Majo(馬祖)’s Idea of Tao(道) and its Ecological Structure

Lee Bub-san / Professor of Dept of Seon studies
Dongguk University

This paper is what analyzed the passage of “平常心 is just Tao”(平常心是道) appearing in Majo’s thought of Zen(禪) from ecological point of view, which Tao is recognized as the most important value in Oriental cultural area, this analysis was done in terms of that “Tao is following the nature(道法自然)”. Not to mention, to discriminate between Tao in Majo’s thought of Zen and the one in Chinese traditional thought, this paper gives an outline about Tao in the philosophy of Lao-tse and Chung-tze(老莊思想) as the preliminary stages for analyzing Majo’s Zhen thought.

Materials for cultivation of Zen to realize actual circumstances of life is all around the natural ecology. Practicing Zen without having roots of the natural ecology is just as looking for a horn of rabbit, there is every no probability of that. Zen master’s question for Buddhist meditation(話頭) of “平常心 is just Tao” means that daily life is just the existing condition of the truth. Both the doctrine that we can gain ‘Awakening the Enlightenment’ in every life or a natural phenomenon and understanding all existences as appearance of Buddha nature are attracting public attention in terms of that they are establishing ecological ontology. Therefore, the ecological realization of Buddhism forms the basis of awakening the enlightenment through Zen cultivation. Because this society couldn’t be peaceful, unless we recognize the actual circumstances of life and realize all lives exist equally.

In spite of a materially affluent society, nowadays, it can be said human beings and an ecosystem is passing through a very serious crisis due to destroy of nature and poverty of spiritual culture. We should become aware that humankind can bring to a crisis leading to self-destruction, since it can cause polarize extremely if individual inequality and distributive discrimination will more deepen. Ecology is really a good science because it lets human beings come close to nature´s true face and expect the green future of the globe. Consequently, if we lay out a schemes which have the public practice the cultivation can enlighten their conscience in their nature through Zen cultivation, it would more revitalize ecosystem by operating on Zen thought and ecology each other. We can find that model in Majo’s thought of Zen.

* Key Words

Tao, Nature, Ordinary mind(평상심), Ecology, Buddha nature

On the ecological culture of Ahiṃsā

Kim, Chi-on / Research Professor

of Jin-Gak Buddhist Order

This paper treats on ahiṃsā(不殺生, non-violence) in Indian philosophy and Buddhism from a view of ecological culture. The crisis of ecological system of today originates from the human-oriented prejudice. As the countermeasure, the human-oriented view must be substituted for the ecological culture in basing the view of ecology-centered. Ahiṃsā and the prohibition of meat-eating can be the first step for settling ecological culture.

This research is an attempt to grasp its actual state to unravel the origin and formation of the ahiṃsā and the prohibition of meat-eating in Indian philosophy and Buddhism. This work shows that the motive forces of ahiṃsā are the fear of retribution, the sympathy of pain and great compassion. It has very important significance in Mahāyāna Buddhism that all living beings have the nature of Buddha. Taking life is the killing seed of the innate Buddhahood of living beings. Therefore, it is most difficult for killer to join Buddha’s way. That’s why we must not take life and meat-eating.

However, It must be practiced without remaining on religious commandments and doctrine in the form of hypocrisy. We must realize that we are beings who possess Buddha nature, the same as all living beings. Moreover, considering all living beings as innate and potential Buddha must be practiced.

Key Words

ecological culture, ahiṃsā, the prohibition of meat-eating, the fear of retribution, the sympathy of pain, the seed of the innate Buddhahood of great compassion.

Choi Uisun’s Zen Thoughts and the Spirits of Tea Tao

Kim, Young-doo / Professor

Wonkwang University.

As a way to understand Choui Uisun(1786-1866)’s Zen thoughts and his spirits of Tea Tao(茶道), this study attempts to review the social circumstances and situations in the periods of his birth, growth and buddhist priest, focusing on the figures and events closely related with him. Human being is generally influenced in establishing his/her own behavioral direction by the social circumstances in that period. In this point, this author considers the review of the social circumstances as necessary to understand Choui’s achievements and thoughts. Also, this study reviewed Choui’s Zen thoughts and his spirits of Tea Tao.

The 81 years of Choui’s life was the confused period in the circumstances of domestic politics. The Korean society had experienced the inflow of foreign powers and cultures suddenly, and the start of Catholicism in Korea had added the chaotic conflicts between traditional and foreign cultures. In that period, he had kept the exchange with renowned figures such as Chusa Junghee Kim, Dasan Yackyoung Chung, Hyunju Hong, and Jaha Sin, and then attempted to mollify himself through Zen and Tea Tao. It is considered that these activities were helpful for establishing his spiritual base.

If there had been no exchange with Choui about Zen, Tea Tao, poems, painting and calligraphy, the renowned figures, mentioned above, should have spent their own grim lives. In this view, Choui’s distributions of the writing works like Dasinjeon and Dongdasong must be one of his most meaningful achievements. Especially, Dongdasong can be considered as a sacred scripture of Korean Tea Tao, and Choui can be called an saint of Tea Tao.

Also, the Zen thoughts presented in his writing works are deep and magnanimous, so it can be generally said that he attained spiritual enlightenment in various kinds of Zen. Through his own review of various Zen thoughts, he created Ilmeeseon(一味禪) and made it realized as Tea Tao. Therefore, Jeungjung(中正) and Jeungdo(中道) in Tea Tao of Dongdasong can be interpreted as the true shape and norm of Zen and can be used as the life index. In this view, his achievements should be respectable in our history.

* Key Words

Choui Uisun, Zen thought, The Spirit of Tea Tao, Ilmeeseon, Jeungjung. Jeungdo

Korean Seon Centers and their Present State

Lee, Bup-san /

Professor, Dongguk University

Korean Buddhist order of Jogye follows the tradition of Boddhidharma who is the 28th linage of the Buddha. His teaching of seon reached the highest in China at the time of the master Jogye Hyereung around the 7th century. Korean Jogye order named after this master because Doyeu, who received the inga (認可) from his linage of Seadang Jijang (738-817 C.E.) at the kingship of Heonduk (821 C.E.).

At the beginning of the introduction of seon from China to the Silla dynasty, it had various conflicts with the sects of kyo (敎) tradition. However, the conflicts settled down in Korye dynasty when ganhwaseon (看話禪) which Daehye of the Song dynasty advanced was getting popular among the Buddhists. The main center of ganhwaseon has been Songkwang-sa located at Jeolla providence since Bojo and others inspired the movement of jeonghyegyelsa (定慧結社).

In the dynasty of Joseon, the tradition of Jogye did not have its full development because the government suppressed Buddhism in general. In the time of the invasion of Japan, it has been almost disappearing. It is Gyenghoe (1849-1912 C.E.) who revived the ganhwaseon in Korea. He organized jenghye (定慧) in 1899 at the Haein-sa, and practiced seon with 17 students during winter time. After then, Bumoe-sa and Tongdo-sa and other temples opened the seon centers. In 1942, there were 68 centers and around 505 monks and nuns practiced seon.

Jogye tradition reached a further step when the master Hyobong became the first supreme patriarch in 1946. At the present time, there are 94 centers and around 2,319 monks and nuns take part in ganhwa meditation. The seon centers are the place not only for monks and nuns but also for Buddhists in general. there should be many things to give Koreans better life if they used for their well-being.

* Key Words

Korean Seon Center, Korean Buddhist order of Jogye, The present state of The senier monk at a Seon center and The Seon Temples, The reform measures Of Seon center, Ganhwa Seon.

Meditation in Multiple Contexts: Early Buddhist Manuscripts and Inscriptions

Jason Neelis

In order to place Buddhist meditation in historical and philosophical contexts, scholars have attempted to identify different textual layers of the early tradition. Answers to these challenging questions depend largely on constructing a relative chronology of ideas based on analysis of early and late phases of Pāli canonical texts and comparisons with parallels in Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, and other Buddhist literatures. As Tilmann Vetter explains, a “common core” of doctrinal foundations for meditation practices among these textual traditions can sometimes be identified. However, it is very difficult to identify this common core of early ideas with the historical Buddha since subjective criteria are employed to determine which ideas are more original than others. Presuppositions about earlier and later strata remain problematic without external evidence from early manuscripts and inscriptions.

Early Buddhist manuscripts and inscriptions provide valuable perspectives on Buddhist meditation. Buddhist manuscripts in the Gāndhārī language from the 1st – 3rd centuries CE supply early written testimony of ideas connected with practices of meditation. In contrast to the literary evidence from Gandhāran manuscripts, Buddhist inscriptions reveal only limited information about meditation, which is difficult to associate with the physical evidence of donations to the Buddhist Saṅgha. Epigraphical references to meditation(dhyāna) and concentration(samādhi) do not provide details about specific techniques, but tend to be associatedwithworshipoftheBuddha,relics,andthe Dharma-body(dharmakāya). Buddhist literary and epigraphic references to ideas, terms, classifications, and practices illustrate different concerns with meditation.

A. Manuscripts

Fragments of manuscripts in the Kharoṣṭhī script and the Gāndhārī language supply the earliest evidence for the written transmission of literary texts with references to meditation practices. Prior to a veritable avalanche of recent discoveries of Kharoṣṭhī manuscripts since 1994, the only Buddhist manuscript in Gāndhārī was an incomplete version of the Dharmapada found near Khotan in 1892 and definitively edited by John Brough in 1962. Brough emphasized that the birch-bark scroll of the Khotan Dharmapada was “… accepted to be the oldest manuscript now extant of any Indian text” and “… the only Budhist text from the earlier period which has survived in any Indian language other than Pāli and Sanskrit” (1962: 1). Based on paleographic and linguistic features, Brough and other scholars generally date the Khotan Dharmapada to the second century CE. Parallels with the Pāli Dhammapada and the Sanskrit Udānavarga permit comparisons of this popular verse text, which was widely transmitted from very early stages of the Buddhist literary tradition. Certain verses of the Khotan Dharmapada specifically refer to practices of meditation (Gāndhārī J̅aṇa corresponds to Pāli jhāna and Sanskrit dhyāna) and concentration (Gāndhārī samadhi corresponds to Pāli and Sanskrit samādhi). Examples drawn from the Bhikṣuvarga of the Khotan Dharmapada include:

i. Bhikṣuvarga 58(Pāli Dhammapada 372, Udānavarga 32.25)

nasti J̅aṇa aprañasa praña nasti aJ̅ayado yasa jaṇa praña ya so hu nirvaṇasa sadi’i

“There is no meditation for one who is without wisdom, no wisdom for one who is not meditating. He, in whom there are meditation and wisdom, is indeed close to nirvāṇa.”

ii. Bhikṣuvarga 61(Pāli Dhammapada 365, Udānavarga 13.8)

salavhu nadimañea nañeṣa svihao sia añeṣa svihao bhikhu samadhi nadhikachadi “One should not despise what one receives. One should not wander about envying others. A bhikkhu envying others does not attain concentration.”

iii. Bhikṣuvarga 65-66 (= Pāli Dhammapada 271-2, Mahāvastu 3.422)

na śila-vada-matreṇa bhoṣukeṇa va maṇo adha samadhilabhena vevita-śayaṇeṇa va

phuśamu nekhamasukhu aprudhajaṇasevida bhikhu viśpaśa mavadi aprate asavakṣaye

“Not merely by virtuous conduct and vows nor, again, by much learning, nor by the attainment of concentration, nor by sleeping in seclusion, do I attain the happiness of the absence of desire, not attained by worldlings. Nor has a bhikkhu attained confidence, as long as he has not attained the destruction of the āsavas.”

References to dhyāna and samādhi in verses belonging to the “section on monks” (bhikṣuvarga) indicate that meditation was an essential component of monastic life, but these verses admonish monks not to practice meditation without wisdom(prajñā) and warn that attainment of concentration(samādhi) is not possible if envy and “intoxicants”(āsravas) are not eliminated. Since these didactic verses appear in Gāndhārī, Pāli, and Sanskrit Dharmapada-type literature, a “common core” of monastic attitudes towards the significance of meditative practices may be detected.

