Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination - Hongzhi Zhengjue - 071

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๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐— ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฑ ๐—ข๐—ณ ๐—ก๐—ผ ๐— ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฑ, ๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ฃ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ข๐—ณ ๐—ฆ๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—œ๐—น๐—น๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป
-- ๐—–๐—ต’๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐— ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—›๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜‡๐—ต๐—ถ ๐—ญ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด๐—ท๐˜‚๐—ฒ (1091–1157) & ๐—–๐—ต’๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐— ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—ฆ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฌ๐—ฒ๐—ป (1931 – 2009)

[The Path / Method is USV: Union of samatha (calm abiding) <==> vipashyana (direct insight).]

“Silently and serenely, one forgets all words, (i.e. calming the mind -- samatha)

Clearly and vividly, it appears before you. (i.e. with full presence here & now one starts to get direct insights into the true nature of Reality, of the three spheres)

When one realizes it, time has no limits. 

When experienced, your surroundings come to life. (i.e. It illuminates everything.)

(i.e. it is not about rejecting the world / appearances, but about realising their true nature & dynamic; then everything is transmuted into nirvana here & now. The method proposed here is to unite samatha (calm abiding meditation) & vipashyana (insight meditation) right from the start. Similar to Mahamudra & Dzogchen. It was also called the method of 'sudden enlightenment'.)

๐—ฆ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ถ๐—น๐—น๐˜‚๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐˜„๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€, 

Full of wonder is the pure illumination. 

The moon's appearance, a river of stars,

Snow-clad pines, clouds

hovering on mountain peaks.

(i.e. The goal of the path [USV] is to directly perceive / realise the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, the inconceivable Union of the Two Truths about all dharmas [๐—จ๐Ÿฎ๐—ง]: 

View: Union multiplicity / appearances. <==> singularity / emptiness. 

View: Union luminosity / functionality / awareness <==> emptiness.)

In ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€, they glow with ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€. [Uopp]

In shadows, they shine with a splendid light.

Like the dreaming of a crane flying in empty space,

Like the clear, still water of an autumn pool, 

Endless eons dissolve into nothingness,

Each ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜‚๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ from the other.

(i.e. In meditation & post-meditation (conduct), one maintains (mindfulness / presence &) full awareness of the View, the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, of the three spheres -- subject / mind, objects / phenomena, and their relations / actions --, of all dharmas. This way one is not fooled by appearances anymore; one becomes totally free from all illusions / conditioning / karma. This way darkness / ignorance / samsara is transmuted into brightness / wisdom / nirvana. Everything is perceived as already equal / pure / perfect / divine here & now.

Union darkness / samsara <==> brightness / nirvana.)

In this illumination all striving is forgotten.

Where does this wonder exist?

Brightness and clarity dispel confusion

On the path of Silent Illumination [USV],

The origin of the infinitesimal.

To penetrate the extremely small (all of Reality),

There is the gold shuttle on a loom of jade [USV]. 

[View / Reality:]

๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—ฏ๐—ท๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ฏ๐—ท๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐—ต ๐—ผ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ. [๐—จ๐Ÿฏ๐—ฆ]

๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ฑ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐˜‚๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜. [๐—จ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ]

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ฑ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ป,

๐—ฌ๐—ฒ๐˜ ๐—ฑ๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜๐˜„๐—ผ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜, ๐—บ๐˜‚๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜†. [๐—จ๐Ÿฎ๐—ง-๐Ÿฏ๐—ฆ]

(i.e. Enlightenment is directly perceiving / realising the true nature & dynamic of Reality as it is here & now; as pointed by concepts like: the Union of the Two Truths [U2T], the Union of the Two Truths about the three spheres [U2T-3S], the Union of opposites [Uopp], the Middle Way free of all extremes & middle, the tetralemma, the equality / purity / perfection / divinity of everything because everything is the Ground and its inseparable displays.

ex. Subject / mind and objects / phenomena are empty of inherent existence <==> because/thus inseparable, interdependent, co-dependent, co-emergent, co-evolving ... Appearing but empty; empty but still appearing and relatively functional. One aspect / truth implies the other (<==>).)

Drink the medicine of correct views. (i.e. This cures all suffering / samsara.)

Beat the poison-smeared drum. (illusions)

When silence and illumination are complete (perfecting USV)

Killing and bringing to life are choices I make. (It is total freedom / liberation.)

At last, through the door, one emerges.

The fruit has ripened on the branch.

Only this Silence (Path: samatha / calm abiding) is the ultimate teaching.

Only this Illumination (Path: vipashyana / insight), the universal response.

The response (Fruition) is without effort (Fruition is not caused / produced)

The teaching (View), not heard with the ears (The View is inconceivable).

(i.e. The path is the Middle Way free of all extremes & middle: nothing to accept / affirm / seek / do / add in absolute terms, nothing to reject / negate / abandon / not-do / subtract in absolute terms, just conventionally / relatively / inter-subjectively ... The Path must be the Union of virtuous methods <==> combined with more and more wisdom / emptiness. Only then is the Path more and more in accord with the View and Fruition. That is why one needs a meditation technique consisting of the Union of samatha <==> vipashyana. The three are interdependent / in harmony: Union View <==> Path <==> Fruition.)

