Archive for the ‘Korean Sŏn’ Category

Chinul on Pure Land

Chinul found the Pure Land practice of his time to be embraceable, provided that it was based upon one’s “own Buddha-mind”. Chinul followed Sŏn Master Yen-shou’s admonition, "If the mind is known, then one is born in the mind-only pure land.” Pure Land practice is altered such that the recitation of “namo Amitabha Buddha” is simply calling one’s own name, and meditation on Pure Land is seeing into one’s own clear and brilliant True Mind, whereas supplicating Amitabha’s primal Read more [...]

Hwadu

Chinul’s last “great awakening” occurred at Sangmuju am, near the top of the Mount Chiri—here, [suddenly] he was taken by reading Ta-hui Tsung-kao’s rendering of the hua-t'ou (K. hwadu) method: I went to live on Mount Chiri and found [a passage in the] Records of the Sŏn Master Ta-hui P'u-chüeh which said, "Sŏn does not consist in quietude; it does not consist in bustle. It does not involve the activities of daily life; it does not involve logical discrimination. Nevertheless, it Read more [...]

Universal Brightness

Universal Brightness Chinul's “second-awakening” involved his fusion with Hwaŏm (Hua-yen Buddhism): I had always had doubts about the approach to entering into awakening in the Hwaŏm teachings: what, finally, did it involve? Accordingly, I decided to question a [Hwaŏm] lecturer. He replied, "You must contemplate the unimpeded interpenetration of all phenomena." He entreated me further: "If you merely contemplate your own mind and do not contemplate the unimpeded interfusion of all Read more [...]

Samādhi and Prajñā

The key to Chinul's variety of Sŏn Buddhism revolves around three distinct styles of practice that was directly influenced through "three enlightenment experiences." Firstly, there is the balanced equation of samādhi and prajñā--all derived from a transformative experience involving the Platform Sutra; secondly, there was complete faith and transcendent knowing according to the sudden teachings of the Hwaŏm school, from Li Ti’hung-hsüan’s Exposition of the Avataṃsaka Sütra; thirdly, Read more [...]

Coming in March 2016: Korean Sŏn

Sŏn is the Korean pronunciation of the Sanskrit, Dhyāna. Sŏn is also comparable with samādhi although it takes on a different connotation from our usual rendering. Tsung-mi expounds that it is a comprehensive equation for both samādhi and prajña. Sŏn’s primary task is the recollection of the original Mind Source, one’s own Buddha-nature. One’s awakening in this endeavor is akin to prajña, while the cultivation of this Mind-ground is samādhi. Chinul, whose teachings are the spotlight Read more [...]
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