Another fragmentary version of the Bhikṣuvarga preserved in Kharoṣṭhī fragments belonging to the British Library collection and dated in the first century CE has recently been edited by Timothy Lenz. The twelve didactic verses with parallels in the Khotan Dharmapada and the Uraga-vagga of the Pāli Suttanipāta implore monks to eliminate anger, impurities, and thirst in order to “leave behind this life and the next, just as a snake leaves behind his old, worn-out skin” according to the common refrain(Lenz 2003: 59 ff.). Although these fragments do not contain explicit references to dhyāna or samādhi, praise for monks who have “understood that everything (*in this world) is unreal,” who have transcended “all the diversified world,” and who have “no desires (*which act as causes) for the bondage of the mind that will lead to rebirth” strongly suggest meditative contexts. The final verse of the British Library version praises “that monk who rids himself of the five hindrances.” Rupert Gethin points out that abandonment of the five hindrances(nīvaraṇa) of (1) sensual desire, (2) ill will, (3) tiredness and sleepiness, (4) excitement and depression, and (5) doubt frequently introduces Pāli stock descriptions of the four dhyānas/jhānas and figures prominently in various similes used to illustrate the basic principle of Buddhist meditation: “One stills and clears the mind and then turns it towards investigation and insight.”

Similar phrases and themes related to meditation practice appear in a Gandhārī version of the Rhinoceros Sūtra preserved in a British Library Kharoṣṭhī fragment edited by Richard Salomon. Like the Dharmapada, the Rhinoceros Sūtra is also a relatively early and popular verse text with parallels in the Uraga-vagga of the Suttanipāta, the Culla-niddesa, and the Paccekabuddhāpadāna in Pāli and in the Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Mahāvastu-avadāna of the Mahāsaṅghika-Lokottaravādins. Verses sharing the common refrain that “one should wander alone like the rhinoceros” can be divided into three types, according to Salomon (2000: 7):

1) exhortations against the dangers of attachments in the first half of the text;

2) prescriptions for a solitary ascetic lifestyle predominate in the second half; and

3) explanations of the value of finding good companions and warning against bad associations interspersed throughout.

While the text does not strictly concern meditation techniques, themes of eliminating attachments and solitary withdrawal are closely related. For example, the 29th verse of the Gāndhārī version (with close parallels in Pāli texts) connects withdrawal with meditation:

29. salaṇa to J̅aṇo aricamaṇa dhaṃmeṣo ṇico aṇudhaṃma[ya]ri [a]///

“Not abandoning withdrawal [and] this meditation, always acting in accordance with the dharma among phenomena … (*one should wander alone like the rhinoceros).”

Several verses refer to the abandonment of doubt (24c), the fetters of passion, hatred, delusion, and desire (35a-b), and the five obstructions of the mind (37a) with the gerund prahae or prahai (Sanskrit prahāya / Pāli pahāya).

24. bhayea mitra paḍibhaṇavaṃta bahoṣuda dhaṃmadhara uraḍa (*añae dhaṃmaṃ vi)yigitsa prahae ek(*o care khargaviṣaṇagapo)

“One should cultivate a friend who is intelligent, learned, a master of the dharma, noble. (*Having understood the dharma) and abandoned doubt, (*one should wander) alone (*like the rhinoceros).”

35. raga ca doṣa ca prahae mokho taṣ̅a ya sarvasay(*o)ya(*ṇa)ṇi (*asaṇtrasaṃ jivitasaṃ)śayasi(*ṃ) ek(*o) care kharga(*v)iṣaṇa (*gapo)

“Having abandoned both passion and hatred, [and] delusion and desire [and] all the fetters, (*not trembling [even when]) in doubt (*of [one’s] life), one should wander alone (*like) the rhinoceros.”

37. prahai paṃcavaraṇaṇi cedaso uvakileśa vavaṇuja sa(*r)va (*abhibhuya sa)rvaṇi pariṣ(*e)aṇi eko care khargaviṣa(*ṇagapo)

“Having abandoned the five obstructions of the mind, having expelled all the defilements, (*having overcome) all dangers, one should wander alone (*like) the rhinoceros.”

The injunction to abandon the “five obstructions of the mind” in the Rhinoceros Sūtra is similar to praise for the monk who rids himself of the “five hindrances” in the Dharmapada verse discussed earlier, with only slight differences in terminology (avaraṇa/āvaraṇa instead of nivaraṇa/nīvaraṇa).

Clear associations between practices of meditation and published Gāndhārī manuscripts in the British Library collection are elucidated in the Prasaṇa sūtra edited by Mark Allon. This sūtra is the third in a group of three “Ekottarikāgama-type” sūtras which may have belonged to a Gāndhārī “Section of Fours” similar to the Catukka-nipāta of the Aṅguttara-nikāya in Pāli. The third text elaborates the four “efforts” or “abandonings” (Gāndḥarī prasaṇa / Pāli padhāna / Sanskrit pradhāna, prahāṇa) included in lists of the 37 factors which contribute to awakening (bodhipākṣyadharma), which are listed as 41 in a Gāndhārī manuscript in the Senior collection edited by Dr. Andrew Glass. Rupert Gethin suggests that the discrepancy between Pāli padhāna (“effort”) and Sanskrit prahāṇa (“abandoning”) may have been deliberate, since “it does seem that the Buddhist tradition as a whole preserves an explanation of the term which focuses on the notion of abandoning.” In any case, the Gāndhārī Prasaṇa sūtra can be compared with parallels in at least four Pāli suttas as well as Central Asian Sanskrit fragments from Turfan and Chinese translations (including An Shigao’s translation of an anthology of Ekottarikāgama sūtras). The order of the four “efforts” varies considerably in the textual sources and the sequence in this Gāndhārī version is apparently unique because the groups are not divided into “profitable” (kuśala) and “unprofitable” (akuśala) pairs. “Restraint” (sabara corresponds to Sanskrit saṃvara) and “abandoning” (prasaṇa, here corresponding to Sanskrit prahāṇa) appear as the first and fourth members, with “protecting” and “development” as the second and third members in the Gāndhārī Prasaṇa sūtra:

1) Sabara (Sanskrit saṃvara) “restraint”

2) Aṇorakṣaṇa (Sanskrit anurakṣaṇā) “protecting”

3) Bhavana (Sanskrit bhāvanā) “development”

4) Prasaṇa (Sanskrit prahāṇa) “abandoning”

The efforts of protecting (2) and developing (3) both involve concentration (samādhi). The “effort of protecting” (aṇorakṣaṇaprasaṇa) is aimed at preserving “profitable” (kuśala) states of mind, including “signs of concentration” (samasinimiti corresponds to Sanskrit samādhi-nimittam). A monk’s perception of corpses in various states of decomposition is considered a beneficial “sign of concentration” because this meditative practice leads to the destruction of desire and lust (Allon 2001: 281 ff.). The elaboration of the “effort of development” (bhavanaprasaṇa) lists seven “limbs of awakening” (Gāndhārī bujaghu / Pāli bojjhaṅga / Sanskrit bodhyaṅga), which includes the “awakening factor of concentration” (samasibujaghu = samādhi-bodhyaṅga) as the sixth item (Allon 2001: 129, 289-96). Rupert Gethin (2007 [1992]: 173-7) points out that the seven factors of awakening are frequently juxtaposed to the five hindrances (nīvaraṇa), which are referred to in Gāndhārī versions of the Dharmapada and Rhinoceros Sūtra. This version of the Prasaṇa Sūtra does not include a discussion of the fourth “effort of abandoning” which may have been reserved for another scroll due to lack of writing space at the bottom of the recto. Based on Pāli parallels, the missing section probably calls for the abandoning of thoughts of sensual pleasure(kāma), hatred(vyāpāda), and cruelty (vihiṃsā) (Allon 2001: 297).

This brief survey of passages in published editions of early Buddhist manuscripts that can be related to meditation themes shows that the general practice of meditation (dhyāna), attainment of concentration(samādhi), abandonment of the five hindrances(nīvaraṇa), and the cultivation of the factors leading to awakening(bodhipākṣyadharamas) were promoted as important religious goals. However, the published materials represent only a small sample of the wide range of early manuscript fragments with passages that can shed light on Buddhist meditation. Other passages in unedited fragments of the British Library and Senior collections discuss the four stages of dhyāna. At this symposium, Dr. Andrew Glass has presented his research on instructions on meditation in a group of four sūtras in Scroll 5 of the Senior collection to appear shortly as the fourth volume in the Gandhāran Buddhist Texts series. Kharoṣṭhī manuscripts in the Schøyen and Bajaur collections are likely to provide additional references to meditation practices and themes.

B. Inscriptions

In contrast to the literary evidence from early Buddhist manuscripts, inscriptions provide relatively little information about specific techniques or practices of meditation. Since early Buddhist inscriptions typically record donations of various items to resident monastic communities and to stūpas and other shrines, the epigraphic evidence gives many concrete details about worldly aspects of Buddhist practices of giving for religious merit. Although inscriptions generally do not directly address contemplative practices, a preliminary effort to find epigraphic references to dhyāna, samādhi, and other terms reveals some surprising ways in which concerns with meditation have been expressed. The survey is limited to early Brāhmī inscriptions from Sāñcī and Mathurā and to Kharoṣṭhī inscriptions from the Northwest, and is therefore not comprehensive. With the exception of two problematic Kharoṣṭhī inscriptions on a copper ring and seal from Taxila, dhyāna and other common terms for meditation were not popular elements in proper names. An interesting title for those who practice meditation(prāhaṇīka) appears in a Kuṣāṇa period Brāhmī inscription on a pillar base donated by two Buddhist monks in Mathura:

“This pillar base is the the gift of the monks Śurīya and Buddharakṣita, the practisers of meditation (prāhaṇīk[ā]n[aṃ]). May this surrender of a pious gift (deryadharmmaparītyāgena) be for the bestowing of health on all practicers of meditation(pr[ā]haṇīkānaṃ).”

This rarely attested title is clearly related to the practice of the four “efforts” or “abandonments.” Gregory Schopen’s observations about ambivalent attitudes towards ascetic meditating monks who are more typically ridiculed rather than praised in passages in the Mūlasārvāstivāda-vinaya (often associated with Mathurā) may help to explain why names or titles related to meditation are uncommon in Buddhist inscriptions. Although numerous literary passages (including examples from Gāndhārī manuscripts examined earlier in the presentation) emphasize ideals connected with meditation practices, inscriptions and Vinaya texts concerned with everyday features of Buddhist monastic life paint a very different picture.

Epigraphical references to meditation are more closely associated with epithets of the Buddha and his relics than with names and titles of individual monks or nuns. In an example from the first century CE Kharoṣṭhī inscription of Senavarma (also cited in the paper by Andrew Glass), the Buddha is elaborately praised as

“… complete in the meditations, powers, releases, concentrations, and attainments through all the good dharmas and knowledges.”

Epigraphic formulae in reliquary donations recorded in the Senavarma and other Kharoṣṭhī inscriptions refer to the relics of the Buddha as saturated with virtue(śīla), concentration(samādhi), and wisdom(prajñā):

1) Senavarma reliquary inscription (lines 7a-b): “relics [of him] saturated with virtue, saturated with concentration, wisdom, release, knowledge, and sight”

2) Kopśakasa reliquary inscription: “[These relics are] saturated with virtue, saturated with concentration, and saturated with wisdom”

3) Inscription of Abdagases in year 98: “I establish these relics of the Blessed one [which are] saturated with virtue, saturated with concentration, saturated with release, and saturated with release.”

A similar formula is applied to the Kākanādaboṭa monastery (rather than relics) at Sāñcī in a Brāhmī inscription dated in Gupta year 93 (= 412-3 CE), in which the “sense-faculties [or the donor or of the monastic residents?] remain absorbed in the virtues of morality(śīla), meditation(samādhi), and wisdom(prajñā).” In these inscriptions, concentration(samādhi), virtue(śīla), and wisdom (prajñā) refer to components of the eightfold path, which is commonly divided into these three categories of religious practice. The Ramaka Kharoṣṭhī dedication of year 74 (= ca. 16 CE) is somewhat analogous, since it connects a relic deposit with a “loosely formulated summary” of the four truths:

“To what measure should this relic deposit [be beneficial?] [May it lead] to the elimination of arising (samudayapraṇae), to the cultivation of the path (magabhavaṇae), to the destruction of desire (maṇorasakṣae), [and] to the cutting off of suffering (du[kha]daïae bhoto).”

The practice of inscribing the pratītyasamutpāda formula of “dependent arising” on relic caskets, stūpas, and other objects is first attested in a Kharoṣṭhī reliquary inscription from the Kurram valley in northwestern Pakistan dated in the middle of the second century CE. Daniel Boucher identifies this formula in many other inscriptions from South and Central Asia, and argues that inscriptions with the pratītyasamutpāda indicate a “dialectic” between “concrete and abstract modes of defining and locating the Buddha” in his corporal relics or in the Dharma body, which becomes the focus of Mahāyāna practices connected with the “Cult of the Book.” Thus, epigraphically attested formulae reflect basic Buddhist doctrinal positions which are elaborated in much greater detail in literary traditions.

