Ch'an Dao Links:
Zen Master Dogen in Song Dynasty China and Its Implications for Ch’an Buddhism
(This article first appeared in Volume I No. 7, of the ICBI’s Ejournal entitled
Patriarch’s Vision – Spring 2015).
Portrait of Dogen Viewing the Moon
Fresh, clear spirit covers old mountain man this autumn,
Donkey stares at the Sky ceiling; glowing white moon floats,
Nothing approaches. Nothing else included.
Bouyant, I let myself go – filled with gruel, filled with rice,
Lively flapping from head to tail,
Sky above, sky beneath, cloud self, water origin. (Dogen: 1249)
Why Dogen Went to China
Zen Master Dogen (1200-1253) is often referred to within Chinese sources as ‘道元禅师’ (Dao Yuan Ch’an Shi), with the Japanese pronunciations of ‘Do’ (道) and ‘Gen’ (元) literally translating as ‘Way Origination’, or ‘Way Essence’. He was also known by the other Dharma-names of ‘Xi Xuan’ (希玄) or ‘Rare Mystery’, ‘Dao Xuan’ (道玄) or ‘Way Mystery’ and ‘Fo Fa Fang’ (佛法房), or ‘Buddha Dharma Residence’. Dogen is recorded as being born into the noble Minamoto family of Kyoto in 1200 CE. The Chinese language sources refer to Dogen’s family as ‘贵族家庭’ (Gui Zu Jia Ting), which translates as an ‘aristocratic household’. This is an important distinction, as Dogen is believed to have been related to the 62nd Japanese Emperor Murakami (926-967 CE), and as such entitled to hold a high office within the Japanese imperial system. This biographical story associated with Dogen is reminiscent of the life-story attributed to the historical Buddha who lived in ancient India, and who was also of a high caste birth, and entitled to rule. Dogen – like the Buddha – relinquished his birth right of high office and instead decided to dedicate his life to the pursuance of the Dharma. Dogen’s dissatisfaction with the ordinary world appears to have been formulated in his early childhood, when his father died when he was 3 years old. This tragic event was followed by the loss of his mother when he was only 8 years old. This created a trauma in his mind that resulted in him deciding not to pursue a political career, but instead to renounce the world and become an ordained Buddhist monk. From the age of 8 to the age of 13, Dogen intensely studied the Buddhist texts at home, before finally leaving to become a monk. In fact, the Japanese language source records describe Dogen as ‘escaping’ the family home at 13 years old (1212 CE), and heading to Mount Hiei (比叡山 - Bi Rui Shan - situated northeast of Kyoto), to seek the advice of his uncle - the monk known as Ryokan. At the age of 14 (1213 CE) his head was shaved by the monk named Koen (a prominent Tendai School practitioner) and received the Bodhisattva Precepts. It was here on Mount Hiei that Dogen studied the Buddhist texts extensively and realised that Buddhism contains both a deep (internal) and shallow (external) teaching. This led to Dogen formulating the following question:
‘Both exoteric and esoteric teachings explain that a person in essence has true dharma nature and is originally a body of “Buddha nature.” If so, why do all Buddhas in the past, present, and future arouse the wish for and seek enlightenment?’
The Japanese tradition of the Tendai School had its historical roots in the Tiantai (天台) or ‘Divine-sky Platform’ tradition of China. However, by the time of Dogen’s existence in the Kamakura Period, it had diverted dramatically away from the Chinese tradition, as it adapted to local conditions. Tendai had adopted the philosophical thinking associated with the Shingon School, and had incorporated elements of Zen Buddhism together with the Vinaya Discipline into its rubric. This led to a form of ‘quietism’ that allowed the Tendai monks to work exclusively as scribes, and spend their time copying-out sutras. The intellectual and spiritual vigour had become muted, which was exasperated by the fact that the Tendai School on Mount Hiei had split into two armed camps, with each camp centred around two competing temples. A new type of Buddhist cleric arose on Mount Hiei, namely that of the ‘monk soldier’ (僧兵, - Seng Bing), or ‘sohei’ in Japanese. These monks trained in armed and unarmed martial arts were used by politicized temples to project power beyond the temple confines. This confusion of distinct Buddhist philosophies, and the emergence of politicized Buddhism, led to a diversion away from genuine spiritual investigation, and probably explains why Dogen could not find adequate spiritual instruction upon the mountain.
Dogen studied the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, and was particularly struck by the following passage:
‘Sakyamuni Buddha said: “All sentient beings everywhere originally possess the Buddha-nature; the Tathagata exists eternally and is without change”.’
This passage served to focus the young Dogen’s mind, and led him to seek-out an enlightened master who could genuinely show him his own Buddha-nature. His master – the Abbot Koen – sent Dogen away from Mount Hiei to study with the learned monk named Koin of Onjo-ji (園城寺 – Yuan Cheng Si) in an attempt to further his education. It was Koin who first suggested to Dogen that he should consider studying the Zen method and travel to Song Dynasty China, and seek a profound answer to his spiritual question. To this end, Koin introduced Dogen to the Tendai practitioner (and abbot) who had just returned from studying Ch’an (Zen) in China – the monk named as ‘Yosai’ or ‘Myōan Eisai’ [明菴栄西 – Ming An Rong Xi] (1141-1215) of Kennin-ji (建仁寺 – Jian Ren Si) in Kyoto. Yosai had inherited the Huang Long (黃龍) or ‘Oryu’ branch of the Linji tradition [临济宗 – Lin Ji Zong] (or ‘Rinzai’) School of Ch’an (Zen) in China, but he passed away in 1215 (from an epidemic of dysentery), only one year after apparently meeting Dogen in 1214. Following Yosai’s death, Dogen was taken as a Zen student by the new abbot of Kennin-ji – the monk named Myozen [明全 – Ming Quan] (1183-1225). Myozen was the Dharma-inheritor of Yosai, but in the Japanese biographical records there is disagreement as to whether Dogen met with, and trained under Yosai for a year between 1214-1215, or whether he entered Kennin-ji much later (in 1217) and simply began his training under Myozen.  Whatever the facts of the matter, it was with Myozen that Dogen would study Rinzai Zen and Tendai Buddhism, and eventually receive Dharma-transmission in the Rinzai Zen tradition in 1221 – at just 21 years of age. This made Dogen the tenth Patriarch of the Japanese lineage of the Huang Long Rinzai School of Zen Buddhism. In Japan at the time there was much political turmoil and warfare, and this probably influenced Dogen to an ever greater degree to over-come the doubts he harboured about life and death. This is despite the fact that he was engaged in meditation practice, and through Myozen’s strict influence, was keeping the Bodhisattva precepts, and the transmission precepts associated with the Huang Long lineage. Dogen’s time spent at the Zen temple – Kennin-ji – in his younger years, served as a foundational training for his eventual visit to China. As good as the masters were around him, Dogen could not progress his realisation beyond a certain point of understanding. At this time, many Buddhists in Japan viewed China as the depository of true Buddhist knowledge and the place where true progression and profound understanding was to be found. Dogen travelled to China as a means to seek enlightenment, and it is important to understand that Dogen was already a Dharma-inheritor of the Rinzai Zen School (and had extensively studied the Teachings of the Tendai School) before leaving Japan for China. Although young, Dogen had ordained (taking Bodhisattva Precepts), been highly motivated in his studies, and had received a good education within Japanese Buddhism.
