By J. C. Cleary
This e-book makes a speciality of the lessons of 13th-century chinese language Zen grasp Shiqui Xinyue. The koans, tales, and poems of the Zen grasp followed by means of explanatory notes from the editor include the majority of the textual content, that's preceded by way of an inadequately short old evaluate of chinese language Buddhism. these looking extra accomplished details can be advised towards Arthur F. Wright's Buddhism in chinese language historical past (Stanford Univ. Pr., 1971). additionally, the editor doesn't identify the categorical resource record for his translation, easily calling it a "collection of Zen teachings." notwithstanding, the 141 anecdotal teachings are in transparent, concise English and the explanatory notes aid with the paradoxical statements and allusions.
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Extra resources for A Tune Beyond the Clouds: Zen Teachings from Old China
W ith enlightened teachers checking them and reproving them, they go for months and years being polished and honed. W hen they lose their footing and topple over, the whole face is revealed. Some throw away their staves. Some pick up a winnowing basket. Over a myriad ages of rivers and mountains, in one morning of windy moonlight, with each and every step they take they meet Him everywhere. They sit inert and oblivious, apparently lifeless but satisfied. W ith sparks struck from stone or a flash of lightning, a blink of the eye is still slow.
Many people incorporated the buddha-name recitation of Pure Land Buddhism into their Zen practice. In Zen usage, chanting the buddhaname was a way to focus the mind on Buddha: a moment of pure mind fulness of Buddha is the Pure Land. ” The Zen school had a special stock of sayings and stories which were used as focal points in meditation. These were known as hua-tou '[meditation] sayings' or gong-an 'public cases’ (perhaps more familiar in English in the Japanese reading koan) os yin-yuan '[stories of] the causes and conditions [of enlightenm ent]’.
The Worldly and the World-Transcending As we can see from the preceding historical sketch, the Chinese world at the time of the Zen M aster of Stone River was a turbulent place, wracked by social strife and foreign invasions. Severe blows were dealt to institutional Buddhism by waves of conquest and warfare. The question is: what impact did all this turmoil have on Buddhism itself, on the Buddha Dharma, the teaching of enlightenment? W hat is the relation between the history of Buddhism as part of the social and cultural order, and the history of Buddhism as a tradition of worldtranscending wisdom?
A Tune Beyond the Clouds: Zen Teachings from Old China by J. C. Cleary