Conclusions

Early Buddhist manuscripts and inscriptions supply external evidence for ideas and ideals, terms and classifications, and practices of meditation in the first and second centuries CE. Since the evidence from manuscripts is fragmentary and epigraphic sources only tangentially address meditation, it is very difficult to identify a “common core” of doctrinal foundations for meditation based on these sources. Gāndhārī manuscripts show that principles of meditation and concentration, especially the aims of abandoning attachments and eliminating the five hindrances, were important concerns. Kharoṣṭhī and Brāhmī inscriptions do not necessarily corroborate the textual tradition, since proper names and titles related to meditation are very rare, and epigraphic formulae link dhyāna and samādhi to epithets and relics of the Buddha rather than actual techniques. Passages in inscriptions which paraphrase or explicitly refer to basic tenets of the four truths, eightfold path, or dependent arising illustrate correlations between Buddhist literature and epigraphy, so the contrast between epigraphic and textual sources is not absolute. Although I was unable to address meditation in early Buddhist art, architecture and archeology, Dr. Glass incorporates relevant materials from Gandhāra into his presentation. A nuanced history of Buddhist meditation remains to be written, since new discoveries of manuscripts, inscriptions, and artifacts continue to enrich our understanding of chronological and regional contexts. My effort to examine principles and practices of meditation on the basis of manuscripts and inscriptions probably raises more questions rather than producing clear resolutions to complex issues, but I hope to have at least demonstrated that the available sources reflect a variety of interesting points of view.

Meditation in Gandhāra

Meditation in Gandhāra


Andrew Glass



Introduction



Meditation must certainly have been a central practice of Buddhism in Gandhāra, however, direct evidence for the practices and techniques has been lacking. A recently discovered manuscript containing four sūtras concerning meditation has shed new light on this important aspect of Gandhāran Buddhism, but the picture is still incomplete. This paper provides a brief survey of the evidence from art and archaeology, as well as introducing the evidence from the new manuscript.



Gandhāra



In ancient India, Gandhāra originally referred to a tribe, but later came to denote a place connected with that tribe, that is to say, the Peshawar Valley, located between the Suleiman Mountains along the modern border with Afghanistan in the west and the Indus River in the east. This area is now part of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. At the time of Alexander the Great’s invasion the main city of the region was Puṣkalāvatī(modern Charsaḍḍa), near the modern city of Peshāwār(Fussman 1994: 18). The important districts of Swāt and Buner as well as the cities of Bamiyan and Taxila are sometimes included with this area under the umbrella-term ‘Greater Gandhāra’ (Salomon 1999: 3). The Gāndhārī language, written in the Kharoṣṭhī script, served as a lingua-franca for this area, and is recorded in documents from the Northwest of the subcontinent from the time of the Emperor Aśoka until the 4th century of the Common Era. It is this period that I will focus on in this paper.


The study of Gandhāran Buddhism has seen enormous progress in the last 12 years, primarily due to the discovery of several important collections of Gāndhārī manuscripts. These collections are now preserved in the UK, the USA, Norway, Japan and Pakistan, and provide us with direct textual evidence of Buddhism as it was practiced in Gandhāra almost 2,000 years ago. These manuscripts constitute the oldest Buddhist manuscripts known in the world today and are likely to be among the oldest Buddhist manuscripts ever written. When we read these manuscripts, we generally find that the picture they provide of Buddhism at this early time closely matches our expectations based on our knowledge of the Pali, Chinese and Tibetan traditions. However, we also find new information that is not documented in other Buddhist traditions. One particular Gāndhārī manuscript exemplifies this situation, as it contains both familiar descriptions of meditation practices known to us in Pali, Chinese, and Tibetan versions as well as descriptions which are unique. But first, let us consider meditation.



Meditation



Meditation has been a central practice of Buddhism from the very beginning. It was, after all, through meditation that the Buddha achieved enlightenment. The role of meditation has changed over time and the details of its practice have diversified over the centuries and from one Buddhist school to another. To try to understand the role and practice of meditation in Gandhāra during the Kharoṣṭhī period, we should consider the evidence available to us: evidence from art, archaeology, and the surviving written texts. However, the picture of Gandhāran meditation that emerges from this study is, inevitably, incomplete.


In order to fill in the gaps I would like to start with a framework based on the Pali commentaries and Buddhaghosa’ s Vissudhimagga. In this way, we can look at the Gandhāran evidence and see where the pieces might fit into this framework. The Pali sources are a natural place to look for such assistance as many of the texts available in Gāndhārī have close parallels in Pali. Of course, we must be aware that these sources also are removed both in time and space from Gandhāra, so the results will be at best, only an approximation of the role and practice of meditation in ancient Gandhāra. Other possible frameworks, such as Kamalaśīla’s Bhāvanākrama(8th century) are further removed in time and doctrine than Buddhaghosa.


Buddhist meditation includes practices of both sensory withdrawal(dhyāna, śamatha), and sensory observation(smti, vipaśyana). There is also some overlap between these categories. The meditation practices described in the Pali suttas may be arranged in the following schema. Double-underlined items have direct examples in Gāndhārī, single underlined items are mentioned in Gāndhārī documents.



1. Sensory Withdrawal


1.1. Ancillary techniques to counter lust, hatred, and delusion, in preparation for trance(dhyāna):


1.1.1. Meditation on the foulness of a corpse(EĀ-G ll. 61–3) and mindfulness of the body(RS 5 ll. 1–5) are used to counter lust.


1.1.2. Four immeasurable contemplations(love, compas sion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity) are used to counter hatred.


1.1.3. Mindfulness of breath is used to counter delusio n, and is part of a larger, and distinct, series of pr actices called the foundation of mindfulness (sm ṛtyupasthāna RS 5 l. 33).


1.1.4. Six remembrances (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, virt ue, generosity, and deities) are used to increase faith.


1.1.5. Mindfulness of death(RS 5 ll. 5–7) and the reme mbrance of nirvāṇa are used to motivate and reinf orce trance.


1.1.6. Perception of the repulsiveness of food(RS 5 ll. 7–9) and the four elements are used to remove di stractions.


1.2. Trance


1.2.1. Meditation on a device (kasiṇa), this progresses t hrough the stages: the beginning sign, the eidetic sign, the five hindrances, the representational sig n, and culminates in the meditation of attainment. The devices are: earth, water, fire, air, blue, yello w, red, white, light, limited space.


1.2.2. Four trances(BL 26, 29; RS 5 l. 39): in the first t rance, five factors of concentration are present (discursive thought, reasoning, enthusiasm, pleas ure, and one-pointedness). In the second trance, factors 1 and 2 are eliminated. In the third, factor 3 is eliminated; in the fourth trance only one-poi nt edness remains.


1.2.3. The four formless attainments(infinite space, inf inite perception, nothing-at-all, and neither ide a nor non-idea); in each case the meditator prog resses by eliminating the object of each successi ve formless trance.



2. Sensory Observation


The latter five of the seven purifications in Buddhaghosa’s scheme of seven steps on the path of purification(visuddhimagga) concern insight meditation.


2.1. Purification of view is concerned with removing all at tachment to self by examining the constituents of the body(RS 5 ll. 1–5), his senses, their objects and the five aggregates (RS 5 ll. 15–31).


2.2. Purification of overcoming doubt is concerned with re alizing the twelvefold chain of dependent origination (CKI 153) by examining the causes through which th e body comes into being. The result of this is insight into the three characteristics(impermanence (RS 5 ll. 30–31), suffering, and non-self).


2.3. Purification of what is and what is not the path exam ines all things in terms of the three characteristics. T his leads to eighteen great insights and the permanen t rejection of striving for permanence, happiness, and self.


2.4. Purification by knowledge and vision of the way is co ncerned with the pursuit of nine knowledges: knowle dge through contemplation on the appearance and dis appearance of conditioned things; knowledge through contemplation on the destruction of conditioned thing s; knowledge gained through fear of conditioned thing s; knowledge gained through contemplation of the da nger of conditioned things; knowledge gained through revulsion for conditioned things; knowledge gained th rough desire for liberation; knowledge gained through analysis of conditioned things; knowledge gained thro ugh equanimity for conditioned things; and knowledge gained by following the path the nirvāṇa.


2.5. Purification by knowledge and vision concerns knowl edge of the four noble paths (stream-winner, once-re turner, non-returner, and arhant), as well as two furt her attainments (attainment of fruition and cessation of thought and feeling).



In addition to these practices we might also take into account activities such as chanting, recitation, and circumambulation which, according to Luis Gómez, “hold an ambiguous status between ritual and meditation, mechanical reading and deep reflection” (Gomez 2005: 522). These activities are likely to have been a part of Gandhāran Buddhism.


As a further addition, I would like to briefly mention the visionary and ecstatic techniques which became so developed in the Mahāyāna. Techniques consisting of visualizing Buddhas and Purelands are not mentioned in the Gāndhārī texts we have found to date, but one is tempted to speculate that Gandhāran art may have played a complementary role in developing these practices by providing highly evolved portrayals of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas which could have been used as subjects for training these visualizations.



Art



The products of the Gandhāran school of art are among the most famous of all creations of Buddhist art. Gandhāran art can tell us about meditation in Gandhāra in two ways. First, through illustrations of meditation being practised, and second, through depecitions that could be used as subjects for meditation.




Fig. 1. A wall-painting from Qizil.



Illustrations of meditation, which attest to the contemporary practice of meditation in Gandhāra are found, but for the most part consist of Buddha images. Typical of these are depictions of the Buddha in the classic meditation posture(dyāna mudra). Images of monks in meditation are rarer. One very clear example of a monk practicing a specific meditation comes from a wall painting in Qizil, Xinjiang. Admittedly Qizil is some distance from Gandhāra, but was certainly influenced by Gandhāra, as demonstrated by the fact that Kharoṣṭhī documents have been discovered there. Consequently, it is sometimes included in the area covered by the term Greater Gandhāra. This painting is datable to the 4th and 5th centuries of the Common Era. The painting shows a monk looking at, or perhaps thinking about a human skull. Clearly this suggests that the monk is reflecting on death (1.1.5), or possibly the constituents, or decomposition of, the human body(1.1.1). These possibilities are included in the outline of meditation practices given previously.


Since the evidence is rather limited, I would like to simply note here, that art objects, such as the Buddha sculptures, and especially more elaborate scenes like the Mohamed-Nari stele may have played a role in, or at least developed alongside the kind of visualization exercises that were a feature of Mahāyāna meditation(see Rhi 2003: 176–7).



Archaeology



One of the best preserved Buddhist sites from the Gandhāra region is the monastery of Takht-i-bāhī. As such, these ruins are a good place to look for evidence of meditation in Gandhāra.


The ruins at Takht-i-bāhī are situated 50 km northwest of Peshawar, on a hilltop 500 m above sea level. The origins of this monastery are uncertain, but it probably dates back at least to the first part of the 1st century(see Konow 1929: 57). The monastery flourished during the Kharoṣṭhī period, and was perhaps destroyed in connection with the arrival of the Hephthalites early in the 5th century.




.



Fig. 2. The monastery at Takht-i-bāhī



The plan of the monastery is typical of many Gandhāran sites. It consists of a main stūpa; a courtyard which once contained many small stūpas and pillars; as well as the monastery proper, consisting of a further courtyard surrounded by the monks’ cells. At Takht-i-bāhī the main stūpa court and the court of many stūpas are surrounded by high walls, in which niches are set that would have contained sculptures.


The main stūpa is now gone, but its platform remains. This platform has a flight of steps which would have provided access to the base of the stūpa. Certainly, the practice of circumambulation, walking around the stūpa, would have been performed here. As mentioned previously, this can be considered a special form of meditation practice.


Other architectural features which might be associated with mediation are the monks’ private cells, the conference hall, and some underground chambers. Fifteen private cells are arranged on three sides of the monastery courtyard. A stairway at the northeast corner probably led to another fifteen, or so, cells on a second level but these are now lost. It is estimated, therefore, that up to about thirty monks might have been in residence in this part of the monastery at any one time. These cells would likely have been used by the monks for their private meditation practice in addition to sleeping and other activities.


The conference hall at the northwest of the site would have been large enough to easily accommodate all of the monks in residence for meetings, communal recitations and ceremonies. Lantern brackets in the walls suggest that this room was also used at night.


Ten underground chambers are situated in two rows below the courtyard south of the conference hall. The five chambers on the east side are extremely dark. It has been suggested that these were used by monks as meditation chambers (Shakur 1946: 25). Of course, it is impossible to rule out other functions for these rooms, for example, it has also been suggested they were used as granaries (Shakur 1946: 26). Similar, subterranean chambers are found at other Buddhist sites in Gandhāra, such as the nearby site of Jamālgaṛhī. If these dark spaces were used for meditation, it may be that they were suitable for the ancillary techniques (1.1), or sensory observation techniques (2) in the above scheme. The trance techniques (1.2) would have required a little light in the initial stage of the practice in order to perceive the device(kasiṇa).



