Tag Archives: Huang Po

The Voidmaster

A question oftentimes asked is, “if you found yourself on an isolated and deserted island, what book from a vast array of extensive possibilities would you choose to have with you for your sole companion?” For myself it would forever be The Zen Teachings of Huang Po. Huang Po (Huángbò) is the perennial and quintessential Zen Master, and for our purposes in this blog series he would also be reserved the title of Voidmaster. Numerous references to Voidness and the void are referred to in the text, the most dominant at this junction being the following: read more

Posted in Doctrine of the Void | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Monday Prime


*Please note: certain passages, acclamations and refrains are repeated throughout the Little Office of Our Lady of the Void. For example, the opening introits, hymn to Our Lady, and first psalm, The Trisagion, Supplication and Benedictus remain the same for Prime; the introits, hymn to Our Lady and the Unborn Magnificat remain the same for Vespers. read more

Posted in Little Office of Our Lady of the Void | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Huang Po: P’ei Hsiu’s Preface

There are other adaptations available of the Zen Teaching of Huang Po (pronounced Huangbo), but John Blofeld’s work still remains the standard-bearer; it would take a mighty effort to raise the bar on this one. This series will utilize Blofeld’s version, complete with footnotes attached. As we learn early on, a local government official at the time, P’ei Hsiu, became an ardent disciple of Huang Po; it is thanks to his records, stemming from the teachings, that we have this great work. His opening preface truly sets the tone for what will be forthcoming: read more

Posted in The Zen Teachings of Huang Po, Zen | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Coming in December: The Zen Teachings of Huang Po

If I were ever forced to evacuate my residence due to some cataclysmic-event and I could only take with me one item, it would without question be “The Zen Teaching of Huang Po.” Others have used the analogy of being stuck alone on a desert island and having this as their sole possession would surely suffice their intellectual needs. Huang Po is the old Grand Master and quintessential Zen Buddhist  teacher of the Tang Dynasty (died circa 850).  Huang Po’s teaching encompasses and encapsulates so many angles of the Buddhadharma and Mind-Only school that his work is simply an indispensable Mind-tool. Like the above image for this blog-post, I have many copies of Blofeld’s translation but my favorite by far is the 1994 Shambhala Pocket Classic; unfortunately, the Shambhala editions of Zen classics have dispensed with many of the “pocket-series”–Blofeld’s marvelous work among them.  Copies of the out of print pocket-book edition are going for triple-digit figures! I routinely carry mine with me when dining-out, it’s like an old and faithful companion. read more

Posted in Spirituality, The Zen Teachings of Huang Po | Tagged , , | Leave a comment