Search results for: silent-illumination

Silent Illumination

Author : Guo Gu
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A comprehensive guide to the meditative practice of Silent Illumination--a natural awakening accessible to everyone, right here and now. Our natural awakening--or buddha-nature--is inherent within all of us and waiting to be realized. Buddha-nature has the qualities of both silence and illumination. By working toward the breadth, depth, and perfection of Silent Illumination meditation you can find your own awakening. In Silent Illumination, distinguished Chan Buddhist teacher Guo Gu introduces you to the significance and methods of this practice through in-depth explanations and guided instructions. To help establish a foundation for realizing Silent Illumination, twenty-five teachings from the well-known Silent Illumination master, Hongzhi, have been translated into English. A series of commentary follows each teaching to further explain and clarify pre- and post-awakening practices. This book will be an indispensable resource for meditators interested in beginning or deepening their Silent Illumination practice.

The Method of No Method

Author : Shengyan
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Here is a spiritual practice that is simple enough for anyone to learn, yet rich enough to be worked with for a lifetime. The traditional Chan (Chinese Zen) practice called Silent Illumination begins with simply putting aside all thoughts except the awareness of oneself “just sitting.” The practice is so simple in execution that it has sometimes been called the “method of no-method,” yet to master it, the practitioner must first grasp the method in order to learn how to let go of it. When fully penetrated, this radical form of emptying one’s busy mind-stream leads to perception of the vast ocean of pure awareness. Silent Illumination is closely related to the Japanese Zen practice called shikantaza, and Master Sheng Yen’s teachings on it will be of great value to Zen students as well as to Buddhist practitioners of all the traditions.The book, based on talks the author gave during retreats, begins with instruction in Silent Illumination practice with detailed discussion of method, approach, and how to deal with difficulties that arise. Master Sheng Yen then proceeds to provide commentary on a well known Chan text that illuminates the practice and the philosophy behind it.

Cultivating the Empty Field

Author : Taigen Dan Leighton
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Cultivating the Empty Field is a modern translation of the core of Chinese Ch'an master Hongzhi's Extensive Record. First to articulate the meditation method known to contemporary Zen practitioners as shikantaza ("just sitting") Chinese Zen master Hongzhi is one of the most influential poets in all of Zen literature. This translation of Hongzhi's poetry, the only such volume available in English, treats readers to his profound wisdom and beautiful literary gift. In addition to dozens of Hongshi's religious poems, translator Daniel Leighton offers an extended introduction, placing the master's work in its historical context , as well as lineage charts and other information about the Chinese influence on Japanese Soto Zen. Both spiritual literature and meditation instruction, Cultivating the Empty Field is sure to inspire and delight.

Cultivating the Empty Field

Author : Cheng-chüeh
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Cultivating the Empty Field is a modern translation of the core of Chinese Ch'an master Hongzhi's Extensive Record. First to articulate the meditation method known to contemporary Zen practitioners as shikantaza ("just sitting") Chinese Zen master Hongzhi is one of the most influential poets in all of Zen literature. This translation of Hongzhi's poetry, the only such volume available in English, treats readers to his profound wisdom and beautiful literary gift. In addition to dozens of Hongshi's religious poems, translator Daniel Leighton offers an extended introduction, placing the master's work in its historical context, as well as lineage charts and other information about the Chinese influence on Japanese Soto Zen. Both spiritual literature and meditation instruction, Cultivating the Empty Field is sure to inspire and delight.

The Sound of One Hand

Author : Audrey Yoshiko Seo
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Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768) is one of the most influential figures in the history of Zen. He can be considered the founder of the modern Japanese Rinzai tradition, for which he famously emphasized the importance of koan practice in awakening, and he revitalized the monastic life of his day. But his teaching was by no means limited to monastery or temple. Hakuin was the quintessential Zen master of the people, renowned for taking his teaching to all parts of society, to people in every walk of life, and his painting and calligraphy were particularly powerful vehicles for that teaching. Using traditional Buddhist images and sayings—but also themes from folklore and daily life—Hakuin created a new visual language for Zen: profound, whimsical, and unlike anything that came before. In his long life, Hakuin created many thousands of paintings and calligraphies. This art, combined with his voluminous writings, stands as a monument to his teaching, revealing why he is the most important Zen master of the past five hundred years. The Sound of One Hand is a study of Hakuin and his enduringly appealing art, illustrated with a wealth of examples of his work, both familiar pieces like “Three Blind Men on a Bridge” as well as lesser known masterworks.