Dogen in Southern Song Dynasty China
Dogen and his teacher Myozen, together with two other monks, left Kyoto (by boat) on the 27th day of the third month of 1223, and arrived in the middle of the 3rd month at Hakata Port. Hakata Port is located in the northern area of the southern Japanese island of Kyushu. By the time Dogen set sail for China (on a merchant vessel), Hakata had been an important port linking Japan to China for centuries. On the voyage, Dogen records that he fell ill with diarrhea. However, Dogen’s mind was ‘focused’ by a terrible wind that made the crossing to China highly dangerous. He forgot about his illness and the symptoms disappeared. At the beginning of the fourth month of 1223, Dogen, Myozen and the two other monks arrived safely in China – he was 24 years old. Their ship made land at a place recorded as ‘Mingzhou’ (明州), situated in Qingyuan (庆元) prefecture. Today, this corresponds to the Ningbo (宁波) area of northeast Zhejiang province. Zhejiang is a coastal province situated to the south-east of China. Dogen’s biography suggests that there was a bureaucratic delay when he reached China, due to the ‘incompatibility’ of the ordination he received in Japan. His ordination may have been viewed as incomplete by the Chinese authorities due to the fact that he had taken the Bodhisattva Precepts, but had not yet received the Vinaya Precepts. In effect this meant that Dogen was not a fully ordained Buddhist monastic, but only considered a novice of a lesser status. Dogen spent three months aboard ship before the Chinese authorities permitted him to land. In this regard, considering the uncertainty of the situation, Dogen exercised considerable patience, understanding and endurance. This is remarkable fortitude for a young man of just 24 years of age. During this time Dogen continued his practice (whilst staying in his cabin and reading the Buddhist sutras), and compiled information about the many monasteries and temples in Zhejiang area of China and beyond. Dogen’s master – Myozen – was allowed off the ship much earlier, and immediately set about visiting the Jing Fu Temple (景福寺 – Jing Fu Si) in Mingzhou, and the Jing De Temple (景德寺 – Jing De Si) situated on Mount Tiantong (天童山 Tian Tong Shan). Jing De Temple was very significant for Myozen, as his teacher – Yosai – had trained there in 1189 during his visit to China. Indeed, it was in the Jing De Temple that Yosai inherited the Huang Long branch of the Linji School of Ch’an Buddhism from Ch’an Master Xuan Huai Chang (虚庵怀敞).
The motivation for Dogen to visit China – at least officially – was to pay homage to the Linji School of Ch’an Buddhism in general, and to the Huang Long School in particular. The Huang Long School can be traced to Ch’an Master Huang Long Huinan (黃龍慧南) [1002-1069] who lived during the Northern Song Dynasty (960–1127). He originally came from Xinzhou (an area now located to the east of Nanchang city), which is situated in Jiangxi province – southeast China – but established his school on ‘Yellow Dragon Mountain’ (黃龍山 – Huang Long Shan). This school is recorded as lasting over 150 years operating from this mountain. Huinan originally trained with Ch’an Master Letan Chenggong of the Yunmen (雲門) School, but after failing to achieve the final breakthrough in his self-cultivation, he was sent to study under Ch’an Master Shishuang Chuyuan of the Linji School. An example of the enlightening Ch’an dialogues exchanged between these two masters is as follows:
‘When Huang Long visited Shishuang in his abbot’s room, Shishuang said, “Chenggong studied under Yunmen’s Ch’an, so he must surpass Yunmen’s teaching. When Yunmen spared Dongshan Shouchu three blows with the staff, did Dongshan suffer the blows or not?”
Huang Long said, “He suffered the blows.”
Shishuang said fiercely, “From morning till night the magpies cry and the crows caw, all of them in response to the blows they’ve suffered.”
Shishuang then sat in a cross-legged position, and Huang Long lit incense and bowed to him.
Shishuang later asked, “Zhaozhou said, ‘The old lady of Mount Tai – I’ll go check her out for you.’ But where was the place he checked her out?”
Huang Long sweated profusely but he couldn’t answer.
The next day Huang Long went to Shishuang’s room again. Shishuang berated him unceasingly. Huang Long said, “Is cursing a compassionate way of carrying out the teaching?”
Shishuang yelled, “Try cursing and see!”
At these words Huang Long experienced a great awakening. He then wrote the following verse:
The eminent adapt Zhaozhou
Had his reasons for checking out the old lady
Now the four seas are like a mirror,
And a pilgrim no longer hates the road.’
This example may be taken as indicative of the type of ‘encounter dialogue’ utilised within the Huang Long branch of Linji Ch’an, and the method its masters used to enlighten their students. In and of itself, the Huang Long branch, although lineally distinct, does not divert in practice from the Chinese Ch’an in general, or the Linji tradition in particular. It may also be reasonably assumed that a similar encounter occurred between Yosai and his master Xuan Huai Chang, between Yosai and his student Myozen, and between Myozen and his student – Dogen. It was Myozen’s judgement that Dogen had attained complete enlightenment, and that this made him suitable to inherit the Huang Long lineage in Japan, and become fully recognised and acknowledged as the Tenth Patriarch. It was this ‘Tenth Patriarch’ of the Huang Long lineage that the Chinese authorities made wait for three months before allowing him onto Chinese soil, but when he did land, he embarked upon a tour of prominent Linji temples and monasteries in and around the Ningbo area. As Dogen – despite being enlightened – still retained ‘doubts’ about the true nature of existence, he sought-out the wisdom of enlightened Ch’an masters on the Chinese mainland. The retainment of some doubt after the initial enlightenment experience is not unknown within the Ch’an literature, and does not invalidate the awakening experience itself. Although the empty mind ground can be penetrated and understood (in all its implications) in an instantaneous manner, it is also correct to acknowledge that in many awakening incidents, initial enlightenment, (although profound), often requires a clarification process. This can be seen in the case of Ch’an Master Dongshan Liangjie (洞山良价) [807–869] – the founder of the Caodong lineage (曹洞宗 – Cao Dong Zong) of Ch’an Buddhism. He was the student of – and Dharma-heir to – Ch’an Master Yunyan Tansheng (雲巖曇晟) [700-841]. The following dialogue explains the circumstances surrounding Dong Shan’s enlightenment:
‘The master then took leave of Kuei Shan and went straight to Yun Yen to whom he related the circumstances leading to his present call. He immediately asked Yun Yen: ‘When inanimate objects expound the Dharma, who can hear it?’ Yun Yen replied: ‘The inanimate can.’ The master asked: ‘Does the venerable sir hear it?’ Yun Yen replied: ‘If so, you will not hear my expounding of the Dharma. The master asked: ‘Why do I not hear it?’ Yun Yen raised his dust-whisk and asked: ‘Do you hear it?’ The master replied: ‘No.’ Yun yen said: ‘If you do not hear the Dharma expounded by me, how can you hear that expounded by inanimate objects?’ The master asked: ‘From what sutra is quoted the sentence “All inanimate objects expound the Dharma”?’ Yun Yen said: ‘Have you not read the Amitabha Buddha Sutra which says: “Streams, birds, trees and groves (in the Western Paradise) all intone Buddha and Dharma”?’ Thereupon, the master was awakened (to the profound meaning) and chanted the following gatha:
‘It is so wonderful, so wonderful.
