A Tune Beyond the Clouds: Zen Teachings from Old China by J. C. Cleary

By J. C. Cleary

This ebook makes a speciality of the lessons of 13th-century chinese language Zen grasp Shiqui Xinyue. The koans, tales, and poems of the Zen grasp followed by way of explanatory notes from the editor include the majority of the textual content, that is preceded by way of an inadequately short historic assessment of chinese language Buddhism. these looking extra finished details could be recommended towards Arthur F. Wright's Buddhism in chinese language historical past (Stanford Univ. Pr., 1971). additionally, the editor doesn't identify the categorical resource record for his translation, easily calling it a "collection of Zen teachings." even if, the 141 anecdotal teachings are in transparent, concise English and the explanatory notes support with the paradoxical statements and allusions.

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Yangshan is not lacking in a unique eye that transcends the Zen school. But when Yangshan knows by thinking, what does he know? W hat turning word can you put here to avoid falling into the secondary or tertiary? Officially, not even a needle is allowed through, but to repay the benevolence we go to the spreading tendrils of the trailing vines. To know by thinking puts a film over the eyes. To know without thinking blinds the eyes. If you put a film over the eyes, blue sky on flat ground. If you blind the eyes, oxen run and tigers glower.

One way to acquaint modern readers with the basic outlook of the Zen school is to describe what the term 'm ind’ meant to Zen Buddhists. The word ’mind’ occurs constantly in Zen writings, and by exploring its meanings we can see how the Zen school saw enlighten­ ment and how they proposed for us to reach it. 1. Buddha Mind and the Human Mind In Zen discourse, the word ’mind’ is used in two basic senses. On the one hand, 'm ind’ means the mentality of ordinary unen­ lightened human beings, the so-called ’mind of delusion’.

It is easy to cite examples of the way the same phenom enon is perceived differently by different people, depending on the different categories employed by the sixth consciousness, the divergent evaluations made by the seventh consciousness, and the different stock of impressions available from each person’s storehouse consciousness. It becomes obvious that these factors are decisive determinants of perception. Consider a work of modern art, a nonfigurative painting. First take the level of the sixth consciousness.

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