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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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A Dog Has No Buddha-Nature

A Dog Has No Buddha-Nature

Kanhua Chan and Dahui Zonggao’s Attacks on Silent Illumination

Chapter:
(p.104) Chapter 5 A Dog Has No Buddha-Nature
Source:
How Zen Became Zen
Author(s):

Morten Schlütter

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824832551.003.0006

This chapter analyzes Dahui Zonggao's (1089–1163) attacks on Caodong tradition's silent illumination, and discusses the kanhua Chan that he developed to counter it. The success of the Caodong tradition was clearly perceived as a threat by the dominant Linji tradition, whose members attacked the Caodong tradition in various ways—most notably targeting its teachings of “heretical silent illumination Chan.” Indeed, Dahui associated silent illumination with a kind of meditation that uses the mind to control the mind, which suppresses thought and which induces a state of unreflective calm devoid of wisdom. This kind of practice, he argued, is a soteriological dead end and can never lead to enlightenment.

Keywords:   Dahui Zonggao, Caodong tradition, silent illumination, kanhua Chan, Linji tradition

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