By John R Mcrae
The culture of Chan Buddhism--more popularly often called Zen--has been romanticized all through its historical past. during this ebook, John R. McRae exhibits how glossy severe innovations, supported through fresh manuscript discoveries, make attainable a extra skeptical, actual, and--ultimately--productive evaluate of Chan lineages, instructing, fundraising practices, and social association. Synthesizing two decades of scholarship, Seeing via Zen bargains new, obtainable analytic types for the translation of Chan religious practices and spiritual historical past. Writing in a lucid and interesting type, McRae strains the emergence of this chinese language non secular culture and its early figureheads, Bodhidharma and the "sixth patriarch" Huineng, during the improvement of Zen discussion and koans. as well as developing a important narrative for the doctrinal and social evolution of the varsity, Seeing via Zen examines the non secular dynamics in the back of Chan's use of iconoclastic tales and myths of patriarchal succession. McRae argues that chinese language Chan is essentially genealogical, either in its self-understanding as a faculty of Buddhism and within the very layout of its practices of non secular cultivation. in addition, through forgoing the normal idealization of Zen spontaneity, we will achieve new perception into the non secular power of the college because it got here to dominate the chinese language spiritual scene, supplying a version for all of East Asia--and the fashionable international. finally, this booklet goals to alter how we predict approximately chinese language Chan through supplying new methods of taking a look at the culture.
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Additional resources for Seeing through Zen: Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism (Philip E. Lilienthal Book in Asian Studies)
But this is to get ahead of our story. Let us now turn to the legendary account of Bodhidharma himself, to see how Chan Buddhism emerged in the ﬁrst place. 1 Attracted to the profundity of the Maháyána, he eventually became the twenty-eighth patriarch in succession to Uákyamuni Buddha. After traveling by sea to China in order to spread the true teachings of Maháyána Buddhism, he had the following interview with Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty (r. ” Seeing that conditions were not right for him to teach in southern China, Bodhidharma crossed the Yangzi River by ﬂoating across on a reed 2 and went to Mount Song, just south of the great city of Luoyang.
Given the fundamental Buddhist doctrine that everything changes, it is easy to recognize that everyone and everything is transitory or, in historical terms, transitional. The Treatise continued to play an important role, though, through the seventh and early eighth centuries. This period encompasses the phase of Chan known as the “East Mountain teaching,” a term that is based on the location where Hongren (601–74) taught in Huangmei. The reference is to one of the “twin peaks,” Shuangfeng, of Huangmei, and even though Hongren’s teacher, Daoxin (580–651), resided on the other peak, the name “East Mountain teaching” is used for both masters.
Huike was already a mature adult when he studied with the master, not a freshfaced trainee, and there is a sense in which Bodhidharma functioned for him primarily as a source of validation of his own level of attainment, a means of legitimation for his own teaching activities. Second, there is a certain range of variation in the individuals associated with Huike and Bodhidharma, including wandering ascetics, Confucian practitioners (of a rather mysterious sort), and eventually specialists in the study of the Laékávatára Sñtra.
Seeing through Zen: Encounter, Transformation, and Genealogy in Chinese Chan Buddhism (Philip E. Lilienthal Book in Asian Studies) by John R Mcrae