Chan (Ch'an) is one of the major forms of East Asian Buddhism, which orginated in China around the fifth or sixth century, and was then transmitted from China into Korea (as Korean Seon), Japan (as Japanese Zen) and in Vietnam (as Vietnamese Thiền). In the West, this form of Buddhism is most commonly known by the Japanese name of "Zen".
The Chinese name chan is derived from the Sanskrit dyana, which is loosely translated a "meditation".
Chan emphasizes direct insight into the nature of reality. This insight is developed primarily through combining the practice of sitting meditation with a direct mind-to-mind transmission from master to disciple. While both philosophical study and good works are also emphasized in this school, these are considered of little use without the wisdom that comes from direct insight into true nature of reality. In this view, while philosophy and positive actions play in important role on the spiritual path, obstacles arise if the student becomes overly attached to these methods. For example, obstacles can arise for:
- a scholar who becomes arrogant at their accumulation of knowledge
- an ordinary person who performs good deeds, but with a selfish motivation
Thus, in Chan, insight into reality is given the highest importance.
- 1 Brief history
- 2 Schools of Chan
- 3 Spread of Chan Buddhism in Asia
- 4 Chan in the Western world
- 5 Teaching and practice
- 6 Monastic life in Chan
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
- 10 Sources
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
Prior to the formal establishment of the Chan form of Buddhism, the title chan-shi ("meditation master") was used to refer to a small group of monks who specialized in the meditation. According to Buswell and Lopez:
- Some of these specialists adopted the term chan as the formal name of their community (Chan zong), perhaps sometime during the sixth or seventh centuries. These early “Chan” communities gathered around a number of charismatic teachers who were later considered to be “patriarchs” (zushi) of their tradition.
Bodhidharma is said to have traveled from India to China in the fifth or sixth century CE. According to Rupert Gethin, “it is likely that the roots of Ch’an lie further back in Chinese Buddhist history.”
Rubert Gethin describes the philosophical basis of Chan as follows:
- Bodhidharma is said to have emphasized the teachings of the Lankavatara Sutra, and the theoretical basis of Ch’an centres on the notions of the tathāgatagarbha and ‘emptiness’ as pointing beyond all conceptual forms of thought. Our innermost nature is simply the Buddha-nature (fo-hsing) which is to be realized in a direct and sudden experience of inner awakening (wu/satori).
Peter Harvey states:
- The philosophical background of Chan comes from various texts and streams of thought. One is the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras, especially the Heart Sutra and Diamond-cutter Sutra and their idea of emptiness, two levels of truth, and paradoxical modes of expression. Another is the Lankavatara Sutra, a Yogcara text which also draws on ideas of the Tathgata-garbha. The Indian Yogcara school saw human experience as a projection out of the ‘storehouse consciousness’, due to the maturation of karmic seeds in it. The Lankavatara Sutra equated this kind of unconscious mind with the Tathgata-garbha... Another influence came from the above two texts on the ‘Buddha-nature’: the ‘Treatise on the Buddha-nature’ and ‘Treatise on the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana’. As the Dharma-kaya, the ‘One Mind’ of the latter text is seen in Chan as the ‘original enlightenment’ of all beings... Many of these ideas are also found in the Huayan school, with its ideas of the One Mind as the unifying principle from which everything is made... In many ways Huayan can be seen as the philosophical counterpart of Chan.
Schools of Chan
- Linji (Lin Chi; Japanese Rinzai)
- Founded by Linji (died 867).
- Emphasized the use of gong-ans (koans), direct methods in teacher-student interviews, and 'sudden awakening'
- Cao-dong (Ts’ao Tung; Japanese Soto)
- Founded by Dongshan (Tung-shan; 807– 69) and Caoshan (Ts’ao-shan; 840– 901)
- Emphasized a particular form of sitting meditation, and 'gradual awakening'
"While the Japanese forms of these two schools have remained separate, they merged in China during the Ming dynasty (1368– 1644)."
