Zongmi on Chan

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Nicholas Weeks
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Zongmi on Chan

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:14 pm

I have the book & am now am dipping into it - excellent it is!

I would like a PDF, yet those range from $44-$60 - just for PDFs -- too much for me.

If anyone has a PDF of Broughton's book and is willing to share, PM me please.
A man should not judge a man, for he harms himself very quickly, that man who judges a man. Only I or someone like me can assess a man.

Buddha in the Surangamasamadhi Sutra

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Nicholas Weeks
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Re: Zongmi on Chan

Postby Nicholas Weeks » Tue Mar 15, 2016 4:15 pm

Never mind the PDF, my printed book is adequate.
A man should not judge a man, for he harms himself very quickly, that man who judges a man. Only I or someone like me can assess a man.

Buddha in the Surangamasamadhi Sutra

Anonymous X
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Re: Zongmi on Chan

Postby Anonymous X » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:04 pm

Nicholas Weeks wrote:I have the book & am now am dipping into it - excellent it is!

I would like a PDF, yet those range from $44-$60 - just for PDFs -- too much for me.

If anyone has a PDF of Broughton's book and is willing to share, PM me please.

Indeed, this is a very good read. I don't recall anything like it.

Anonymous X
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Re: Zongmi on Chan

Postby Anonymous X » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:03 am

I never studied Chan teachings in a comparative way as Zongmi does in his letters with Pei Xiu. Zongmi's profound insight into the nature of mind and how the other Chan schools elaborate this in comparison with his view hits me squarely with profound force as far as his view of awakening goes. But the other part of commenting on the other schools as he does, could have a political implication that some academics might run with and accuse Zongmi of 'divide and rule' tactics, perhaps for the reason of state funding his school. I'm curious if any posters are familiar with the terrain of Chan at this time and how Zongmi was viewed by the other schools. Was he considered a supreme master, a manipulator, or both, maybe?

Astus, what say you? You seem to be broadly familiar with many of these schools and teachings.

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Astus
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Re: Zongmi on Chan

Postby Astus » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:09 pm

Anonymous X wrote:But the other part of commenting on the other schools as he does, could have a political implication that some academics might run with and accuse Zongmi of 'divide and rule' tactics, perhaps for the reason of state funding his school.


Zongmi at the time of writing those works on the Chan schools was a teacher living in Chang'an as an honoured master invited by the emperor. It seems he had no monastery or school to get sponsors for. so there appears to be no economical or political reasons behind his presentation of other groups.

Was he considered a supreme master, a manipulator, or both, maybe?


He was considered a great teacher, a sophisticated and erudite monastic.
1 Myriad dharmas are only mind.
Mind is unobtainable.
What is there to seek?

2 If the Buddha-Nature is seen,
there will be no seeing of a nature in any thing.

3 Neither cultivation nor seated meditation —
this is the pure Chan of Tathagata.

4 With sudden enlightenment to Tathagata Chan,
the six paramitas and myriad means
are complete within that essence.


1 Huangbo, T2012Ap381c1 2 Nirvana Sutra, T374p521b3; tr. Yamamoto 3 Mazu, X1321p3b23; tr. J. Jia 4 Yongjia, T2014p395c14; tr. from "The Sword of Wisdom"

Anonymous X
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Re: Zongmi on Chan

Postby Anonymous X » Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:24 am

Astus wrote:
Anonymous X wrote:But the other part of commenting on the other schools as he does, could have a political implication that some academics might run with and accuse Zongmi of 'divide and rule' tactics, perhaps for the reason of state funding his school.


Zongmi at the time of writing those works on the Chan schools was a teacher living in Chang'an as an honoured master invited by the emperor. It seems he had no monastery or school to get sponsors for. so there appears to be no economical or political reasons behind his presentation of other groups.


According to the biographical sketch at the beginning of 'Zongmi On Chan', he took up residence at Caotang monastery before 828 and his honoring came during the production of his great works which are dated to the 828 period. According to Broughton, 'Zongmi's major Chan works took shape during this phase of his career, and the timing is significant since it suggests that these works were in some way connected to the influential elite of the capital and court. He was broadcasting Chan to a very metropolitan audience.'

He was given great importance and honors until 835, when he was implicated in a failed attempt to oust the eunuchs from power. He was exonerated and passed his last years in obscurity, until his passing in 841.

Zongmi's influence at the height of his career seemed to be very great, especially in the sphere of power amongst the elite of Chang'an. Personally, I find no reason to think his influence was in part motivated by funding for his monastery and 'school of Heze'. But, I can see how some might conclude this. His phenomenal ability to get straight to the 'heart of the matter' concerning dharma and his exposition of view and praxis is really unrivaled. A great jewel to be treasured.


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