Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism was popularized in the West by writers such as D. T. Suzuki and Alan Watts as a kind of romantic abstraction outside of history. The papers in this volume, originally presented at a unique conference sponsored by UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Zen Center, go a long way toward revealing the complex historical development of Ch'an theory and practice in China and Tibet. The papers on China reveal Ch'an not as a single line of transmission from Bodhidharma, but as a complex of contending and even hostile factions. Furthermore, the view that sees Ch'an as the sinicization of Buddhism through Taoism is questioned through an examination of the Taoism that was actually prevalent during the establishment of Ch'an in China. The papers on Tibet take us to the heart of the controversies surrounding the origins of Buddhism in that country, based on exciting research into the Tunhuang materials, the indigenous rDzogs-chen system, and the Sudden vs. Gradual Enlightenment controversy. Of particular note in this volume is the inclusion of several translations of papers by noted Japanese scholars who have led the way in this type of research, made available to the Western reader for the first time.
I. China a. State of scholarship New Japanese studies in early Ch'an history / Philip Yampolsky b. Formative period The Li-tai fa-pao chi and the Ch'an doctrine of sudden awakening / Yanagida Seizan Seng-ch'ou's method of dhyana / Jan Yun-hua T'an-ch'ien and the early Ch'an tradition : translation and analysis of the essay "Wang-shih-fei-lun" / Whalen W. Lai The teachings of the fourth Ch'an patriarch Tao-hsin (580-651) / David W. Chappell The concept of li nien (being free from thinking) in the Northern line of Ch'an Buddhism / Robert B. Zeuschner Early Hua-yen, meditation, and early Ch'an : some preliminary considerations / Robert M. Gimello The early Ch'an monastic rule : Ch'ing-kuei and the shaping of Ch'an community life / Martin Collcutt c. The developing tradition The "recorded sayings" texts of Chinese Ch'an Buddhism / Yanagida Seizan Lin-chi on "language-dependence," an interpretive analysis / Ronald L. Burr Sinitic mandalas : the Wu-wei-t'u of Ts'ao-shan / Whalen W. Lai d. Interaction The ambiguity of the Buddha-nature concept in India and China / Andrew Rawlinson The problem of desire and emotions in Taoism and Ch'an / John Visvader and William C. Doub The pure and the impure : the mencian problematik in Chinese Buddhism / Whalen W. Lai II. Tibet a. State of scholarship The study of Tibetan Ch'an manuscripts recovered from Tun-huang : a review of the field and its prospects / Daishun Ueyama b. Tibetan meditation systems and Ch'an Meditation trends in early Tibet / Herbert V. Guenther The great perfection in the tradition of the bonpos / Per Kvaerne Indian materials on the doctrine of sudden enlightenment / Luis O. Gomez