Chan Buddhism – Wikipedia

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This article is about Chan/Zen Buddhism in China. For an overview of the school, see Zen.

Chan (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Chn; abbr. of Chinese: ; pinyin: chnn), from Sanskrit dhyna (meaning "meditation" or "meditative state"), is a Chinese school of Mahyna Buddhism. It developed in China from the 6th century CE onwards, becoming dominant during the Tang and Song dynasties. After the Yuan, Chan more or less fused with Pure Land Buddhism.

Chan spread south to Vietnam as Thin and north to Korea as Seon, and, in the 13th century, east to Japan as Zen.

The historical records required for a complete, accurate account of early Chan history no longer exist.[3]

The history of Chan in China can be divided into several periods. Chan as we know it today is the result of a long history, with many changes and contingent factors. Each period had different types of Chan, some of which have remained influential, while others vanished.

Ferguson distinguishes three periods from the fifth century into the thirteenth century:

Although McRae has reservations about the division of Chan's history in phases or periods, he nevertheless distinguishes four phases in the history of Chan:

Neither Ferguson nor McRae gives a periodisation for Chinese Chan after the Song Dynasty, though McRae mentions "at least a post-classical phase or perhaps multiple phases".[note 2]

When Buddhism came to China, it was adapted to the Chinese culture and understanding. Theories about the influence of other schools in the evolution of Chan vary widely and heavily reliant upon speculative correlation rather than on written records or histories. Some scholars have argued that Chan developed from the interaction between Mahyna Buddhism and Taoism, while others insist that Chan has roots in yogic practices, specifically kammahna, the consideration of objects, and kasia, total fixation of the mind.[21] A number of other conflicting theories exist.

Buddhism was exposed to Confucian and Taoist influences when it came to China. Goddard quotes D.T. Suzuki,[note 3] calling Chan a "natural evolution of Buddhism under Taoist conditions". Buddhism was first identified to be "a barbarian variant of Taoism", and Taoist terminology was used to express Buddhist doctrines in the oldest translations of Buddhist texts, a practice termed "matching the concepts".

Judging from the reception by the Han of the Hinayana works and from the early commentaries, it appears that Buddhism was being perceived and digested through the medium of religious Daoism (Taoism). Buddha was seen as a foreign immortal who had achieved some form of Daoist nondeath. The Buddhists' mindfulness of the breath was regarded as an extension of Daoist breathing exercises.

The first Buddhist recruits in China were Taoists. They developed high esteem for the newly introduced Buddhist meditational techniques, and blended them with Taoist meditation. Representatives of early Chinese Buddhism like Sengzhao and Tao Sheng were deeply influenced by the Taoist keystone works of Laozi and Zhuangzi. Against this background, especially the Taoist concept of naturalness was inherited by the early Chan disciples: they equated to some extent the ineffable Tao and Buddha-nature, and thus, rather than feeling bound to the abstract "wisdom of the stras", emphasized Buddha-nature to be found in "everyday" human life, just as the Tao.

Neo-Taoist concepts were taken over in Chinese Buddhism as well. Concepts such as T'i-yung ( Essence and Function) and Li-shih ( Noumenon and Phenomenon, or Principle and Practice) were first taken over by Hua-yen Buddhism, which consequently influenced Chan deeply. On the other hand, Taoists at first misunderstood sunyata to be akin to the Taoist non-being.

The emerging Chinese Buddhism nevertheless had to compete with Taoism and Confucianism:

Because Buddhism was a foreign influence, however, and everything "barbarian" was suspect, certain Chinese critics were jolted out of complacency by the spread of the dharma [...] In the first four centuries of the Christian Era, this barbarian influence was infiltrating China just when it was least politically stable and more vulnerable to sedition. As the philosophy and practice infiltrated society, many traditionalists banded together to stop the foreign influence, not so much out of intolerance (an attitude flatly rejected by both Taoism and Confucianism), but because they felt that the Chinese world view was being turned upside down.