Dharma taught by the inanimate cannot be conceived.
To hear it with the ears is naught to understand,
Only can it be known when voice is heard by eyes.”’
Despite this significant attainment (and subsequent clarifying dialogues with Yun Yen), the text records that Dong Shan still harboured some doubt:
‘(in spite of the farewell chat), the master still harboured some doubt about what Yun Yen had said to him. Later, he happened to cross a stream and upon seeing his reflection in the water, he was awakened to the (profound) meaning (of Yun Yen’s words) and chanted the following gatha:
“Shun elsewhere to seek ‘him’
Or from him you will stray.
As I go on alone
I meet him everywhere.
He is what I am now
But I’m not what he is.
Such should one’s comprehension be
To unite with thatness.”’
The Ch’an Tang Dynasty records are replete with numerous similar examples. From this fact can be ascertained that Dogen was following a well-established Ch’an tradition by travelling to China to seek-out other masters close to the source of transmission – in Dogen’s case (and that of his teacher Myozen), this was the Huang Long (Linji) tradition of Ch’an. The problem that Dogen experienced was that he did not feel that any of the Linji masters he met in China possessed the ability to effectively ‘turn his words’ and remove his final doubt. Whilst experiencing this quandary, a pivotal moment presented itself in Dogen’s life as his Japanese Zen master – the Venerable Myozen – passed away. This event occurred in 1225 when Dogen had been in China for two years. Myozen (like his teacher Yosai), had been a strict observer of both the Vinaya Discipline, and the Bodhisattva Precepts, and it was this emphasis upon correct behaviour, that Myozen used to teach and convey the Huang Long lineage. Records suggest that Dogen – as the Tenth Patriarch of Huang Long – also accepted and upheld this practice, and inherently linked meditation practice to right conduct. Myozen – the Ninth Patriarch of Huang Long – died in a temple on Mount Tiantong. Although gravely ill at the time of his death, Myozen possessed extraordinary will-power and exhibited uncommon spiritual attainment. Myozen passed away sat-upright in a perfect meditation posture – following the well-known tradition established in antiquity by advanced Indian and Chinese Ch’an masters. In this simple and yet profound act, Myozen proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he was indeed, truly the Ninth Patriarch of the Huang Long lineage. Buddhist monastics and large numbers of lay-Buddhists flocked to the area to view Myozen’s body – which was eventually cremated. During the cremation process, witnesses recorded seeing five different colours radiate from the fire, and when the ashes were examined, three white pearls were discovered, along with 360 fragments of bone. Due to the extraordinary nature of these events, a statue was erected in honour of Myozen on Mount Tiantong. Myozen’s departure demonstrates the strength of the (Linji) Huang Long tradition, and proves that he was a worthy inheritor of this tradition. This is indicative of the strength of Chinese Ch’an lineage that Dogen inherited in Japan as the Tenth Patriarch of Huang Long, and implies that the Huang Long transmission to Japan was not a sub-standard transmission. Dogen’s continuing great doubt was a natural product of the requirement to deepen his understanding after the achievement of the all-important initial breakthrough, and not a fault of the Linji Ch’an tradition he had inherited.
Just prior to this time, however, Dogen was on a pilgrimage of the major Linji sites in Zhejiang province, when he met an old monk who informed him that the abbot of Tiantong Temple had passed away, and that a new abbot – named Rujing – had taken over. Dogen was advised to hurry back to Mount Tiantong because Rujing was highly skilled in teaching of the Ch’an Dharma. Dogen’s brief biography (written in Chinese script) reads for the year 1225:
The Western year ‘1225’ has been added for clarity by modern scholars. Dogen at the time used the traditional dating method of the number of years associated with emperors and imperial era names. For example, 1225 corresponds to the first year of the reign of the Southern Song Emperor Lizong (理宗), and the first era of his rule was known a ‘Baoqing’ [宝庆] (1225-1227). At the same time in Japan, Emperor Go-Horikawa (後堀河) was on the throne, and his era name for 1225 was ‘Karoku’ [嘉禄] (1225-1227). The above extract of Dogen’s biography translates into English as follows:
‘(Year 1225 CE): First Year of the Bao Qing Era (in China); First Year of the Karoku Era (in Japan).
In the spring of this year, whilst in Taizhou (on the east-coast of Zhejiang province), I travelled to the Xiao Cuiwei Yan area, where I met with the master known as Panshan Zhou. I then travelled to the Pingtian area (of Mount Tiantai) to visit the Wan Nian Temple, where I met with the master known as Yuanzi, who granted me the honour of viewing the book (of Ch’an transmission). I then visited the Hu Sheng Temple on Mount Damei – where I stayed the night. That night I had a dream where the Dharma protector of Mount Damei presented me with a branch of plum blossoms. In the same year, on the 1st day of the 5th lunar month, at the Tiantong Temple, I first met with Master Rujing. It was here that Master Rujing transmitted the Dharma to me - face-to-face. In the summer I travelled to Mount Ayuwang (i.e. Mount Ashoka), where I visited the Guangli Temple. In that temple I met a monk who was originally from Sichuan province – who served as the Guest Master – and we discussed the meaning of the Buddha-dharma. On the 2nd day of the 7th lunar month, I entered the abbot’s room of Ch’an Master Rujing, where I respectfully requested instruction in the Dharma. After spending the summer with Master Rujing, I finally gained enlightenment and thoroughly understood the Buddha-dharma. My mind and body fell away. On the 18th day of the 9th lunar month, I received the true transmission of the Dharma as followed by all the Buddhas of the past, as well as the Bodhisattva Patriarchs. Later that year, at a place called Huanxi – I read the Dharma-transmission book of the Fayan lineage of Ch’an.’
