Tag Archives: Sŏn

The Sutra of Primordial Enlightenment

After years of gathering dust on a table full of books, awaiting its birth as a series here one day, The Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment was dusted-off and examined for possible entry this February. It was pleasantly satisfying to find a lot of insights that weren’t present before on previous goings-over and so the time was ripe for its exegesis to commence. This type of pattern has occurred for other series as well, it seems that when the time is ripe the Dharma-master will reveal a deeper-comprehension of these timeless texts that is beyond the wildest imagination. Certainly this present sutra is a notable one in the vast schema of the Buddhadharma. It has its origins within both Ch’an and Hua-yen schools and was most likely composed during the advent of the eighth century. It was hence most influential in these “meditation-oriented” schools, first within Chinese Ch’an and then later implanted within the rich soil of Korean Sŏn as it continues to be the most prevalent vehicle in its monastic-institutions to this day. read more

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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 this series, asserts that samādhi and prajña are constitutive of the threefold training of śīla, samādhi and prajña just outlined. read more

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