The Spirit of Buddhist Monastic Precepts & Christian Monastic Rules: a Comparative Study

The Spirit of Buddhist Monastic Precepts & Christian Monastic Rules: a Comparative Study

Bernard SENÉCAL S.J. / Professor,

Department of Religion,

Seogang University

This paper compares the basic spirit of Buddhist monastic precepts and Christian monastic rules. By first examining the data and then appraising them through the use of functional comparisons, it applies the methodology of religious phenomenology: a dialogical approach of truth that avoids the extremes of objectivism and subjectivism.

A first part shows that Buddhist monastic precepts and Christian monastic rules each display a very strong unity of spirit throughout time, despite the fact that they both underwent considerable transformations due to the need to adapt to ever changing historical situations. Indeed, as monastic precepts are meant to help the Buddhists that have renounced the world to achieve awakening like the Buddha, the monastic rules are meant to make Christians as awakened as Christ was.

A second part describes how monastic precepts and rules were respectively born, pointing to the fact that, although the core of the former progressively took shape within the Buddhist monastic community during the lifetime of the Buddha, the latter took shape several centuries after the death of Christ, during Constantine rule at the beginning of the fourth century, when Christian religious life began to appear in answer to the excessive secularization of Christianity within the Roman empire. Nevertheless, despite such a striking difference pointing to the distinctive character of each tradition, monastic precepts and rules are respectively meant to help one to achieve, through complete awakening, the compassionate or loving behaviour which constitute the ultimate goal of Buddhism and Christianity.

A third part demonstrates that both Buddhism and Christianity see ultimate reality as being thoroughly ethical in nature. Their respective founders became one with that ultimate reality through awakening, thus completely embodying that ethical ideal in time and space. As a result, their behaviour was highly ethical and they had no need at all for a fully-fledged set of precepts or rules. But the same cannot be said of their followers who almost always definitely needed and still need such precepts and rules in order to become awakened to that reality and embody it through their behaviour. At the same time, an excessive clinging to precepts or rules may end up being just as detrimental as their total neglect. The spirit of the Middle Way constitutes an excellent antidote to the constant temptation of falling into such extremes that obviously pervades both traditions.

In conclusion, it may be said that just as Buddhism sees in the practice of the monastic precepts, meditation and wisdom the three complementary disciplines indispensable to realize Buddhist awakening, Christianity sees in monastic rules, prayer and life in the Spirit, the three indivisible and sine qua non disciplines required to achieve Christian awakening. Interestingly, a tension has been at work throughout history within both Buddhism and Christianity regarding whether it is necessary or not to renounce the world to reach full awakening. Nevertheless, Buddhists having renounced the world and Christians having joined a religious society may be said to be close in spirit as they search for truth and respectively strive to achieve Buddhist Compassion or Christian Love in action.

* key words

renouncing the world, joining a religious order, Buddhist monastic precepts, Christian monastic rules, awakening, one body compassion, first commandment, Buddhist-Christian inter-monastic encounter, Chogye Order, Society of Jesus

The formations come into being of Ganhwa-Seon(看話禪)

The formations come into being of Ganhwa-Seon(看話禪)

Kim, Ho-Gui / The Buddhist Research Institute, Dongguk Univ.

The zen-school of Tang(唐) dynasty was the essence of China zen buddhism. But, in Song(宋) dynasty, the zen action and zen thought went off their color. So, gradually vicious practices and side effects appeared in many aspect.

The Ganhwa-Seon(看話禪) was a practice of zen-buddhism. Especially, Ganhwa-Seon emphasis so called Hwadu(話頭). That is, Ganhwa(看話) means have a look at the Hwadu. This Ganhwa-Seon come into being in Song-dynasty of Chinese by Daehye-Jonggo(大慧宗杲 : 1089-1163). Here we can ratiocinate some reasons, namely, the formations come into being of Ganhwa-Seon.

Firstly, We can examined that Daehye-Jonggo have the critical attitude for the thought of Silent-Penetration(黙照) by Jinhul-Chungryo(眞歇淸了). At that times, a group of the thought of Silent-Penetration lapsed into a state of coma. In many ways, this was a target of the critical attitude by Daehye-Jonggo, so called, a fancy, a foolish imaginings, a stupefaction, a sleeping sickness, a delusion, and the borderland between sleeping and waking, etc.

Secondly, the attitude of a peace-at-any-price principle about all seon-practice. The ways of prudentialism was originated from the closing years of Tang-dynasty. The secondly effect on seon-buddhism were prevalent every seon-masters at the time of the early days in Song-dynasty.

