The Record of Linji (Nanzan Library of Asian Religion and by Thomas Yuho Kirchner, Ruth Fuller Sasaki

By Thomas Yuho Kirchner, Ruth Fuller Sasaki

The Linji lu (Record of Linji) has been a vital textual content of chinese language and jap Zen Buddhism for almost one thousand years. A compilation of sermons, statements, and acts attributed to the nice chinese language Zen grasp Linji Yixuan (d. 866), it serves as either an authoritative assertion of Zen's simple viewpoint and a crucial resource of fabric for Zen koan perform. students examine the textual content for its value in knowing either Zen inspiration and East Asian Mahayana doctrine, whereas Zen practitioners cherish it for its strange simplicity, directness, and talent to encourage. one of many earliest makes an attempt to translate this crucial paintings into English used to be by way of Sasaki Shigetsu (1882-1945), a pioneer Zen grasp within the U.S. and the founding father of the 1st Zen Institute of the USA. on the time of his demise, he entrusted the venture to his spouse, Ruth Fuller Sasaki, who in 1949 moved to Japan and there based a department of the 1st Zen Institute at Daitoku-ji. Mrs. Sasaki, made up our minds to provide a definitive translation, assembled a crew of gifted younger students, either eastern and Western, who within the following years retranslated the textual content in keeping with sleek study on Tang-dynasty colloquial chinese language. As they labored at the translation, they compiled enormous quantities of special notes explaining each technical time period, vernacular expression, and literary reference. one of many workforce, Yanagida Seizan (later Japan's preeminent Zen historian), produced a long creation that defined the emergence of chinese language Zen, offered a biography of Linji, and traced the textual improvement of the Linji lu. The unexpected dying of Mrs. Sasaki in 1967 introduced the approximately accomplished undertaking to a halt. An abbreviated model of the booklet was once released in 1975, yet neither this nor the other English translations that in this case seemed comprise the kind of certain historic, linguistic, and doctrinal annotation that used to be important to Mrs. Sasaki's plan. The fabrics assembled by means of Mrs. Sasaki and her group are eventually to be had within the current version of the checklist of Linji. chinese language readings were replaced to Pinyin and the interpretation itself has been revised based on next learn via Iriya Yoshitaka and Yanagida Seizan, the students who instructed Mrs. Sasaki. The notes, approximately 600 in all, are nearly completely in accordance with fundamental assets and hence preserve their price regardless of the approximately 40 years on the grounds that their coaching. they supply a wealthy context for Linji's teachings, delivering a wealth of knowledge on Tang colloquial expressions, Buddhist idea, and Zen historical past, a lot of that is unavailable anyplace else in English. This revised variation of the checklist of Linji is bound to be of serious price to Buddhist students, Zen practitioners, and readers drawn to Asian Buddhism.

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According to the masters of the sutras and śāstras, the threefold body is regarded as the ultimate norm. But in my view this is not so. The threefold body is merely a name; moreover, it is a threefold dependency. ’ Therefore we clearly know that ‘dharma-natured bodies’ and ‘dharmanatured lands’ are no more than shimmering reflections. “Virtuous monks, you must recognize the one who manipulates these reflections. ‘He is the primal source of all the buddhas,’ and the place to which every follower of the Way returns.

In the hands it grasps and seizes, in the feet it runs and carries. 160 162 163 165 10 | t h e r e c o r d o f l i n j i 166 171 173 176 Fundamentally it is one pure radiance; divided it becomes the six harmoniously united spheres of sense. If the mind is void, wherever you are, you are emancipated. “What is my purpose in speaking this way? I do so only because you followers of the Way cannot stop your mind from running around everywhere seeking, because you go clambering after the worthless contrivances of the men of old.

As for me, what I want to make clear to you is that you must not accept the deluded views of others. If you want to act, then act. Don’t hesitate. “Students today can’t get anywhere. What ails you? Lack of faith in yourself is what ails you. If you lack faith in yourself, you’ll keep on tumbling along, following in bewilderment after all kinds of circumstances and being taken by them through transformation after transformation without ever attaining freedom. “Bring to rest the thoughts of the ceaselessly seeking mind, and you will not differ from the patriarch-buddha.

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