Later, after returning to Japan, Dogen recalled this first meeting with Master Rujing in greater detail:
‘I first offered incense and bowed formally to my late master, old Buddha Tiantong, in his abbot’s room on the first day, fifth month, of the first year of Baoqing of Great Song. He also saw me for the first time. Upon this occasion, he transmitted dharma, finger to finger, face to face, and said to me, “The dharma gate of face-to-face transmission from buddha to buddha, ancestor to ancestor, is realised now.’
The passing of Myozen freed Dogen to study earnestly under Ch’an Master Rujing – who was of the Caodong lineage - and their conversations are recorded in Dogen’s personal diary of their meetings entitled in the Japanese language as ‘Hokyo-ji’ (宝庆记 – Bao Qing Ji), or ‘Bao Qing Record’. Master Rujing’s approach to Ch’an training is encapsulated in the following quote:
This translates into English as:
‘Body and mind are discarded when engaged in the practice of seated meditation. During the practice of intense seated meditation - thoughts do not arise. When this (beyond-thought) state is achieved, the five desires cease – and the five obscurations fall away.’
Ch’an Master Tiantong Rujing [天童如净] [1163-1228] came from Zhejiang province and was the Dharma heir of Zu’an Zhijian. During his lifetime he stayed at a number of famous temples in other parts of China before settling on Mount Tiantong. He was renowned as a good Caodong Ch’an teacher who could ‘turn words’ with a poetic graceful ease. Although Dogen recorded Master Rujing’s existence and method, Master Rujing is also included in other Chinese language texts such as the ‘Five Lamps Meeting at the Source’. An example of Master Rujing’s use of words is as follows:
‘Ch’an Master Tiantong Rujing entered the hall. Striking the ground with his staff he said, “This is the realm of vertical Precipice.”
Striking the floor again he said, “Deep, profound, remote, and distant. No one can reach it.
He struck again and said, “But supposing you could reach this place, what would it be like? Aieee! I smile and point to the place where apes call. There is yet another realm where the numerous traces may be found.”’
Through a combination of correct meditative practice, coupled with the dynamic and precise probing of his mind by Master Rujing – Dogen attained enlightenment through the Caodong method. What this means in reality is that the final great doubt was removed by a slightly different, and yet very similar approach to Ch’an practice. It is interesting to note that Master Rujing (although representing the Caodong lineage) made extensive use of both the gong an (公案) and hua tou (話頭) methods whilst teaching Ch’an, and although he recognised the importance of seated meditation practice, he did not limit his approach to it. In other words, within the Southern Song Dynasty, a dichotomy did not exist between the Linji and Caodong traditions. Indeed, the complete lack of any such separation can be seen by the fact that the previous abbot of Tiantong (Wu-chi Liao-p’ai) was a Linji master who passed on the post of abbot to Master Rujing – who was of the Caodong line. Master Rujing did not accept the prevalent view held at the time in China that the Five Houses of Ch’an each utilised a different method to realise the same enlightenment. For Master Rujing, all methods were merely expedient devices used to arouse inner potential and break the mind free from lifetimes of deluded activity. In pursuit of enlightening all beings, Master Rujing stated:
‘Once when sitting in his abbot’s quarters, Ch’an Master Tiantong Rujing said, “Gouge out Bodhidharma’s eyeball and use it like a mud ball to hit people!” Then he yelled, “Look! The ocean has dried up and the ocean floor is cracked! The billowing waves are striking the heavens!”’
Following his first meeting with Master Rujing, Dogen was granted permission to visit the abbot’s room at any time of the day or night, whilst staying at Tiantong Temple as a resident monk fully committed to its rigorous and strict monastic regime. This was an unusual honour, as Master Rujing was renowned for refusing entry to his temple. These two years allowed Dogen to fully appreciate and penetrate the Sangha practice of Chinese Ch’an Buddhism as conveyed by Master Rujing, through the perpetuation of his all-embracing Caodong method. During intensive meditation training in the summer of 1225, Dogen was sitting diligently in the meditation hall when he heard Master Rujing shout at another monk for falling asleep. Master Rujing stated:
“When you study under a master, you must drop the body and mind; what is the use of single-minded intense sitting?”
When Dogen heard – ‘…you must drop the body and mind’ – he was instantaneously awakened. This demonstrates that although Dogen was hard at work disciplining his mind through the act of strict meditation, it was the ability of Master Rujing to ‘turn words’ that finally broke the last barrier of Dogen’s great doubt. The meditative practice and monastic regime built-up the inner potential (or qi energy) within Dogen’s mind and body – and with Master Rujing’s skilful prompting of another disciple – the subtle illusion of mind and body for Dogen finally fell away. Dogen was presented with the Caodong transmission documents in 1225 (making him the Thirteenth Patriarch descendent of Masters Liangjie and Benji – the founders of the Caodong lineage) – and spent the next two years assessing and refining this experience before returning to Japan in 1227. One year after Dogen returned to Japan – Ch’an Master Rujing passed away in 1228. Whilst back in Japan, Dogen successfully established the Chinese Ch’an lineage of Caodong – known in Japanese as ‘Soto’. The central practice for the Japanese Zen School of Soto is termed ‘Shikantaza’ (只管打坐 – Zhi Guan Da Zuo), which translates as ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’, and which was taught and emphasised by Master Rujing (who is thought to have invented the term) in China. However, despite the fact that Master Rujing continuously stated to Dogen that his particular branch of the Caodong lineage was unique, and conveyed the ‘true’ Dharma, it is also correct to state that in fact Master Rujing’s method was more or less in-line with that of the Tang Dynasty Ch’an masters (representing any of the Five Houses), and this meant that Master Rujing – as a competent Ch’an master living in the Southern Song Dynasty – successfully and correctly conveyed what might be described as ‘mainstream’ Ch’an at a time when there appeared to be many distortions of this teaching. Indeed, although Master Rujing continuously discussed the importance of the correct practice and implications of authentic meditation, his instructions to Dogen were always based primarily upon the teachings contained within the Northern Song Dynasty text entitled ‘Seated Meditation Record’ (坐禅仪 – Zuo Ch’an Yi), and did not go beyond it. Although ostensibly dating to 1103, this text is believed to have existed prior to this time, and consists of practical instruction for the correct practice of meditation as conceived within the Chinese Ch’an School. For instance, the Zuo Ch’an Yi states:
‘Do not give rise to good and bad thoughts. When a thought arises – be aware of it – awareness dissolves the thought. When this method is applied over a long period of time - all thoughts are forgotten and oneness is attained. This is important to master the skill of seated meditation (Zuo Ch'an).’ 
Dogen would later base his own meditation regulation – the ‘Zazen-Gi’ – upon the content of the Chinese ‘Zuo Ch’an Yi’. Dogen interprets the above extract as:
‘Sit solidly in samadhi and think not-thinking. How do you think not-thinking? Non-thinking. This is the art of zazen.’ 