In this state of affairs, Daehye-Jonggo had the critical attitude for the thought of Silent-Penetration and the ways of prudentialism. So, he standed by his many opinions in his “The Discrimination between right and wrong on Seon-practice(辨邪正說)”. At that time, Daehye-Jonggo(大慧宗杲 1089-1163) set up against that problem and that followers. As a part of that preventive measure, he preached sermons for not only Buddhist priests but also high officials that The Discrimination between right and wrong on seon-practice.

Here we can abstract his taught for them in eight ways.

First, discriminate the expedients.

Second, Alert absence of expedients.

Third, Do not ignore of enlightenments.

Fourth, Do not depend on letters and notions.

Fifth, Only adhere The Muja-Hwagu(無字話頭) instead of divisionism.

Sixth, Do not consider at own discretion.

Seventh, Seek after for seon masters.

Eighth, Bear in mind the faiths.

These eight ways were as it used at that times, and are as it useful for modern seon practice and buddhist priests. Here we can examined some reasons about the formation come into being of Ganhwa-Seon(看話禪)

The real character of practice in the Khanwha-sôn(看話禪)

The real character of practice in the Khanwha-sôn(看話禪)

Kim, Young-Wook / Kasan Institute of Buddhist Culture

The whadu(話頭) suggested by the great Sôn leaders can be a true issue only when it is acceptted correctly by the disciplinant. The typical way to make any subjects into whadu is so called the Baechokkwan(背觸觀). It is a kind of gate without any method to break through, because whatever attempts, both an affirmative approach to it and a negative evasion from it, are not permitted. Khanwha-sôn had settled this method as a framework of practice. As there is no room for any kind of recognition, the essentials of a whadu cannot be understood by the conceptual thought or the cognitive category. According to the realization of one’s concerned whadu, the road to groping for something or other is entirly exhausted. That is the most suitable condition for enlightenment

Chozchu’s mu(無) is the most frequently raised whadu in the Khanwha-sôn, but anywhere it is in the scope of the above mentioned universal way of practice. Every answers to the mu case must not fit in the point of truth, and the approach with several kinds of concept and meaning will result in the failure. All gradual steps and phases do not need in this case. Because from the first whado is given as a gate like a fortress that cannot be penetrated by such a means. Simultaneously this is the most ideal condition to complete the whadu. And when it becomes so, whadu will be a kind of weapon to removes all sorts of discriminations

Searches for the answer from the superficial phrases which the great leaders set intentionally to teach the disciple is in the many cases presented with stratagem. The point to penetrate into the teacher’s intention is to raise the given whadu in one’s mind without leaving even a small gap in the ordinarly life.

Especially to challenge whadu mu has two common mistakes. The one is to think mu as nothingness in the opposition of existence, the other is to conjecture mu as the truth which surpasses all the oppositions. This two inclinations is the general form of illusion in considering on mu. The thought that the truth depends upon surpassing over the given whadu or it depends upon the whadu in itself, they are both misconceptions. We can escape from this mistakes so far as we know throughly that whadu mu has not any conceptual tastes and there is not a kernel in it.

There is not a special method which heals all troubles including the former faults. The only tactics is to run in holding whadu mu constantly. To say in other word, the arising of sickness and the cure both depends upon the correct whadu study. And it is also the reason that the truth must be embodied in the daily life. Because the given whadu must not go away from one’s mind in any moment. If we speculate on a whadu without ommision in every place and at all moments in ordinarly life, we may be able to accomplish the essential meaning of Sôn. That is the monent of breaking through the concerned whad

A Study on Mengshan De-yi’s Activity and His Relation with the Korean Buddhism

A Study on Mengshan De-yi’s Activity and His Relation with the Korean Buddhism in Late 13th Century Shown in Mengshan heshang pushuo

Choe, Yeon-Shik and Kang, Ho-Sun

/ Seoul National Univ.

Kanhua(看話, Kor. Kanhwa) meditation has become the representative philosophy in Korean Buddhism after the eminent Korean Zen master Chinul adopted it his zen training method. The close contact between Korean Buddhism and Chinese Jiangnan area Buddhism during the Mongol reign was important background for the Kanhua meditation to be main stream in Korean Buddhism.