Buddhism in the Sung

Author : Daniel A. Getz
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New paperback edition The Sung Dynasty (960–1279) has long been recognized as a major watershed in Chinese history. Although there are recent major monographs on Sung society, government, literature, Confucian thought, and popular religion, the contribution of Buddhism to Sung social and cultural life has been all but ignored. Indeed, the study of Buddhism during the Sung has lagged behind that of other periods of Chinese history. One reason for the neglect of this important aspect of Sung society is undoubtedly the tenacity of the view that the Sung marked the beginning of an inexorable decline of Buddhism in China that extended down through the remainder of the imperial era. As this book attests, however, new research suggests that, far from signaling a decline, the Sung was a period of great efflorescence in Buddhism. This volume is the first extended scholarly treatment of Buddhism in the Sung to be published in a Western language. It focuses largely on elite figures, elite traditions, and interactions among Buddhists and literati, although some of the book’s essays touch on ways in which elite traditions both responded to and helped shape more popular forms of lay practice and piety. All of the chapters in one way or another deal with the two most important elite traditions within Sung Buddhism: Ch’an and T’ien-t’ai. Whereas most previous discussions of Buddhism in the Sung have tended to concentrate on Ch’an, the present volume is notable for giving T’ien-t’ai its due. By presenting a broader and more contextualized picture of these two traditions as they developed in the Sung, this work amply reveals the vitality of Buddhism in the Sung as well as its embeddedness in the social and intellectual life of the time.

How Zen Became Zen

Author : Morten Schlutter
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How Zen Became Zen takes a novel approach to understanding one of the most crucial developments in Zen Buddhism: the dispute over the nature of enlightenment that erupted within the Chinese Chan (Zen) school in the twelfth century. The famous Linji (Rinzai) Chan master Dahui Zonggao (1089–1163) railed against "heretical silent illumination Chan" and strongly advocated kanhua (koan) meditation as an antidote. In this fascinating study, Morten Schlütter shows that Dahui’s target was the Caodong (Soto) Chan tradition that had been revived and reinvented in the early twelfth century, and that silent meditation was an approach to practice and enlightenment that originated within this "new" Chan tradition. Schlütter has written a refreshingly accessible account of the intricacies of the dispute, which is still reverberating through modern Zen in both Asia and the West. Dahui and his opponents’ arguments for their respective positions come across in this book in as earnest and relevant a manner as they must have seemed almost nine hundred years ago. Although much of the book is devoted to illuminating the doctrinal and soteriological issues behind the enlightenment dispute, Schlütter makes the case that the dispute must be understood in the context of government policies toward Buddhism, economic factors, and social changes. He analyzes the remarkable ascent of Chan during the first centuries of the Song dynasty, when it became the dominant form of elite monastic Buddhism, and demonstrates that secular educated elites came to control the critical transmission from master to disciple ("procreation" as Schlütter terms it) in the Chan School.