Spread of Chan Buddhism in Asia
Thiền in Vietnam
According to traditional accounts of Vietnam, in 580 an Indian monk named Vinītaruci (Vietnamese: Tì-ni-đa-lưu-chi) travelled to Vietnam after completing his studies with Sengcan, the third patriarch of Chinese Chan. This, then, would be the first appearance of Thiền Buddhism. Other early Thiền schools included that of Wu Yantong (Chinese: 無言通; Vietnamese: Vô Ngôn Thông), which was associated with the teachings of Mazu Daoyi, and the Thảo Đường (Caodong), which incorporated nianfo chanting techniques; both were founded by Chinese monks.
Seon in Korea
Seon was gradually transmitted into Korea during the late Silla period (7th through 9th centuries) as Korean monks of predominantly Hwaeom (Hangul: 화엄종; Hanja: 華嚴宗) and East Asian Yogācāra (Hangul: 유식종; Hanja: 唯識宗) background began to travel to China to learn the newly developing tradition. Seon received its most significant impetus and consolidation from the Goryeo monk Jinul (知訥) (1158–1210), who established a reform movement and introduced kōan practice to Korea. Jinul established the Songgwangsa (松廣寺) as a new center of pure practice.
Zen in Japan
Zen was not introduced as a separate school in Japan until the 12th century when Eisai traveled to China and returned to establish a Linji lineage, which is known in Japan as the Rinzai. In 1215, Dōgen, a younger contemporary of Eisai's, journeyed to China himself, where he became a disciple of the Caodong master Rujing. After his return, Dōgen established the Sōtō school, the Japanese branch of Caodong.
The schools of Zen that currently exist in Japan are the Sōtō, Rinzai and Ōbaku. Of these, Sōtō is the largest and Ōbaku the smallest. Rinzai is itself divided into several subschools based on temple affiliation.
Chan in Indonesia
In the 20th century, during the First Buddhist revival, missionaries were sent to Indonesia and Malaysia. Ashin Jinarakkhita, who played a central role in the revival of Indonesian Buddhism, received ordination as a Chan śrāmaṇera on July 29, 1953[web 1] and received the name Ti Zheng (Te Cheng) from bhikṣu Ben Qing.
Chan in the Western world
Chan has become especially popular in its Japanese form. Although it is difficult to trace when the West first became aware of Chan as a distinct form of Buddhism, the visit of Soyen Shaku, a Japanese Zen monk, to Chicago during the 1893 Parliament of the World's Religions is often pointed to as an event that enhanced its profile in the Western world. It was during the late 1950s and the early 1960s that the number of Westerners pursuing a serious interest in Zen, other than the descendants of Asian immigrants, reached a significant level.
Western Chan lineages
The first Chinese master to teach Westerners in North America was Hsuan Hua, who taught Chan and other traditions of Chinese Buddhism in San Francisco during the early 1960s. He went on to found the City Of Ten Thousand Buddhas, a monastery and retreat center located on a 237-acre (959,000 m²) property near Ukiah, California, founding the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association. Another Chinese Chan teacher with a Western following is Sheng-yen, a master trained in both the Caodong and Linji schools. He first visited the United States in 1978 under the sponsorship of the Buddhist Association of the United States, and subsequently founded the CMC Chan Meditation Center in Queens, New York and the Dharma Drum Retreat Center in Pine Bush, New York.[web 2]
Teaching and practice
|Editor's note: this section needs attention. Needs edit for clarity|
Sitting meditation is called zuòchán (坐禅), zazen in Japanese, both simply meaning "sitting dhyāna". During this sitting meditation, practitioners usually assume a position such as the lotus position, half-lotus, Burmese, or seiza postures. To regulate the mind, awareness is directed towards counting or watching the breath, or put in the energy center below the navel (see also anapanasati).[web 3] Often, a square or round cushion placed on a padded mat is used to sit on; in some other cases, a chair may be used.
At the beginning of the Song Dynasty, practice with the koan method became popular, whereas others practiced "silent illumination." This became the source of some differences in practice between the Linji and Caodong traditions.
