Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

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Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Yuren » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:33 am

http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/p-9843-9780824873776.aspx

University of Hawaii press, translator : p Swanson
The Mo-ho chih-kuan (Great cessation-and-contemplation) by T’ien-t’ai Chih-i (538–597) is among the most influential treatises in the long history of Buddhist scholarship. It is known for not only its brilliant insights, but also its systematic and comprehensive treatment of the Buddhist tradition. Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight is the first complete, fully annotated translation of this monumental work by one of today’s foremost scholars on T’ien-t’ai (Tendai) Buddhism.
The Mo-ho chih-kuan offers a superb outline of Buddhist tradition that covers the full scope of its practices—from sitting or walking in meditation to chanting the Buddha’s name to defining the tenets of ethical living—and its teachings—from the “Hīnayāna” Āgama texts to Mahāyāna sutras and treatises to various Buddhist and non-Buddhist (indigenous Chinese) beliefs. As a cornerstone of T’ien-t’ai study and practice, the Mo-ho chih-kuan was poured over by generations of T’ien-t’ai exegetes and aspiring students, but it also garnered the attention of Buddhist monastics and laity well beyond the confines of the T’ien-t’ai school, including adherents of the Ch’an and Hua-yen schools. Wherever T’ien-t’ai and other homegrown Chinese traditions of Buddhism traveled—Korea, Japan, Vietnam, and beyond—the Mo-ho chih-kuan traveled with them, becoming a genuine classic of East Asian Buddhism.

The extensive annotation accompanying the translation (volumes 1 and 2) will help readers understand the original text and the implications of various crucial passages and ideas, as well as the place the Mo-ho chih-kuan occupies in the development of Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Japanese Buddhism and its critical importance for figures such as Nichiren, who considered Chih-i the “great master” and quoted profusely from the text in his own writings. Volume 3 includes ample supplementary materials such as translations of related texts, a comprehensive glossary, and lists of Chinese terms and explanations of various sources, among others

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Queequeg » Sat Oct 28, 2017 2:13 pm

“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Coëmgenu » Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:35 pm

Someone should start a study group for this, once it comes out proper and people have it in their hands (hint hint for those of us with negative wealth, >100$ textbooks are so seductive, but so expensive!)
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Queequeg » Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:03 pm

Coëmgenu wrote:
Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:35 pm
Someone should start a study group for this, once it comes out proper and people have it in their hands
どうぞ。 :smile:
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by jikai » Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:15 am

I'd be happy to start a study thread on the text if enough people are keen on the idea. The chapters themselves are substantial, so perhaps I could post 'a chunk' per week and work our way through. Obviously how large 'a chunk' would depend upon how extensive the commentaries had been on a particular section. I have an addition of the text that includes the original text, the commentaries of Zhanran, Houchibo Shoushin, Chikuu, and Shudatsu (all in classical chinese). I've also got the edition which includes modern Japanese by Ikeda Rosan. I could use these, my own notes taken during monastic training /seminars, to flesh out Professor Swanson's mammoth achievement. Being in Japan, and working in Tendai, means that it is also possible for me to seek clarification on anything should we run intosome issues.

The book has only just been released, and it appears that quite a few have had delays and are yet to receive their copy. With this in mind, if we were to do this, it might be wisest to wait awhile until the text has a wider audience. Perhaps we could tentatively say a start to the programme mid-January? That might provide a window for the text to circulate, and ensure thst the Christmas/ New Year period isn't an issue.

Of course, we need to be realistic and appreciate that such a project will take quite some time, perhaps years to complete. As long as we go into it with that understanding, and we really do have some interest, it should be feasible. Generally speaking, the Mohe Zhiguan is used as a 'Tiantai/Tendai textbook' here, and so it's study tends to lead in to most if not all of the fundamental Tiantai doctrines and concepts. Just some thoughts to throw out there...

