Chan 禪 Buddhism’s rise to popularity in the Song dynasty produced far-reaching effects within Chinese religious culture. This paper examines the ways in which doctrinal, literary, and mythological elements, drawn from Chan sources, were utilized within literary works associated with internal alchemy (neidan 內丹), a form of Daoist self-cultivation that emerged in the late Tang and became increasingly widespread during the Song. I examine the works of the influential neidan practitioner Zhang Boduan 張伯端, who wrote favorably of Chan Buddhism and incorporated elements of its practice within his own tradition. Following this, I turn to an analysis of the writings of other authors and commentators within Zhang’s tradition. These authors held more critical views of Chan and of Buddhism in general; drawing upon long-standing polemical arguments, they attempted to present Chan as an inferior form of Daoist practice and claimed that well-known Chan practitioners were, in fact, engaged in neidan practice. With this study, I hope to contribute to the growing body of scholarship focused on the analysis of Buddho-Daoist relations and polemics in the Song period.


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pp. 119-160
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