Zhiyi (538-597)

the way of great Compassion
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Nicholas
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Zhiyi (538-597)

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Also transliterated as Chih-i, he was a major influential thinker in China. He founded the T’ien-t'ai school, which still exists in China, but mainly in Japan nowadays. In 2018 the only complete translation, in three volumes, of his Mo-ho chih-kuan was published. Paul Swanson titled it Clear Serenity, Quiet Insight.

https://uhpress.hawaii.edu/title/clear- ... olume-set/

Excerpts from this work will follow.
Last edited by Nicholas on Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nicholas
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Re: Zhiyi (538-597)

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Kalavinka Press, some years ago also published two of his works on meditation:
The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation By Śramaṇa Zhiyi (Chih-i) - (538-597 ce)

Master Zhiyi is the famous Tiantai Mountain meditation master, exegete, and teachings-school founder. His Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight and Dhyana Meditation is a calming-and-insight (śamatha-vipaśyanā) meditation manual deeply rooted in the early Indian Buddhist meditation tradition. It offers perhaps the most reliable, comprehensive, and practically-useful Buddhist meditation instruction currently available in English.
Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.
**********************************************************
The Six Dharma Gates to the Sublime By Śramaṇa Zhiyi (Chih-i) - (538-597 ce)

This classic, also by Master Zhiyi, serves as an ideal companion volume to The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation. It explains the six practices crucial to success in traditional Indian Buddhist breath (ānāpanā) and calming-and-insight (śamatha-vipaśyanā) meditation. Correctly implemented, these six "gates" lead the practitioner to realize the third of the four truths (cessation), of which the "sublimity" referenced in the title is one of the four canonically-described practice aspects.
Translation by Bhikshu Dharmamitra. Includes facing-page source text.
http://kalavinka.org/index.html
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Re: Zhiyi (538-597)

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The Introduction to Swanson's work is by Donner & Stevenson - it begins like so:
As the principal founder of the T’ien-tai (Tiantai) tradition, Chih-i
produced one of the most successful syntheses of the disparate fragments
of teaching that Chinese Buddhism had become in the four hundred years
since the last decades of the Han dynasty, when Indian sutras were first made
available to the Chinese in a language they could understand. Not that there
were in his day no other men devoted to this vast eclectic enterprise; already
by the late fifth and early sixth centuries broad systemizations of Buddhist
doctrine—known p'an-chiao 利教 or classification of teachings一had
become the standard tool for sorting out the complexities of Buddhist
tradition and establishing its most sublime principles. It is well known that
Chih-i borrowed heavily from a number of such theories popular among his
contemporaries, notably the “three southern and seven northern” systems
of p'an-chiao that he mentions in his works.? Not only did his own scheme
of doctrinal classification turn out to be more comprehensive and enduring
than those of his predecessors, but he also brought religious practice (kuan)
into his great synthesis so firmly that the T’ien-t’ai tradition—alongside
of the better-known Ch'an or Zen tradition—has remained one of the great
wellsprings and theoretical arbiters of East Asian Buddhist practice down
to modern times. In short, Chih-i—surveying the totality of the received
scriptural tradition—united practice (kuan) with doctrine (chiao), and
doctrine with practice, producing an integrated systematization of the two,
where his predecessors had attempted only to arrange the various doctrines
in the sutras into an understandable and consistent whole. The terminologies
and categories of classification around which Chih-i organized this broad reaching
synthesis introduced vital new ways of looking at Buddhist thought
and practice, and opened the door to developments in Buddhist thought and
practice hitherto unseen in Indian tradition.
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Re: Zhiyi (538-597)

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From the translator's Introduction:
I realize now, having finished this annotated translation of the full text,
that the Mo-ho chih-kuan is not “just a meditation manual” but a superb
outline of Buddhist tradition which covers the full scope of Buddhist practice
and teachings. Indeed, it would be appropriate if it had been entitled
﹁ 摩訶仗法】(The Great Buddha Dharma, Maha-buddhadharma). A person
trained in the Mo-ho chih-kuan would not only be exposed to the basics of
a great variety of Buddhist practices—from sitting or walking in meditation
to chanting the Buddha’s name to skillful use of dharani spells—but
also gain a broad knowledge and training in Buddhist teachings (from
Abhidharma and the Agamas to Mahayana); know the main themes of
central Mahayana sutras—a good grasp of the Lotus Sutra, be familiar with
a great variety of stories and parables from the Mahaparinirvana-sutra, and
have sufficient knowledge of the themes of the Avatamsaka, Vimalakirti, and
Prajnaparamita texts as well as a good acquaintance with a large number of
other sutras (Srimaladevi, Pure Land sutras, sections of the Great Collection
of Sutras
, a variety of “apocryphal” texts, and so forth). One would also have
a good grasp of the Madhyamika dialectics of the Middle Treatise, and a
deep knowledge of the Prajnaparamita tradition through the Ta chih tu lun;
gain a familiarity with the Yogacara tradition; not to mention training in the
Tendai fourfold (or threefold) pattern of conditioned co-arising, emptiness,
conventionality, and the Middle that serves as the basic pattern for organizing
and making sense of the vast array of Buddhist doctrine and practice.
What better training in the Buddha Dharma could one hope for?
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