When Buddhism came to China, there were three divisions of training:

It was in this context that Buddhism entered into Chinese culture. Three types of teachers with expertise in each training practice developed:

Monasteries and practice centers were created that tended to focus on either the Vinaya and training of monks or the teachings focused on one scripture or a small group of texts. Dhyna (Chan) masters tended to practice in solitary hermitages, or to be associated with vinaya training monasteries or the dharma teaching centers. The later naming of the Zen school has its origins in this view of the threefold division of training.

McRae goes so far as to say:

...one important feature must not be overlooked: Chan was not nearly as separate from these other types of Buddhist activities as one might think [...] [T]he monasteries of which Chan monks became abbots were comprehensive institutions, "public monasteries" that supported various types of Buddhist activities other than Chan-style meditation. The reader should bear this point in mind: In contrast to the independent denominations of Soto and Rinzai that emerged (largely by government fiat) in seventeenth-century Japan, there was never any such thing as an institutionally separate Chan "school" at any time in Chinese Buddhist history (emphasis McRae).[35]

The Chan tradition ascribes the origins of Chan in India to the Flower Sermon, the earliest source for which comes from the 14th century.[36] It is said that Gautama Buddha gathered his disciples one day for a Dharma talk. When they gathered together, the Buddha was completely silent and some speculated that perhaps the Buddha was tired or ill. The Buddha silently held up and twirled a flower and his eyes twinkled; several of his disciples tried to interpret what this meant, though none of them were correct. One of the Buddha's disciples, Mahkyapa, gazed at the flower and broke into laugher. The Buddha then acknowledged Mahkyapa's insight by saying the following:[21]

I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirva, the true form of the formless, the subtle Dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahkyapa.

Traditionally the origin of Chan in China is credited to the Indian monk Bodhidharma. Only scarce historical information is available about him, but his hagiography developed when the Chan tradition grew stronger and gained prominence in the early 8th century. By this time a lineage of the six ancestral founders of Chan in China was developed.[37] In the late 8th century, under the influence of Huineng's student Shenhui, the traditional form of this lineage had been established:[37]

In later writings this lineage was extended to include 28 Indian patriarchs. In the Song of Enlightenment ( Zhngdo g) of Yongjia Xuanjue (, 665713), one of the chief disciples of Hunng, it is written that Bodhidharma was the 28th patriarch in a line of descent from Mahkyapa, a disciple of kyamuni Buddha, and the first patriarch of Chan Buddhism.

Mahkyapa was the first, leading the line of transmission;Twenty-eight Fathers followed him in the West;The Lamp was then brought over the sea to this country;And Bodhidharma became the First Father here:His mantle, as we all know, passed over six Fathers,And by them many minds came to see the Light.

In its beginnings in China, Chan primarily referred to the Mahyna stras and especially to the Lakvatra Stra.[40] As a result, early masters of the Chan tradition were referred to as "Lakvatra masters". As the Lakvatra Stra teaches the doctrine of the Ekayna "One Vehicle", the early Chan school was sometimes referred to as the "One Vehicle School". In other early texts, the school that would later become known as Chan is sometimes even referred to as simply the "Lakvatra school" (Ch. , Lngqi Zng).[42] Accounts recording the history of this early period are to be found in the Records of the Lakvatra Masters (Chinese: ).

The establishment of Chan in China is traditionally credited to the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, who is recorded as having come to China during the time of Southern and Northern Dynasties to teach a "special transmission outside scriptures" which "did not stand upon words".

Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend.[37] There are three principal sources for Bodhidharma's biography:[43] The Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang by Yng Xunzh's (, 547), Tan Lin's preface to the Long Scroll of the Treatise on the Two Entrances and Four Practices (6th century CE), and Dayi Daoxin's Further Biographies of Eminent Monks (7th century CE).