Gassho,

Jikai.
"止觀明靜前代未聞"
(摩訶止觀)

"此妙法蓮花經者本地甚深之奧藏也"
( 法華玄義)

"觀心者空觀是般若假觀是解脫中觀是法身"
(法華文句)


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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Tatsuo » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:51 am

Me too, I’m in. Mid-January sounds good to me :anjali:
  • 南無阿弥陀佛
  • 南無妙法蓮華經
  • 南無観世音菩薩


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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by ItsRaining » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:42 am

jikai wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:15 am
I'd be happy to start a study thread on the text if enough people are keen on the idea. The chapters themselves are substantial, so perhaps I could post 'a chunk' per week and work our way through. Obviously how large 'a chunk' would depend upon how extensive the commentaries had been on a particular section. I have an addition of the text that includes the original text, the commentaries of Zhanran, Houchibo Shoushin, Chikuu, and Shudatsu (all in classical chinese). I've also got the edition which includes modern Japanese by Ikeda Rosan. I could use these, my own notes taken during monastic training /seminars, to flesh out Professor Swanson's mammoth achievement. Being in Japan, and working in Tendai, means that it is also possible for me to seek clarification on anything should we run intosome issues.

The book has only just been released, and it appears that quite a few have had delays and are yet to receive their copy. With this in mind, if we were to do this, it might be wisest to wait awhile until the text has a wider audience. Perhaps we could tentatively say a start to the programme mid-January? That might provide a window for the text to circulate, and ensure thst the Christmas/ New Year period isn't an issue.

Of course, we need to be realistic and appreciate that such a project will take quite some time, perhaps years to complete. As long as we go into it with that understanding, and we really do have some interest, it should be feasible. Generally speaking, the Mohe Zhiguan is used as a 'Tiantai/Tendai textbook' here, and so it's study tends to lead in to most if not all of the fundamental Tiantai doctrines and concepts. Just some thoughts to throw out there...

Gassho,

Jikai.
A study group sounds great!

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by rory » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:16 pm

Fantastic! :twothumbsup:
Rev. Jikai please count me in my copy of Maha Shikan should be here in a week!
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:17 am

Jikai, this would be wonderful.
:anjali:
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Virgo » Wed Nov 08, 2017 2:49 am

jikai wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:15 am
I'd be happy to start a study thread on the text if enough people are keen on the idea.

Gassho,

Jikai.
Reverend that is a great idea. I am looking forward to it.

Kevin

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by jikai » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:09 am

Ok, sounds like we have something here. I'll start thinking about the specifics/ how to conduct the thread, and get things moving.

In the meantime, enjoy your reading everyone!

Gassho,

Jikai.
"止觀明靜前代未聞"
(摩訶止觀)

"此妙法蓮花經者本地甚深之奧藏也"
( 法華玄義)

"觀心者空觀是般若假觀是解脫中觀是法身"
(法華文句)

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Seishin » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:49 am

I'd like to join in/follow along. Hopefully I'll be able to save up and get a copy before you start :smile:

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Bois de Santal » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:29 pm

Has anyone actually got a copy yet?

I placed my order with amazon back in July. They promised delivery 18-20 November.

They've just emailed me to say they haven't got a clue when they are going to have it in stock.

Sigh.

We have already waited 1500 years for a translation so I guess a few more days won't make much difference. Frustrating though.

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by jake » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:32 am

Bois de Santal wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:29 pm
Has anyone actually got a copy yet?

I placed my order with amazon back in July. They promised delivery 18-20 November.

They've just emailed me to say they haven't got a clue when they are going to have it in stock.

Sigh.

We have already waited 1500 years for a translation so I guess a few more days won't make much difference. Frustrating though.
I ordered my copy from University of Hawaii on October 31st and had the book in hand on Nov. 7th. (US-based address)
?
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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Coëmgenu » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:43 am

jake wrote:
Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:32 am
Bois de Santal wrote:
Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:29 pm
Has anyone actually got a copy yet?

I placed my order with amazon back in July. They promised delivery 18-20 November.

They've just emailed me to say they haven't got a clue when they are going to have it in stock.

Sigh.

We have already waited 1500 years for a translation so I guess a few more days won't make much difference. Frustrating though.
I ordered my copy from University of Hawaii on October 31st and had the book in hand on Nov. 7th. (US-based address)
?
Probably shipping drama. It may well accidentally be in France currently, for instance. I am sure we will all get what we paid for eventually.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Queequeg » Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:17 pm

Some prelim comments... Not liking the Donner Stevenson intro. I'm realizing the divide between Swanson/Donner/Stevenson and Ng/Ziporyn is quite significant.

FWIW, my impression is that the fault line is between Japan oriented scholars and China oriented scholars.
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by jikai » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:50 am

Anything in particular you didn't like? In general I found it fairly consistent with the tradition.

You are right in my mind to identify a divide of sorts between Stevenson, Donner, and Swanson on the one hand, and with Ng and Ziporyn on the other. But I wouldn't attribute it to Japanese vs Chinese educated scholars. In my experience the majority of Chinese and Japanese Tiantai/Tendai scholars are in surprisingly consistent agreement on the majority of early Tiantai - as it pertains to doctrinal discourse. Of course, it is a muddier matter when it comes to the history of the tradition. The divide in this case, to my mind arises from scholars with fairly orthodox positions on the one hand (Stevenson, Donner, Swanson) who tend to be fairly 'conservative' in their ideas. And scholars who attempt to 'break new ground' as it were (Ng and Ziporyn). Ng and Ziporyn are quite different though. Ng finds himself on this end of the spectrum because he attempts to 're-orient' or perhaps more charitably 're-focus' Tiantai studies by identifying what he feels are under appreciated concepts (like the Middle Way- Buddha Nature). This sets him apart from the tradition somewhat. Ziporyn is not doing the same thing, but nontheless doesn't quite fit in with what I've described as the 'conservative' approach. Ziporyn's views are consistent with later Tiantai developments which is why he draws most consistently from Siming Zhili, and Zhanran. What Ziporyn does which sets him apart somewhat in his approach, is that he treats Tiantai as would a Philosopher. That is, he attempts to unpack and discuss the ultimate conclusion of x,y,z, and show how it relates to standard philosophical approaches/ questions, or contemporary concerns not of issue to the system and tradition itself.

Lest I be misunderstood, I'll say that I value the works on both sides of the divide, and am not criticising one or the other. Likewise, I am not saying that the more orthodox does not innovate, nor that the more progressive scholar cleaves insufficiently to the tradition. There are simply tendencies.

Gassho,
Jikai.
"止觀明靜前代未聞"
(摩訶止觀)

"此妙法蓮花經者本地甚深之奧藏也"
( 法華玄義)

"觀心者空觀是般若假觀是解脫中觀是法身"
(法華文句)

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Queequeg » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:32 pm

jikai wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:50 am
Anything in particular you didn't like? In general I found it fairly consistent with the tradition.
Maybe you can help me hash this out.

I don't have the text before me, but it was the presentation of the Three Truths, wherein they seem to suggest that the conditioned and ultimate are reconciled into the middle which subsumes them both. My understanding (I believe per Ng) is that this is one iteration of the Separate Three Truths.

IIRC, the three truths are like Isvara's three eyes - ؞. None is above the other, all are perfectly integrated, such that if one sees the conditioned, one also sees the ultimate and middle; if one sees the ultimate, one also sees the conditioned and middle; if one sees the middle, one sees the ultimate and conditioned. Donner and Stevenson refer to this a couple paragraphs later, so it seems odd that their first description would weight the middle so heavily. I conceive of the Integrated Three Truths as walking, chewing gum, and clapping at the same time. There is no transition, so to speak. All three truths are immediate and simultaneous. In contrast, we have the Separate Three Truths - in one iteration, seeing one of the three, the other two truths are implicit but not readily apparent; alternatively, the middle is some sort of negotiation between the two truths; and alternatively again, the middle is a higher level truth that subsumes the other two (what Donner and Stevenson seem to suggest).
You are right in my mind to identify a divide of sorts between Stevenson, Donner, and Swanson on the one hand, and with Ng and Ziporyn on the other. But I wouldn't attribute it to Japanese vs Chinese educated scholars. In my experience the majority of Chinese and Japanese Tiantai/Tendai scholars are in surprisingly consistent agreement on the majority of early Tiantai - as it pertains to doctrinal discourse. Of course, it is a muddier matter when it comes to the history of the tradition. The divide in this case, to my mind arises from scholars with fairly orthodox positions on the one hand (Stevenson, Donner, Swanson) who tend to be fairly 'conservative' in their ideas. And scholars who attempt to 'break new ground' as it were (Ng and Ziporyn). Ng and Ziporyn are quite different though. Ng finds himself on this end of the spectrum because he attempts to 're-orient' or perhaps more charitably 're-focus' Tiantai studies by identifying what he feels are under appreciated concepts (like the Middle Way- Buddha Nature). This sets him apart from the tradition somewhat. Ziporyn is not doing the same thing, but nontheless doesn't quite fit in with what I've described as the 'conservative' approach. Ziporyn's views are consistent with later Tiantai developments which is why he draws most consistently from Siming Zhili, and Zhanran. What Ziporyn does which sets him apart somewhat in his approach, is that he treats Tiantai as would a Philosopher. That is, he attempts to unpack and discuss the ultimate conclusion of x,y,z, and show how it relates to standard philosophical approaches/ questions, or contemporary concerns not of issue to the system and tradition itself.
Coming from a Nichiren background, my view may very well be colored by Zhanran's interpretation of Zhiyi. Zhanran figures very prominently in Nichiren's writings - when Nichiren quoted Zhiyi, he often qualified the passages with Zhanran's commentary.