A koan (literally "public case") is a story or dialogue, generally related to Chan or other Buddhist history; the most typical form is an anecdote involving early Chinese Chan masters. These anecdotes involving famous Chan teachers are a practical demonstration of their wisdom, and can be used to test a student's progress in Chan practice. Koans often appear to be paradoxical or linguistically meaningless dialogues or questions. But to Chan Buddhists the koan is "the place and the time and the event where truth reveals itself" unobstructed by the oppositions and differentiations of language. Answering a koan requires a student to let go of conceptual thinking and of the logical way we order the world, so that, like creativity in art, the appropriate insight and response arises naturally and spontaneously in the mind.
Monastic life in Chan
Chan developed a distinct monastic system.
Emphasizing ordinary activities
As the Chan school grew in China, the monastic discipline also became distinct, focusing on practice through all aspects of life. Temples began emphasizing labor and humility, expanding the training of Chan to include the mundane tasks of daily life. D.T. Suzuki wrote that aspects of this life are: a life of humility; a life of labor; a life of service; a life of prayer and gratitude; and a life of meditation. The Chinese Chan master Baizhang (720–814 CE) left behind a famous saying which had been the guiding principle of his life, "A day without work is a day without food".[web 4]
Contrast with Buddhist practice in India
It was scholar D.T. Suzuki's contention that a spiritual awakening was always the goal of Chan's training, but that part of what distinguished the tradition as it developed through the centuries in China was a way of life radically different from that of Indian Buddhists. In Indian Buddhism, the tradition of the mendicant prevailed, but Suzuki explained that in China social circumstances led to the development of a temple and training-center system in which the abbot and the monks all performed mundane tasks. These included food gardening or farming, carpentry, architecture, housekeeping, administration (or community direction), and the practice of Traditional Chinese medicine. Consequently, the enlightenment sought in Chan had to stand up well to the demands and potential frustrations of everyday life.
- Outline of Buddhism
- Timeline of Buddhism
- List of Buddhists
- Chinese Buddhism
- Japanese Zen
- Lidai fabao ji
- Platform Sutra
- Lathouwers (2000) mentions: Blofeld, John (1988), Bodhisattva of Compassion - The Mystical Tradition of Kuan Yin. Boston: Shambhala
- Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University
- Gethin, Rupert (1998), The Foundations of Buddhism, Oxford University Press
- Harvey, Peter (2012), An Introduction to Buddhism, Cambridge University Press (Kindle edition)
- Blyth, R. H. (1966), Zen and Zen Classics, Volume 4, Tokyo: Hokuseido Press
- Borup, Jørn (2008), Japanese Rinzai Zen Buddhism: Myōshinji, a Living Religion, Brill
- Brown Holt, Linda (1995), "From India to China: Transformations in Buddhist Philosophy", Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health & Fitness
- Buswell, Robert E. (1991), "The "Short-cut" Approach of K'an-hua Meditation: The Evolution of a Practical Subitism in Chinese Ch'an Buddhism", in Peter N. Gregory, Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
- Buswell, Robert E (1993), Ch'an Hermeneutics: A Korean View. In: Donald S. Lopez, Jr. (ed.)(1993), Buddhist Hermeneutics, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass
- Chang, Chung-Yuan (1967). "Ch'an Buddhism: Logical and Illogical". Philosophy East and West. 17 (1/4): 37–49. doi:10.2307/1397043. JSTOR 1397043.
