Photo1:Baekdamsa Monastery is looks like sleeping, but all monks are in silence at a Seon(zen) hall and a gateless gate houseBaekdamsa Monastery(百潭寺) is in silence. Its appearance seems to be calm but very intense internally. Which means that all Seon monks who have enrolled at summer meditation retreat 2016 are in deep samadhi(concentration). Seon monks are practicing almost every day eight hours a day. As you know, Seon tradition came from China to Korea. Seon dominated nation wide after introduction to Korea in ancient times(the end of Silla dynasty). However at the beginning Seon was waiting for some pioneers to spread Seon tradition. Seon is korean pronunciation. Chan is Chinese pronunciation. Zen is Japanese pronunciation. Even if Chan and Seon were flourished in both countries. But in 18 century China and Korea, both Chan and Seon were declined because of both countries’ political situation and internationally. For the meantime Zen went North America and settled down smoothly. So Zen is well known to the West.
In a word Korean Buddhism was trapped at mountain areas as like Mt. Jiri and Mt. Seorak for almost five hundred years. Joseon dynasty took Confucianism as a state ideology(religion) instead of Buddhism which was state religion of Goryo dynasty. Buddhism was impetuous specially Sutra Buddhism than Seon(meditation) Buddhism. Korean Seon Buddhism has been awaken from long hibernation through Master Gyeongheo(鏡虛) in 19 century. Since then Korean Seon has been processing. So now several thousand Seon monks and nuns are in Seon house. As far as I Know Korean Seon is very strong foundation and closed to Chan tradition of Tang and Song dynasty in China. If you go to China and Japan, You can see the reality of Chan(禪) tradition.
Photo2: Stream and bridge of Baekdamsa Monastery.
Mahākāśyapa and the Flower Sermon
The Chan tradition ascribes the origins of Chan in India to the Flower Sermon, the earliest source for which comes from the 14th century. It is said that Gautama Buddha gathered his disciples one day for a Dharma talk. When they gathered together, the Buddha was completely silent and some speculated that perhaps the Buddha was tired or ill. The Buddha silently held up and twirled a flower and his eyes twinkled; several of his disciples tried to interpret what this meant, though none of them were correct. One of the Buddha's disciples, Mahākāśyapa, silently gazed at the flower and broke into a broad smile. The Buddha then acknowledged Mahākāśyapa's insight by saying the following:
I possess the true Dharma eye, the marvelous mind of Nirvāṇa, the true form of the formless, the subtle Dharma gate that does not rest on words or letters but is a special transmission outside of the scriptures. This I entrust to Mahākāśyapa.
The first six patriarchs (ca.500–early 8th century)
Traditionally the origin of Chan in China is credited to the Indian monk Bodhidharma. Only scarce historical information is available about him, but his hagiography developed when the Chan tradition grew stronger and gained prominence in the early 8th century. By this time a lineage of the six ancestral founders of Chan in China was developed. In the late 8th century, under the influence of Huineng's student Shenhui, the traditional form of this lineage had been established:
1.Bodhidharma (達摩) ca. 440–ca. 528
2.Dazu Huike (慧可) 487–593
3.Sengcan (僧燦) ?–606
4.Dayi Daoxin (道信) 580–651
5.Daman Hongren (弘忍) 601–674
6.Huineng (惠能) 638–713
In later writings this lineage was extended to include 28 Indian patriarchs. In the Song of Enlightenment (證道歌 Zhèngdào gē) of Yongjia Xuanjue (永嘉玄覺, 665–713), one of the chief disciples of Huìnéng, it is written that Bodhidharma was the 28th patriarch in a line of descent from Mahākāśyapa, a disciple of Śākyamuni Buddha, and the first patriarch of Chan Buddhism.
Mahākāśyapa was the first, leading the line of transmission;
Twenty-eight Fathers followed him in the West;
The Lamp was then brought over the sea to this country;
And Bodhidharma became the First Father here:
His mantle, as we all know, passed over six Fathers,
And by them many minds came to see the Light.
In its beginnings in China, Chan primarily referred to the Mahāyāna sūtras and especially to the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra. As a result, early masters of the Chan tradition were referred to as "Laṅkāvatāra masters". As the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra teaches the doctrine of the Ekayāna "One Vehicle", the early Chan school was sometimes referred to as the "One Vehicle School". In other early texts, the school that would later become known as Chan is sometimes even referred to as simply the "Laṅkāvatāra school" (Ch. 楞伽宗, Léngqié Zōng). Accounts recording the history of this early period are to be found in the Records of the Laṅkāvatāra Masters (Chinese: 楞伽師資記).
Bodhidharma with Dazu Huike. Painting by Sesshū Tōyō, 15th century.The establishment of Chan in China is traditionally credited to the Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, who is recorded as having come to China during the time of Southern and Northern Dynasties to teach a "special transmission outside scriptures" which "did not stand upon words".
Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend. There are three principal sources for Bodhidharma's biography: The Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang by Yáng Xuànzhī's (楊衒之, 547), Tan Lin's preface to the Long Scroll of the Treatise on the Two Entrances and Four Practices (6th century CE), and Dayi Daoxin's Further Biographies of Eminent Monks (7th century CE).
These sources vary in their account of Bodhidharma being either "from Persia" (547 CE), "a Brahman monk from South India" (645 CE), "the third son of a Brahman king of South India" (ca. 715 CE). Some traditions specifically describe Bodhidharma to be the third son of a Pallava king from Kanchipuram.
