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How Zen Became ZenThe Dispute over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China$
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Morten Schlütter

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824832551

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824832551.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
How Zen Became Zen

Morten Schlütter

University of Hawai'i Press

This introductory chapter provides a background of the Buddhism that developed in the Song dynasty. Two developments in Song Buddhism are especially well known. The first is the growth of Chan Buddhism, which became the dominant form of elite monastic Buddhism in the Song. The other is the sectarian dispute that took place between the Linji and Caodong traditions of Chan in the twelfth century, involving competing approaches to enlightenment and practice known as “silent illumination” (mozhao) and kanhua Chan (literally, Chan of observing the word). Silent illumination is associated with a quiet meditation in which the inherent Buddha-nature that all sentient beings possess naturally shines forth, while kanhua Chan is associated with an intense focus on the punch line of a gongan that is meant to lead to a dramatic breakthrough experience of original enlightenment.

Keywords:   Buddhism, Song dynasty, Song Buddhism, Chan Buddhism, Linji Chan, Caodong Chan, silent illumination, kanhua Chan

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