These sources vary in their account of Bodhidharma being either "from Persia" (547 CE), "a Brahman monk from South India" (645 CE), "the third son of a Brahman king of South India" (c. 715 CE).[37] Some traditions specifically describe Bodhidharma to be the third son of a Pallava king from Kanchipuram.[web 1]

The Long Scroll of the Treatise on the Two Entrances and Four Practices written by Tan Lin (; 506574), contains teachings which are attributed to Bodhidharma. The text is known from the Dunhuang manuscripts. The two entrances to enlightenment are the entrance of principle and the entrance of practice:

The entrance of principle is to become enlightened to the Truth on the basis of the teaching. One must have a profound faith in the fact that one and the same True Nature is possessed by all sentient beings, both ordinary and enlightened, and that this True Nature is only covered up and made imperceptible [in the case of ordinary people] by false sense impressions".[45]

The entrance of practice includes the following four increments:

This text was used and studied by Huike and his students. The True Nature refers to the Buddha-nature.[45]

Bodhidharma settled in Northern Wei China. Shortly before his death, Bodhidharma appointed his disciple Dazu Huike to succeed him, making Huike the first Chinese-born ancestral founder and the second ancestral founder of Chan in China. Bodhidharma is said to have passed three items to Huike as a sign of transmission of the Dharma: a robe, a bowl, and a copy of the Lakvatra Stra. The transmission then passed to the second ancestral founder Dazu Huike, the third Sengcan, the fourth ancestral founder Dayi Daoxin, and the fifth ancestral founder Daman Hongren.

The period of Dayi Daoxin (580651) and Daman Hongren ( 601674) came to be called the East Mountain Teaching due to the location of the residence of Daman Hongren in Huangmei County, modern Anhui. The term was used by Yuquan Shenxiu, the most important successor to Hongren.[47] The East Mountain community was a specialized meditation training centre. Hongren was a plain meditation teacher, who taught students of "various religious interests", including "practitioners of the Lotus Sutra, students of Madhyamaka philosophy, or specialists in the monastic regulations of Buddhist Vinaya".[48] The establishment of a community in one location was a change from the wandering lives of Bodhiharma and Huike and their followers.[48] It fitted better into the Chinese society, which highly valued community-oriented behaviour, instead of solitary practice.[49]

Yuquan Shenxiu (, 606?706) was the most important successor to Hongren. In 701 he was invited to the Imperial Court by Zhou Empress Wu Zetian, who paid him due imperial reverence. The first lineage documents were produced in this period:

[T]he genealogical presentation of the Chan transmission was first recorded on paper in the early years of metropolitan Chan activity. The earliest recorded instance of this was in the epitaph for a certain Faru, a student of Hongren's who died in 689, and by the second decade of the 8th century, the later followers of Hongren had produced two separate texts describing the transmission from Bodhidharma to Shenxiu.[50]

The transition from the East Mountain to the two capitals changed the character of Chan:

[I]t was only when Hongren's successors moved into the environment of the two capitals, with its literate society and incomparably larger urban scale, that well-written texts were required for disseminating the teaching.[51]

According to tradition, the sixth and last ancestral founder, Huineng (; 638713), was one of the giants of Chan history, and all surviving schools regard him as their ancestor.[52] The dramatic story of Huineng's life tells that there was a controversy over his claim to the title of patriarch. After being chosen by Hongren, the fifth ancestral founder, Huineng had to flee by night to Nanhua Temple in the south to avoid the wrath of Hongren's jealous senior disciples.

Modern scholarship, however, has questioned this narrative. Historic research reveals that this story was created around the middle of the 8th century, beginning in 731 by Shenhui, a successor to Huineng, to win influence at the Imperial Court. He claimed Huineng to be the successor of Hongren instead of Shenxiu, the recognized successor.[37] In 745 Shenhui was invited to take up residence in the Heze Temple in the capital, Dongdu (modern Luoyang) In 753, he fell out of grace and had to leave Dongdu to go into exile.