The Long Scroll of the Treatise on the Two Entrances and Four Practices written by Tan Lin (曇林; 506–574), contains teachings which are attributed to Bodhidharma. The text is known from the Dunhuang manuscripts. The two entrances to enlightenment are the entrance of principle and the entrance of practice:
The entrance of principle is to become enlightened to the Truth on the basis of the teaching. One must have a profound faith in the fact that one and the same True Nature is possessed by all sentient beings, both ordinary and enlightened, and that this True Nature is only covered up and made imperceptible [in the case of ordinary people] by false sense impressions".
The entrance of practice includes the following four increments:
1.Practice of the retribution of enmity: to accept all suffering as the fruition of past transgressions, without enmity or complaint
2.Practice of the acceptance of circumstances: to remain unmoved even by good fortune, recognizing it as evanescent
3.Practice of the absence of craving: to be without craving, which is the source of all suffering
4.Practice of accordance with the Dharma: to eradicate wrong thoughts and practice the six perfections, without having any "practice".
This text was used and studied by Huike and his students. The True Nature refers to the Buddha-nature.
The Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang
Blue-eyed Central Asian monk teaching an East Asian monk. A fresco from the Bezeklik Thousand Buddha Caves, dated to the 9th or 10th century.The earliest text mentioning Bodhidharma is The Record of the Buddhist Monasteries of Luoyang (Chinese: 洛陽伽藍記 Luòyáng Qiélánjì) which was compiled in 547 by Yáng Xuànzhī (楊衒之), a writer and translator of Mahayana sutras into Chinese. Yang gave the following account:
At that time there was a monk of the Western Region named Bodhidharma, a Persian Central Asian. He traveled from the wild borderlands to China. Seeing the golden disks on the pole on top of Yǒngníng's stupa reflecting in the sun, the rays of light illuminating the surface of the clouds, the jewel-bells on the stupa blowing in the wind, the echoes reverberating beyond the heavens, he sang its praises. He exclaimed: "Truly this is the work of spirits." He said: "I am 150 years old, and I have passed through numerous countries. There is virtually no country I have not visited. Even the distant Buddha-realms lack this." He chanted homage and placed his palms together in salutation for days on end.
Tánlín – preface to the Two Entrances and Four Acts
A Dehua ware porcelain statuette of Bodhidharma from the late Ming dynasty, 17th centuryThe second account was written by Tánlín (曇林; 506–574). Tánlín's brief biography of the "Dharma Master" is found in his preface to the Long Scroll of the Treatise on the Two Entrances and Four Practices, a text traditionally attributed to Bodhidharma and the first text to identify him as South Indian:
The Dharma Master was a South Indian of the Western Region. He was the third son of a great Indian king. His ambition lay in the Mahayana path, and so he put aside his white layman's robe for the black robe of a monk […] Lamenting the decline of the true teaching in the outlands, he subsequently crossed distant mountains and seas, traveling about propagating the teaching in Han and Wei.
Tánlín's account was the first to mention that Bodhidharma attracted disciples, specifically mentioning Dàoyù (道育) and Dazu Huike (慧可), the latter of whom would later figure very prominently in the Bodhidharma literature. Although Tánlín has traditionally been considered a disciple of Bodhidharma, it is more likely that he was a student of Huìkě.
"Chronicle of the Laṅkāvatāra Masters"Tanlin's preface has also been preserved in Jingjue's (683-750) Lengjie Shizi ji "Chronicle of the Laṅkāvatāra Masters", which dates from 713-716./ca. 715 He writes, "The teacher of the Dharma, who came from South India in the Western Regions, the third son of a great Brahman king."
"Further Biographies of Eminent Monks"
This Japanese scroll calligraphy of Bodhidharma reads, "Zen points directly to the human heart, see into your nature and become Buddha." It was created by Hakuin Ekaku (1685–1768)In the 7th-century historical work "Further Biographies of Eminent Monks" (續高僧傳 Xù gāosēng zhuàn), Dàoxuān (道宣; 596-667) possibly drew on Tanlin's preface as a basic source, but made several significant additions:
Firstly, Dàoxuān adds more detail concerning Bodhidharma's origins, writing that he was of "South Indian Brahman stock" (南天竺婆羅門種 nán tiānzhú póluómén zhŏng). Secondly, more detail is provided concerning Bodhidharma's journeys. Tanlin's original is imprecise about Bodhidharma's travels, saying only that he "crossed distant mountains and seas" before arriving in Wei. Dàoxuān's account, however, implies "a specific itinerary": "He first arrived at Nan-yüeh during the Sung period. From there he turned north and came to the Kingdom of Wei" This implies that Bodhidharma had travelled to China by sea and that he had crossed over the Yangtze.
Thirdly, Dàoxuān suggests a date for Bodhidharma's arrival in China. He writes that Bodhidharma makes landfall in the time of the Song, thus making his arrival no later than the time of the Song's fall to the Southern Qi in 479.
Finally, Dàoxuān provides information concerning Bodhidharma's death. Bodhidharma, he writes, died at the banks of the Luo River, where he was interred by his disciple Dazu Huike, possibly in a cave. According to Dàoxuān's chronology, Bodhidharma's death must have occurred prior to 534, the date of the Northern Wei's fall, because Dazu Huike subsequently leaves Luoyang for Ye. Furthermore, citing the shore of the Luo River as the place of death might possibly suggest that Bodhidharma died in the mass executions at Heyin (河陰) in 528. Supporting this possibility is a report in the Chinese Buddhist canon stating that a Buddhist monk was among the victims at Héyīn
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Now Baekdamsa Monastery runs temple stay programs for laity. Anyone who is interested in Seon meditation and temples’daily life, one can joint temple stay programs.
Writer: Dharma Master Bogeom(Dr. Lee Chi-ran)
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