To summarize the evidence thus far, art and archaeology can give us only a very limited picture of Gandhāran meditation. Evidence from art suggests the posture meditation practitioners might have used, and to a very limited extent, what practices they engaged in. Archaeology on the other hand, cannot tell us anything about the content of the meditation, but only suggests places that might have been used. To know any more about meditation in ancient Gandhāra, we must refer to the available texts.



Texts



Gāndhārī words for the meditation practices described previously, and cognate with Sanskrit terms such as dhyāna, śamatha, smṛti, vipaśyana, occur in various Gāndhārī manuscripts and a very few inscriptions. Examples of these have been presented by Jason Neelis in his contribution to this volume.


At present, the best source for information about meditation in Gandhāra is a manuscript from the Senior Collection. This collection consists of twenty-four scroll fragments on birch bark; and is similar in many respects to the British Library Kharoṣṭhī Fragments which have been described in detail by Richard Salomon in his book Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhāra(1999). Like them, the provenance of the Senior Kharoṣṭhī fragments is unknown, but it might be Haḍḍa in modern Eastern Afghanistan. These fragments can be dated to about 140 c.e. Unlike the British Library manuscripts, the Senior Collection seems to have been prepared on request for a donor as a ritual deposit (Allon 2007: 4).


The twenty-four scrolls that make up the Senior Collection contain 41 texts of varying lengths and degrees of completeness. Many of these texts are parallel to āgama sūtras in Pali and Chinese, by far the best represented of which are sūtras belonging to the Saṃyuktāgama/Pali Saṃyutta-nikāya. A catalogue and overview of this collection is currently being prepared by Mark Allon (forthcoming). The Saṃyuktāgama is a rich source of sūtras describing meditation. Senior Kharoṣṭhī Fragment 5 contains four such sūtras. The instructions in this manuscript probably reflect contemporary views and practice of meditation in Gandhāra around the middle of the first century.



Senior Kharoṣṭhī Fragment 5(see appendix)



Scroll 5 from the Senior Collection is a short manuscript comprising 42 lines of text, 21 on each side, and four sūtras, with two on each side. Despite damage to the center of the manuscript, it is, in fact, one of the best preserved of all Kharoṣṭhī manuscripts.


The first sūtra on this manuscript contains a description of four perceptions(saññā), these are: perception of foulness (asubhasaññā), perception of death(maraṇasaññā), perception of the repulsiveness of food(āhārepaṭikkūlasaññā), and perception of non-delight in the entire world(sabbaloke anabhiratasaññā). The first three directly relate to the ancillary techniques described earlier, items 1.1.1, 1.1.5, and 1.1.6 respectively. We should note also that either of the first two items may be indicated in the wall painting from Qizil discussed earlier.


The description of the first perception has parallels in Pali and Tibetan. The descriptions of the remaining three do not have direct parells, however, the sentiments of the perception of death and the perception of the repulsiveness of food are echoed elsewhere. As far as I have been able to discover, the description of the fourth perception, non-delight in the entire world, appears to be unique to the Gāndhārī tradition. One might imagine the monks of Takht-i-Bāhī going to the subterranean chambers and feeling isolated and alone, and then recreating this feeling when they walked down to the town at the base of the hill.


The second sūtra on this manuscript is a Gāndhārī text directly parallel to the Pali Natumhāka-sutta. This short sūtra preserves a teaching on the five aggregates(skandhas), recommending that one not think of them as one’s own, hence the sūtra’s title ‘Not Yours’(natumhāka). The sūtra contains a simile comparing the aggregates to the grass, sticks, branches, leaves, and foliage in the Jeta-grove, which one can readily acknowledge as not belonging to the self. Therefore, we may connect the teaching of this sūtra with the Purification of view(2.1).


The third sūtra also has parallels in Pali and Chinese. It instructs the adherent to view the five aggregates with disgust. Through this practice one is said to gain understanding of the aggregates, and in turn, be released from the cycle of birth, aging, sickness and death. Again, this instruction is might be classified under the Purification of view(2.1). The context of disgust suggests a connection with the first part of the first sūtra on this manuscript.


The fourth and last sūtra on this manuscript has direct parallels in Pali and Chinese. This sūtra teaches that liberation depends both on the recognition of the five aggregates as impermanent, and on the maturation of factors which contribute to enlightenment(bodhipākṣyadharma). The Gāndhārī version ends in the middle of the first of three similes found in the parallel versions, in which the practitioner is compared to a hen whose eggs won’t hatch unless they are properly incubated. This sūtra, like the previous two, concerns the five aggregates, but in this case they are to be viewed as impermanent(anitya, 2.2), that is, as subject to arising(samudaya) and passing away(astaṃgama). Not only that, but also the factors which contribute to enlightenment must be cultivated(bhāvita) too. In the Gāndhārī list of these factors forty-one items have been included as opposed to the usual thirty-seven.























































Gāndhārī


RS 5.33–5


Pali


SN III 153.8–13


Chinese (SĀ)


T no. 99 67a29–b1


Chinese (DĀ)


T no. 1 16c10–1


4 spaḏoṭ́haṇa


4 satipaṭṭhāna


niànchù念處


4 niànchù念處


4 samepas̱aṇa


4 sammappadhāna


zhèngqín 正勤


4 yìduàn 意斷


4 hirdhaüpaḏa


4 iddhipāda


rúyìzú 如意足


4 shénzú 神足


4 jaṇa




4 chán


5 hidria


5 indriya


gēn


5 gēn


5 bala


5 bala



5


7 bejaga


7 bojjhaṅga


jué


7 juéyì 覺意


aria aṭhagia mag̱a


ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga


dào


xiánshèng bā dào賢聖八道


= 41


= 37


=37


= 41



This list itself seems to be a very early attempt to catalogue the practices conducive to the path. Some of these are directly concerned with meditation, such as the four foundations of mindfulness(smṛtyupasthāna), and of course the four dhyānas(G jaṇa). The inclusion of the four dhyānas seems to be associated with the Dharmaguptakas, or perhaps more generally with the Gandhāra region (see Glass 2007: 35).



Conclusions



The evidence regarding meditation in Gandhāra is admittedly quite scant. Fortunately, we are able to draw on a variety of sources, art, architecture, epigraphy, and manuscripts. Taken individually, the data from each may not amount to much, but together, I think we can draw some tentative conclusions about meditation in Gandhāra.


First, the descriptions of meditations given in Senior manuscript 5 occur in the context of sūtras, that is, teachings set at the time of the Buddha. The fact that these sūtras were chosen specifically for inclusion in a ritual deposit suggests that they were both revered and relevant at the time of their creation. Therefore, I suggest, that the descriptions of meditation practices they contain would have been current in Gandhāra in the second century of the Common Era. The fact that one of the practices described is apparently depicted in a wall painting two or three centuries later strongly supports this claim.


In terms of the scheme of meditation practices provided by Buddhaghosa, we find that the ancillary techniques of sensory withdrawal are the best represented in our sources. The sensory observation practices are also represented, particularly where they overlap with the ancillary techniques. This leaves the trance practices as the least well represented in out texts so far. I would not infer from this that the trances were less significant to Gandhāran Buddhism, rather, this is likely to be an accident of preservation. In this regard, it is interesting that the four trances have been included in the practices conducive to the path in Gandhāra.


It is also apparent that descriptions of Mahāyāna-type visualizations are, so far, absent from the Gāndhārī materials. It is perhaps likely that in this case too, our sample of Gāndhārī texts is too small. We can hope that, as Gāndhārī manuscripts continue to come to light, this situation may change, and we will come to know more about meditation in Gandhāra.



Translation of Senior Kharoṣṭhī Fragment 5



The Sutra on the Perceptions(S̱aña-sutra)


“What is the concentration connected with perception of foulness? Concerning this, a monk who is at the foot of a tree or in an empty house or in an open space examines this very body, as it is placed, as it is disposed, upward from the sole of the foot, surrounded by skin, downward from the tip of the hair, (*full) of impurity of (*various) kinds. (*There are in this) body: head hair, body hair, nails, teeth, dust, networks, outer skin, thin skin, bones, bone marrow, (*flesh, sinews, kidney, liver), heart, pleura, spleen, lungs, small intestine, large intestine, anus, bladder, fecal matter, tears, sweat, saliva, mucus, pus, blood, (*bile, phlegm, fat, grease), joint fluids, head, and brain. It is the undistracted one-pointedness of mind of a person so positioned which is called ‘the concentration connected with the perception of foulness.’


“(*What) is the concentration connected with the perception of death? Concerning this, a monk who is at the foot of a tree or in an empty house or in an open space, this one … [thinks,] ‘I will die, I will not live long, I will perish, I will die, I will disappear.’ (*It) is the undistracted one-pointedness of mind of a person so positioned which is called ‘the concentration connected with the perception of death.’


“What is the concentration connected with the perception of the repulsiveness of food? By ‘food’ is meant porridge, sour gruel; this, the monk … realizes, is ‘fecal matter’; he realizes [it is] ‘saliva’; he realizes [it is] ‘vomit’; he realizes [it is] ‘a lump of putrid bodily secretions’—‘black filth.’ It is the undistracted (*one-pointedness of mind) of a person so positioned which is called ‘the concentration connected with the perception of the repulsiveness of food.’


“ere, in every respect … he is dissatisfied. he reflects. he (*does not enjoy. he does not delight). It is the undistracted one-pointedness of mind of a person so positioned which is called ‘the concentration connected with the perception of nondelight in the entire world.’”



The Not yours Sutra(Ṇatuspahu-sutra)


The setting is in Śrāvastī. “What, Monks, is not yours, you should abandon that. When abandoned, that will be for [your] benefit and ease. (*Moreover, what is not yours?) Form is not yours; you should abandon that. When abandoned, that will be for [your] benefit and ease. Feeling, perception, conditioned forces, perceptual consciousness are not yours; you should abandon them. (*When abandoned), that will be for [your] benefit and ease.


“[It is] just as if a person were to cut or carry off or (*burn or) do as they please with the grass, sticks, branches, leaves, and foliage in this Jetavana. Then what do you think? Would this occur to you: ‘Now then, this person cuts us or carries us off or burns us or may do as he pleases with us’?” “Indeed, this is not the case, (*sir). Why is (*that)? [Because] this [Jetavana], sir, neither is the self nor belongs to the self.”


“In the same way, you should abandon what is not yours. When abandoned, it will be for [your] benefit and ease. (*In the same way,) form is not yours; you should abandon that. When abandoned, it will be for [your] benefit and ease. Feeling, conception, conditioned forces, perceptual consciousness are ⟨*not⟩ yours; you should abandon that. When abandoned, it will be for [your] (*benefit and ease).” This is what the Lord said.



The Faith Sutra(Ṣadha-sutra)


The setting is in Śrāvastī. “For one having faith, Monks, for a noble son who has gone forth from the home to homelessness out of faith, this accords with the dharma: That he should live full of disgust with respect to form; he should live (*full of) disgust with respect to feeling, perception, conditioned forces, and perceptual consciousness.


“Living full of disgust with respect to form, he fully understands form. (*Living full of) disgust with respect to feeling, perception, conditioned forces, and perceptual consciousness, [he] fully understands perceptual consciousness.


“Fully understanding form, fully understanding feeling, perception, conditioned


forces, and perceptual consciousness, he is released from form; [he] is released from feeling, perception, conditioned forces; [he] is released from perceptual consciousness; [he] is released from birth, aging, sickness and death, grief, lamentations, (*suffering, despair,) and frustration. [he] is released from suffering, so I say.” This is what the Lord said.



The Adze handle Sutra(*Vasijaḍa-sutra)


The Lord was staying in Śrāvastī. “Monks, I say the destruction of the taints is for one who knows [and] sees, not for one who does not (*know [and] does not) see. I say the destruction of the taints is for one who knows how and sees how? To wit: [for one who knows] ‘This is form, this is the arising of form, this is the (*passing away) of form; (*this) is feeling; this is perception; these are the conditioned forces; this is perceptual consciousness, this is the arising of perceptual consciousness, this is the passing away of perceptual consciousness.’ So I say the destruction of the taints is for one (*who knows thus), who sees thus.”


