Tranlated by means of Taigen Daniel Leighton and Yi Wu Hongzhi -- the twelfth-century chinese language Zen grasp who used to be predecessor of the well-known thinker Dogen -- is well known in Zen literature as one in every of its so much artistically sleek stylists. He used to be the 1st to articulate silent illumination, the nondual objectless meditation mostly identified to trendy Zen scholars as "just sitting." formerly to be had in English purely in scattered fragments, Hongzhi's influential instructing is the following awarded comprehensively, now not as a ancient artifact, yet as a undying and encouraging advisor to non secular wisdom within the modern global.
Taigen Daniel Leighton offers an informative advent that strains Hongzhi's lifestyles, very important features of his educating, and his position within the Zen tradition.
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Additional info for Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi
His meditation directions don't specify yogic postures or rituals resembling may were customary to his scholars within the methods on the temple the place he taught. as a substitute his writings exhibit the various aspects of the universally on hand adventure of nondual objectless meditation and the never-ending refinements and attunements concerned with dwelling out this know-how. most standard meditation, either Buddhist and Non-Buddhist, contains focus on particular gadgets comparable to visible pictures, sounds, respiring, thoughts, tales, or deities in an effort to advance heightened states of focused wisdom referred to as samādhi. Silent illumination, despite the fact that, includes withdrawal from unique specialize in a selected sensory or psychological item to permit motive apprehension of all phenomena as a unified totality. This objectless meditation goals at a thorough, sophisticated nondualism that doesn't seize at any of the hugely refined differences to which our popular psychological workings are companies and which estranges us from our event. Such subject-object dichotomization is known as man made, a fabrication. Silent illumination is usually objectless within the experience of now not looking after particular constrained ambitions. the final word objective of religious perform, universally woke up heart/mind, can't be set except our personal inherent being and our speedy, moment-to-moment expertise. As Hongzhi emphasizes, the complete perform rests at the religion, demonstrated in adventure, that the sphere of big brightness is ours from the outset. The practitioner’s exertion and commitment are dedicated to manifesting this final fact with fidelity correct in usual life. Silent illumination is therefore totally skilled in meditative contemplation, after which clearly expressed in honest compassionate habit on the earth. Hongzhi’s expression of silent illumination is the end result of a cosmopolitan Zen Buddhist instructing culture encouraged via the founders of the chinese language Caodong lineage (pronounced “tsow-dong”), later known as Sōtō in Japan. (Although Hongzhi was once chinese language, eastern phrases reminiscent of “Zen” and “Sōtō ,” that are in general identified within the West, might be commonly utilized in this paintings for the sake of readability. ) This chinese language Sōtō culture built a theoretical realizing in the course of the dialectic of perception into common fact and its interaction with the details of the exceptional global. A corresponding perform version used to be enacted with the dialectic among meditative introspection and of course acceptable job in daily life. Hongzhi’s perform directions are the smooth and refined expression of the sensible fruition of this custom. His paintings was once later elaborated and built in Japan through Zen grasp Dōgen and the Sōtō culture that derived from him. Hongzhi’s silent illumination is of serious relevance to modern religious seekers. His teachings are vital as a chief resource for Dōgen, whose paintings is still hugely influential to Zen perform. much more, Hongzhi is effective as a lucid consultant, past any specific culture, to the subtleties of non secular knowledge and its existence on this planet.