At no point in the Zuo Ch’an Yi is the practice of ‘Silent Illumination Ch’an’ (默照禪- Mo Zhao Ch’an) mentioned, and it is clear that the Caodong Ch’an Master Rujing did not advocate or teach this method to Dogen whilst he was in China. However, upon returning to Japan, it is also clear that Dogen developed an interpretation of Japanese Soto Zen Buddhism that assumed an inherent integration of Master Rujing’s conventional Ch’an practice of ‘Zhi Guan Da Zuo (i.e. ‘Shikantaza’), with that known as ‘Silent Illumination’. When Japanese Soto Zen Buddhism spread to the West, (and its concepts were translated into Western languages for the first time), Dogen’s association was interpreted to mean that the practice of ‘Shikantaza’ was exactly the same as the practice of ‘Silent Illumination’ (Mo Zhao), and that the two terms were interchangeable – with the further assumption being that ‘Silent Illumination’ was an older (or ‘original’) term for ‘Shikantaza’. The following contemporary Chinese text discusses the differences between ‘Silent Illumination’ and ‘Shikantaza’, and explains that they are two distinct (but related) approaches toward meditational development:
‘‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’ (Shikantaza) is a Ch’an method that is advocated by the Japanese Soto Zen master known as Dogen. Dogen received Dharma transmission from the 13th century Chinese Ch’an master known as Rujing. The Chinese Caodong tradition however, has also been associated with the practice of ‘Silent Illumination’ (Mo Zhao) as well as that of ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’, but there are differences between these two methods:
1) Silent Illumination Ch’an (默照禪 – Mo Zhao Ch’an). Originally this method was advocated by the Ch’an master known as Hongzhi Zhengjue. The term ‘silent’ (mo) equates to a ‘non-moving suchness’, which means that the mind remains unaffected by the outside environment, and exists in the suchness of the present moment. Whereas the term ‘illumination’ (zhao) refers to a state of (an all-encompassing) pure brightness that permeates the (inner) and outer environment. The establishment of this state is considered to correlate with the realisation of enlightenment. Absorption within suchness is considered the achievement of samadhi, which equates with enlightened illumination. This generates a profound wisdom that supports and sustains the practice and realisation of ‘Silent Illumination’. Samadhi and wisdom support one another, and within the realised state of samadhi wisdom, all duality is transcended.
Within ‘Silent Illumination Ch’an’, the term ‘silent’ can be further divided into two levels;
a) Seeing the Way (道 – Dao) before (attainment).
b) Seeing the Way (前 – Dao) after (attainment).
These two levels of ‘silent’ practice are different and distinct. To ‘See the Way (道 – Dao) before (attainment) silence’, is designed to deal with the coarse and delusive activity of the unenlightened mind. It is a method that calms the haphazard surface movements of the mind, and eventually reverses (and annuls) the heavy effects of delusion. This is required because the delusion that exists in the minds of all beings is very powerful. This habit of greed, hatred, and delusion obscures the (true essence) of the mind, and infects ‘mind, body, and environment’ with ignorance. A mind that is trained to be ‘silent’, (or ‘still’), is a mind that has put an end to delusional thinking. This uproots the negative karma associated with bad habits in the mind, and facilitates the direct perception of illumination in the mind that thoroughly permeates the ‘(inner) and outer environment’. When delusionary habits of the mind are uprooted and all ignorance is brought to an end – this state is called ‘Seeing the Way (前 – Dao) after (attainment)’, because now there is only a still and shining mind – (within which all things appear to arise and pass away). The mind is ‘no longer impure, or infected with dirt, but is clean and unhindered by delusion’. As this purity extends into the surrounding environment, ‘all is experienced as free of trouble, comfortable and serene’. Ch’an Master Farong says in his ‘Mind Inscription’ text that ‘It is directly perceived here and now without contrived effort. Non-substantiality manifests, because non-substantiality is reality’, and ‘When external forms are integrated with the inner mind, they are extinguished as separate entities. Both are located in the unborn, which is serene, harmonious, empty and bright.’ These statements can be favourably compared with that of Ch’an Master Yongjia, who said, ‘Have you not seen the man of Dao at his ease, and in his non-active and beyond learning states, who neither suppresses thoughts nor seeks the real?’ These are descriptions of an expanded consciousness that envelops its environment.
This is the silent (mind) that is ‘Seeing the Way (前 – Dao) after (attainment)’, a mind that exists in an untroubled manner whilst ‘integrated with its environment’. Whilst pursuing the path of ‘Seeing the Way (前 – Dao)’, a Ch’an student puts an end to ‘all ego-clinging’, by ‘focusing the mind through Dharmic practice’, which puts an end to deluded behaviour. Through the persistent practice of ‘silent illumination’ that does not waiver, deluded thought is cut-off at the root and does not arise. This is a naturally occurring state that puts an end to all delusion in the mind. However, if deluded thought is not renounced, and truth is not sincerely sought, the mind remains in a deluded state, and cannot expand to embrace its environment. In this troubled state, ‘Seeing the Way (前 – Dao) after (attainment)’, cannot be achieved, due to the continuation of an ‘ego that separates’ the mind from integrating with its environment. When this separation is transcended, then ‘Seeing the Way (前 – Dao) after (attainment)’, is achieved and ‘ego is permanently overcome’.
If the ‘realisation of the essence of prajna emptiness’, is not achieved through ‘Seeing the Way (前 – Dao) after (attainment) through the practice of silence (i.e. ‘stillness’)’, then the attainment of ‘meditation samadhi’ becomes one-sided and incomplete. In this situation, the ‘attainment of enlightenment’ is not possible, and it is easy to fall into the deluded states of ‘non-seeing’, or ‘abiding in non-effort’, and mistake these erroneous states for the true attainment of ‘seeing the Way (前 – Dao). Ch’an masters Dahui Zonggao and Hongzhi Zhengjue both lived in the same era. Dahui criticised ‘Silent Illumination Ch’an’ as a diversion away from the correct meditation method, and a falling into ‘dead wood heretical Ch’an’. Ch’an Master Hongzhi, on the other hand, understood that there is a trap associated with ‘Silent Illumination Ch’an’, and wrote in his text entitled ‘Silent Illumination Inscription’ that, ‘Being truly ‘silent’ is a profound teaching, whilst the concept of ‘illumination’ is universal. To be truly ‘Silent’ is not to be empty of any particular thing, but is rather a profound state that is beyond language, where the mind dwells in the extinction of delusion, and experiences an all embracing essential emptiness, that expands to embrace all things.’ He also said, ‘The principle of ‘Silent Illumination’ is an all-embracing roundedness that is like a lotus that opens up and dispels all illusion.’ Therefore it can be said that ‘Silent Illumination’ is the cultivation of a profound harmony that is the essence of the realised nature of the Tathagata.
