- Series: Translations from the Asian Classics
- Hardcover: 376 pages
- Publisher: Columbia University Press (May 14, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0231143923
- ISBN-13: 978-0231143929
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Zongmi on Chan (Translations from the Asian Classics)
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A major contribution.(Alan Fox H-Buddhism)
Broughton makes an original and valuable contribution to the rewriting of the history of Chinese Chan Buddhism.(Peter Hershock Journal of American Academy of Religion)
I recommend it to anyone interested in Chinul, Son, or Chan in general.(Zen and Back Again)
A very useful additiojn to scholarship on Chinese Buddhism.(Natasha Heller Journal of Chinese Religions)
This work is a very important contribution to Chan studies, and indeed to the study of Chinese Buddhism. Broughton's introduction and annotation are extremely erudite and, at the same time, eminently readable. His book contains information that has only been available heretofore in a very limited and patchwork fashion.(John McRae, Komazawa University)
This is an excellent, impeccably researched, and well-translated piece of work. Modern Japanese scholarship, which has dominated the field of Zen studies for the past century, has downplayed Zongmi and tried to marginalize him. Yet Jeffrey Broughton is absolutely right in claiming Zongmi's central, even foundational influence on the tradition. This book helps to redress the balance and is a major contribution to the field.(T. Griffith Foulk, Sarah Lawrence College)
While Zongmi is one of the most important figures in Chinese and East Asian Buddhism, under a Japanese Zen interpretive hegemony, he has been reduced to the status of textual exegete and, by definition, isolated from the ranks of the 'true' Chan masters. Jeffrey Broughton's masterful work restores Zongmi's reputation and, in the process, recovers an authentic tradition of East Asian Chan to its rightful stature. The translations Broughton provides in this book will serve as standard sources for generations to come.(Albert Welter, author of Monks, Rulers, and Literati: the Political Ascendancy of Chan Buddhism and The Linji Lu and the Creation of Chan Orthodoxy)
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Top Customer Reviews
In addition to his extensive and invaluable introduction, Broughton's translations of some of Zongmi's most noteworthy texts--"Chan Letter," the incredible "Chan Prolegomenon," and "Chan Notes"--provide a clear window into the mind of a great religious syncretist. Zongmi not only synthesizes Hau-yen doctrine with Chan practice, but even more impressively, he illustrates how all Chan schools are expressions of the true Buddhadharma. A tall order indeed, especially when we consider how different the Chan schools' philosophical viewpoints are.
Overall, I praise Jeffrey Broughton for this excellent book. Zongmi on Chan, as an academic and scholarly title, is an excellent complement to practice-oriented Chan classics like The Zen Teaching of Huang Po or Hui Hai's Zen Teaching of Instantaneous Awakening, and an indispensable addition to early Chan literature and study. I recommend it to anyone interested in Chinul, Son, or Chan in general.
--Andre Doshim Halaw
by Professor Jeffrey Lyle Broughton
Jeffrey Broughton's "Zongmi on Chan" is a vastly significant work for Zen (Chan) practitioners and anyone else interested in the doctrines and methodology of Zen Buddhism.
The writings of Guifeng Zongmi (780-841) are some of the most reliable and comprehensive sources on the doctrines and practices of early Chinese (Tang dynasty) Zen. The works of this early Zen ancestor (also recognized as the 5th ancestor of Huayen Buddhism) were, and continue to be some of the most influential texts of Buddhist history.
In this fascinating treatment of Zongmi's writings, Broughton offers up a lucidly annotated translation of Zongmi's masterpiece, "The Chan Prolegomenon", translations of Zongmi's, "Chan Letter", "Chan Notes", "Pei Xiu's Preface" to The Chan Prolegomenon (Pei Xiu is the editor credited with compiling Huang-Po's record). Also included is the Song Dynasty "Colophon to The Chan Prolegomenon" (from the Wanli 4  Korean Edition. Many of these translations are the first available in English. At the same time, Broughton brings those that have been previously translated (in partial and diverse works) together in this very accessible book.
Like the writings of the great Korean Zen (Soen) master, Chinul, and the eminent Japanese Zen master, Eihei Dogen, Zongmi's works go far in debunking some of the major misrepresentations of Zen doctrine and praxis. (As with Chinul and Dogen) this is especially true regarding the popular misunderstanding of the Zen axiom as "a seperate transmission outside scripture" and "not reliant on words and letters." Zongmi's works, perhaps even more forcefully than Chinul's and Dogen's, lucidly presents how and why verbal teachings and textual study have always been as integral and vital to authentic Zen practice-and-enlightenment as personal realization.
In the Introduction, and throughout his annotation, Broughton skillfully walks the reader, step by step through Zongmi's "Chan Prolegomenon" to reveal that the message of Zen has never been, nor could ever be "separate" from the sutras and treatises of Buddhism. In this regard, Broughton also delves deeply into the classic Zen text, "Mind Mirror" (of Yanshou) and its rationale (like Zongmi's, Chinul's, and Dogen's) that Zen can only be authentically transmitted within the context of the sutras, shastras, and records of the Zen ancestors.
From the Product Description:
Japanese Zen often implies that textual learning ( gakumon) in Buddhism and personal experience ( taiken) in Zen are separate, but the career and writings of the Chinese Tang dynasty Chan master Guifeng Zongmi (780-841) undermine this division...
The Chan Prolegomenon persuasively argues that Chan "axiom realizations" are identical to the teachings embedded in canonical word and that one who transmits Chan must use the sutras and treatises as a standard. Japanese Rinzai Zen has, since the Edo period, marginalized the sutra-based Chan of the Chan Prolegomenon and its successor text, the Mind Mirror ( Zongjinglu) of Yongming Yanshou (904-976). This book contains the first in-depth treatment in English of the neglected Mind Mirror, positioning it as a restatement of Zongmi's work for a Song dynasty audience.
The ideas and models of the Chan Prolegomenon, often disseminated in East Asia through the conduit of the Mind Mirror, were highly influential in the Chan traditions of Song and Ming China, Korea from the late Koryo onward, and Kamakura-Muromachi Japan. In addition, Tangut-language translations of Zongmi's Chan Prolegomenon and Chan Letter constitute the very basis of the Chan tradition of the state of Xixia. As Broughton shows, the sutra-based Chan of Zongmi and Yanshou was much more normative in the East Asian world than previously believed, and readers who seek a deeper, more complete understanding of the Chan tradition will experience a surprising reorientation in this book.
About the Author
Jeffrey Broughton is professor of religious studies at California State University Long Beach and the author of The Bodhidharma Anthology: The Earliest Records of Zen.