- Cleary, Thomas (2005), Classics of Buddhism and Zen: Volume One, Boston, MA: Shambhala publications, ISBN 1-57062-831-9
- Dumoulin, Heinrich (2005-A), Zen Buddhism: A History. Volume 1: India and China, World Wisdom Books, ISBN 978-0-941532-89-1 Check date values in:
- Faure, Bernard (1997), The Will to Orthodoxy: A Critical Genealogy of Northern Chan Buddhism, Stanford University Press
- Faure, Bernard (2000), Visions of Power. Imaging Medieval Japanese Buddhism, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press
- Ferguson, Andy (2000), Zen's Chinese Heritage, Boston, MA: Wisdom Publications, ISBN 0-86171-163-7
- Feuchtwang, Stephen (2010), The Anthropology of Religion, Charisma and Ghosts: Chinese Lessons for Adequate Theory, Walter de Gruyter
- Fowler, Merv (2005), Zen Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices, Sussex Academic Press
- Gimello, Robert M. (1994), "Marga and Culture: Learning, Letters, and Liberation in Northern Sung Ch'an.", in Buswell; Gimello, Paths to Liberation, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, pp. 475–505
- Goddard, Dwight (2007), History of Ch'an Buddhism previous to the times of Hui-neng (Wie-lang). In: A Buddhist Bible, Forgotten Books
- Gregory, Peter N. (1991), "Sudden Enlightenment Followed by Gradual Cultivation: Tsung-mi's Analysis of mind", in Peter N. Gregory, Sudden and Gradual. Approaches to Enlightenment in Chinese Thought, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Private Limited
- Gregory, Peter N. (2002), Tsung-mi and the Sinification of Buddhism, University of Hawai’i Press, Kuroda Institute, (originally published Princeton University Press, 1991, Princeton, N.J.), ISBN 0-8248-2623-X
- Grigg, Ray (1999), The Ta of Zen, Edison, NJ: Alva Press
- Heine, Steven (2008), Zen Skin, Zen Marrow
- Isshū, Miura; Sasaki, Ruth F. (1993), The Zen Koan, New York: Harcourt Brace & Company, ISBN 0-15-699981-1
- Huaijin, Nan (1997), Basic Buddhism: exploring Buddhism and Zen, Samuel Weiser
- Kapleau, Philip (1989), The three pillars of Zen
- Kasulis, Thomas P. (2003), Ch'an Spirituality. In: Buddhist Spirituality. Later China, Korea, Japan and the Modern World; edited by Takeuchi Yoshinori, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass
- Lai, Hongyi Harry (2003), The Religious Revival in China. In: Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies 18
- Laliberte, Andre (2011), Buddhist Revival under State Watch, in: Journal of Current Chinese Affairs, 40, 2,107-134
- Lathouwers, Ton (2000), Meer dan een mens kan doen. Zentoespraken, Rotterdam: Asoka
- Leighton, Taigen Daniel (2000), Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi, Tuttle Publishing, ISBN 978-0-8048-3240-3
- Liang-Chieh (1986), The Record of Tung-shan, Kuroda Institute (translator: William F. Powell)
- Low, Albert (2006), Hakuin on Kensho. The Four Ways of Knowing, Boston & London: Shambhala
- Maspero, Henri (1981), Taoism and Chinese Religion, University of Massachusetts Press, ISBN 0-87023-308-4
- McMahan, David L. (2008), The Making of Buddhist Modernism, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-518327-6
- McRae, John (2003), Seeing Through Zen, The University Press Group Ltd
- Meng-Tat Chia, Jack (2011), "A Review of Enlightenment in Dispute: The Reinvention of Chan Buddhism in Seventeenth-Century China" (PDF), Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 18
- Oh, Kang-nam (2000), "The Taoist Influence on Hua-yen Buddhism: A Case of the Scinicization of Buddhism in China", Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal, 13
- Sharf, Robert H. (2002), On Pure Land Buddhism and Ch'an/Pure Land Syncretism in Mediaeval China, Leiden, Netherlands: Brill
- Shimano, Eido T. (1991), Points of Departure: Zen Buddhism with a Rinzai View, Livingston Manor, NY: The Zen Studies Society Press, ISBN 0-9629246-0-1
- Suzuki, D.T. (1935), Manual of Zen Buddhism
- Suzuki, D.T. (1955), Studies in Zen, New York: Delta
- Suzuki, D.T. (1970), Zen and Japanese Culture, New York: Bollingen/Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691-09849-2
