By J. C. Cleary
This publication makes a speciality of the lessons of 13th-century chinese language Zen grasp Shiqui Xinyue. The koans, tales, and poems of the Zen grasp followed by way of explanatory notes from the editor include the majority of the textual content, that is preceded by way of an inadequately short historic evaluate of chinese language Buddhism. these looking extra accomplished info may be suggested towards Arthur F. Wright's Buddhism in chinese language historical past (Stanford Univ. Pr., 1971). additionally, the editor doesn't identify the categorical resource record for his translation, easily calling it a "collection of Zen teachings." although, the 141 anecdotal teachings are in transparent, concise English and the explanatory notes support with the paradoxical statements and allusions.
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Extra info for A Tune Beyond the Clouds: Zen Teachings from Old China
It is the wisdom through which the salvific works of the buddhas are enacted, through which the skillful means of teaching devised by the Analytical W isdom are given concrete form and carried out. The four wisdoms illustrate the unity of absolute and relative in the experiential realm of the enlightened. This is the underlying principle of the Buddhist philosophy of being and the basic condition which makes enlightenment possible for all sentient beings. The M irror Wisdom represents the omnipresent, absolute Buddha-Mind containing all relative, localized, particular phenomena, including the mentalities and subjective experiences of sentient beings.
Yangshan is not lacking in a unique eye that transcends the Zen school. But when Yangshan knows by thinking, what does he know? W hat turning word can you put here to avoid falling into the secondary or tertiary? Officially, not even a needle is allowed through, but to repay the benevolence we go to the spreading tendrils of the trailing vines. To know by thinking puts a film over the eyes. To know without thinking blinds the eyes. If you put a film over the eyes, blue sky on flat ground. If you blind the eyes, oxen run and tigers glower.
It seems likely that the very existence of monastic institutions in Buddhism reflects the need to create a special status, recognized as set apart from the roles of worldly life, to make socially acceptable the full-time pursuit of worldtranscending aims. In the minds of the laiety the existence of monks and nuns could then be justified by seeing them as specialists who embodied the religious aspiriations of the community, and who could mediate between worldly people and powers lying beyond the world, and thus benefit society as a whole.
A Tune Beyond the Clouds: Zen Teachings from Old China by J. C. Cleary