The most prominent of the successors of Shenhui's lineage was Guifeng Zongmi.[53] According to Zongmi, Shenhui's approach was officially sanctioned in 796, when "an imperial commission determined that the Southern line of Ch'an represented the orthodox transmission and established Shen-hui as the seventh patriarch, placing an inscription to that effect in the Shen-lung temple".

Doctrinally, Shenhui's "Southern School" is associated with the teaching that enlightenment is sudden while the "Northern" or East Mountain school is associated with the teaching that enlightenment is gradual. This was a polemical exaggeration since both schools were derived from the same tradition, and the so-called Southern School incorporated many teachings of the more influential Northern School.[37] Eventually both schools died out, but the influence of Shenhui was so immense that all later Chan schools traced their origin to Huineng, and "sudden enlightenment" became a standard doctrine of Chan.[37]

Shenhui's influence is traceable in the Platform Sutra, which gives a popular account of the story of Huineng but also reconciles the antagonism created by Shenhui. Salient is that Shenhui himself does not figure in the Platform Sutra; he was effectively written out of Chan history. The Platform Sutra also reflects the growing popularity of the Diamond Stra (Vajracchedik Prajpramit Stra) in 8th-century Chinese Buddhism. Thereafter, the essential texts of the Chan school were often considered to be both the Lakvatra Stra and the Diamond Stra. The Lakvatra Stra, which endorses the Buddha-nature, emphasized purity of mind, which can be attained in gradations. The Diamond-sutra emphasizes sunyata, which "must be realized totally or not at all". David Kalupahana associates the later Caodong school (Japanese St, gradual) and Linji school (Japanese Rinzai school, sudden) schools with the Yogacara and Madhyamaka philosophies respectively. The same comparison has been made by McRae. The Madhyamaka school elaborated on the theme of nyat, which was set forth in the prajnaparamita sutras, to which the Diamond Sutra also belongs. The shift from the Lakvatra Stra to the Diamond Sutra also signifies a tension between Buddha-nature teachings, which imply a transcendental reality, versus nyat, which denies such a transcendental reality.

Chinese Chan Buddhist teachers such as Moheyan first went to Tibet in the eighth century during the height of the Tibetan Empire.[62] There seems to have been disputes between them and Indian Buddhists, as exemplified by the Samye debate. Many Tibetan Chan texts have been recovered from the caves at Dunhuang, where Chan and Tantric Buddhists lived side by side and this led to religious syncretism in some cases.[63] Chan Buddhism survived in Tibet for several centuries,[64] but had mostly been replaced by the 10th century developments in Tibetan Buddhism. According to Sam Van Schaik:

After the 'dark period', all visible influences of Chan were eliminated from Tibetan Buddhism, and Mahayoga and Chan were carefully distinguished from each other. This trendcan already be observed in the tenth-century Lamp for the Eyes in Contemplation by the great central Tibetan scholar Gnubs chen Sangs rgyas ye shes. This influential work represented a crucial step in the codification of Chan, Mahayoga and the Great Perfection as distinct vehicles to enlightenment. In comparison, our group of [Dunhuang] manuscripts exhibits a remarkable freedom, blurring the lines between meditation systems which were elsewhere kept quite distinct. The system of practice set out in these manuscripts did not survive into the later Tibetan tradition. Indeed, this creative integration of meditation practices derived from both Indic and Chinese traditions could only have been possible during the earliest years of Tibetan Buddhism, when doctrinal categories were still forming, and in this sense it represents an important stage in the Tibetan assimilation of Buddhism.[63]

Daoxin, Hongren, Shenxiu, Huineng and Shenhui all lived during the early Tang. The later period of the Tang Dynasty is traditionally regarded as the "golden age" of Chan. This proliferation is described in a famous saying:

Look at the territory of the house of Tang The whole of it is the realm of the Chan school.