Handbook of Zen Mindfulness and Behavioral Health

Author : Akihiko Masuda
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This comprehensive handbook presents a Zen account of fundamental and important dimensions of daily living. Chapters explore how Zen teachings inform a range of key topics across the field of behavioral health and discuss the many uses of meditation and mindfulness practice in therapeutic contexts, especially within cognitive-behavioral therapies. Chapters outline key Zen constructs of self and body, desire, and acceptance, and apply these constructs to Western frameworks of health, pathology, meaning-making, and healing. An interdisciplinary panel of experts, including a number of Zen masters who have achieved the designation of roshi, examines intellectual tensions among Zen, mindfulness, and psychotherapy, such as concepts of rationality, modes of language, and goals of well-being. The handbook also offers first-person practitioner accounts of living Zen in everyday life and using its teachings in varied practice settings.“br>Topics featured in the Handbook include: • Zen practices in jails.• Zen koans and parables.• A Zen account of desire and attachment.• Adaptation of Zen to behavioral healthcare.• Zen, mindfulness, and their relationship to cognitive behavioral therapy. • The application of Zen practices and principles for survivors of trauma and violence. The Handbook of Zen, Mindfulness, and Behavioral Health is a must-have resource for researchers, clinicians/professionals, and graduate students in clinical psychology, public health, cultural studies, language philosophy, behavioral medicine, and Buddhism and religious studies.

Dharma Drum

Author : Chan Master Sheng Yen
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A guide to the practice of Chan Buddhism by today's most prominent master of that tradition - with 180 of his gemlike sayings and aphorisms that serve as inspirations to spiritual practice.

Illuminating Silence

Author : Master Shen Yeng
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Having originated in China in the 6th century, Chan Buddhism is now growing rapidly in popularity, much of which can be attributed to its open, accepting attitude and its focus on a choice of meditative practices to best suit each individual. With the bulk of the text made up of edited transcripts of the teachings at two major retreats led in Wales in 1989 and 1995 by the then-head of the movement, Master Sheng-yen, this jewel of a book offers a rare glimpse inside both the ancient teachings and the contemporary practice of Chan. Words like 'enlightenment' rarely pass the lips of Master Sheng-yen. Instead, he makes it clear that his retreats are for the development of practice, to realize one is not in control of one's own mind, to discover how to train one's mind in awareness, to calm the mind, and to replace ignorance with insight. Commentary by Sheng-yen's much respected Western disciple John Crook gives full context to the teachings and provides a fascinating account of the practical aspects of a retreat of this nature, including the meditative practices of watching the breath, counting the breath and of 'Silent Illumination' that lies at the heart of Chinese Zen. In so doing the atmosphere of such a retreat is powerfully evoked, especially when Crook recounts the experiences and impacts of his own years of practice.

Just Practice

Author : J. Thomas
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Zen Questions

Author : Taigen Dan Leighton
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Whether speaking of student or master, Zen hinges on the question. Zen practice does not necessarily focus on the answers, but on finding a space in which we may sustain uncertainty and remain present and upright in the middle of investigations. Zen Questions begins by exploring "The World of Zazen,"--the foundational practice of the Zen school--presenting it as an attitude of sustained inquiry that offers us an entryway into true repose and joy. From there, Leighton draws deeply on his own experience as a Zen scholar and teacher to invite us into the creativity of Zen awareness and practice. He explores the poetic mind of Dogen with the poetry of Rumi, Mary Oliver, Gary Snyder, and even "the American Dharma Bard" Bob Dylan. What's more, Leighton uncovers surprising resonances between the writings of America's Founding Fathers--including Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin--and the liberating ideals at the heart of Zen.

The Infinite Mirror

Author : Master Sheng-Yen
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Here is the inimitable Master Sheng Yen at his best, illuminating the ancient texts of the Chinese Zen tradition to show how wonderfully practical they really are, even for us today. The texts, written by two of the founders of the Ts’ao-tung sect of Chan Buddhism, are poems entitled Inquiry into Matching Halves and Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi. Both emphasize the Chan view that wisdom is not separate from vexation, and both speak of the levels of awareness through which one must pass on the way to realization. Both are also works of Buddhist philosophy that can serve as guides to spiritual practice for anyone.