Regardless of whether one is in the state of ‘Seeing the Way (道 – Dao) before (attainment)’, or ‘Seeing the Way (前 – Dao) after (attainment)’, it is all part of the developmental process associated with the method of ‘Silent Illumination’. The concepts of ‘silent’ and ‘illumination’ are mutually supportive of one another, and although individually distinct, no difference can be found between them. Initially, when being ‘Silent’ is practiced, the mind is agitated and restless because it has not yet found the correct path. Then sometimes the mind settles, disengages from attachments to external phenomena and becomes calm, but it does not expand, and does not become all-embracing and shine with wisdom. Ch’an Master Hongzhi, when discussing the possibility of the mind failing to shine when practicing ‘Silent Illumination’, said, ‘If the true principle of being ‘Silent’ is not achieved, then there is nothing but humiliation.’ This is nothing but the mind falling into the torrent of delusion. Ch’an Master Hongzhi describes this state as, ‘The functioning of a dead, cold mind that rests in a warped logic.’ In such a situation, the mind should be roused from attachment to this negative state, and whilst keeping away from involvement with the world, put a stop to all deluded thought, so that the innate wisdom can shine automatically, and become fully embracing of the environment. This type of Buddhist meditation is very similar to the method found within the ‘Complete Enlightenment Sutra ’, which states, ‘Generating wisdom to breakup ignorance is not easy, but out of ignorance, enlightenment emerges. This is not a gradual realisation.’ The concepts of ‘silent’ and ‘illumination’ are exactly the same as Ch’an Master Yongjia’s statement when he says, ‘Silent and clear-minded; clear-minded and silent.’ Here, ‘silent’ means ‘stillness’, and ‘samadhi’, whilst ‘clear-minded’ refers to ‘correct perception’ and ‘wisdom’. Whether viewed as ‘Silent Illumination’, ‘Illuminated Silence’, or ‘Silent and clear-minded; clear-minded and silent’, this realised state indicates a perfect integration of ‘concentration and wisdom’ attained through the correct practice of Dharma meditation.
2) Single-minded Intense Meditation’ (只管打坐 – Zhi Guan Da Zuo). Within the Japanese tradition of Soto Zen Buddhism, the practice of ‘Silent Illumination’ is considered an improvement upon ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’. This is because ‘‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’ only emphasises the practice of ‘exact mediation as exact meditation’, which is the awareness of the mind limited only to the correct perception of various mind-body sense stimuli, be it numbness and aching, itching, or the surge of joy. No matter what phenomena of mind or body arise and pass away – the mind remains indifferent, and unconcerned, practicing a quiet form of observational awareness that does not go beyond that which it is sensing – hence it is called ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’. Another criticism of ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’, is that it limits Dharma meditation to just sitting quietly in the upright posture. In the text entitled ‘Single-minded Seated Meditation Law Essentials’, it clearly states that the act of meditation can be practiced anywhere, regardless of whether a person is standing, sitting, or lying, and should not be limited to just the sitting posture. Therefore, ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’ should not be limited to merely the sitting posture – as effective meditation can be practiced in any posture. With regards to ‘intense meditation’, the purpose is to attain a unified mind that is pure, bright, and clean, and which abides in the present moment – here and now. This is achieved by purifying the six sense roots, and removing sensual desire that obscures the mind. When practicing ‘only sitting’, the ‘immediate environment’ must be peaceful and secure. In this way, ignorance is dispelled with a flash of enlightenment in the mind, which transcends all discriminatory categories, and leaves behind all distinctions between ‘ordinary’ and ‘sagely’, and ‘love’ and ‘hate’, etc. However, this type of realisation often remains limited to the mind and body, and lacks the ability to expand and integrate with the outer environment. This is the case even if the mind is calmed and no delusion arises. Wisdom can be developed through ‘contemplation’, but this takes time and requires a particular set of circumstances not available to everyone. This is why ‘Silent Illumination’ meditation is better suited for ordinary people, as it can be practiced anywhere, in any position, even if a minority of its practitioners fall into error of ‘dead wood sitting’. In the Māhaprajñāparamitopadeśa it says, ‘The Buddhas and Mahasattvas understand that conduct, and awareness are inter-related. They know that when the body is alive, it is living; they know when the body is sitting, it is sitting, and they know when the body is lying down, it is lying down. This is how the conduct of the body is always known.’ This is how ‘awareness is generated’ so that the individual can live in the present moment, here and now. This is the development of mindfulness that is the product of correct awareness. Delusion no longer arises, as the mind and body remain pollution free – a realised state that is the product of correct intention. As behaviour and awareness are inter-related, this is where ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’ and ‘Silent Illumination’ can be reconciled – providing those who practice the former are willing to allow their purified mind-awareness to expand through the senses and into the environment. Those who practice ‘Silent Illumination’ can benefit from ‘‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’ by ‘focusing’ their mind during practice and making the training more efficient in the process.’ 
It is clear that Master Rujing made extensive use of the gong an and hua tou methods in his meditation hall as a means to push his students beyond the ‘calm mind state’ induced through the ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’ method – and that his style of teaching Ch’an was reliant upon this inter-play of a cultivated ‘still mind’ shaken-out of its complacency by the dramatic and vigorous enlightening action of a qualified teacher. Indeed, this is in accordance with the teaching of Ch’an Master Xu Yun (1840-1959), who often spoke of three phases to Ch’an training:
i) Deluded – ordinary mind at the outset of training.
ii) Relative enlightenment (an empty-mind that has not yet expanded into embracing its environment – also referred to as ‘sitting atop a hundred-foot pole).
iii) An all-embracing mind that is not attached to the void, nor hindered by phenomena. 
When viewed in terms of the Caodong method of the Five Ranks of ‘guest’ and ‘host’, the progression from delusion to full enlightenment can be interpreted as:
iv) Guest (i.e. confused mind).
v) Host (i.e. void coming to light).
vi) Host in host (i.e. integration of the host and guest, void and form). 