Mengshan De-yi, the Zen master who advocated the Kanhua method in Jiangnan area had a great influence upon Korean Buddhism in the late 13th century. Mongshan gave teachings to Korean monks and high officials by exchanging letters and direct meetings. And after his death the Korean believers invited his disciple Tieshan Shaoqiong and helped him to spread his master’s teaching. Mongshan’s writings were also introduced into Korea and read widely. They caused great philosophical changes in Korean Buddhism

The Mengshan heshang pushuo kept in Chinese National Library in Beijing is a document that has never been introduced and analyzed before. It is composed of 4 volumes and takes nine sermons preached from 1287 to 1296. In the sermons there are not a few special characters of Mengshan’s thought not shown in his other writings. Some of the important teachings shown in this new document are following; first, the definite practices such as three-forbidden(三莫) and three-point(三要), second, the claim of immediate enlightenment and gradual practice(頓悟漸修) and the third is the connection of the reading and recitation of Scripture with meditation.

Besides the teachings we can also find some information about Mengshan’s life and activity which is not cleared until now. In 1278 he retired and resided at the Xiuxiu-an(休休庵) in Hangzhou. During this time, he devoted himself to teaching the Zen practice to monks and laymen. He also wrote and published many writings on Zen and supervised Buddhistic rituals and delivered sermons in Jiangsu and Zhejiang regions. He was supported by the intellects and officials in the regions.

In addition, there is a sermon which was preached in 1296 to celebrate the 60th birthday of Korean king at the time. This sermon was delivered on request of a Korean monk who came from Suseon-sa(修禪社) which had followed the teachings of Chinul. This is very important source to understand the relationship between Mengshan and Korean Buddhism. In particular, it proves that the Susheon-sa played a key role in connecting between Mengshan and Korean Buddhism.

Dharmakīrti and Taego Boowoo on the Transformation of Consciousness

U, Je-sun / Dongguk Univ.

Ever since the Buddha thought his teaching, the attainment of mokṣa has been the main task for Buddhists to achieve. In the Yogācāra school, it has been understood to result from the transformation of consciousness. This concept has occupied a special position in Buddhist philosophy as the link between theory and practice. The purpose of this paper is to examine the transformation of consciousness in the works of Dharmakīrti who are the representative logician of the Buddhist Pramāna school and Taego Boowoo who are the main Seon master of Korean Buddhism.

This paper shows that Dharmakīrti and Taego shares the same ideas as follows, even though they are different in their time and place as the 7th and 11th centuries, and India and Korea. ① They shares the same idea in terms of why a man should practice the meditation. The purpose of the practice is to save others from their sufferings as well as to be free from all sufferings of his own. ② They has the identical idea on what is the liberation from sufferings. It is the destruction of all kleśas. The means of their removal is to see the selflessness of all in the case of Dharmakīrti, and to see the Buddhahood of our mind in the case of Taego. ③ They has the same epistemological structure in liberation. The practice starts with the words. It is the process of removing conceptual construction (vikalpa) and transforming consciousness into prajñā. It leads to the attainment of mokṣa.

A Comparative Study Between the Theory of Mudogasu of Chuntae

A Comparative Study Between the Theory of Mudogasu(無道可修論) of Chuntae and the Theory of Dobulyŏngsu(道不用修論) of Majo

Cha, Cha-Seok / Wonkwang Univ.

This study inquired into a system of thought, both the theory of Mudogasu(無道可修論) by Wondon-Jigwan(圓頓止觀) of Chuntae(天台), and the theory of Dobulyŏngsu(道不用修論) by Majo-Doil(馬祖道一) who established the denomination of Hongju(洪州宗) and also considered two ideas in their similarities. Althought two great thinkers each belonged to the different sects, it is instructive what there are so many analogousness in their thoughts. Prior to Jieui of Chuntae, in other words, the prominent Buddhist philosophers in China shared the thought foundation of Jeuksaeedo(卽事而道) which was established by refinedly uniting the theory of Cheyŏng-sangjeuk(體用相卽論) with the theory of Daeseung -gyŏng(大乘經論) by tradition of China.

However, because they belonged to the different sects, it goes without saying that we can also find some points of difference between two philosophers, but it looks a bit detailed for their similarities on generalization of spiritual discipline. Also, which is not that large when we take consideration into the difference of religious personality and their background of culture and thought. These differences result from unlike vision about the world of two philosophers.

It is natural that we have to assume a cautious attitude to jump to the conclusion how the prominent Buddhist philosophers or campaigners effect on each other sequentially. Before all, they were around two hundred years away from one to another. In the next place, it is difficult to demonstrate how two philosophers have an effect and were influenced by each other through philological materials. If one was influenced by another, Of course, it is in the right that Majo was affected by Chuntae. It was known that many Buddhist monks like Budaesa(孚大士), Udu-bubyung(牛頭法融), Nam yang-Hyechung(남양혜충) and so on were influenced by Zen of Chuntae(天台禪) throughout that 200 years. However, we cannot also draw a conclusion that they have an effect and were influenced, assuming various probabilities on their mutual influence.