Clouds Thick Whereabouts Unknown

Author :
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Compiled by a leading scholar of Chinese poetry, Clouds Thick, Whereabouts Unknown is the first collection of Chan (Zen) poems to be situated within Chan thought and practice. Combined with exquisite paintings by Charles Chu, the anthology compellingly captures the ideological and literary nuances of works that were composed, paradoxically, to "say more by saying less," and creates an unparalleled experience for readers of all backgrounds. Clouds Thick, Whereabouts Unknown includes verse composed by monk-poets of the eighth to the seventeenth centuries. Their style ranges from the direct vernacular to the evocative and imagistic. Egan's faithful and elegant translations of poems by Han Shan, Guanxiu, and Qiji, among many others, do justice to their perceptions and insights, and his detailed notes and analyses unravel centuries of Chan metaphor and allusion. In these gems, monk-poets join mainstream ideas on poetic function to religious reflection and proselytizing, carving out a distinct genre that came to influence generations of poets, critics, and writers. The simplicity of Chan poetry belies its complex ideology and sophisticated language, elements Egan vividly explicates in his religious and literary critique. His interpretive strategies enable a richer understanding of Mahayana Buddhism, Chan philosophy, and the principles of Chinese poetry.

The Poetry of Enlightenment

Author : Master Sheng-Yen
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For the masters of the Chan tradition, poetry was a form of creative expression, but even more than that, it was a primary vehicle for teaching. Here a modern master presents ten teaching poems from the ancient masters, with illuminating commentary. "These poems flow directly from the minds of the enlightened Chan masters," Master Sheng Yen says. "We get a glimpse into their experience at the time of, and after, their enlightenment. It is my hope that this collection of poems will give those who are interested in the practice a new way of looking at Chan."

The Uses of Paradox

Author : Matthew C. Bagger
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In this groundbreaking comparative study, Matthew Bagger investigates the role of paradox in Western and Asian religious discourse. Drawing on both philosophy and social scientific theory, he offers a naturalistic explanation of religion's oft-noted propensity to sublime paradox and argues that religious thinkers employ intractable paradoxes as the basis for various techniques of self-transformation. Considering the writings of Kierkegaard, Pseudo-Dionysus, St. John of the Cross, N?g?rjuna, and Chuang-tzu, among others, Bagger identifies two religious uses of paradox: cognitive asceticism, which wields the psychological discomfort of paradox as an instrument of self-transformation, and mysticism, which seeks to transform the self through an alleged extraordinary cognition that ineffably comprehends paradox. Bagger contrasts these techniques of self-transformation with skepticism, which cultivates the appearance of contradiction in order to divest a person of beliefs altogether. Bagger further contends that a thinker's social attitudes determine his or her response to paradox. Attitudes concerning crossing the boundary of a social group prefigure attitudes concerning supposed truths that lie beyond the boundaries of understanding. Individuals who fear crossing the boundary of their social group and would prohibit them tend to use paradox ascetically, while individuals who find the controlled incorporation of outsiders enriching commonly find paradox revelatory. Although scholars have long noted that religious discourse seems to cultivate and perpetuate paradox, their scholarship tends to ratify religious attitudes toward paradox instead of explaining the unusual reaction paradox provokes. A vital contribution to discussions of mystical experience, The Uses of Paradox reveals how much this experience relies on social attitudes and cosmological speculation.

Encyclopedia of Buddhism

Author : Robert E. Buswell
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"Buddhism is one [of] the world's major religions with influences reaching far beyond its origins in East Asia, yet it is surprising that it has taken so long for a comprehensive reference source on this religion to appear. Macmillan's work covers not onl

Rational Zen

Author : Thomas Cleary
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Zen has often been portrayed as being illogical and mystifying, even aimed at the destruction of the rational intellect. These new translations of the thirteenth-century Zen master Dogen—one of most original and important Zen writers—illustrate the rational side of Zen, which has been obscured through the centuries, tainting people's understanding of it. Rational Zen consists of enlightening selections from Dogen's two masterworks, "Treasury of Eyes of True Teaching" (the famed Shobogenzo, Japan's most sophisticated philosophical work) and "Universal Book of Eternal Peace," which until now has been unavailable in English. The translator also provides explanations of the inner meanings of Dogen's writings and sayings—the first commentaries of their kind of English. A compendium of authentic source materials further enhances the reader's insight into Dogen's methods, linking them to the great classical traditions of Buddhism that ultimately flowered in Zen.

Ch an Magazine

Author :
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Ch an Newsletter

Author :
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