Then a certain monk said this to the Lord: “you say that the destruction of the taints is for one who knows thus, who sees thus. Then, why, in this case, is the mind of some monks not liberated from the taints without clinging?” “It must be said, ‘due to (*its) noncultivation.’ Due to the noncultivation of what? Due to the noncultivation of the wholesome states. Of which wholesome states? Due to the noncultivation of the four foundations of mindfulness, of the four right strivings, of the (*four) bases of supernatural power, of the four meditations, of the five mental faculties, of the five powers, of the seven factors of awakening, and of the Noble Eightfold Path—due to the noncultivation of these wholesome states.


“A monk who lives without engaging in the practice of meditation may well form the desire ‘Oh, let (*my) mind be liberated from the taints without clinging!’ But in fact his mind is not liberated from the taints without clinging. For what reason? It must be said, ‘due to (*its) noncultivation.’ Due to the noncultivation of what? Due to the noncultivation of the wholesome states. Of which wholesome states? Due to the noncultivation of the (*four) foundations of mindfulness, of the four right strivings, of the four bases of supernatural power, of the four meditations, of the five mental faculties, of the five powers, of the (*seven) factors of awakening, and of the Noble Eightfold Path—due to the noncultivation of these wholesome states.


“[It is] just as if a hen might have eight, ten, or twelve (*eggs). [And suppose] these eggs were not properly sat upon by this hen day in and day out, were not properly incubated day in and day out, were not properly nurtured day in and day out …”


References



Abbreviations


BLBritish Library Kharoṣṭhī Fragment


CKICatalog of Kharoṣṭhī Inscriptions (www.ebmp.org)


DĀDīrghāgama


EĀ-GGāndhārī Ekottarikāgama (ed. Allon 2001)


RSRobert Senior Kharoṣṭhī Fragment


SĀSaṃyuktāgama


SNSaṃyutta-nikāya


TTaishō Shinshū Daizōkyō




Allon, Mark. 2001. Three Gāndhārī Ekottarikāgama-Type Sūtras: British Library Kharoṣṭhī Fragments 12 and 14. Gandhāran Buddhist Texts 2. Seattle: University of Washington Press.


______. 2007. “Introduction.” in Glass 2007: 3–25.


______. forthcoming. Ancient Buddhist Scrolls from Gandhāra II: The Robert Senior Kharoṣṭhī Fragments. Gandhāran Buddhist Texts. Seattle: University of Washington Press.


Beyer, Stephan V. 1975. “The Doctrine of Meditation in the Hīnayāna” and “The Doctrine of Meditation in the Mahāyāna.” In Charles S. Prebish, ed. Buddhism: A Modern Perspective. University Park: The Pennsylvania State University Press.


Glass, Andrew. 2007. Four Gāndhārī Saṃyuktāgama Sūtras: Senior Kharoṣṭhī Fragment 5. Gandhāran Buddhist Texts 4. Seattle: University of Washington Press.


Gómez, Luis O. 2005. “Meditation.” In Robert E. Buswell Jr., ed., Encyclopedia of Buddhism. New York: Macmillan Reference.


Konow, Sten. 1929. Kharoshṭhī Inscriptions with the Exception of Those of Aśoka. Corpus Inscriptionum Indicarum 2.1. Calcutta: Government of India, Central Publication Branch.


Rhi Juhyung. 2003. “Early Mahāyāna and Gandhāran Buddhism: an Assessment of the Visual Evidence.” Eastern Buddhist 35: 152–2002.


Salomon, Richard. 1999. Ancient Buddhist scrolls from Gandhāra: the British Library Kharoṣṭhī Fragments. Seattle: University of Washington Press.


Shakur, M. A. 1946. A Short Guide to Takht-i-Bahi. Peshawar: M. A. Shakur.


Vetter, Tilmann. 1988. The Ideas and Meditative Practices of Early Buddhism. Leiden: E. J. Brill.

The Practical Thought of Ch‘an and the Question of Self-realization

Ven. Seong-bon / A professor /
The department of Buddhism /
Dongguk university in Keoungju

Ch‘an is a religion of self-realization. The self-realization gets an individual to follow the life of Bodhisattva path with wisdom and personality after he has directly achieved by himself the perfect wisdom of Buddha-dharma. The perfect wisdom is insight that one achieves by realizing practically the spirit and thought of the Buddha-dharma. And it goes beyond language or letter a master uses to give an instruction to his disciples.

The self-realization in Ch‘an buddhism is wisdom that truly knows and sees one‘s own existence and reality. It denotes that one gets the eyes of wisdom which can penetrate the true reality of all things. Hence, the wisdom which can truly see the right Dharma is fulfilled by self-realization through Ch‘an practice, viz. by the experience of awakening

When considering Ch‘an practice from the general standpoint of Buddhism, there are various modes according to different schools and periods respectively. However, their main purposes focus on achieving and cultivating prajñā-wisdom through self-realization

In other words, the self-realization in Ch‘an buddhism signifies that one lives as a creative person doing what to do here and now, and fulfills the path of Bodhisattva to liberate the living beings from suffering with prajñā-wisdom after penetrating Buddha-nature that is one‘s own original nature.

* Key words

Ch‘anpractice(참선수행),self-realization(깨달음), prajñā-wisdom(般若智慧), The Discourse on the Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna(大乘起信論), sudden enlightenment and seeing self-nature(頓悟見性)

A Comparative Study of the Humanistic Approaches for Zen Therapy

Lee, Nam-Gyeong / Lecturer,
Dongguk University

In the dissertation, I’ve tried to compare the western approaches to psychotherapy with the Buddha’s teachings and Zen(Seon or meditation) for practicing. But, it is not easy to get the more effectual remedy what I want. Because, I think, each of the Oriental and the Western cultures have developed on the different bases of philosophy, ideology and religion. It is nature that, though both of them want to go for the same goal equally in the psychotherapy and try to recover the hurt mind around us, but the one is separated from the other in the meaning of terminology. They are speaking out with the same mouths and the same words, but the different meanings in the same terms.

Therefore, above all, I have reviewed the development of the western psychotherapy centered on the Humanistic approaches with the founder C, Rogers, and compared with the buddhist teaching.

Next, I have to find out the different meanings of psychological terms in the western theories and the buddhist teachings. Without any idea of the different concepts of the two, if any counsellor had excerpted from the other theory only partially, it would be done a very dangerous hurt to a client. So, it is very important job what we have to review first of all, I think.

In the chapter 4 and 5, I’ve suggested Vipassana as the way of Zen practicing for the Zen Therapy and showed the right mind and the right attitude for caring clients as a good counsellor. If you want to be a good counsellor, you should learn the Buddha’s teachings, practice Zen(Seon or meditation) and then apply the Western methods for psychotherapy .

* key words

Zen Therapy, Humanistic Approaches, C, Rogers, actualizing tendency, awareness, enlightenment, buddha-nature, anātman, śunayatā, nirvana, vipassana

Huyan Theoretical Interpretation on Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation

Seok Gil-am / Researcher,
Geumgang Center for Buddhist Studies

This paper is aimed to analyze meaning with Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation from view of Huayan theory of Nature Arising (性起, Xingqi).

Nature Arising occupies the core position in Huayan thought. It is explained as the world where the Non- Discriminated and Originally Non-Moved Tranquillity is identified with the Non-Discriminated Arising. Thus, in respect that the Non-Discriminated and Originally Non-Moved Nature is described by Nature’s Arising, main characteristic of Nature Arising theory lies in positive stressing Buddha’s World as presented in Sentient Beings’ mind. The fact that both Zhiyan (智儼) and Uisang (義湘) emphasize that the Chapter on Samanthabhadra’s Practice (普賢行品) is included in Nature Arising, informs us that they take the core of Nature Arising as Arising’s union with Nature.

As represented by “As soon as s/he arises his/her mind for the first time, s/he attains right Enlightenment,” Huayan theory of becoming Buddha is generally said to be “First Abide Becoming Buddha” (住初成佛) or “Full Faith Becoming Buddha.” (信滿成佛) However, it just means entering the world of Enlightenment. Rather, the focus of “First Abide Becoming Buddha” lies in having firm faith in the world of Originally Non-Moving as the original aspect of the world. It is the reason why Samanthabhadra’s Practice as both causal practice and resultant practice is contained in Huayan Buddhism.

Even though Jinul’s thinking of Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation seems to also correspond to this, it has subtle difference from this. Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment which stresses Function of one’s own Wisdom is different from Huineng (慧能)’s Sudden Enlightenment emphasizing Function of Wisdom of outer objects. It has also difference from the fact that Huayan Nature Arising identifies Arising with Nature as the original nature and that already has placed Samanthabhadra’s Practice on the original aspect of Nature Arising. In this point, there is a reason why Jinul puts Gradual Cultivation as the practice followed enlightening after Sudden Enlightenment. Because he asserts Sudden Enlightenment with emphasizing its characteristic as Function of one’s own Wisdom, his idea should be different from Huayan Nature Arising focusing on Arising, and, consequently, he has no choice but present Gradual Cultivation.

In other hand, it might be because he intends to explain Buddhist characteristic as the practice after enlightening like the compassion practice and Buddha’s practice. Though expressed as the practice after enlightening, Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation might reveal his will to search the character- istic of Buddhism not within the enlightenment itself but within the practice after one’s enlightenment. Thus, Jinul’s Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Cultivation is the idea transformed, by his intention focused on Gradual Cultivation, from Nature Arising of Huayan and from Sudden Enlightenment of Huineng.

* key words

Huayan, Nature Arising (性起, Xingqi), Samanthabhadra’s Practice (普賢行), Sudden Enlightenment(頓悟), Gradual Cultivation (漸修), Jinul(知訥), Huineng (慧能)

Wisdom, Compassion, and Zen Social Ethics: the Case of Jinul, Seongcheol

Wisdom, Compassion, and Zen Social Ethics: the Case of Chinul, Sŏngch’ŏl, and Minjung Buddhism in Korea

Abstract

This essay examines the possibility of Zen social ethics by contemplating the relationship between wisdom and compassion in two Korean Zen masters, Pojo Chinul and T’oe’ong Sŏngch’ŏl. Unlike the common assumption that wisdom and compassion naturally facilitate each other in Zen practice, I contend that in both Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl, they are in a relationship of tension rather than harmony and that such a tension provides a ground for Zen social ethics. In this context the Minjung Buddhist movement in contemporary Korea is discussed as an example of Zen social activism that makes visible the social dimension of Zen philosophy and practice.

Recent Buddhist scholarship in the West has raised a question regarding how to understand Zen teachings in the larger milieu of the life-world beyond monastic experiences. In other words, is ethics possible in Zen Buddhism and, if so, what kind of ethics does Zen offer? This further raises the question of whether Zen Buddhism can contribute to social activism. To answer these questions, in this essay, I will examine the relationship between wisdom and compassion in the context of how an individual’s path to realizing the teachings of Zen Buddhism influences the person’s relationships with others, that is, his or her practice of compassion.

A common assumption is that wisdom and compassion are like two wings of Zen practice, and, thus, the attainment of the one “naturally” facilitates the other. This essay questions that very assumption and claims that wisdom and compassion are, in fact, in a state of tension, and even create a theoretical gap in two major Zen teachers in Korean Buddhism. This essay further contends that addressing the nature of this tension and, thus, finding its position both in Zen discourse and in its practice could be one of the first steps to understanding the status of Zen Buddhism in the ethical discourse. I will discuss the issue by examining the Zen teaching of Pojo Chinul (普照知訥, 1158-1210) and comparing it with the Buddhist thoughts of T’oe’ong Sŏngch’ŏl (退翁性徹, 1912-1993). After discussions on Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl, I will examine Minjung Buddhism (民衆佛敎, Buddhism for the Masses) in contemporary Korea as a possible example of Zen social activism.

1. The Mind: Doctrinal Ground for the Identity of Wisdom and Compassion in Pojo Chinul

Chinul’s Buddhist thought developed around the idea of the mind. At the very beginning of his early work, Encouragement to Practice: The Compact of the Samādhi and Prajñā Community (Kwŏnsu chŏnghye kyŏlsa mun 勸修定慧結社文, 1190), Chinul states(1):

When one is deluded about the mind and gives rise to endless defilements, such a person is a sentient being. When one is awakened to the mind and gives rise to endless marvelous functions, such a person is the Buddha. Delusion and awakening are two different states but both are caused by the mind. If one tries to find the Buddha away from this mind, one will never find one.

In another of his essays, Secrets on Cultivating the Mind (Susimkyŏl 修心訣, 1203-1205), Chinul also teaches (HPC 4.708b):

If one wants to avoid transmigration, the best way is to search for the Buddha. Though I said “search for the Buddha,” this mind is the Buddha. The mind cannot be found in a distant place but is inside this body.

Also in Straight Talk on the True Mind (Chinsim chiksŏl, 眞心直說, around 1205), Chinul advises that the role of patriarchs is “to help sentient beings look at their original nature by themselves” (HPC 4.715a).

By identifying the Buddha with the mind and one’s original nature, Chinul joins many other Zen masters to whom the identity between the Buddha and sentient beings in their original state marks the basic promise of the school. Chinul further characterizes the original state of a sentient being as a state of liberation and, thus, advises his contemporary practitioners (HPC 4.700b):

Why don’t you first trust that the mind is originally pure, the defilement empty. Do not suspect this but practice, by relying on this. Outwardly observe precepts, and forget about binding or attachment; inwardly practice samādhi, which, however, should not be suppression. [Then, w]hen one detaches oneself from evil, there is nothing to cut off, and when one practices meditation, there is nothing to practice. The practice without practice, the cutting off without cutting off, can be said to be real practice and cutting off.

Through such paradoxical statements as “practice without practice” or “cutting off with nothing to cut off,” Zen Buddhism, including that of Chinul, emphasizes that the ultimately realized liberated state of enlightenment is none other than the original state of a being. Chinul describes such a state of the mind as the original mind of both the Buddha and sentient beings. In the Secrets on Cultivating the Mind, Chinul clarifies this non-existence of the differences between the Buddha and sentient beings through his emphasis on “the mind of marvelous knowing” (Kor. yŏngchi chisim, 靈知之心) which is empty and quiet (Kor. kongjŏk, 空寂). As Chinul states (HPC 4.710a):

The deluded thoughts are originally quiet, and the outside world is originally empty; in the place where all dharmas are empty exists the marvelous knowing, which is not dark. This mind of marvelous knowing, which is empty and quiet, is your original face. This is also the dharma-recognition that has been mysteriously transmitted through all the Buddhas in the three worlds and all the patriarchs and dharma teachers.

The combination of emptiness and the non-empty nature of emptiness deserves further analysis. Emptiness and quietness are the ontological reality of a being, whereas marvelous knowing is the epistemological ground for the being’s awareness of the empty and quiet nature of one’s existence, which is repeatedly represented as the mind in Chinul. Chinul responds to the question requesting a further elaboration on the quiet and marvelous mind by pointing out that neither an entity (an individual) nor the actions of the entity—both physical and mental—has one identifiable control center. Hence, both an entity and its actions are empty. Their source, which Chinul describes as nature (Kor. sŏng 性), is empty and, thus, cannot have a shape. Hence Chinul states (HPC 4.710c):

Since there is no shape, how can it be either big or small? Since it is neither big nor small, how can there be limits? There being no limits, there is neither inside nor outside; there being neither inside nor outside, there is neither far nor close; there being neither far nor close, there is neither this nor that; there being neither this nor that, there is neither going nor coming; there being neither going nor coming, there is neither life nor death; there being neither life nor death, there is neither past nor present; there being neither past nor present, there is neither delusion nor awakening; there being neither delusion nor awakening, there is neither the secular nor the sacred; there being neither the secular nor the sacred, there is neither purity nor impurity; there being neither purity nor impurity, there is neither right nor wrong; there being neither right nor wrong, all the names and sayings cannot explain it.

The statement succinctly sums up the logical development of the ontological status of a being, and its implications in religious practice, and then its position in ethical discourse. The non-discriminative nature of one’s being negates the secular distinctions of binary opposites, which has been identified as one major obstacle that Zen Buddhism needs to deal with in order to make it viable as an ethical system. For the sake of convenience, let us identify this as the first problem of Zen Buddhist ethics: ambiguity of ethical categories in Zen Buddhist discourse.

Despite this non-existence of the binary reality between the Buddha and sentient beings, the gap still exists, in reality, between the two. Chinul explains this bounded state of sentient beings on three levels: the first involves being bound through outside phenomena, the second, through inner desire, and the third, through the desire for enlightenment. One can identify them as epistemological, psychological, and religio-teleological bondages respectively, which an individual experiences as obstacles to the full realization of one’s original nature.

Liberation from outside phenomena has to do with the relationship between an individual and the outside world. In this encounter, the disturbance of the mind by the phenomenal world indicates that the practitioner is bound by the characteristics of the object of her/his perception. Whether the object is a thing or an event, the disturbance of the mind by an outside phenomenon gives evidence that the subject takes the phenomenon as if it had a substance of its own, and this perceptual illusion, according to Chinul, is created through the function of the mind. By understanding the phenomenon as if it had a substantial nature, the mind not only mistakes the nature of the object of perception, but misunderstands the subject’s own nature by imposing on the object certain qualifications. In this process, both the mind and the phenomenon turn into substances, creating a dualistic structure of the subject and the object, and binding both of them to imaginary substances.

The second and the third instances of bondage—i.e., bondage through an inner desire (or psychological binding) and bondage through the teleological idea (or religio-teleological binding)—can be explained through the same logic. Such emotional reactions to the outside world as greed, anger, or pleasure have meaning only when the outside phenomenon has a substantial nature in and of itself. When its nonsubstantiality is understood by the practitioner in the first place, not only does the emotional reaction lose its meaning, but it proves to the practitioner the non-substantiality of the practitioner’s reaction itself. The realization of the first and second instances of bondage opens a way of being liberated from the third, for a logical conclusion indicates that, from the beginning, there was nothing for the practitioner to free her/himself from. Searching for a goal, that is, enlightenment per se, turns out to be the practitioner’s illusion. At this point, the original state of the practitioner is confirmed as the state of full liberation, that of wisdom.

This brief analysis of the status of sentient beings in bondage reflects the inward movement in Zen Buddhism’s understanding of an individual’s reality, and, thus, the practitioner’s realization of innate wisdom. Bondage begins with one’s mind and so does liberation from bondage. The subjective and individualistic nature of one’s realization of original nature has been addressed as another problem in the construction of Zen Buddhist ethics. We will identify this as the subjectivism of Zen practice.

This identity of difference and difference of identity between the enlightened and unenlightened leads us to the third problem in Zen ethics: the issue of the ethical agent. In his essay on Chinul’s Buddhism, Hyŏnghyo Kim introduces the idea of existentiality (Kor. siljonsŏng, 實存性) and essentiality (Kor. ponjilsŏng, 本質性) of self-nature (Kor. chasŏng, 自性). Characterizing Chinul’s Buddhism as “metaphysics of the self-mind [Kor. chasim, 自心]” (Kim 1996:8), Kim defines the meaning of awakening in Chinul as follows: “As the mind becomes calm in the process of its acceptance of self-nature, the existential mind experiences a metaphysical acceptance of self-nature; such acceptance is the awakened mind [Kor. osim, 悟心]” (ibid:19). In other words, the existential mind is the unenlightened aspect of the mind, whereas self-nature is the mind in its original state; the former is bound to various aspects of the worldliness of an individual, whereas the latter is free from such bondages. When the former, the existential mind, becomes one with the essence of self-nature, the existential mind turns into the true mind (Kor. chinsim, 眞心). Kim’s philosophical rephrasing of Chinul’s Zen thought elaborates on the problem of ethical agency in Chinul’s thought. Is the essential (enlightened) mind the ethical agent (i.e., for compassion) or the existential (unenlightened) mind? On a theoretical level, they cannot be separated. On the other hand, it is true that there exists a gap between the two in the real world.

The three issues that I have identified as problems in Zen ethical discourse—i.e., ambiguity of ethical categories, subjectivism of practice, and ambiguity in the identity of the ethical agent—are not separate issues, but closely related. As the fourth entry in this list, we also need to consider the public meaning of Zen awakening. In other words, if original nature is an awakened state, how does it enable an individual to practice virtuous behaviors, which are understood as a natural outcome of one’s recovery of the state of original mind? Why does the ontological recovery of one’s original state facilitate moral behaviors and bodhisattvic activities?

More often than not, Zen Buddhist tradition has offered, if any, a foggy response to this issue. Chinul could be one example. Examine the following statement by Chinul from his Encouragement to Practice (HPC 4.699b):

Vain is all phenomena. [When you encounter phenomena] search for the fundamental cause of them. Don’t be influenced by them, but keep your entire body in a calm state, firmly close the castle of your mind, and make more efforts for concentration. You will find a quiet returning place, which is comfortable and without discontinuity. In that situation, the mind of love or hatred will naturally disappear; compassion and wisdom will naturally become clearer as your evil karma will naturally cut off and meritorious behavior will naturally be advanced [emphasis mine].

In this passage, correction of perceptual illusion is directly connected with moral activities. In other places in the same text, Chinul quotes a gāthā that runs: “Dhyāna is the armor of diamond. It is capable of fending off the arrows of defilement; Dhyāna is the storehouse of wisdom; it is the field of all kinds of meritorious virtues” (HPC 4.701a). In this gāthā, meditation leads one to virtuous behaviors. Not only is there no explanation of why that should be the case, Chinul does not explain the nature of this meritorious behavior either. Does it have to do with social engagement, or is the fact that one is free from all illusionary thoughts itself virtuous behavior?

Chinul’s “naturalist” position exposed in the above seems a good example of what James Whitehill criticized as a “transcendence trap” of a romanticized version of Zen Buddhist ethics: “The trap misleads them [interpreters of Zen] and us into portraying the perfected moral life as a non-rational expressiveness, something natural, spontaneous, non-linguistic, and uncalculating” (Whitehill 2000:21). Although it is true that Zen Buddhism has not been very eager to provide a clear response to the problem that Whitehill identified here, a close examination of Chinul’s texts indicates that Chinul was actually keenly aware of this problem and constantly emphasized the gap between sentient beings and the Buddha, as much as confirming their identities. The coexistence of both the emphasis of identity and, at the same time, the differences between the Buddha and sentient beings, and thus the intrinsic identity of wisdom and compassion and their differences, could confuse practitioners and cause a theoretical conflict in Chinul’s Buddhism. However, binary postulations in Zen tradition, including the Buddha and sentient beings, wisdom and compassion, the unenlightened and the enlightened, awakening and cultivation, are actually in a relationship of tension as much as in a state of harmony. To consider the nature of this tension will take us into a new dimension in Zen Buddhist ethical discourse.

2. Sudden Awakening and Gradual Cultivation as an Ethical Paradigm

In the Secrets of Cultivating the Mind and the Excerpts from the Dharma Collection and Special Practice Record with Personal Notes (法集別行錄節要幷入私記, 1209, henceforth Personal Notes), Chinul constantly brings up sudden enlightenment, followed by gradual cultivation, as he emphasizes the importance of returning to one’s original mind. In that context, Chinul also brings the practitioner’s attention to the fact that the existence of the mind, which is void, calm, and marvelously knowing, only confirms the ontological reality of a being, and thus, its realization is not accomplished naturally. That is, to Chinul, the exercise of the mind of the Buddha requires continuous and strenuous efforts, which Chinul articulates as sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation (Kor. ton’o chŏmsu, 頓悟漸修).

In the Personal Notes, Chinul summarizes the four Zen schools of China as they appear in the Special Dharma Records of Guifeng Zongmi (圭峯宗密, 780-841), and connects them with the theory of subitism and gradualism. In his commentaries, Chinul states that the doctrinal school spreads out teachings and that Zen makes a selection, and, thus, simplifies. The simplified teachings can be summarized in the following two aspects: “With regard to the dharma, there are absolute (Kor. pulbyŏn, 不變) and changing (Kor. suyŏn, 隨緣) aspects; with regard to humans, there are sudden awakening (Kor. ton’o, 頓悟) and gradual cultivation (Kor. chŏmsu, 漸修)” (HPC 4.734c). This statement suggests that, in Chinul, sudden awakening and gradual cultivation are not in the relationship of either/or, but represent two aspects of the same phenomenon. In the later section of the text, Chinul further clarifies his position on the relationship between awakening and cultivation and, thus, wisdom and compassion, as he states (HPC 4.755b):

Practitioners in our time often say, “if one is able to look into one’s Buddha-nature clearly, the vow and altruistic behaviors will naturally be realized.” I, Moguja, do not think that is the case. To see clearly one’s Buddha-nature is to realize that sentient beings and the Buddha are equal and that there is no discrimination between “me” and others. However, I worry that if one does not make the vow of compassion, they will stagnate in the state of calmness. The Exposition of the Avataṃsaka Sūtra says: “The nature of wisdom being calm, it needs to be guarded by the vow.” Therefore in the deluded state before the awakening, the strength of the mind is dark and weak, and thus is unable to realize the vow. However, once one experiences [the initial] awakening, one will be able to sympathize with the suffering of the sentient beings through one’s discriminative-wisdom, and thus exercise one’s compassion and make a vow, and practice the bodhisattva path according to one’s capacity, which will gradually complete one’s awakened-behaviors. How could this not be joyful?