For Dogen – as the Tenth Patriarch of the Huang Long (Linji) Ch’an tradition – he was probably aware of the views of his Dharma-ancestor Dahui Zonggao (大慧宗杲) [1089–1163], if not in Japan then certainly in China. As Dahui was criticising Hongzhi Zhengjue (宏智正覺) [1091-1157], this could explain where Dogen first became aware of the ‘Silent Illumination’ method. It is also well-known that Master Rujing respected and admired Hongzhi Zhengjue – and this association must be interpreted as another direction from which Dogen could have become aware of ‘Silent Illumination’ – even if Master Rujing did not overtly emphasis this practice. Through the administration of the Five Ranks system, however, the Caodong masters had taught what might be described as an ’original’ form of meditation, from which the methods of ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’ and ‘Silent Illumination’ eventually emerged as partial representations. Although Hongzhi Zhengjue did use the term ‘Silent Illumination’, he was also renowned for his extensive gong an collection – a fact that makes a mockery of Dahui’s withering criticisms of a type of ‘Silent Illumination’ that emphasised ‘silent sitting’, or ‘dead sitting’ – which Dahui erroneously associated with Hongzhi’s tradition.  Furthermore, Dahui was not entirely opposed in principle to the practice of ‘silent sitting’, particularly for monastic practitioners, but believed that certain Caodong masters misinterpreted its meaning and function.  In a sense, Dogen reassembles the full Ch’an method through his integration of Shikantaza and Silent Illumination, and although Master Rujing does not appear to overtly emphasis Silent Illumination, it is likely that its implications were present in his otherwise robust system of prolonged meditation practice and vigorous gong an and hua tou usage. It is apparent that Master Rujing did not reject gong an or hua tou practice in his method, and it is a curious fact that Soto Zen in Japan became associated with an ‘anti-gong an’ attitude as a defining characteristic of its teaching method. This position is paradoxical, as it makes Master Rujing – the Chinese forefather of Japanese Soto Zen – appear to be a rampaging Linji (i.e. ‘Rinzai’) adherent. Perhaps this is not as paradoxical as it first seems, but simply serves to demonstrate the fact that the Linji and Caodong lineages share a common heritage, and are more alike in theory and practice than many realise them to be.
Shikantaza (Zhi Guan Da Zuo) is a legitimate Chinese Ch’an developmental technique designed to assist the Ch’an student to ‘return’ the sensory-data received from the environment – via the six sensory-organs – to its ‘empty’ root, or ‘perceptual origination’ within the mind. Although Ch’an Master Rujing is believed to have coined the term ‘Single-minded Intense Meditation’ (只管打坐 - Zhi Guan Da Zuo), he did not invent the method associated with its practice. The principle of ‘stilling’ the mind through ‘returning’ sensory-stimulus to its ‘empty’ root, is present in the Surangama Sutra (大佛頂首楞嚴經 – Da Fu Ding Shou Leng Yen Jing) - which was first translated into the Chinese language in 705 CE, by the Indian master named Paramiti. This sutra advocates the ‘untying’ of the six sensory ‘knots’ through the method of intense introspection.  It also contains the theoretical basis for the practice of ‘Silent Illumination’ (默照禪 - Mo Zhao Ch’an), through its teaching regarding the Ten Stages of Bodhisattva Attainment (Dasabhumi).  The Surangama Sutra demonstrates, in minute detail, that the mind must be disentangled from the six sense organs, the sensory data they receive, and the corresponding six sensory objects that constitute the physical world. When the mind is ‘stilled’ (the stage of relative enlightenment), attachment to a one-sided ‘emptiness’ must be ‘uprooted’ if the full function of the mind is to be recovered and consciousness is realised to be all-embracing. Enlightenment is not a ‘new’ or ‘induced’ state of being imported into the mind through an act of concentrated will – but is rather the ‘recovery’ of the mind’s pristine state before it was sullied eons ago by deluded thought. This assumes that the ‘ordinary’ mind of delusion is functioning inside out, or the wrong way around. The Ch’an method of gong an and hua tou usage is designed specifically to ‘turn words’ from their usual deluded direction of travel (that assumes a priori that the world is premised upon a duality of subject-object interaction), to that of being in accordance with a fully functioning mind that is all-embracing of its environment, essentially empty and yet containing all things, non-attached to emptiness and not hindered by phenomena (or sensory stimuli). This is the mind that is the ‘right way around’ – a state that all Ch’an masters have attained, and the position they teach from. It is the expedient position of the unmovable ‘host’ who greets all ‘guests’ with a precise indifference designed to shake them out of their inverted thinking by showing them their true-mind essence, and although all Ch’an masters teach an immediate method of enlightenment, this is understood in the mind of the student in many different ways. Depending upon the perceptual awareness of the student, the Ch’an master’s method will appear either ‘instantaneous’ or ‘gradual’, when in reality the empty mind ground (空心地 – Kong Xin Di) – or in Sanskrit ‘Cittabhumi’ is clearly presented ‘here and now’. As the minds of individuals vary from person to person, and as karmic conditioning is diverse, the Ch’an masters must apply their method of ‘disentangling’ in many different ways that are applicable to the student. At one point the mind will need to be ‘stilled’, whilst at another time an emphasis is required for the development of all-embracing reality. This means that Shikantaza and Mo Zhao are complementary methods, which can only be perceived as incorrect if there exists a one-sided attachment to either method that excludes the other as a legitimate practice. Dahui’s warning against falling into ‘dead’ meditation is applicable for all Ch’an students practicing any type of Ch’an meditation and cannot be limited to the practice of ‘Silent Illumination’ alone.
©opyright: Adrian Chan-Wyles (ShiDaDao) 2015.
 Dogen wrote a poem for this portrait of himself in 1249. This work of art is now known as the ‘Portrait of Dogen Viewing the Moon’, and currently resides at the Hokyo-ji (i.e. Hokyo Temple), which is situated in the Fukui Prefecture area of north-central Japan.
 Tanahashi, Kazuaki, Editor, Moon in a Dewdrop, North Print Press, (1985), Page 10 of the Introduction.
 For these (and all subsequent) Chinese terms (and additional information included in this article), see the Chinese language websites entitled ‘道元禅师简介’ [Dao Yuan Fa Shi Jian Jie] or, ‘Introduction to Zen Master Dogen’: http://www.hongzen.com/show.aspx?id=221&cid=8 Accessed 21.2.15 and ‘道元’ (Dao Yuan) or, ‘Dogen’: http://baike.baidu.com/view/189907.htm Accessed 21.2.15.
 Kodera, Takashi, James, Dogen’s Formative Years in China – An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-Ki, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1980), Part One; Chapter 1 – Before the Trip to Sung China - Page 17.
 Ibid Page 17.
 Ibid Page 23. ‘…at his mother’s death, observing the smoke of the incense, he intimately realised the impermanence of the world of sentient beings, and profoundly developed the great aspiration to seek the Dharma’.
 Ibid Page 24. Dogen was reading Vasubandhu’s text entitled the ‘Abhidharma Kosa’ at the age of 9 years old.
 Ibid Page 24. Kodera questions whether Dogen received the Bodhisattva Precepts at the age of 14 years old, as the Tendai School had an established rule of only ordaining those who had reached 20 years of age – Dogen was 6 years too young at the time.
 Tanahashi, Kazuaki, Editor, Moon in a Dewdrop, North Print Press, (1985), Page 4 of the Introduction – taken from Kenzei’s Biography of Dogen.
 Kodera, Takashi, James, Dogen’s Formative Years in China – An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-Ki, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1980), Part One; Chapter 1 – Before the Trip to Sung China - Pages 24-25. The two competing Tendai strongholds were situated at Enryaku-ji and Mii-dera, and the hostility continued into Dogen’s lifetime.
