The Chan monk Qisong (1007-1072), an important figure in Northern Song religious and intellectual history, has garnered relatively little scholarly attention. This book provides a detailed biography with a focus on the influential historical writings he composed to defend Chan claims of a “mind-to-mind transmission” tracing back to the historical Buddha. It places his defence of lineage in the context not only of attacks by the rival Tiantai school but also of the larger backdrop of the development of lineage and patriarchs as sources of authority in Chinese Buddhism. It advances new arguments about these Chinese Buddhist innovations, challenges common assumptions about Chan masters, and offers insights into the interactions of Buddhists, Confucians, and the imperial court during the Song. Continue reading
Trans. and Commentary by Red Pine,
Shoemaker & Hoard, ISBN 9781593760823
Most Buddhists will know the Heart Sutra, at least those interested in the Mahayana tradition. It is chanted daily in Zen temples throughout Japan, Korea and China. This is considered to be the heart, the very essence, of the Perfection of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita) texts. There have been many translations of this short text over the years, but this is a completely fresh look and the translator comes up with some rather unique conclusions.
Red Pine, otherwise known as Bill Porter, is the name he goes by when engaged in translation work—as with his Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom, and The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Continue reading
Filed under: Book reviews, Books, Buddhism, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, History, Mahayana | Tagged: Abhidharma, Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom, Road to Heaven, Sarvastivadins, Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma | 2 Comments »
In 1996 around 400 Chinese stone sculptures of the Buddha were discovered in Qingzhou, China.
Images © The State Administration of Cultural Heritage, People’s Republic of China, and © Royal Academy of Arts, London.
© 2012 Bhikkhu Bodhi, The Numerical Discourses of the Buddha:
A Translation of the Aṅguttara Nikāya.
Reprinted by arrangement with Wisdom Publications, Inc.,
wisdompubs.org. From number 51 (1) One’s Own Mind
“Venerable sir!” those bhikkhus replied. The Blessed One said this:
“Bhikkhus, a bhikkhu who is not skilled in the ways of others’ minds [should train]: ‘I will be skilled in the ways of my own mind.’ It is in this way that you should train yourselves.
“And how is a bhikkhu skilled in the ways of his own mind? It is just as if a woman or a man, young, youthful, and fond of ornaments, would look at their own facial reflection in a clean bright mirror or in a bowl of clear water. If they see any dust or blemish there, they will make an effort to remove it. But if they do not see any dust or blemish there, they will be glad about it; and their wish fulfilled, they will think, ‘How fortunate that I’m clean!’ So too, self-examination is very helpful for a bhikkhu [to grow] in wholesome qualities. Continue reading
A Conversation on Zen Buddhism with Bill Porter
For more from Red Pine (Bill Porter) click here.
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Reprinted by arrangement with Wisdom Publications
Zen’s Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings, by Andrew Ferguson.
Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Heze Shenhui (670–762) was an eminent disciple of the Sixth Ancestor. He strongly supported and promoted Huineng’s place in Chinese Zen history. Shenhui championed the Southern school of Zen, and vociferously attacked what became widely known as the Northern school, the school associated with Yuquan Shenxiu.
Filed under: Book reviews, Books, Buddhism, Ch'an / Seon / Zen, Encyclopedia, Foundations of Buddhism, History, Mahayana | Tagged: Andrew Ferguson's Zen's Chinese Heritage, Chinese Chan, Chinese Zen, Hui Neng, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Shen-hui, Wisdom Publications | 1 Comment »