- Suzuki, D.T. (2004), The Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk, Tokyo: Cosimo, inc., ISBN 1-59605-041-1
- Torei (2010), The Undying Lamp of Zen. The Testament of Zen Master Torei, Boston & London: Shambhala (translator: Thomas Cleary)
- Verboven, Lucette (1992), Je kunt er niet uitvallen. Interview met Ton Lathouwers. In: Zen, jaargang 13, januari 1992, nummer 48
- Wegner, Michael (2001), Introduction to "Branching streams flow in the darkness: Zen talks on the Sandokai"by Shunryū Suzuki, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0-520-23212-9
- Welter, Albert (year unknown-B), The Formation of the Linji lu: An Examination of the Guangdeng lu/Sijia yulu and Linji Huizhao Chanshi yulu. Versions of the Linji lu in Historical Context (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-03-16 Check date values in:
- Welter, Albert (2000), Mahakasyapa's smile. Silent Transmission and the Kung-an (Koan) Tradition. In: Steven Heine and Dale S. Wright (eds)(2000): "The Koan. Texts and Contexts in Zen Buddhism, Oxford: Oxford University Press
- Yampolski, Philip B. (1967), The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. Translated with notes by Philip B. Yampolski, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-08361-0
- Yampolski, Philip (2003-A), Chan. A Historical Sketch. In: Buddhist Spirituality. Later China, Korea, Japan and the Modern World; edited by Takeuchi Yoshinori, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Check date values in:
- Yampolski, Philip (2003-B), Zen. A Historical Sketch. In: Buddhist Spirituality. Later China, Korea, Japan and the Modern World; edited by Takeuchi Yoshinori, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Check date values in:
- Yen, Chan Master Sheng (1996), Dharma Drum: The Life and Heart of Ch'an Practice, Boston & London: Shambhala
- Young, Stuart (2009), Linji Lu and Chinese Orthodoxy. Review of "Albert Welter. The Linji lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy: The Development of Chan's Records of Sayings Literature.
- Zeuschner, Robert B. (1976), A Selected Bibliography on Chan Buddhism in China, Journal of Chinese Philosophy V. 3, (1976) pp. 299-311
- Zhu, Caifang (2003), Buddhism in China Today: The Example of the Bai Lin Chan Monastery. In: Perspectives, Volume 4, No.2, June 2003 (PDF)
- Zvelebil, K.V. (1987), "The Sound of the One Hand", Journal of the American Oriental Society, 107 (1)
- Ven. Ditthisampanno, Buddhism in Indonesia, Past and Present Archived 2013-03-09 at the Wayback Machine.
- Dharma Drum Mountain. Who Is Master Sheng-yen.
- Sheng, Yen. "Fundamentals of Meditation". Archived from the original on 13 June 2010.
- "Digital Dictionary of Buddhism". Retrieved 2008-03-26., entry "Baizhang Huaihai"
- D.T. Suzuki, Essays in Zen Buddhism, 3 vols
- Thomas Cleary, Zen Mind, Buddha Mind
- J. C. Cleary, Swampland Flowers: The Letters and Lectures of Zen Master Ta Hui
- Dumoulin, Heinrich (2005), Zen Buddhism: A History. Volume 1: India and China. World Wisdom Books. ISBN 978-0-941532-89-1
- Dumoulin, Heinrich (2005), Zen Buddhism: A History. Volume 2: Japan. World Wisdom Books. ISBN 978-0-941532-90-7
- Jeffrey Broughton, Zongmi on Chan.
- Sung Bae Park, Buddhist Faith and Sudden Enlightenment.
|Look up 禪 in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Look up 禅 in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Zen proverbs|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chan Buddhism.|
|Look up zen in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
Overview of Chan centers
Specific Chan centers
- Western Ch'an Fellowship Official Website
- Dharma Drum Retreat Center (New York) Official Website. Established by Chan Master Sheng Yen.
- Sacred-text.com's collection of Zen texts
- Buddhanet's collection of Zen texts
- Shambhala Sun Zen Articles
- Booklets from Fo Guang Shan
- Buddhism and Confucianism in Chan Sudden Approach: A Cunning Cultural Paradigm
- History of Zen Buddhism
- Zen history
- Zen Quick Facts
Critical Chan Research
|This article uses material from Chan Buddhism on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0.|