand of a buddha or bodhisattva. The jewel utterly lacks any color characteristics, just as Knowing lacks all discriminations. When the color black is placed before the jewel and it appears black all the way through, it is like the mind of Knowing in the common person, full of delusion, stupidity, passion, and desire. The views of the four Chan houses are illustrated in terms of their attitudes to the jewel when it is facing a black object, reflecting black ignorance.
They try to wipe it clean to eliminate the blackness. Only when they succeed in making the brightness reemerge do they say that they see a bright jewel. The Hongzhou lineage section 17 points out that the blackness itself is the bright jewel and that the substance of the bright jewel is never to be seen, indeed, cannot be seen. When they see a jewel that is not facing any colors, one that is just bright and pure, they put up a deep resistance and fail to recognize it, fearing being limited to the one characteristic of brightness.
Hence, the Niutou view is not awakened to the realization that the locus wherein the color characteristics are all void is precisely the non-void jewel. Just the perfect brightness of jade-like purity [ yingjing yuanming] is the jewel substance [zhuti]….
The black color, up to and including all the other colors, such as blue and yellow, etc. When one truly sees the color black, the black from the outset is not black. It is just the brightness. The blue from the outset is not blue. It is just the brightness, up to and including, all the [other colors], such as red, white, yellow, etc. They are just the brightness. If, at the locus of the color characteristics, one after the other you just see the perfect brightness of jade-like sparkling purity, then you are not confused about the jewel….
If you are just free of confusion about the jewel, then black is non-black; black is the bright jewel, and so on with all colors. This is freedom [from the two extremes of] existence and non-existence. The brightness and the blackness are in fusion. How could there be any further obstacle? Having suddenly seen that lustrous purity sudden awakening , he then continues in a long-term course of rigorous practice rooted in its sparkling rays. Clearly, Zongmi implies a ranking of Chan reactions to the blackened jewel, with his own Heze at the top and Northern at the bottom.
First, it is necessary to ascertain more precisely the target of this critique:. The teachings of this milieu would certainly have come to the notice of the collector Zongmi. Their successors could be the junior trainees of Hongzhou that Zongmi mentions. The critique of Hongzhou in the Chan Letter was originally aimed by Zongmi at an audience of one, Pei Xiu, who clearly is already sympathetic to Hongzhou. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Upload Sign In Join. Save For Later. Create a List. Zongmi on Chan by Jeffrey Lyle Broughton. Summary Japanese Zen often implies that textual learning gakumon in Buddhism and personal experience taiken in Zen are separate, but the career and writings of the Chinese Tang dynasty Chan master Guifeng Zongmi undermine this division. Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN cloth : alk. Zongmi, — Zen Buddhism—China—Doctrines. TB76 Dust on his writing table has piled up since he extinguished.
The colors of the trees have changed since he was alive. His tiered stupa faces pines rustling in the wind.
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His footprints remain beside the neglected spring. I just sigh over the tiger that used to listen to his sutra chanting, Arriving on time at the side of his dilapidated hermitage. Translation of the Chan Letter 2.
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Translation of the Chan Prolegomenon 3. Translation of the Chan Notes Appendix 1. Editions Used in the Translations Appendix 2. The Old Tang History Jiu Tangshu biographical entry for Pei portrays a fusion of active and competent official, accomplished man of letters, outstanding calligrapher, and fervent Buddhist practitioner: [Pei was] good at the literary arts, excelled at letter writing, and formed his own unique style in the art of calligraphy.
The view of the Heze lineage section 19 is: Just the perfect brightness of jade-like purity [ yingjing yuanming] is the jewel substance [zhuti]…. On the contrary, Zongmi describes Ma admiringly as a lofty ascetic who wandered widely performing austerities and practicing cross-legged Chan sitting section 6. The time frame is the Hongzhou of the present jin.
Since Zongmi wrote the Chan Letter around the early s, present presumably refers roughly to the early ninth century. None of your libraries hold this item. Found at these bookshops Searching - please wait We were unable to find this edition in any bookshop we are able to search. These online bookshops told us they have this item:. Tags What are tags? Add a tag. Public Private login e.
Add a tag Cancel Be the first to add a tag for this edition. Lists What are lists? Login to add to list. Be the first to add this to a list. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Sep 08, Jughead rated it it was amazing. Extraordinary book on Chan, using Zongm's writings to get at the heart of Chan Jap. Counters notion that Chan is anti Sutra study popular in Japanese Zen. Much more, though. Annotated translations of Zongmi's phenomenal writings! Excellent glossary, too. I read his earlier 'The Bodhidharma Anthology' and this is a great addition to much that was presented in that volume.
For those interested in Chan Buddhism a must read. Marian rated it it was amazing Oct 22, Boissevain rated it really liked it Jan 08, Mandy Chou marked it as to-read Nov 30, Emanrohebooks added it Apr 24, Tyler marked it as to-read Feb 08, Tonny Mustika is currently reading it Aug 07,