Chinese Nun Ziyong Chengru on the pain of parting and how to draw solace from the cyclical nature of time and landscape.
Tag: Chinese Zen
Life Includes All Opposites – Alan Watts on the Oneness of the Tao
The psychology of acceptance and the understanding 'that there is only one ultimate reality or source of activity in the universe.'
Guo Gu’s Guide to Silent Illumination
The core of Chan meditation is the concrete experience of being in the present moment, not holding on to any mental concept or idea about oneself or one's activity
Boshan and Fostering Great Doubt
Doubt is a key incentive of the spiritual journey, and, as per the old adage 'Great doubt, great awakening', it is foundational to the enquiry of Zen.
The Guidepost of Silent Illumination
"When wonder exists in serenity, all achievement is forgotten in illumination. What is this wonder? Alertly seeing through confusion is the way of silent illumination and the origin of subtle radiance." - Hongzhi Zhengjue Hongzhi Zhengjue was a 12th century philosopher and Zen master in China who authored a large number of philosophical texts as… Continue reading The Guidepost of Silent Illumination
It Now is Me, I am Not It – Dongshan
Attributed to Master Dongshan, the 9th century founder of the Caodong (Soto) School, this short verse stands in contrast to his longer and more famous teaching verse, The Hokyo Zanmai or The Song of the Jewel Mirror Samadhi. After spending some time with Master Yunyan, Dongshan was preparing to leave. He asked the master how… Continue reading It Now is Me, I am Not It – Dongshan
A Lifetime is Empty Like the Void – Wang Wei
Considered one of China's greatest classical poets, 8th century Wang Wei was also a painter and musician, as well as a courtier and statesman during the Tang Dynasty. His art was deeply influenced by his study of Ch'an, whose philosophy was expressed through the simplicity of the images in both his paintings and his verses. … Continue reading A Lifetime is Empty Like the Void – Wang Wei
Do Not Pass Your Days and Nights in Vain – Shitou’s Sandokai
The Sandokai, sometimes translated as The Harmony of Difference and Equality, was written by master Shitou – known as Sekito Kisen in Japanese – an 8th century Chinese monk, and a student of Huineng and Huineng’s successor, Qingyuan Xingsi (Seigen Gyoshi). The Sandokai was written at a time when there were two opposing factions within… Continue reading Do Not Pass Your Days and Nights in Vain – Shitou’s Sandokai
Shitou’s Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage
Shitou - known as Sekito Kisen in Japanese - was an 8th century Chinese monk, a student of Huineng and Huineng's successor, Qingyuan Xingsi (Seigen Gyoshi). He is credited with writing two of the most famous Zen poems in China - the Sandokai and this, the Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage. The beauty of… Continue reading Shitou’s Song of the Grass-Roof Hermitage
Host and Guest
The theme of host and guest is popular within Chinese Zen, broadly used to illustrate the interplay between relative and absolute. One of Zen's major tenets is that our personalities and beliefs are not absolute, but rather 'guests' within an impenetrable 'host'. This relationship then becomes more complex when we talk about guests within hosts… Continue reading Host and Guest