The An Lushan Rebellion (755763) led to a loss of control by the Tang dynasty, and changed the Chan scene again. Metropolitan Chan began to lose its status, while "other schools were arising in outlying areas controlled by warlords. These are the forerunners of the Chan we know today. Their origins are obscure; the power of Shen-hui's preaching is shown by the fact that they all trace themselves to Hui-neng."[66]

The most important of these schools is the Hongzhou school () of Mazu, to which also belong Shitou, Baizhang Huaihai, Huangbo and Linji (Rinzai). Linji is also regarded as the founder of one of the Five Houses.

This school developed "shock techniques such as shouting, beating, and using irrational retorts to startle their students into realization". Some of these are common today, while others are found mostly in anecdotes. It is common in many Chan traditions today for Chan teachers to have a stick with them during formal ceremonies which is a symbol of authority and which can be also used to strike on the table during a talk.

These shock techniques became part of the traditional and still popular image of Chan masters displaying irrational and strange behaviour to aid their students.[37][68] Part of this image was due to later misinterpretations and translation errors, such as the loud belly shout known as katsu. "Katsu" means "to shout", which has traditionally been translated as "yelled 'katsu'" which should mean "yelled a yell".[web 2]

A well-known story depicts Mazu practicing dhyana, but being rebuked by his teacher Nanyue Huairang, comparing seated meditation with polishing a tile. According to Faure, the criticism is not about dhyana as such, but "the idea of "becoming a Buddha" by means of any practice, lowered to the standing of a "means" to achieve an "end"". The criticism of seated dhyana reflects a change in the role and position of monks in Tang society, who "undertook only pious works, reciting sacred texts and remaining seated in dhyana". Nevertheless, seated dhyana remained an important part of the Chan tradition, also due to the influence of Guifeng Zongmi, who tried to balance dhyana and insight.

The Hung-chou school has been criticised for its radical subitism. Guifeng Zongmi ( ) (780841), an influential teacher-scholar and patriarch of both the Chan and the Huayan school, claimed that the Hongzhou school teaching led to a radical nondualism that denies the need for spiritual cultivation and moral discipline. While Zongmi acknowledged that the essence of Buddha-nature and its functioning in the day-to-day reality are but difference aspects of the same reality, he insisted that there is a difference.

Traditionally Shtu Xqin (Ch. , c. 700 c.790) is seen as the other great figure of this period. In the Chan lineages he is regarded as the predecessor of the Caodong (St) school. He is also regarded as the author of the Sandokai, a poem which formed the basis for the Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi of Dongshan Liangjie (Jp. Tzan Rykan) and the teaching of the Five Ranks.

During 845846 Emperor Wuzong persecuted the Buddhist schools in China:

It was a desperate attempt on the part of the hard-pressed central government, which had been in disarray since the An Lu-shan rebellion of 756, to gain some measure of political, economic, and military relief by preying on the Buddhist temples with their immense wealth and extensive lands.[75]

This persecution was devastating for metropolitan Chan, but the Chan school of Ma-tsu and his likes survived, and took a leading role in the Chan of the later Tang.[75]

After the fall of the Tang Dynasty, China was without effective central control during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period. China was divided into several autonomous regions. Support for Buddhism was limited to a few areas. The Hua-yen and T'ient-tai schools suffered from the changing circumstances, since they had depended on imperial support. The collapse of T'ang society also deprived the aristocratic classes of wealth and influence, which meant a further drawback for Buddhism. Shenxiu's Northern School and Henshui's Southern School didn't survive the changing circumstances. Nevertheless, Chan emerged as the dominant stream within Chinese Buddhism, but with various schools developing various emphasises in their teachings, due to the regional orientation of the period. The Fayan school, named after Fa-yen Wen-i (885958) became the dominant school in the southern kingdoms of Nan-T'ang (Jiangxi, Chiang-hsi) and Wuyue (Che-chiang).

The Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms Period was followed by the Song Dynasty, which established a strong central government. During the Song Dynasty, Chan () was used by the government to strengthen its control over the country, and Chan grew to become the largest sect in Chinese Buddhism. An ideal picture of the Chan of the Tang period was produced, which served the legacy of this newly acquired status:

In the Song dynasty (9601279), Chinese Chan Buddhism reached something of a climax paradigm. By "climax paradigm", I mean a conceptual configuration by which Chan was described in written texts, practiced by its adherents, and by extension understood as a religious entity by the Chinese population as a whole ... Previous events in Chan were interpreted through the lens of the Song dynasty configuration, and subsequent developments in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam were evaluated, even as they occurred, against what was known of the standards established during the Song. Thus the romanticized image of the great Tang dynasty masters Mazu and his students, Caoshan, Dongshan, and their students, and of course Linji was generated by Song dynasty authors and functioned within Song dynasty texts. Similarly, even where subsequent figures throughout East Asia Hakuin Ekaku (16851769), the famous reviver of Japanese Rinzai, is the best example evoke the examples of Bodhidharma, the Sixth Patriarch Huineng, Mazu, and the others, they do so through the conceptual filter of Song-dynasty Chan.[77]

During the Song the Five Houses (Ch. ) of Chan, or five "schools", were recognized. These were not originally regarded as "schools" or "sects", but based on the various Chan-genealogies. Historically they have come to be understood as "schools".

The Five Houses of Chan are:[3]

The Linji-school became the dominant school within Chan, due to support from literati and the court. Before the Song Dynasty, the Linji-school is rather obscure, and very little is known about its early history. The first mention of Linji is in the Zutang ji, compiled in 952, 86 years after Linji's death. But the Zutang ji pictures the Xuefeng Yicun lineage as heir to the legacy of Mazu and the Hongzhou-school.

According to Welter, the real founder of the Linji-school was Shoushan (or Baoying) Shengnian () (926993), a fourth generation dharma-heir of Linji. The Tiansheng Guangdeng lu (), "Tiansheng Era Expanded Lamp Record", compiled by the official Li Zunxu () (9881038) confirms the status of Shoushan Shengnian, but also pictures Linji as a major Chan patriarch and heir to the Mazu, displacing the prominence of the Fayan-lineage. It also established the slogan of "a special transmission outside the teaching", supporting the Linji-school claim of "Chan as separate from and superior to all other Buddhist teachings".

Over the course of Song Dynasty (9601279), the Guiyang, Fayan, and Yunmen schools were gradually absorbed into the Linji. Song Chan was dominated by the Linji school of Dahui Zonggao, which in turn became strongly affiliated to the Imperial Court:

...the Ta-hui school of Sung Chan had become closely associated with the Sung court, high officials, and the literati [...] With the establishment of the Wu-shan (Gozan) system during the Southern Sung the school of Ta-hui took precedence. The Chinese bureaucratic system entered into Chan temples throughout the country, and a highly organized system of temple rank and administration developed.[83]

The Gozan system was a system of state-controlled temples, which were established by the Song government in all provinces.[84]

The teaching styles and words of the classical masters were recorded in the so-called "encounter dialogues".[85] Snippets of these encounter dialogues were collected in texts as the Blue Cliff Record (1125) of Yuanwu, The Gateless Gate (1228) of Wumen, both of the Linji lineage, and the Book of Equanimity (1223) by Wansong Xingxiu of the Caodong lineage.

These texts became classic gng'n cases, together with verse and prose commentaries, which crystallized into the systematized gng'n (koan) practice. According to Miura and Sasaki, "[I]t was during the lifetime of Yan-wu's successor, Dahui Zonggao (; 10891163) that Koan Chan entered its determinative stage."[86]Gng'n practice was prevalent in the Linji school, to which Yuanwu and Dahui belonged, but it was also employed on a more limited basis by the Caodong school.

