By J. C. Cleary
This e-book 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 contain the majority of the textual content, that's preceded by means of an inadequately short ancient assessment of chinese language Buddhism. these looking extra entire info could be advised 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." in spite of the fact that, the 141 anecdotal teachings are in transparent, concise English and the explanatory notes aid with the paradoxical statements and allusions.
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Additional resources for A Tune Beyond the Clouds: Zen Teachings from Old China
H ere people would be exposed to all the entanglements of the ordinary world, and old habits of mind would be harder to break. To achieve detachment and clear wisdom and unsen timental compassion while surrounded by people freely indulging in worldly motivations was considered a magnificent achievement, and the enlightened laypeople recorded in the annals of the Zen school were particularly venerated. W hether as home-leavers or householders, by renouncing the pursuit of worldly pleasures and abandoning ordinary expectations and ambitions, Zen people aimed to break the hold of selfish desires over their per ceptions and actions.
We should heed their warnings. Sectarian biases, blind adherence to inherited routines, dogmatism, putting on airs of wisdom and mystery, power trips and mind games: these are clear signals that the "Zen followers” in question are rank pretenders. 24 A Tune Beyond the Clouds III. A Map of Zen Mind According to the traditional formula, Zen points directly to the human mind, without establishing any verbal formulations as sacred, in order to enable people to see their real identity and become enlightened.
In other words, it was a method of purifying the seventh consciousness. For those who ultimately succeeded in becoming detached from worldly desires, the strict discipline and asceticism had served the purpose and might be put aside. Some Zen people remained in lay life, but this was considered a much more difficult path. H ere people would be exposed to all the entanglements of the ordinary world, and old habits of mind would be harder to break. To achieve detachment and clear wisdom and unsen timental compassion while surrounded by people freely indulging in worldly motivations was considered a magnificent achievement, and the enlightened laypeople recorded in the annals of the Zen school were particularly venerated.