Traditions of Meditation in Chinese Buddhism

Author: Peter N. Gregory

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 272

View: 204

¿A veritable treasure trove.... Both demanding and tremendously rewarding.... The book is of high scholarly standard, but ... is clear, precise and a pleasure to read - and is certainly accessible to interested laymen. It cannot be recommended highly enough.¿ ¿The Middle Way, November 1993 ¿Each chapter in this volume is sophisticated, tightly argued, and well documented.... An important contribution to the literature on Buddhist meditation.¿ ¿Journal of Asian Studies 47 (1988)

Asian Traditions of Meditation

Author: Halvor Eifring

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press

ISBN:

Category: Philosophy

Page: 272

View: 664

Meditation has flourished in different parts of the world ever since the foundations of the great civilizations were laid. It played a vital role in the formation of Asian cultures that trace much of their heritage to ancient India and China. This volume brings together for the first time studies of the major traditions of Asian meditation as well as material on scientific approaches to meditation. It delves deeply into the individual traditions while viewing each of them from a global perspective, examining both historical and generic connections between meditative practices from numerous historical periods and different parts of the Eurasian continent. It seeks to identify the cultural and historical peculiarities of Asian schools of meditation while recognizing basic features of meditative practice across cultures, thereby taking the first step toward a framework for the comparative study of meditation. The book, accessibly written by scholars from several fields, opens with chapters that discuss the definition and classification of meditation. These are followed by contributions on Yoga and Tantra, which are often subsumed under the broad label of Hinduism; Jainism and Sikhism, Indian traditions not usually associated with meditation; Buddhist approaches found in Southeast Asia, Tibet, and China; and the indigenous Chinese traditions, Daoism and Neo-Confucianism. The final chapter explores recent scientific interest in meditation, which, despite its Western orientation, remains almost exclusively concerned with practices of Asian origin. Until a few years ago a major obstacle to the study of specific meditation practices within the traditions explored here was a widespread scholarly orientation that prioritized doctrinal issues and sociocultural contexts over actual practice. The contributors seek to counter this bias and supplement concerns over doctrine and context with the historical study of meditative practice. Asian Traditions of Meditation will appeal broadly to readers interested in meditation, mindfulness, and spirituality and those in the emerging field of contemplative education, as well as students and scholars of Asian and religious studies.

Chan Before Chan

Meditation, Repentance, and Visionary Experience in Chinese Buddhism

Author: Eric M. Greene

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 336

View: 867

What is Buddhist meditation? What is going on—and what should be going on—behind the closed or lowered eyelids of the Buddha or Buddhist adept seated in meditation? And in what ways and to what ends have the answers to these questions mattered for Buddhists themselves? Focusing on early medieval China, this book takes up these questions through a cultural history of the earliest traditions of Buddhist meditation (chan), before the rise of the Chan (Zen) School in the eighth century. In sharp contrast to what would become typical in the later Chan School, early Chinese Buddhists approached the ancient Buddhist practice of meditation primarily as a way of gaining access to a world of enigmatic but potentially meaningful visionary experiences. In Chan Before Chan, Eric Greene brings this approach to meditation to life with a focus on how medieval Chinese Buddhists interpreted their own and others’ visionary experiences and the nature of the authority they ascribed to them. Drawing from hagiography, ritual manuals, material culture, and the many hitherto rarely studied meditation manuals translated from Indic sources into Chinese or composed in China in the 400s, Greene argues that during this era meditation and the mastery of meditation came for the first time to occupy a real place in the Chinese Buddhist social world. Heirs to wider traditions that had been shared across India and Central Asia, early medieval Chinese Buddhists conceived of “chan” as something that would produce a special state of visionary sensitivity. The concrete visionary experiences that resulted from meditation were understood as things that could then be interpreted, by a qualified master, as indicative of the mediator’s purity or impurity. Buddhist meditation, though an elite discipline that only a small number of Chinese Buddhists themselves undertook, was thus in practice and in theory constitutively integrated into the cultic worlds of divination and “repentance” (chanhui) that were so important within the medieval Chinese religious world as a whole.

The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation

Author: Shramana Zhiyi

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 229

View: 692

"The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation" is a classic Buddhist meditation instruction manual deeply rooted in the Indian Buddhist "calming-and-insight" meditation tradition. Within its tradition, it is the universally-acknowledged standard beginning-to-intermediate meditation manual, one which offers perhaps the most reliable, comprehensive, and practically-useful Buddhist meditation instruction currently available in English. The author of "The Essentials" is the sixth-century monk and meditation master, Shramana Zhiyi (Chih-i), one of the most illustrious figures in the history of Chinese Buddhism. Master Zhiyi is famous for his role in the founding of the Tiantai teachings lineage and for his authorship of a quartet of meditation manuals of which this is one. The translator of this volume is the American monk, Bhikshu Dharmamitra, a translator of numerous classic works from the Indian and Chinese Buddhist traditions.

Chinese Buddhism

A Thematic History

Author: Chün-fang Yü

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 304

View: 796

What are the foundational scriptures and major schools for Chinese Buddhists? What divinities do they worship? What festivals do they celebrate? These are some of the basic questions addressed in this book, the first introduction to Chinese Buddhism written expressly for students and those interested in an accessible yet authoritative overview of the subject based on current scholarship. After presenting the basic tenets of the Buddha’s teachings and the Chinese religious traditions, the book focuses on topics essential for understanding Chinese Buddhism: major scriptures, worship of buddhas and bodhisattvas, rituals and festivals, the monastic order, Buddhist schools such as Tiantai and Chan, Buddhism and gender, and current trends—notably humanistic Buddhism in Taiwan and the resurgence of Buddhism in post-Mao China. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and suggestions for further reading. A convenient glossary of common terms, titles, and names is included.

Essential Chan Buddhism

The Character and Spirit of Chinese Zen

Author: Guo Jun

Publisher: Monkfish Book Publishing

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 176

View: 638

Essential Chan Buddhism is the rare unearthing of an ancient and remarkable Chinese spiritual tradition. Master Guo Jun speaks through hard-won wisdom on Chan's spiritual themes familiar to Western readers, such as mindfulness and relaxation in meditation, as well as profound, simply expressed teachings and insightful explorations of religious commitment. Essential Chan Buddhism filters formal spiritual practices through the lens of mundane and everyday life activities. The work captures the lyrical beauty and incantatory style of Guo Jun’s spoken English from the talks he gave at a fourteen-day retreat near Jakarta in 2010 and in subsequent conversations with his editor Kenneth Wapner. This value-priced hardcover edition is both a distinctive addition to Buddhist collections and a thoughtful gift for anyone looking for spiritual guidance. Chan master Guo Jun is one of a new breed of international teachers taking the world’s great wisdom traditions into the twenty-first century. He is currently abbot of Mahabodhi Monastery in Singapore and teaches internationally. Chan master Sheng Yen’s youngest dharma heir, he served as abbot of his Pine Bush, New York, retreat center from 2005 to 2008. A native of Singapore, Guo Jun received his full monastic ordination in Taiwan. He is a lineage holder and successor in Chan as well as the Xianshou and Cien schools of Chinese Buddhism. Essential Chan Buddhism is his first book. Kenneth Wapner’s Peekamouse Books is a book packager and editor. Clients include Bantam, Tarcher/Putnam, Ballantine, and Doubleday. He is well known for his work on Rabbi Jesus, Bones of the Master, and The Zen of Creativity.

The Secrets of Buddhist Meditation

Visionary Meditation Texts from Early Medieval China

Author: Eric M. Greene

Publisher: University of Hawaii Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 384

View: 678

In the early 400s, numerous Indian and Central Asian Buddhist “meditation masters” (chanshi) traveled to China, where they established the first enduring traditions of Buddhist meditation practice in East Asia. The forms of contemplative practice that these missionaries brought with them, and which their Chinese students further developed, remained for several centuries the basic understanding of “meditation” (chan) in China. Although modern scholars and readers have long been familiar with the approaches to meditation of the Chan (Zen) School that later became so popular throughout East Asia, these earlier and in some ways more pervasive forms of practice have long been overlooked or ignored. This volume presents a comprehensive study of the content and historical formation, as well as complete English translations, of two of the most influential manuals in which these approaches to Buddhist meditation are discussed: the Scripture on the Secret Essential Methods of Chan (Chan Essentials) and the Secret Methods for Curing Chan Sickness (Methods for Curing). Translated here into English for the first time, these documents reveal a distinctly visionary form of Buddhist meditation whose goal is the acquisition of concrete, symbolic visions attesting to the practitioner’s purity and progress toward liberation. Both texts are “apocryphal” scriptures: Taking the form of Indian Buddhist sutras translated into Chinese, they were in fact new compositions, written or at least assembled in China in the first half of the fifth century. Though written in China, their historical significance extends beyond the East Asian context as they are among the earliest written sources anywhere to record certain kinds of information about Buddhist meditation that hitherto had been the preserve of oral tradition and personal initiation. To this extent they indeed divulge, as their titles claim, the “secrets” of Buddhist meditation. Through them, we witness a culture of Buddhist meditation that has remained largely unknown but which for many centuries was widely shared across North India, Central Asia, and China.

The Oxford Handbook of Meditation

Author: Miguel Farias

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: Psychology

Page: 800

View: 721

Meditation techniques, including mindfulness, have become popular wellbeing practices and the scientific study of their effects has recently turned 50 years old. But how much do we know about them: what were they developed for and by whom? How similar or different are they, how effective can they be in changing our minds and biology, what are their social and ethical implications? The Oxford Handbook of Meditation is the most comprehensive volume published on meditation, written in accessible language by world-leading experts on the science and history of these techniques. It covers the development of meditation across the world and the varieties of its practices and experiences. It includes approaches from various disciplines, including psychology, neuroscience, history, anthropology, and sociology and it explores its potential for therapeutic and social change, as well as unusual or negative effects. Edited by practitioner-researchers, this book is the ultimate guide for all interested in meditation, including teachers, clinicians, therapists, researchers, or anyone who would like to learn more about this topic.

Little Buddhas

Children and Childhoods in Buddhist Texts and Traditions

Author: Vanessa R. Sasson

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN:

Category: Religion

Page: 524

View: 724

Edited by Vanessa R. Sasson, Little Buddhas brings together a wide range of scholarship and expertise to address the question of what role children have played in Buddhist literature, in particular historical contexts, and their role in specific Buddhist contexts today.