 Ibid Page 25.
 Ibid Page 29
 Ibid Page 27.
 Ibid Page 31.
 Ibid Pages 33-34.
 Ibid Pages 35.
 道元禅师简介 [Dao Yuan Fa Shi Jian Jie] or, ‘Introduction to Zen Master Dogen’: < http://www.hongzen.com/show.aspx?id=221&cid=8> Accessed 23.2.15
 道元禅师简介 [Dao Yuan Fa Shi Jian Jie] or, ‘Introduction to Zen Master Dogen’: < http://www.hongzen.com/show.aspx?id=221&cid=8> Accessed 23.2.15. The sentence reads, ‘因戒牒不合中国佛教之制’, with ‘不合’ translating as ‘not compatible’. It is close to, but subtly distinguished from ‘不合法’ which means ‘not legal’, or ‘illegal’. The nuance is that although there is something perceived to be amiss by the Chinese authorities, it is an issue that can be resolved without referring to overt punitive legal action. On the other hand, Dogen’s confinement to ship for three months could be construed as a punishment in lieu of formal imprisonment, etc.
 Kodera, Takashi, James, Dogen’s Formative Years in China – An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-Ki, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1980), Part One; Chapter 2 – Dogen in China – Pages 36-37.
 Ferguson, Andy, (Translator) Zen’s Chinese Heritage – The Master and Their Teachings, Wisdom Books, (2000), Eighteenth Generation – Huanglong Huinan - Pages 371-372. Ferguson is quoting from the Chinese Ch’an transmission text entitled ‘Wudeng Huiyuan’, or ‘Five Lamps Meeting at the Source’ (五灯会元 – Wu Deng Hui Yuan), but which he translates as ‘Compendium of Five Lamps’.
 Ibid Page 372.
 Luk, Charles, Ch’an and Zen Teaching Second Series, Rider, (1987), Chapter 4: The Ts’ao Tung Sect (Soto Zen) - Pages 130-131. Translated into English (using Wade-Giles transliteration) from the original Chinese language text entitled ‘Five Lamps Meeting at the Source’.
 Ibid Pages 131-132.
 Kodera, Takashi, James, Dogen’s Formative Years in China – An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-Ki, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1980), Part One; Chapter 2 – Dogen in China – Page 57.
 Ibid Page 52.
道元禅师简介 [Dao Yuan Fa Shi Jian Jie] or, ‘Introduction to Zen Master Dogen’: < http://www.hongzen.com/show.aspx?id=221&cid=8> Accessed 3.3.15. This site conveys biographical information about Dogen from various sources in the Chinese language.
 Tanahashi, Kazuaki, Editor, Moon in a Dewdrop, North Print Press, (1985), Page 5 of the Introduction – extracted from Section Two of ‘The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye’, or the Japanese text entitled ‘Shobogenzo’ (正法眼蔵 - Zheng Fa Yan Zang).
 Takashi James Kodera, (1980) refers to this text in English as ‘Hokyo-ki’. For a selection of Hokyo-ji quotes from Ch’an Master Rujing (in the Chinese language) please reference http://www.caodongzazen.com/collections-ruchingdiscipiline.htm Accessed 3.3.15.
 Kodera, Takashi, James, Dogen’s Formative Years in China – An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-Ki, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1980), Part Two – Hokyo-Ki – Page 124 for an alternative translation.
 Ferguson, Andy, (Translator) Zen’s Chinese Heritage – The Master and Their Teachings, Wisdom Books, (2000), Twenty-third Generation – Tiantong Rujing - Pages 454-455.
 Ibid Page 455.
 Kodera, Takashi, James, Dogen’s Formative Years in China – An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-Ki, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1980), Part One; Chapter 2 – Dogen in China – Page 56 .
 Ferguson, Andy, (Translator) Zen’s Chinese Heritage – The Master and Their Teachings, Wisdom Books, (2000), Twenty-third Generation – Tiantong Rujing - Page 454.
 Kodera, Takashi, James, Dogen’s Formative Years in China – An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-Ki, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1980), Part One; Chapter 2 – Dogen in China – Pages 60-61.
 Kodera, Takashi, James, Dogen’s Formative Years in China – An Historical Study and Annotated Translation of the Hokyo-Ki, Routledge & Kegan Paul, (1980), Part Two; Chapter 4 – Annotated Translation - Pages 137-138.
 See: Zuo Ch'an Yi - (坐禅仪) - The Ch’an School’s Correct Method for the Practice Of Seated Meditation: Translated by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD < http://wenshuchan-online.weebly.com/zuo-chan-yi---223523110920202-seated-meditation.html> Accessed 5.3.15.
 Tanahashi, Kazuaki, Editor, Moon in a Dewdrop, North Print Press, (1985), Pages 29-31 for an English translation of Dogen’s Zazen-Gi.
 Schlutter, Morten, How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute Over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, (2009), Page 4.
台灣佛教網路論壇 (Taiwan Fo Jiao Wang Lu Lun Tan), or ‘Taiwan Buddhist Theory Network Forum’ authored by Tang Qi (唐岐) < http://tw-buddha.com/forum2/index.php?showtopic=6993> Accessed 5.3.15. I have rendered the original Chinese language source text into English translation for this article.
 Luk, Charles, Ch’an and Zen Teaching First Series, Rider, (1987), Part 1, Master Hsu Yun’s Discourses and Dharma Words, Chapters 1-4, Pages 19-109 – for a comprehensive over-view of Xu Yun’s approach to Ch’an. As Xu Yun had inherited all Five Ch’an Houses, his interpretation of the Ch’an method is considered correct and reliable in China and throughout the Chinese diaspora.
 Luk, Charles, Ch’an and Zen Teaching Second Series, Rider, (1987), Chapters 4-5 - The Ts’ao Tung Sect (Soto Zen) – Pages 127-180. Master Liang Chia (Dong Shan) invented the Five Ranks system (based upon Hua Yan Buddhist theory), and his student (and Dharma heir) Master Wen Yen (Ts’ao Shan) added the shaded roundel imagery – prior to his conversion to Buddhism – Wen Yen was a Confucian scholar.
 Schlutter, Morten, How Zen Became Zen: The Dispute Over Enlightenment and the Formation of Chan Buddhism in Song-Dynasty China, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, (2009), Page 168 – Schlutter explains how Dahui’s attacks on ‘Silent Illumination’ and the Caodong lineage were sometimes ‘distorted’ and ‘exaggerated’.
 Ibid Page 118.
 Luk, Charles, The Surangama Sutra, (Leng Yen Ching), Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, (2001), Chapter IV, Self-Enlightenment, How to untie the six knots, Pages 118-135.
 Ibid Page 172. The third stage of Bodhisattva Attainment states: ