Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters / Edition 1

Opening a Mountain: Koans of the Zen Masters / Edition 1

by Steven Heine
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0195174348

ISBN-13: 9780195174342

Pub. Date: 02/26/2004

Publisher: Oxford University Press

With the growing popularity of Zen Buddhism in the West, virtually everyone knows, or thinks they know, what a koan is: a brief and baffling question or statement that cannot be solved by the logical mind and which, after sustained concentration, can lead to sudden enlightenment. But the truth about koans is both simpler—and more complicated—than this

Overview

With the growing popularity of Zen Buddhism in the West, virtually everyone knows, or thinks they know, what a koan is: a brief and baffling question or statement that cannot be solved by the logical mind and which, after sustained concentration, can lead to sudden enlightenment. But the truth about koans is both simpler—and more complicated—than this.
In Opening a Mountain, Steven Heine shows that koans, and the questions we associate with them—such as "What is the sound of one hand clapping?"—are embedded in larger narratives and belong to an ancient Buddhist tradition of "encounter dialogues." These dialogues feature dramatic and often inscrutable contests between masters and disciples, or between masters and an array of natural and supernatural forces: rouge priests, "wild foxes," hermits, wizards, shapeshifters, magical animals, and dangerous women. To establish a new monastery, "to open a mountain," the Zen master had to tame these wild forces in regions most remote from civilization. In these extraordinary encounters, fingers and arms are cut off, pitchers are kicked over, masters appear in and interpret each other's dreams, and seemingly absurd statements are shown to reveal the deepest insights. Heine restores these koans to their original traditions, allowing readers to see both the complex elements of Chinese culture and religion that they reflect and the role they played in Zen's transformation of local superstitions into its own teachings.
Offering a fresh approach to one of the most crucial elements of Zen Buddhism, Opening a Mountain is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the full story behind koans and the mysterious worlds they come from.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195174342
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
02/26/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
216
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.60(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Sourcesxi
Prefacexiii
Introduction: What Are Koans?1
Sticks and Stones, but It's No-Names That Hurt1
On the Conventional Understanding of Koans4
Marvelous and Ritual Elements in Koans5
The Case of Chu-chih Cutting Off a Finger9
The Mythological Background of Koan Literature13
Zen Masters and Their Mountains20
Koan Themes and Sources25
Themes26
Sources28
On Reading Koans30
1.Surveying Mountain Landscapes37
Northern and Ox Head Schools39
1.Yuan-kuei Subdues the Mountain God39
2.Tao-shu and the Trickster41
3.Master Chiang-mo, Subjugator of Demons42
4.Does Niu-t'ou Need the Flowers?44
Southern School46
5.Pai-chang Meditates On Ta-hsiung Peak46
6.Kuei-shan Kicks Over the Water Pitcher48
7.Te-shan Carrying His Bundle51
8.Nan-ch'uan Sweeping On a Mountain55
9.Hsuan-sha's "One Luminous Pearl"57
Tung-shan's Mountain58
10.Tung-shan's "Two Clay Oxen Enter the Sea"58
11.Yun-yen's "Non-Sentient Beings Can Hear It"60
12.Yun-chu Wandering the Mountains62
Mount Wu-t'ai64
13."Iron Grindstone" Liu Goes to Mount Wu-t'ai64
14.Manjusri's "Three by Three"66
15.Pi-mo's "You Shall Die from My Pitchfork"70
2.Contesting with Irregular Rivals73
Hermits, Wizards, and Other Masters75
16.P'u-hua Kicks Over the Dining Table75
17.The Tripitaka Monk Claims to Read Others' Minds77
18.A Hermit's "The Mountain Torrent Runs Deep, So the Ladle Is Long"80
19.Chao-chou Checks Out Two Hermits82
20.Hsueh-feng's "What Is This?"84
21.Jui-yen Calls Out to Himself, "Master"87
22.Ti-tsang Planting the Fields89
Dangerous Women: Zen "Grannies" and Nuns91
23.Chao-chou Checks Out an Old Woman91
24.Te-shan and the Woman Selling Rice Cakes94
25.Mo-shan Opens Her Mouth96
26.Chao-chou Recites the Sutras98
3.Encountering Supernatural Forces101
Trance, Visions, and Dreams103
27.A Woman Comes Out of Absorption103
28.Huang-po's "Gobblers of Dregs"106
29.Sermon from the Third Seat109
30.Kuei-shan Turns His Face to the Wall111
Spirits, Gods, and Bodhisattvas114
31.P'u-chi Subdues the Hearth God114
32.Nan-ch'uan Is Greeted by the Earth-Deity116
33.The Tea Ceremony at Chao-ch'ing118
34.Hu-kuo's Three Embarrassments121
35.Yun-chu and the Spirits123
36.The World Honored One Ascends the High Seat125
Magical Animals127
37.A Snake Appears in the Relic Box127
38.Pai-chang and the Wild Fox129
39.Ta-kuang Does a Dance133
40.Hsueh-feng and the Turtle-Nosed Snake136
4.Wielding Symbols of Authority and Transmission141
Symbols of Authority143
41.Chih-men's "I Have This Power"143
42.Yun-men's Staff Changes into a Dragon145
43.Kan-feng's Single Route147
44.The Hermit of Lotus Flower Peak Holds Up His Staff150
45.Ch'ing-yuan Raises His Fly-Whisk153
Transmission Symbols156
46.Hui-neng's Immovable Robe156
47.Tung-shan Makes Offerings Before the Image159
48.Prime Minister P'ei-hsiu Replies, "Yes"161
49.Yang-shan's "Just About Enough"164
5.Confessional Experiences: Giving Life and Controlling Death169
Repentance and Self-Mutilation171
50.Chih-yen Converts a Hunter171
51.Chu-chih's One Finger Zen173
52.Nalakuvara Broke His Bones and Tore His Flesh176
53.Bodhidharma Pacifies the Mind177
54.Hui-k'o Absolves Sin180
55.Dogen Disciplines Monk Gemmyo182
Death, Relics, and Ghosts184
56.A Woman's True Soul?184
57.P'u-hua Passes Away187
58.Jiu-feng Does Not Concur189
59.A Hermit Seeks to be Saved192
60.Tao-wu Makes a Condolence Call193
Zen Figures Cited197

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