Chinul, in this passage, emphasizes that a mere awareness of wisdom cannot be directly connected to compassionate wisdom; this statement, in a sense, contradicts his remarks in the Encouragement to Practice in which he emphasized the natural flow from wisdom to compassion. However, we should interpret this in two different ways. In this sense, Sung Bae Park makes a distinction between the realm of faith and the realm of practice in understanding the sudden–gradual paradigm in Chinul (Park 1993:217-224). In terms of the realm of faith, practitioners believe that their minds are the original Buddha; thus, enlightenment should be sudden. In the realm of practice, the realization of the innate Buddha-nature requires a constant cultivation. From this, one can further move on to the idea, as expressed by Kŏn’gi Kang, that sudden awakening is the realization of wisdom as gradual cultivation is the exercise of compassion (Kang 1999:43).

Pŏpchŏng moves one step further in his interpretation of the relationship between wisdom and compassion in the soteriological structure of sudden-awakening-and-gradual-cultivation in Chinul and states: “In the case of Śākyamuni Buddha, awakening under the bodhi tree represents sudden enlightenment, whereas forty-five years’ activities of guiding numerous sentient beings represents gradual cultivation. This also represents the two wings in Buddhism: wisdom and compassion” (Pŏpchŏng 1987:4).

This view on sudden awakening and gradual cultivation, especially in our exploration of Zen Buddhist ethics, suggests to us that the seemingly exclusive dominance of inward movement of the practitioner in understanding Zen practice needs reconsideration. At least in Chinul’s case, his constant reference to and emphasis on the importance of gradual practice after the initial awakening and further compassionate bodhisattvic behaviors as main activities of the gradual cultivation point to several issues in our previous discussion. Unlike the common assumption that Zen practice is exclusively dominated by introspective subjectivism, Chinul contends that even though introspectivism facilitates one’s awakening, it should also accompany social activities of compassion to reach its perfection. In other words, to Chinul, compassionate activities are manifestations of wisdom. This is an important point because, unlike the romantic version that envisions a natural flow of compassion upon the realization of wisdom, Chinul is claiming that compassion is wisdom; that is, wisdom per se without compassionate actions cannot be obtained. The commonly accepted movement from wisdom to compassion, then, is reversed here.

A support for such a claim—that wisdom is nourished by and perfected through compassionate activities—is ironically found in the teachings of the opponent of Chinulean gradualism. Known as the sudden-gradual debate (Kor. tonchŏmron, 頓漸論), the subitist critique of Chinul’s gradualism occupied the center stage of Korean Buddhist debate on Zen Buddhist soteriology in the 1990s, and continues to spark debates on the nature of enlightenment, cultivation, and the identity of Korean Zen Buddhism.

The debate was triggered by Zen Master T’oe’ong Sŏngch’ŏl who challenged the authenticity of Chinul’s Zen Buddhism in his publication entitled the Right Path of the Zen School (Sŏnmun chŏngno, 禪門正路, 1981). In this book, Sŏngch’ŏl claims that Chinul’s teaching of the sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation is a heretical teaching of Zen Buddhism.(2) On a surface level, the contrasting claims between gradualists and subitists seem clear. Enlightenment, for Chinul, means realizing one’s own nature; hence it is sudden. Chinul identified this first stage of awakening as understanding-awakening (Kor. hae’o, 解悟). This initial awakening, however, cannot be sustained continually due to the influence of the habitual energy accumulated within the practitioner throughout many lives. Thus, gradual cultivation after the initial awakening is necessary for the practitioner to reach ultimate enlightenment. To Chinul, the subitist idea of sudden awakening, followed by sudden cultivation, is also a part of sudden enlightenment, followed by gradual cultivation, because what is meant by sudden practice is none other than the result of gradual cultivation that practitioners performed in their previous lives, which makes sudden cultivation in this life possible.

Sŏngch’ŏl claims that realizing one’s own nature is possible only in the state of ultimate enlightenment; hence, the understanding-awakening that takes place in the first stage of the Ten Faiths falls far short of being any kind of enlightenment. Sŏngch’ŏl contends that the sudden awakening in sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation is mere knowledge, which creates the worst kind of obstacle for Zen practitioners. Whoever endorses sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation, Sŏngch’ŏl further claims, is a follower of intellectual knowledge, which is the heretical and wrong way of practicing Zen Buddhism.

Sŏngch’ŏl has been well known for his relentlessly strict view on Zen Buddhism. His radical subitism claims that there is only one complete enlightenment, which he defines as “seeing one’s true nature” (Kor. kyŏnsŏng, 見性). In the preface to his Right Path of the Zen School, Sŏngch’ŏl writes (1981:2):

The essence of the Zen school is seeing one’s true nature, which means to get through one’s true nature of suchness. To see through one’s true nature is not possible unless one completely cuts off the finest delusion in the eighth ālaya-vijñāna, the fundamental ignorance, which hides one’s true nature.

To Sŏngch’ŏl, “seeing one’s true nature” cannot be partial; in order to truly see one’s own nature, even the most infinitesimal and coarse delusion should be eliminated. Claiming subitism as the only authentic form of Zen practice, Sŏngch’ŏl insisted that, without maintaining consistency or integrity in one’s practice of hwadu (Ch. huatou, 話頭) in the state of moving or staying still (Kor. tongjŏng iryŏ, 動靜一如), in the state of dreaming (Kor. mongjung iryŏ, 夢中一如), and in the state of a dreamless sleep (Kor. sungmyŏn iryŏ, 熟眠一如), one should not mention being awakened. This is known as breaking through the Three Gates in Sŏngch’ŏl’s theory of enlightenment. Not only was he adamant in his view on the authentic way of Zen enlightenment in theory, Sŏngch’ŏl himself has been known as an uncompromisingly strict Zen practitioner. He undertook, for eight years, the practice of “never lying down” (Kor. changjwa purwa, 長座不臥) and, for ten years, the practice of seclusion (Kor. tonggu pulch’ul, 洞口不出, 1955-1965). He was also obstinate in his belief that practitioners should remain isolated on a mountain without becoming involved in worldly affairs.

Sŏngch’ŏl’s teaching of Zen Buddhism raises an important question in the context of our discussion on Zen ethical structure. Earlier, I proposed that sudden awakening followed by gradual cultivation provides us with an ethical paradigm of Zen Buddhism in Chinul’s gradualism. If we apply this idea to Sŏngch’ŏl’s subitism, in which only rigorous Zen practice on a secluded mountain is validated, how do we find an ethical dimension? In what way is Sŏngch’ŏl’s rigorous subitist vision of enlightenment turning wisdom into compassion? His search for wisdom being so rigorous, there does not seem to exist room for compassion. Does this mean that Sŏngch’ŏl ‘s Zen teaching remains in the solipsism of practitioners, cutting itself off completely from the outside world, including the world of other sentient beings?

It is true that Sŏngch’ŏl has been a target of such criticism by more socially oriented thinkers. However, if we look into Sŏngch’ŏl’s Dharma talks, we find another aspect of Sŏngch’ŏl’s Buddhism, which seems to go directly against this subitist vision, and which endorses the Chinulean gradualist view and, thus, emphasizes the importance of compassionate activities as gradual cultivation in the process of one’s practice of Buddhism.

One of Sŏngch’ŏl’s major teachings includes his emphasis on making offerings to the Buddha (Kor. pulgong, 佛供). In his efforts to reform monastic life in Korea in the early twentieth century, Sŏngch’ŏl prohibited the practice of monks making offerings to the Buddha on behalf of lay practitioners in exchange for donations. Sŏngch’ŏl claimed that one cannot make offerings or pray “on behalf of” others: one should make offerings oneself. Sŏngch’ŏl further contended that “one cannot pray to the Buddha by mindlessly beating a wooden block in a temple. It should be practiced by helping others” (1987:112). Sŏngch’ŏl emphasized that making offerings to the living beings in the world is equal to making offerings to the Buddha since all the beings in the world are the Buddha. In his Dharma talk to Buddhist practitioners, he brought special attention to the practice of Samantabhadra-bodhisattva in the Huayan jing. In the section in which Sudhana hears of Samantabhadra-bodhisattva‘s great vows, Samantabhadra explains the Dharma-offerings as follows (Taishō shinshū daizōkyō 10.293.845 a.):

[Dharma-offerings mean] making offerings to the Buddha by practice as taught by the Buddha; by helping sentient beings; by respecting and embracing sentient beings; by emphasizing the suffering of sentient beings; by producing the root of goodness; by not deserting bodhissatvic activities; by not leaving the bodhissatvic mind . . . Such an utmost and universal offering should be made until the empty sky becomes exhausted; until the world of sentient beings becomes exhausted; until the karmic result of the sentient beings and their defilements become exhausted, and then my offering-makings will come to an end. But the empty sky and all of the above including the defilement of sentient beings cannot be exhausted, my offering-making cannot come to an end.

Sŏngch’ŏl emphasizes that, among the above seven Dharma-offerings, helping sentient beings is the marrow of the Buddha’s teaching. He also cites the story from the same sūtra that to offer a bowl of cold rice to a starving dog is a better way to make offerings to the Buddha than offering thousands of prostrations to the Buddha (Sŏngch’ŏl 1987:104-105). Sŏngch’ŏl’s teaching of making offerings to the Buddha, which was at the forefront of his teaching throughout his life, conveys the meaning, which is rather similar to Chinul’s teaching of the gradual practice of compassionate altruistic activities after the initial awakening. In one of his public Dharma talks, Sŏngch’ŏl even moved closer to Chinul in his gradualist position as he stated (Sŏngch’ŏl 1987:156-157):

For a hundred thousand kalpas, all living beings have been Buddhas, living in the Buddha land, so how come we still get lost in this pitch darkness? That is because we are yet to open our mind-eyes. Then, how do we open our mind-eyes? Either one should diligently practice hwadu [Ch. huatou, 話頭] and thus attain awakening or one should lead an altruistic life of helping others. Whether your business is selling rice-cakes, running a bar, or a butcher’s shop, whatever your occupation might be, learn hwadu and practice hwadu in your heart. In your heart, practice hawdu, and in your actions, help others: if such a life continues, someday, your mind-eyes will become bright like lightning, then, the Buddha’s teaching that everybody was originally the Buddha who has lived in the Buddha land for timeless kalpas will be clearly understood. From then on, you will be a teacher for both the human world and heaven and exercise endless great Buddha-works until the future comes to an end.

How does Sŏngch’ŏl’s emphasis on the importance of compassionate action in the practice of Buddhism in this passage go together with his rigid teaching of Zen practice that we discussed earlier? Should we dismiss the inconsistency between Sŏngch’ŏl’s view on making offerings to the Buddha through the exercise of compassion and his rigid view of sudden enlightenment and sudden cultivation to attain wisdom as a mere contradiction in his theory? Or is this gap and tension between awakening and cultivation, wisdom and compassion, rather something internal in Zen Buddhist teaching?

In his essay on Chinul’s view on sudden awakening and gradual cultivation, Robert Gimello proposes to understand the sudden–gradual paradigm in Chinul as a reflection of the tension within Zen Buddhism between the radical challenge to the existing status-quo and the necessity of ethical concern and responsibilities (Gimello 1990:231).(3) In other words, Gimello suggests that sudden awakening reflects the very promise of Zen Buddhism, whereas gradual cultivation meets the ethical dimension required for maintenance of religious practice. Gimello’s interpretation can also be applied to the seeming conflict between acquiring wisdom and the exercise of compassion. In both Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl, these two aspects—sudden awakening and gradual cultivation—create a gap or a tension in their teaching and lives. In the case of Sŏngch’ŏl, his rigid emphasis on subitism, which proposes the secluded practice of hwadu meditation, is combined with his strong emphasis on the gradualist practice of compassion in the form of making offerings to sentient beings in one’s daily life. In the case of Chinul, his emphasis on the gradualist practice of compassion as a way of obtaining wisdom created a gap with his own life, which was not much different from that of Sŏngch’ŏl in that Chinul preferred to stay away from society and remain in a mountainside monastery. This aspect of Chinul has led Woo Sung Huh to define Chinul’s ethics as ethics of mind, body, and space. In Chinul, Huh claims, in order for the mind to be pure, the body should be pure, and in order for the body to be pure, the body should be placed in pure space (Huh 1996:125, 138-150). Huh supports his idea by referring to the Compact Community of Samādhi and Prajñā, which Chinul created in his early years as a way of focusing on Buddhist practice and staying away from the corruptions of the secular world. In this context, Huh asks, if one is free only within the limitations of a conditioned state, how do we overcome the limitations of Chinul’s ethics, which functions only by leaving society (ibid.:184-185)?

3. Minjung Buddhism and Zen Social Activism in Contemporary Korea

The idea that the movement from wisdom to compassion should actually be reversed in Zen Buddhism, and that they are in a relationship that is characterized more by tension than by harmony, is in some way reflected in Minjung Buddhists’ understanding of Zen Buddhism. Minjung Buddhism (Kor. Minjung pulgyo, 民衆佛敎, Buddhism for the Masses) is a socially engaged Buddhist movement in Korea whose activities were most visible from the mid-1970s to the late 1980s. Critical of the collusion between the ecclesiastics and the state in the Korean Buddhist tradition, Minjung Buddhism demanded that Buddhism change its direction and actively become involved in the lives of those who are alienated and exploited in society.

The idea of Buddhism for the masses in Korea first appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century when reform-minded Buddhist intellectuals proposed changing Korean Buddhism to correspond with the life of the general public, especially those who were marginalized in society. However, as a movement, Minjung Buddhism took shape together with pro-democratic and anti-government movements in Korean society during the military dictatorship in the mid to late twentieth century.(4) By its founding principles, Minjung Buddhism is Buddhism for the politically suppressed, economically exploited, and socio-culturally alienated. This sets it in clear opposition to traditional Korean Buddhism, which had a tendency to collaborate with the state, isolate itself in mountain-side monasteries, and, in general, be at the service of the upper class. Adherents of Minjung Buddhism emphasize liberation from all forms of suppression, especially that conducted by the state and the ruling class.

A question has been raised of whether Buddhist social engagement as offered by Minjung Buddhism can earn broader support from the Korean Buddhist community without first defining its relationship with Zen Buddhism, given that Zen Buddhism has been the dominant form of Buddhism in Korea. If we examine some details of the Minjung Buddhist understanding of Buddhist history and philosophy, the issue of defining the relationship between Zen and Minjung Buddhism appears to be critical. In an essay that considers the viability of Buddhist social engagement in the context of Korean Buddhism, the author Hee-Sung Keel summarizes Minjung Buddhism with the following six characteristics: (1) Minjung Buddhism considers the nature of the suffering of the people as socio-political, and refuses as idealism the idea of ascribing the cause of suffering to the individual’s mind; (2) it strongly criticizes traditional Korean Buddhism’s uncritical support for nationalism and its state-oriented nature; (3) it emphasizes the social and historical consciousness which Minjung Buddhism considers as lacking in traditional Korean Buddhism; (4) in this context, Minjung Buddhism is critical of Zen Buddhism for its individualistic and idealistic philosophy of the mind; (5) it highly values the Hīnayāna tradition and emphasizes the role of saṅgha as an ideal social community; (6) emphasizing the negative aspects of capitalism and nationalist Buddhism, it proposes the land of Maitreya as a Buddhist ideal society (Keel 1988:28).

Identifying the characteristics of Minjung Buddhism, Keel is less than positive about the interface between social engagement and Zen Buddhism as he asks “whether Zen enlightenment that aims to liberate us from the secular concerns in our lives is compatible with active practice of social ethics” (ibid.:28). Keel comes to the conclusion that Zen Buddhist identification of good and evil based on its doctrine of emptiness disables Zen Buddhism from offering social ethics; further, he claims that the identification of emptiness and forms deprives Zen of any room for ethics to be sustained within its system. Keel contends that the world confirmed with the enlightened mind, in which good is identified with evil, is not the same as that where the unenlightened individual suffers from various evils, the resolution of which is necessary for the members of a society to lead a happy life. Keel ends his essay with questions (ibid.:40): “Is emptiness compatible with compassion? Is it not that emptiness dissolves the real compassion that is needed to solve the real suffering of the sentient beings? . . . Where does compassion come from? . . . Is Buddhist compassion that is anchored on the wisdom of emptiness able to take the form of practical social ethics?”

The questions that Keel has posed above well reflect our discussion in which we identified four problem areas of Zen Buddhism in its encounter with social ethics. I am sympathetic with Keel’s agonizing efforts to find a place for Zen Buddhism in the social and ethical context of today’s world. However, in line with our previous discussion on subitism and gradualism as a Zen ethical paradigm, I would like to suggest that the problems Keel identified as limits of the Zen ethical paradigm need further consideration. This consideration includes the very foundation of Zen philosophy and the relationship between subitism and gradualism in Zen Buddhism. One clue to this consideration can be found in the philosophy of Minjung Buddhism, as was outlined by Yŏ Ikku. Like Keel, Yŏ also criticized some forms of Mahāyāna Buddhism, including Zen, Tiantai (Kor. Ch’ŏnt’ae), and Huayan (Kor. Hwaŏm) Buddhism, claiming that these Buddhist schools turned Buddhism into a subjective idealism by overemphasizing the mind and its emptiness, and, thus, obscuring the social and political reality of the general public (Yŏ 1988:123-127). However, unlike Keel, who could not find a positive connection between Zen and the Minjung Buddhist movement, Yŏ did not deny the possibility of the mutual incorporation of the two. In fact, Yŏ emphasized that only if Zen can reject the secluded shelter of subjective idealism, can Zen Buddhism’s radical rejection of authority be a powerful force for Buddhism to liberate the people from suppression and suffering.

The social dimension of Zen philosophy and practice becomes more visible in another Minjung Buddhist thinker, Pŏpsŏng, who joins Yŏ in his criticism of the subjectivist position of Buddhism, and interprets hwadu practice as a form of Zen social activism. In one of his essays, Pŏpsŏng asks (1990:223):

Is Buddhist activism a movement to deliver the theological doctrine called Buddhism or is it a movement that pursues an inner safety of an individual through a certain mystical practice proposed by Buddhism? How do we put together these two different categories of activism and Buddhism?

In this context, Pŏpsŏng claims that hwadu practice is not an individual’s encounter with “internal spiritual mystery,” but an activity through which one “negates the reification of conceptions and absolutization of being-in itself” (ibid.:223). And he further states (ibid.: 223-224):

[H]wadu practice is a thinking-activity that opposes falsity and fantasy and at the same time a creative historical movement through which one realizes one’s independence in spite of situational contradictions. Therefore, hwadu practice is not a training that makes one a perfect and holy self, as many idealist Zen masters have claimed . . . It is a question-in-action that one asks oneself with regard to the situation at hand.

Yŏ’s interpretation of Zen Buddhism’s potential as a social activism and Pŏpsŏng’s radical reinterpretation of hwadu practice in its social and ethical context help us fill the gap that Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl, the two more conventional-style Zen thinkers, left unanswered or at least ambiguous. In other words, what does it mean exactly that compassionate activities will complete the attainment of wisdom? What did Sŏngch’ŏl mean when he said that regardless of one’s occupations, one should practice hwadu in mind and try to help others, and then awakening will eventually take its own course? Obviously, Sŏngch’ŏl was not claiming here that practicing hwadu and helping others or running a bar are in two totally different dimensions; they are and should in some way be connected, however tenuous the connection might look at first regard. Chinul’s admonition that compassion and wisdom are not naturally connected to each other, but require practitioners’ constant efforts to make them work together is also in line with Sŏngch’ŏl’s teaching about Buddhist practice and its position in the life-world.

In Pŏpsŏng’s interpretation of Zen hwadu practice, together with Yŏ’s emphasis of a potential role that Zen Buddhism can play in social activism, Zen Buddhism does not remain as a solipsistic introspective subjectivism, but is projected as a practice for a mental revolution that further facilitates a socially engaged Buddhism, through the practitioner’s strenuous efforts to transfer one’s spiritual and mental change into the reality of one’s social existence. More importantly, the relationship between the two—mental revolution and social engagement—are not in a relationship of lineal process in which the accomplishment of the former naturally facilitates the latter. They are rather in a relationship of tension, through which both wisdom and compassion influence each other in a dynamic action. Constituents of tension in this case cannot be mutually exclusive, but mutually nourishing and stimulating. When we foreground a certain element in the constituents of tension and suppress others in an attempt to create a harmony or consistency in Zen theory, we risk the danger of envisioning either a purely asocial version of Zen practice or Zen social activism that negates the basic tenets of Zen Buddhism.

4. Conclusion

I have proposed four categories as problem areas in terms of understanding Zen Buddhism in the context of ethical discourse: (1) ambiguity of ethical categories; (2) subjectivism of practice; (3) ambiguity in the identity of the ethical agent; and (4) the relationship between awakening and altruistic action. I would like to contend that these four seeming problems in Zen Buddhist ethics are not irreparably negative markers for Zen Buddhist ethics. Instead, a serious consideration of Zen Buddhism’s position in an ethical discourse can revalorize the tradition itself—in the sense that Rita Gross claims that the feminist re-reading of Buddhism is a revalorizing of the tradition (1994:3). At the same time, considering the nature of Zen Buddhist ethics also challenges traditional normative ethics and demands a new ethical mode in our time. In the section below, I will briefly discuss why this is the case.

First, the subjectivist nature of Zen meditation has been understood as an anti-social aspect of Zen Buddhism. However, historically, Zen tradition per se has not developed as an exclusively meditation-oriented school, nor have Zen masters exclusively focused on solipsistic meditational practices in seclusion. I have tried to demonstrate this through the example of Sŏngch’ŏl. Even such a rigid Zen master as Sŏngch’ŏl, who remained in a secluded mountain place, provided a guideline for practitioners regarding how to transfer one’s efforts to obtaining awakening into one’s altruistic activities and vice versa. Secondly, this issue is also relevant to our understanding of the relationship between awakening (wisdom) and altruistic activities (compassion). In analyzing Chinul’s gradualism and Sŏngch’ŏl’s subitism, I have demonstrated that, in both cases, Chinul and Sŏngch’ŏl emphasized to practitioners that awareness of one’s wisdom does not naturally transfer to the activities of compassion, and that one should constantly make efforts for altruistic behavior as one makes offerings to the Buddha.

Thirdly, ambiguity in the ethical category and the ethical agent are not so much a problem of Zen Buddhism per se as one that arises when one views the Zen Buddhist value system from the perspective of normative ethics. If the metaphysical concept of ethics grounds itself in the belief of human beings’ capacity as rational beings capable of distinguishing between right and wrong or good and bad, then Zen Buddhist ethics cannot follow the mode of normative ethics, for, from the Zen perspective, making a distinction itself creates delusion. This, however, does not mean that Zen cannot provide ethical guidelines, for ethics begins with the acceptance that such distinctions are possible only after appropriation and, thus, suppression in the decision making. One name for such an appropriation is bias; Zen Buddhism calls it delusion. What this suggests is that one cannot create Zen Buddhist ethics simply by appropriating Zen theories into the format of the current normative ethics; instead, Zen Buddhist ethics demands a new direction in our understanding of ethical categorization itself.

Zen Buddhism is not alone in demanding a new form of ethics that radically challenges normative ethics based on a metaphysical view of the world and its beings. Postmodernist thought, being a non-substantialist mode of thinking as Zen Buddhism is, has faced a problem similar to Zen Buddhist ethics; in this context, contemplation on the nature of Zen Buddhist ethics can go together with postmodern ethical thinking. In order to consider Zen Buddhist ethics in its full scope, a new ethical paradigm, to which both postmodern thought and Zen Buddhism can contribute, should emerge as an alternative to normative ethics.

Notes

(1) Kwŏnsu chŏnghye kyŏlsa mun (Encouragement to Practice: The Compact of Samādhi and Prajñā Community) in Han’guk pulgyo chŏnsŏ (Collected Works of Korean Buddhism 韓國佛敎全書, hereafter HPC): 4.698a-708a, p. 4.698a. Throughout the essay, for the translations of the titles of Chinul’s works, I have adopted Robert Buswell’s translations (Buswell 1983); all other translations from Classical Chinese and Korean are mine, unless noted otherwise.

(2) In response to Sŏngch’ŏl’s claim, a conference, “Enlightenment and Cultivation in Buddhism” was held in 1990 at the Songgwang monastery, the place where Chinul launched his compact community movement almost eight hundred years ago, and which has become the head-monastery in maintaining the Chinulean tradition. Three years later, the Hae’in monastery, where Sŏngch’ŏl resided as a headmaster, hosted a conference in which the sudden–gradual issue was actively debated.

(3) Only a Korean translation (without an English original version) was published.

(4) The expression “Minjung Buddhism” was first used at a college students’ meeting held at the Songgwang monastery in 1976 where a paper on the “Theory of Minjung Buddhism” was presented. A critical event took place in the fall of 1980 when, in the name of purifying Buddhism, the government cracked down on Buddhist headquarters and on more than three thousand monasteries. Known as the 10/27 Persecution, this event brought disillusionment to many Buddhists, which expedited the spread of Minjung Buddhism.

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