The recorded encounter dialogues, and the koan collections which derived from this genre, mark a shift from solitary practice to interaction between master and student:

The essence of enlightenment came to be identified with the interaction between masters and students. Whatever insight dhyana might bring, its verification was always interpersonal. In effect, enlightenment came to be understood not so much as an insight, but as a way of acting in the world with other people[87]

This mutual enquiry of the meaning of the encounters of masters and students of the past gave students a role model:

One looked at the enlightened activities of one's lineal forebears in order to understand one's own identity [...] taking the role of the participants and engaging in their dialogues instead[note 4]

Koan practice was a literary practice, styling snippets of encounter-dialogue into well-edited stories. It arose in interaction with "educated literati".[89]

There were dangers involved in such a literary approach, such as fixing specific meanings to the cases.[89] Dahui Zonggao is even said to have burned the woodblocks of the Blue Cliff Record, for the hindrance it had become to study of Chan by his students[90]

The Caodong was the other school to survive into the Song period. Its main protagonist was Hung-chih Cheng-chueh, a contemporary of Dahui Zonggao. It put emphasis on "silent illumination", or "just sitting". This approach was attacked by Dahui as being mere passivity, and lacking emphasis on gaining insight into one's true nature. Cheng-chueh in his turn criticized the emphasis on koan study.[91]

The Yuan dynasty was the empire established by Kublai Khan, the leader of the Borjigin clan, after the Mongol Empire conquered the Jin dynasty (11151234) and the Southern Song Dynasty. Chan began to be mixed with Pure Land Buddhism as in the teachings of Zhongfeng Mingben (12631323).[citation needed]

Chan Buddhism enjoyed something of a revival in the Ming dynasty, with teachers such as Hanshan Deqing (), who wrote and taught extensively on both Chan and Pure Land Buddhism; Miyun Yuanwu (), who came to be seen posthumously as the first patriarch of the baku school of Zen; and as Yunqi Zhuhong () and Ouyi Zhixu ().

Chan was taught alongside Pure Land Buddhism in many monasteries. In time much of the distinction between them was lost, and many masters taught both Chan and Pure Land.[92]

With the downfall of the Ming, several Chan masters fled to Japan, founding the baku school.

In the beginning of the Qing dynasty, Chan was "reinvented", by the "revival of beating and shouting practices" by Miyun Yuanwu (15661642), and the publication of the Wudeng yantong ("The strict transmission of the five Chan schools") by Feiyin Tongrong's (15931662), a dharma heir of Miyun Yuanwu. The book placed self-proclaimed Chan monks without proper Dharma transmission in the category of "lineage unknown" (sifa weixiang), thereby excluding several prominent Caodong monks.

Around 1900, Buddhists from other Asian countries showed a growing interest in Chinese Buddhism. Anagarika Dharmapala visited Shaghai in 1893,[web 3] intending "to make a tour of China, to arouse the Chinese Buddhists to send missionaries to India to restore Buddhism there, and then to start a propaganda throughout the whole world", but eventually limiting his stay to Shanghai.[web 3] Japanese Buddhist missionaries were active in China in the beginning of the 20th century.[web 3]

The modernisation of China led to the end of the Chinese Empire, and the installation of the Republic of China, which lasted on the mainland until the Communist Revolution and the installation of the People's Republic of China in 1949.

After further centuries of decline during the Qing, Chan was revived again in the early 20th century by Hsu Yun (), a well-known figure of 20th-century Chinese Buddhism. Many Chan teachers today trace their lineage to Hsu Yun, including Sheng-yen () and Hsuan Hua (), who have propagated Chan in the West where it has grown steadily through the 20th and 21st century.

The Buddhist reformist Taixu propagated a Chan-influenced humanistic Buddhism, which is endorsed by Jing Hui, former abbott of Bailin Monastery.

Until 1949, monasteries were built in the Southeast Asian countries, for example by monks of Guanghua Monastery, to spread Chinese Buddhism. Presently, Guanghua Monastery has seven branches in the Malay Peninsula and Indonesia.[web 4]

Chan was repressed in China during the recent modern era in the early periods of the People's Republic, but subsequently had been re-asserting itself on the mainland, and has a significant following in Taiwan and Hong Kong as well as among Overseas Chinese.