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜‚๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€,

๐—˜๐—บ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ธ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐——๐—ต๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ฎ.

(i.e. Reality is the ultimate teacher / guru. Everything is the Ground / Buddha-nature, so we can learn the Dharma, the true nature of Reality as it is here & now, from anything if we are sufficiently present here & now.

It cannot be transmitted using words / symbols, using what we need to transcend -- our conditioning / karma --, it has to be 'directly perceived / realised'  without using them, without depending on them, free from them. It is then like the Buddha-nature / Indivisible Universe / Ground directly recognising its true face here & now.)

They testify to each other,

Answering each other's questions.

Mutually answering and testifying,

Responding in perfect harmony. 

(i.e. When everything is see as in harmony, then it is Nirvana here & now.)

When illumination is without serenity, 

Then will distinctions be seen.

Mutually testifying and answering,

Giving rise to disharmony. 

(i.e. When everything is perceived as in opposition, then it is Samsara here & now.)

If within serenity illumination is lost,

All will become wasteful and secondary. 

(i.e. Samatha alone is still samsara; it cannot results into true insights. And insights cannot be gained without a minimum of samatha / concentration. So we need to unite the two to be in perfect accord with Reality / View / Fruition.)

When Silent Illumination is complete [perfected USV],

The lotus will blossom,

the dreamer will awaken.

The hundred rivers flow to the ocean,

The thousand mountains

face the loftiest peak. 

(i.e. When method / samatha & wisdom / vipashyana are perfectly united, when the two truths are perfectly united, then one directly realises Nirvana here & now.)

Like the goose preferring milk to water,

Like a busy bee gathering pollen,

When Silent Illumination reaches the ultimate [USV is a sure bet],

I carry on the original tradition of my sect. [that is the door used by his lineage]

This practice is called Silent Illumination [USV].

It penetrates from the deepest to the highest.”

(i.e. it permits to directly perceive / realise the inconceivable true nature of all Reality, the Ground of everything in both samsara & nirvana.)

-- Ch’an Master Hongzhi

From: The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination by Sheng Yen 

https://www.amazon.com/Method-No-Method-Practice-Silent-Illumination/dp/1590305752/ 

Via: Scott Pierson

https://www.facebook.com/scott.pierson.378/posts/3820495371305092 

For more on Silent Illumination:

https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/article/silent-illumination/ 

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Quotes


Being as Fully Aware as Possible ~ 17th Karmapa

One of our most important challenges in life is to remain mindful of who we are and what we are doing. To keep this awareness present all the time is a great support for spiritual growth. One aspect of a spiritual life is to live consciously. For that, we need to be as fully aware as possible. Without mindfulness, we end up sleepwalking through life. We act without realizing what we are doing.

– 17th Karmapa

from the book "The Heart Is Noble: Changing the World from the Inside Out"

Via: Just Dharma Quotes

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Absorption in Mindfulness of Buddha with Chan Meditation 

(i.e. Meditation: Union samatha / calm abiding <==> vipashyana / insight)


A preface to the Meditation Scripture by Huiyuan, founder of the Pure Land School, says, “Meditation without insight has no way to consummate its tranquility; insight without meditation has no way to deepen its perception.  Meditation and insight, meaning perception and tranquility, means they balance each other.  Perception is not apart from tranquility, tranquility is not apart from perception:  when stimulated, they go together, coordinated in response.”


Cizhao said, “Tranquil, yet always aware, aware yet always tranquil; being always tranquil and always aware, is called Eternal Tranquil Light.”


When people who remembrance Buddha want to practice Chan meditation to see their essential nature, just follow this method. In a quiet room, sit up straight, clear away surrounding bother, cut feelings off from the world.  With your eyes open, don’t fixate on objects outside, don’t dwell in inner abstraction.  Turn attention around consciously, being calm inside and out.  After that, subtly recite Hail to the Buddha of Infinite Light three to five times.  Turning attention around to observe yourself is called seeing essential nature.  So what is it, after all, that becomes Buddha?  It is the Infinite Light of one’s original nature.

Then, also consciously observe what it is that recites—where does this thought come from?  Seeing through this thought, then also see through who it is that observes.


After examining for a while, again bring up the thought Hail to the Buddha of Infinite Light and observe in the same way, concentrating intensely, without interruption, keenly aware, like a hen hatching her eggs.  Keep doing this no matter whether you are walking, standing still, sitting, or lying down, reciting like this, observing like this, examining like this.


At some point, while walking, standing, sitting, or lying down, hearing sound or seeing form, you’ll suddenly become enlightened and ๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—œ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜๐—ฒ ๐—Ÿ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ.


Inside (subject) and outside (object), body and mind, are ๐˜๐—ต๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ด๐—ต๐—น๐˜† ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ; ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฃ๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ, ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐˜€ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ณ (๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ณ-๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฒ ๐—š๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ).  


When quiet you do not lose awareness, when active you do not depart from tranquility.