Does Zhanran not figure as prominently in Tendai? IIRC, Saicho received the Tendai lineage from Zhanran's direct disciple.

On the Middle-way Buddhanature emphasis by Ng - is he breaking new ground or bringing to the fore the mystical aspect of Buddhanature that seems to be ignored in the more academically oriented scholarship? The Middleway-Buddhanature that Ng identifies is the Buddha who is constantly thinking how to quickly cause beings to attain the body of the Buddha in response to living beings; ie. the Buddha as described through the convention of the 4 siddhanta. This dynamic Buddhanature doesn't seem to sit well with secular scholars - and hence they tend to interpret Zhiyi in a way that's closer to the dry version of Madhyamika. I don't have a lot to stand on with this, but I suspect the secular scholars are closer to the Critical Buddhists on the spectrum between mysticism and that bone dry Madhyamika ("Buddhism is Criticism!") they seem to assert is "real" Buddhism.

I don't have much to go on in saying this, but I'm not sure that Zhiyi's innovation of the Three Truths is simply a misunderstanding of Madhyamika due to a bad translation. I suspect its also a synthesis of Yogacara sensibilities, filling in the full Middle that is suggested in Madhyamika analysis.

Anyways, you can probably see which way I break in terms of the "conservative/innovative" divide.

As a general suggestion to those who will are following along and would like some more details on the divide Jikai and I are discussing above, as a companion to Swanson's translation, you might consider picking up Ziporyn's Emptiness and Omnipresence. Ziporyn's iconoclastic, whimsical style I think leaves a bit to be desired, but he offers a fairly comprehensive picture of Tientai. Other than Hurvitz' study of Zhiyi, its the only widely available text that presents an overall view of Tiantai.

Jikai, do you have any other suggestions on getting the "big picture" on Tientai?
“Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
-Henry Miller

"Language is the liquid that we're all dissolved in.
Great for solving problems, after it creates the problems."
-Modest Mouse

"Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world!"
-The Grateful Dead

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Re: Tiantai Zhiyi Magnum Opus Translated: "Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight" (Mo-ho chih-kuan) 3vol

Post by Coëmgenu » Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:32 pm
I don't have the text before me, but it was the presentation of the Three Truths, wherein they seem to suggest that the conditioned and ultimate are reconciled into the middle which subsumes them both.
Forgive me for butting in, but what you are experiencing now, is something that I have also experienced, and IMO it is a very common byproduct of some of the ways that the three truths are sometimes described/explained. Case-and-point, you do not believe the above, but at times, it has seemed to me at different times in the past like you were arguing that you did, all the while paradoxically not maintaining that position(!). I do not yet have the text yet, but am getting it soon, I will see if I have a similar experience reading the section.
並畢竟空。並如來藏。並實相。非三 而三三而不三。非合非散而合而散。非非合非非散。不可一異而一異。
All three truths are ultimately empty, all are tathāgatagarbha, all are true aspect. Not three, they are three; three, they are not three. Neither combined nor separated, neither uncombined nor unseparated. Neither same nor different, yet in a sense same, and in a sense different.

夫三諦者。 天然之性徳也。 中諦者。 統一切法。 眞諦者。 泯一切法。 俗諦者。 立一切法。
The three truths. Heaven-sent natural characteristics. The middle truth unifies all dharmas. The ultimate truth demolishes all dharmas. The conventional truth establishes all dharmas.

摩訶止観始終心要Móhēzhǐguān, Shǐzhōngxīnyào.

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