Tag Archives: Bodhidharma Anthology

Eunuch Power and the Two Entrances

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 were actually bred for maintaining power and control over the Emperor’s Court.  The year was 835 and Tsung-mi became implicated in what is known as the Sweet-Dew Incident. This involved a failed coup attempt to oust the Eunuch stronghold over the Emperor Wenzong. The main conspirator,  Li Xun, sought refuge in Tsung-mi’s monastery. Apparently, Tsung-mi favored Li Xun’s politics and after shaving his head to resemble one of the monks, granted him sanctuary.  For his action, Tsung-mi was later arrested and even faced possible execution. But once again Tsung-mi’s own powerful presence and powers of persuasion made an impact and his execution was stayed. Peter N. Gregory writes: read more

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Allegiance to the Real

Selections from The Bodhidharma Anthology

[As the classic theoretician of the practice of gazing at the topic states, in this method the trainee is not to employ discriminative understanding, doctrinal understanding, thinking or calculation, intuition, verbal strategy, absolute nonchalance, engagement, analysis of the words, or anything else; one should simply “twenty-four hours a day and in all four postures constantly raise up the topic and constantly be aware of it.”] read more

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