Tendai Quotes

Post Reply
User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 9660
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Tendai Quotes

Post by Queequeg » Tue May 14, 2019 3:34 pm

There are so many remarkable and poignant passages in the writings of the Tiantai/Tendai tradition. This thread is intended as a repository for such quotes.

I'll start with this one from Mohezhikuan by Zhiyi, translated by Swanson:
If there is no thought, that is the end of the matter. If there is even an ephemeral thought, this includes three thousand [realms]. But we cannot say that the single thought has prior existence, and that all phenomena (sarva-dharma) exist later, nor can we say that all phenomena have prior existence, and that the single thought exists later. For example, it is like a thing that changes through eight aspects [of arising, abiding, changing, and perishing]; it is not that things exist prior to these aspects and are caused to change through them, nor do the aspects exist prior to things and are caused to change through them [but things and their passing through arising, abiding, and so forth occur together]. There can be no priority nor posteriority [since it occurs simultaneously]. It is just that things are said to change by passing through these aspects, and these aspects are said to occur to things.

Thoughts are also like this. If all phenomena arise from a single thought, this is a horizontal [relationship]; if a thought in one moment encompasses all phenomena, this is a vertical [relationship]. But these are neither [merely] vertical nor [merely] horizontal. It is just that thought is all phenomena, and all phenomena is thought. Therefore [the relationship of thought and phenomena, the mind and objects] is neither [merely] vertical nor horizontal; they are neither the same nor different. This is mysterious and sublime, profound in the extreme, cannot be grasped conceptually, and cannot be verbalized. This is what is called [contemplating] “objects as inconceivable.” This is the meaning here [in terms of conventionality].
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 9660
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Tendai Quotes

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 15, 2019 12:32 am

One who seeks [instruction] should be humbled by the difficulty of perfecting these practices, rather than belittle the text for being shallow and approachable. If you relish these instructions in your heart and mind, then in the twinkling of an eyeyou can attain wisdom adthe severance [of delusions] that are difficult to measure, and attain incalculable spiritual understanding. If, however, you pointlessly cling only to the text and the words, and your disposition is to resist the teachings, then the days and months of [practice] will be spent in vain, and you will not be able to attain enlightenment. This is like a poor person counting another person's treasures, what benefit is there in this?
If you wish to purify:
1. clearly believe in causality;
2. arouse a strong sense of fear;
3. have a profound sense of shame and remorse;
4. seek ways to eradicate your offences, that is, cultivate the appropriate methods from among the various practices taught in the Mahayana sutras;
5. confess your previous misdeeds;
6. sever the thoughts that continue;
7. muster a determination to uphold and guard the Dharma;
8. arouse the great vows to save sentient beings;
9. constantly be mindful of the Buddhas of the tend directions; and
10. contemplate the nature of transgressions as non-arising.
Zhiyi, Xiaozhikuan tr. Swanson

I think modern people, especially Westerners, have a really hard time with 2 through 6. It seems to be related to all that Judeo-Christian guilt. If you really accept point 1, though, 2 through 6 follows. But that's heavy. There is no victimhood in Buddhism. Everything is the culmination of past causes. We have to accept the good, which is easy, and admit the bad, which is hard. 7 and 8 is heroic, bordering on megalomaniac. 9 is humbling. 10 is the perfect release.

Zhiyi said that his main practice was repentance.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

如傑優婆塞
Posts: 332
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:47 pm

Re: Tendai Quotes

Post by 如傑優婆塞 » Wed May 15, 2019 2:14 am

Image

Quotable passages from Dengyō Daishi (J: 伝教大師) or commonly known as Saichō (J: 最澄 767 – 822 C.E), the founder of the Japanese Tendai Hokke Shū (J: 天台法華宗; Tendai Lotus Sect)

“A human body is very rare to get and very transient. Virtue and conscience are very difficult to nurture and easy to lose. Shakyamuni Buddha explained the difficulty of receiving a human body, comparing it to a needle in the ocean and a thread from the heavens coming together.”
“Ganmon; The Statement of Saichō’s Vows”

“An ancient wise man once said the person who can speak well but cannot act well is a teacher to the nation.
The person who can act well but cannot speak well is an asset of the nation.
The person who can speak and act well is a treasure of a nation.
The person who cannot speak or act well is a traitor to the nation.”
“Sange-gakushō-siki ; Regulations for Monks of the Tendai Denomination”

“In the West, one who desires to achieve enlightenment is called a bodhisattva.
In the East he is called a man of virtue. Accept hardship willingly and pass good to others.
It is the ultimate form of compassion to forget self and benefit others.”
“Sange-gakushō-siki ; Regulations for Monks of the Tendai Denomination”

“The path broadens people, people broaden the path.
Within the will to enlightenment food and clothing exist,
but the will to enlightenment is not found in food and clothing.”

“Denjutsu-Isshin-Kaimon ; The Record of the Precepts in a Mind”

“If we requite grudge with grudge, our grudge will not be expiated.
If we requite grudge with kindness, our grudge will be expiated.”
“Denjutsu-Isshin-Kaimon; Concerning the Essay on the One-Mind Precepts”

User avatar
Queequeg
Global Moderator
Posts: 9660
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:24 pm

Re: Tendai Quotes

Post by Queequeg » Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:39 pm

Endonsho
Immediate awareness means to relate our mind to reality from the very beginning and visualize the object of our minds; such is, in fact identical with the Middle Way. This is no different from the conceptual truth. Calm your mind until it unites with universal reality! Discern the real until your mind identifies with universal reality! Then you will realize that even a single color or fragrance is nothing but the Middle Way. Realm of mind, buddhas, and sentient beings are also the same Middle Way. The five aggregates and the twelve entrances are all realities, so there is no pain to be relieved. Since ignorance and suffering are identical with enlightenment, there is no cause of pain to be relieved. Since extreme ideas and heterodox views are the middle and the truth, there is no special path to practice. Life and death are identical with nirvana. There is no cessation of pain to be realized. There is no other dharma except reality. Tranquility of Dharma nature is called shamatha, calming the mind. Tranquility always shines forth brightly. This is the meaning of vipaahyana, discerning the real. Although we may speak of beginning and end in terms of meditation practices, there is no duality, nor differences between them. This is called En-Don-Shi-Kan, Immediate Awareness of Calming and Discernment. To do this we must realize the microcosm of our own body and environment. Three thousand realities are in a single moment of consciousness. Therefore, when you achieve the path, you will be aware of the basic nature of reality. One mind, one mindfulness prevails in the dharma dhatu, universal reality.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

Post Reply

Return to “Tendai”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests