Monthly Archives: April 2014

Religiosity

religi

Oftentimes we encounter writers who are on the quest for a new Spiritual-Religion. Chuang-Tzu himself transcended the ordinary categories of just what constitutes common notions of such a quest.  One of my resources in this series is a book by … Continue reading

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Tree of Heaven

heaven tree

Master Hui said to Master Chuang, “I have a big tree people call Tree of Heaven. Its great trunk is so gnarled and knotted that it cannot be measured with an inked line; its branches are so twisted that squats … Continue reading

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And Butterflies are Free to Fly…

zhuangzi-butterfly-dream

I Dreamed I Was A Butterfly by Alice McMahon White Chuang Tzu’s Taoism is perhaps the most profound in the Taoist Treasury; although he would be the first to state that his positionless-teaching was no form of “ism”, but rather … Continue reading

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Parallelism

parallelreal

The grand-finale of Tsung-mi’s Chan Prolegomenon is a testament to his analysis and paraxial methodology of laying side by side the modes of delusion and awakening within Mind’s Dynamic-Nature. Although there’s an apparent contradiction within Mind’s bifurcation between denizens of … Continue reading

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Dark Ch’an

walkfree

As a further sign that Tsung-mi was not totally entrenched in the evaluation of letters and words and their import for the Buddhadharma, Chapt. 8 of the Chan Prolegomenon assures the assiduous Mind-adept that the Total assessment of the Buddhadharma—the … Continue reading

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Conjoined Realities

budface2

To this very day there is little consensus as to the precise-relationship between tathagatā-garbha and alaya-vijñāna. Seong-Uk Kin, in his excellent extract, “Understanding Tsung-mi’s View on Buddha Nature”, nicely extrapolates on its evolving traits. The concept of alaya-vijñāna first appeared … Continue reading

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The Old Man in the Nāga Samadhi

nagabudd

Zekkai Chūshin (1336-1405), considered to be the dominant poet of all the Five Mountains Zen Poet-monks, once referred to Tsung-mi as “the old man in the nāga [mythological serpent = the Buddha] samadhi.” (Broughton, ZOC) The origin of this can … Continue reading

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Bodhidharma Dhyana

bodhidharma1

Some might suspect from reading this series that Tsung-mi was someone who only emphasized the scholastic-side of Ch’an Buddhism. They would be wrong. Tsung-mi’s spirituality was a healthily balanced one—one that took Sūtra Study very seriously, yet at the same … Continue reading

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The Chan Prolegomenon: Introductory Remarks

chanprog

Tsung-mi’s Chan Prolegomenon (also known as the Ch’an Preface) is a vast-work considered to be his most crowning-achievement. In it he proves himself to be a great synthetic-agent as he weaves together all the major petulant Ch’an schools of his … Continue reading

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Eunuch Power and the Two Entrances

Ten Eunuchs

The Sweet-Dew Incident It may sound hard to hear for modern ears that the great Tsung-mi’s downfall was at the hands of Eunuchs. However, these were no namby-pamby fellows that appear in some Mel Brook’s comedy, but rather fierce-warriors that … Continue reading

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