After this you activate kindness and exercise compassion, to guide those who have not yet awakened.  ๐—–๐—ผ๐—บ๐—ฝ๐—ฎ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—บ ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ฒ (๐—จ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป), and you enter into effortless practice, attain birth in a superior state called the land adorned with real rewards, and acquire knowledge of all kinds.


-Precious Mirror of the Lotus School of Mount Lu 

[Excerpt From:Zen in the Pure Land

Cleary, Thomas

Via: Scott Pierson 

Chinese & East Asian Philosophy Study Group

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Silent Illumination

For those interested in the practice and view of Silent Illumination,  and of Chan Master Hongzhi, these three books are must reads.  Here is a quote from the intro to the first one - The Method Of No Method, The Chan Practice Of Silent Illumination - which contains a series of lectures of the modern Ch’an Master Sheng Yen on Hongzhi’s writings that explain the view and practice of Silent Illumination:

“The Method Of No-Method is Ch’an Master Sheng Yen’s definitive work on practice and realization of Silent Illumination, or mozhao (pronounced mou jao).   Often referred to as the “method of no-method”, Silent Illumination is one of the most subtle and profound practices ever developed in the history of Chan and Mahฤyฤna Buddhism.  It has a long and complex history tracing back to the simultaneous cultivation of shamata and vipashyana, or stillness and insight, methods found in Indian Buddhism.  It also resonates with Dzogchen and Mahamudra practices in Tibetan Buddhism.  In China , this practice appears to have been orally transmitted through the Caodong tradition of Chan Buddhism, but it was only in the 12th century, through the poetic writings of the Ch’an Master Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091-1157), that the practice became widely known.  However, after Master Hongzhi, the practice of Silent Illumination again receded into obscurity.  In this volume master Sheng Yen elucidates this ancient practice and clarifies the views, the methods, and the experiential states associated with it.  Thus this volume is a “meeting of minds” between Sheng Yen and Hongzhi.”

- The Method Of No- Method

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The teachings of Hongzhi also had a great impact on Zen Master Dogen, the founder of the Sลtล school in Japan, through his master, Tiฤntรณng Rรบjรฌng, Who was a student in the lineage of Hongzhi.

These are the three books:

  1. Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi:
    https://www.amazon.com/Cultiv.../dp/0804832404/ref=sr_1_1...

  2. The Method of No-Method: The Chan Practice of Silent Illumination:
    https://www.amazon.com/.../ref=pd.../144-6029124-0603047...

  3. The Art of Just Sitting: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza:
    https://www.amazon.com/Art.../dp/086171394X/ref=sr_1_1...

——————-/————————/——————-

 

“Silently and serenely, one forgets all words,

Clearly and vividly, it appears before you. 

When one realizes it, time has no limits. 

When experienced, your surroundings come to life. 

.

Singularly illuminating is this bright awareness, [U2T]

Full of wonder is the pure illumination. 

The moon's appearance, a river of stars,

Snow-clad pines, clouds

hovering on mountain peaks.

.

In darkness, they glow with brightness.

In shadows, they shine with a splendid light.

Like the dreaming of a crane flying in empty space,

Like the clear, still water of an autumn pool, 

Endless eons dissolve into nothingness,

Each indistinguishable from the other.

.

In this illumination all striving is forgotten.

Where does this wonder exist?

Brightness and clarity dispel confusion

On the path of Silent Illumination,

The origin of the infinitesimal.

To penetrate the extremely small,

There is the gold shuttle on a loom of jade. 

.

Subject and object influence each other. [U3S]

Light and darkness are mutually dependent. [Uopp]

There is neither mind nor world to rely on,

Yet do the two interact, mutually. [U2T-3S]

.

Drink the medicine of correct views.

Beat the poison-smeared drum.

When silence and illumination are complete 

Killing and bringing to life are choices I make.

.

At last, through the door, one emerges.

The fruit has ripened on the branch.

Only this Silence is the ultimate teaching.

Only this Illumination, the universal response.

.

The response is without effort.

The teaching, not heard with the ears.

Throughout the universe all things,

Emit light and speak the Dharma.

They testify to each other,

Answering each other's questions.

Mutually answering and testifying,

Responding in perfect harmony.

.

When illumination is without serenity,

Then will distinctions be seen.

Mutually testifying and answering,

Giving rise to disharmony.

.

If within serenity illumination is lost,

All will become wasteful and secondary.

.

When Silent Illumination is complete,

The lotus will blossom,

the dreamer will awaken.

The hundred rivers flow to the ocean,

The thousand mountains

face the loftiest peak.

.

Like the goose preferring milk to water,

Like a busy bee gathering pollen,

When Silent Illumination reaches the ultimate,

I carry on the original tradition of my sect.

.

This practice is called Silent Illumination.

It penetrates from the deepest to the highest.”

.

-- Ch’an Master Hongzhi

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From: Chinese & East Asian Philosophy Study Group
https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/article/silent-illumination/ 

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Via: Scott Pierson
https://www.facebook.com/scott.pierson.378/posts/3820495371305092 

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