The Letters of Chan Master Dahui Pujue by Jeffrey BroughtonThe Letters of Chan Master Dahui Pujue by Jeffrey Broughton

The Letters of Chan Master Dahui Pujue

EditorJeffrey Broughton, Elise Yoko Watanabe

Hardcover | August 1, 2017

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The book consists of a translation of Dahui's Letters with an introduction. Dahui's Letters is a compilation of sixty-two letters of the Southern Song Linji Chan teacher Dahui Zonggao (1089-1163) to forty members of the scholar-official class, the elite class in Chinese society, and two Chanmasters. Each of the sixty letters to laymen is fascinating as a document directed at a specific scholar-official with his distinctive niche, high or low, in the social-political landscape and his relative level of development on the Buddhist path. The personality of the recipient and Dahui'sresponse to that particular personality holds the foreground. Dahui's style of Chan practice rather quickly became the dominant style throughout China, Korea, and Japan. Dahui's analysis of the main spiritual problem of the scholar-official class in the study of Chan is that they are toointellectually "sharp" and rely far too much on their hard-earned stock of intellectual knowledge. He argues that they take excessive pride in their intellect, but, in fact, it constitutes a blockage for them on the Buddhist path. Effective Chan practice, he argues, requires a certain kind of"dull-wittedness." Dahui's vigorous polemic against "perverse teachers" is prominent in the Letters. The focal point of this polemic is how much emphasis should be accorded to cross-legged sitting - Dahui is fervently against absolutizing cross-legged sitting and thinks the perverse teachers are doing just that. Theantidote for the perverse teachings, according to Dahui, is what he calls "practicing in this way." This consists of "rallying to awareness/lifting to awareness/keeping an eye on" the huatou. He usually recommends two huatous to his correspondents: wu/No and dried turd (ganshijue). No mentaloperation whatsoever is to be performed upon the huatou. One lifts the huatou to awareness constantly, doing it twenty-four hours a day. One does it in the midst of everyday activities while responding to sense objects. One does it both in the midst of stillness and in the midst of noisiness. Thatis all there is to it.
Jeffrey Broughton is Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at California State University, Long Beach.
Title:The Letters of Chan Master Dahui PujueFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:August 1, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190664169

ISBN - 13:9780190664169

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