Two philosophers-both Chuntae and Majo-are outstanding philosophers to contribute greatly in the history of the Chinese Buddhism. The thoughts as Dobulyŏngsu which was known Majo asserted himself for the first time were already in Wondon-Jigwan of Chuntae and these thoughts had enormously affected Namjongsun(南宗禪) in the Dang(唐) and Song(宋) dynasty since then. Therefore, I think it involves consideration from various angles for these reasons. In my thought, again, it is instructive that it became an opportunity to trace the origin of thought that made way for generalization, post-absolutization and post-popularization of spiritual discipline.

The Accommodation of Ganwhaseon and Its Characteristics in Korea

Lee, Bub-san / Dongguk University

Ganhwa-seon is one of main kind of chan which was developed in China, following the teaching of Boddhidharma. Its advocate is Dahui Zonggao (大慧宗杲, ca. 1089-1163) who is a main chan master in the branch of Yanggi(楊岐派). His doctrine is introduced in his work, Seojang (書狀). In this work, Daehye recommends the chan disciplinants to practice Jojoo’s gongan that is “a dong has no Buddha nature” (狗子無佛性話).

Ganhwa seon was introduced in Korea from the Gorye dynasty. The famous seon master, Bojo Jinool at the same dynasty wrote the Ganhwagyewuron(看話決疑論). It is a guide book which is a first work that shows how to practice Ganhwa seon in Korea. Bojo’s(普照) teaching was succeeded by Hyesim (慧諶). He wrote Goojamooboolseongganbyungron (狗子無佛性看病論) which includes the way of avoiding problems that occur when the disciplinants do not practice properly. Hyesim also composed Seonmoonyumsong. It is a collection of gongans that are used in Ganhwa seon. From his on, Ganhwa seon rooted in Korea.

All kinds of chan had been introduced in Korea. Among them, the important is Caodong(曹洞), Yunmen(雲門), Linji(臨濟), Weiyang(潙仰), Fayan(法眼). However, Ganhwa seon has been the main stream of Korean seon. Even today, it is the main subject of practicing in Koren temple. It is the chacteristics of Korean Buddhism.

The Sudden and Gradual Problem in the Ganhwa Meditation


/ Meditation Counselling Research Institute

In the modern korean Buddhist, the most important dispute is the Sudden/Gradual dispute. This dispute was touched by Venerable Bhikkhu Sonchol in 1981. He was criticized Venerable Bhikkhu Bojo was National Teacher in Gorye dynasty, as an adherent of conceptual knowledge. Opening Bojo Thought Research Institute in 1987, This dispute was completely detonated.

Until now discussed issues were like this. First, What is the character of sudden awakening? Second interesting point concerns with sudden/gradual cultivation. Thirdly which system is the Ganwha Meditation. The 4th article of this dispute is a historical view of Zen. In these, first and second problem have enough debated and become clear whether right or wrong. I think third and the 4th article did not debated at all.

This paper is try to prove whether the system of the Ganwha Meditation is sudden awakening/gradual cultivation or sudden awakening/sudden cultivation. The efficiency approach to solve this task is to present the real experience of sudden awakening expressed in the text of Ganwhaseon documents. This paper presented the sayings of Ta-hui Tsung-kao(1089-1163) and Meng-shan Te-i(1231-1308?). They also have a favorable influence upon Korean Seoa tradition of Ganwha Meditation. The conclusion is that the system of the Ganwha Meditation is not sudden awakening/sudden cultivation, but sudden awakening/gradual cultivation. In the Ganwha Meditation, sudden awakening is not understanding awakening, but awakening realization awakening. It is not also ultimate enlightenment.

The idea of the Saddharma-pundarika-sutra mentioned in

The idea of the Saddharma-pundarika-sutra (法華經) mentioned in the oldest edition of 《Youkjo-Dangyoung》 from Donhwang.

Cha, Cha-seok

/ Dongguk University Gyeongju Campus

The ideas of the Saddharma-pundarika-sutra(法華經) mentioned in the Sutra calle《Youkjo-Dangyoung(육조단경)》and Hyeneung(慧能)‘s standpoint about the thoughts are as follows.

The first is the idea of sudden awakening(頓悟). Everyone has the Buddha-nature of wisdom(般若佛性) in his own interior and it called ‘Jasungbul(自成佛)’ – to become Buddha by oneself. But Hyeneung said that they could reveal their Buddha-nature of wisdom if people had entire mind on emptiness(空) without preoccupation and non-dualistic(不二的) cognizance beyond a relative dualism. In terms of that, he interpreted Sahong-seowon(四弘誓願) – The four universal vows of a Buddha or bodhisattva – was what people wanted to live a non-dualistic life to reveal their interior Buddha-nature.

The Second is what his thought is based on popularization of Buddhism. His standpoint is not Buddhism of an intellectual-oriented but easily becoming Buddha whoever comprehend their own nature(自性), which made an epoch in the aspects of the secularization movement of Buddhism. It doesn’t matter whether they read the discourses of Buddha or not. It is important how realize the Buddha-nature of wisdom that they have innately. The Sutra, in terms of that, expressed by the letters cannot be the ultimate objective. It is just what we need because the Sutra help us make sure becoming Buddha by themselves. So does reading Saddharma-Pundarika(法華經).

Thirdly, he thought the three vehicles(三乘) and the vehicle of one-ness(一乘) were an skillful means to explain the differentiation appearing in phenomenon. A human being isn’t identical. Everything like personality or appearance and so forth is different. However, that differences are substantially same when we take a side view of having Jasungbul(自成佛). An essential value of life hasn’t any distinction although there are some differences of phenomenon in Jasungbul which is represent as one-Buddha vehicle or the method of realizing the Buddha-nature of wisdom or existence of defilements and so on. Not only recognizing each difference but also emphasizing the identity in the essential dimensions is both respecting the relative values and recognizing the worldly values. The whole things can be understood in the same view, either a metaphor on trees nad plants or explanation about Dharma of the four vehicles(四乘), the goat, deer, ox carts and the great white-bullock cart of the Lotus Sutra.

Finally, Hyeneung‘s standpoint about the idea of the Dharma-flower mentioned above is so much creative. But we shouldn’t lookover that the pioneering thinkers of Dharma-flower as Chuntae-Jieui(天台智顗) and Gasang- Giljang (嘉祥吉藏) etc. pave the way for bringing out that ideology. Even if there are no direct materials which can give us the proof of mutual-relationship of influences, some resemblance is found in both the way of thinking and the thinking system.

Doing practice by Gan-Hua Seon in America

Doing practice by Gan-Hua Seon

in America

Jong-Ho(Bark, Mun Gi)

Dept. of Seon, Dongguk University

This paper look into the Gan-hua Seon practice in American society. I’d study just 3 Seon Master; Joshu Roshi, Shengyen, Seungsahn Haengwon. They are come from Japan, China, Korea and had big influence on American Seon.

All this 3 Seon Masters do not insist on Gan-hua Seon only. They are using all the methods for practice such as; Mook-jo(Soto) Seon practice, reading sutra, invoking mantra, counting breaths and so forth. If some monk said that I solved one Huadu, the Masters never admitted him to be a realized man. Because they are all stand for gradual enlightenment, rather than sudden enlightenment.

Moreover, the Seon Masters give the big questions and check the answers to their Seon students in the face of them. By using Kong-ans, the Masters lead their students to look back on their self-nature, and apply the attainments to everyday life.

Hereby, I’d like to summary the patterns of Gan-hua Seon practice in the US.

First, all the Masters have practiced strongly under their own Buddhist views.

Second, they are emphasizing on the ultimate attainment of practice, not their own methods for practice. Therefore, they are using all kinds of methods to teach their Seon students such as; counting breaths, invoking mantra, reciting buddha’s names, reading sutras, prayer chanting and so forth.

Third, they are stand for gradual enlightenment, not sudden enlightenment for practice. There are 3 stages to get enlightenment. Masters gives kong-ans to the practitioners every stage and checks the answers.

Fourth, the Masters give huadu to their Seon students for contemplating original self-nature. Not only traditional Kong-ans, but also common questions like ‘Who am I?’ are given to them.

Fifth, the Masters give questions to the Seon students and check the answers continuously. Specifically, this is the main method that the Seon Masters teach their students.

Sixth, the Masters teach to the practitioners Seon practice, and also to apply what they have learned or attained to their own everyday lives.

The Seon Masters have found many Seon Centers in the US for themselves to teach their students, and they have already been able to speak English. Furthermore, now they are transmitting Dharma to the native Americans in active.

For long time, the Seon Masters have considered how to teach the American lay-people and finally they got what the Western Seon practitioners want. Even though their methods for teaching are a little different from traditional styles, those are by far the best for the American practitioners, I think.

* Keywords

Kan-hwa Seon, Hwadu, Kong-an, Joshu Roshi, Shengyen, Seungsahn Haengwon