The Book of Capping Phrases for Koan Practice
Publication Year: 2003
Published by: University of Hawai'i Press
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The size of the present volume rather obscures the purpose of the original Zen phrase books on which it is based. They were hand-written notebooks small enough for monks to carry around in the vest of their kimono...
Introduction: Capping-Phrase Practice in Japanese Rinzai Zen
Rinzai kõan practice, as it is presently conducted in the Rinzai monasteries of Japan, involves an element of literary study. Zen monks all have books. They need them to support their kõan practice, and the further they progress, the more their practice involves the study of texts and the writing of words. The Zen school, however, describes itself as “not founded on words and letters, a separate tradition outside scripture.” Much of traditional Zen literature...
1. The Nature of the Rinzai Kōan Practice
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D. T. Suzuki’s early works (notably his Essays in Zen Buddhism Second Series, 1953) and Miura and Sasaki’s Zen Dust (1966) were for a very long time the only major resources available in non-Asian languages for research into the Zen kõan. In recent years, however, a rich bounty of material has appeared. At the level of basic texts, in addition to a steady stream of translations of the traditional “recorded sayings” of the Zen masters from which...
2. The Steps of Kōan Practice
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In this chapter, we will consider the stages involved in k�an practice as well as some of the technical terminology that accompanies it. The aim is to present a general picture of the overall training career of full-time practitioners engaged in the k�an curriculum.
3. Literary Study in Kōan Practice
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K�an practice does not consist merely of meditation and sanzen. In the widest sense it also embraces all other aspects of monastery activity, including physical work, ritual and ceremonial practices such as the chanting of sutras, and community life. But even in the more restricted sense of direct engagement with the k�an, it also involves literary study. This study begins in a...
4. The Kōan and the Chinese Literary Game
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Among Buddhist meditation practices, meditation on the Zen kõan is surely one of the more unusual forms. Why did Buddhist meditation practice in Ch’an/Zen take the form of kõan training? And where did the kõan come from? Are there more primitive forms out of which the kõan evolved? This chapter conducts a short investigation into these questions to establish, ³rst, that kõan training has many features in common with other Chinese...
6. Guide to Conventions and Abbreviations
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Zen Sand (ZS) combines the entire contents of Shibayama Zenkei’s Zenrin kushð (Shiba) and Tsuchiya Etsudõ’s Shinsan zengoshð (ZGS), the two capping-phrase books most frequently used by Rinzai Zen monks. In general, ZS follows the same order of phrases as ZGS, namely, the Japanese kana order (a-i-u-e-o) based on the first syllable of the Japanese...
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Publication Year: 2003