Since the Chinese economic reform of the 1970s, a new revival of Chinese Buddhism is going on.[web 5][web 6] Ancient Buddhist temples, such as Bailin Monastery and Guanghua Monastery have been refurbished.

Bailin Monastery was ruined long before 1949. In 1988, Jing Hui was persuaded to take over the Hebei Buddhist Association, and start rebuilding the Monastery. Jing Hui is a student and dharma successor[web 7] of Hsu Yun, but has also adopted the Humanistic Buddhism of Taixu.[note 5][note 6]

Guanghua Monastery was restored beginning in 1979, when a six-year restoration program began under the supervision of then 70-year-old Venerable Master Yuanzhou (). In 1983 the temple became one of the Chinese Buddhism Regional Temples () whilst 36-year-old Master Yiran () became abbot. The same year, Venerable Master Yuanzhou funded the establishment of the new Fujian Buddhism Academy () on the site.

Several Chinese Buddhist teachers left China during the Communist Revolution, and settled in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Sheng Yen (19302009) was the founder of the Dharma Drum Mountain, a Buddhist organization based in Taiwan. During his time in Taiwan, Sheng Yen was well known as one of the progressive Buddhist teachers who sought to teach Buddhism in a modern and Western-influenced world.

Wei Chueh (19282016) was born in Sichuan, China, and ordained in Taiwan. In 1982, he founded Lin Quan Temple in Taipei County and became known for his teaching on Ch'an practices by offering many lectures and seven-day Ch'an retreats. His order is called Chung Tai Shan.

Two additional traditions emerged in the 1960s, based their teaching on Ch'an practices.

Cheng Yen (born 1937), a Buddhist nun, founded the Tzu Chi Foundation as a charity organization with Buddhist origins on 14 May 1966 in Hualien, Taiwan. She was inspired by her master and mentor, the late Venerable Master Yin Shun (, Yn Shn dosh) a proponent of Humanistic Buddhism, who exhorted her to "work for Buddhism and for all sentient beings". The organisation began with a motto of "instructing the rich and saving the poor" as a group of thirty housewives who donated a small amount of money each day to care for needy families.[98]

Hsing Yun (born 1927), founded the Fo Guang Shan an international Chinese Buddhist new religious movement based in Taiwan in 1967. The order promotes Humanistic Buddhism. Fo Guang Shan also calls itself the International Buddhist Progress Society. The headquarters of Fo Guang Shan, located in Dashu District, Kaohsiung, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. Hsing Yun's stated position within Fo Guang Shan is that it is an "amalgam of all Eight Schools of Chinese Buddhism" (), including Chan. Fo Guang Shan is the most comprehensive of the major Buddhist organizations of Taiwan, focusing extensively on both social works and religious engagement.[99]

In Taiwan, these four masters are popularly referred to as the "Four Heavenly Kings" of Taiwanese Buddhism, with their respective organizations Dharma Drum Mountain, Chung Tai Shan, Tzu Chi, and Fo Guang Shan being referred to as the "Four Great Mountains".[100][101]

According to traditional accounts of Vietnam, in 580 an Indian monk named Vintaruci (Vietnamese: T-ni-a-lu-chi) travelled to Vietnam after completing his studies with Sengcan, the third patriarch of Chinese Chan. This, then, would be the first appearance of Thin Buddhism. Other early Thin schools included that of Wu Yantong (Chinese: ; Vietnamese: V Ngn Thng), which was associated with the teachings of Mazu Daoyi, and the Tho ng (Caodong), which incorporated nianfo chanting techniques; both were founded by Chinese monks.

Seon was gradually transmitted into Korea during the late Silla period (7th through 9th centuries) as Korean monks of predominantly Hwaeom (Hangul:; Hanja:) and East Asian Yogcra (Hangul:; Hanja:) 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 () (11581210), who established a reform movement and introduced kan practice to Korea. Jinul established the Songgwangsa () as a new center of pure practice.

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January 30th, 2019 at 10:42 pm

Posted in Zen Buddhism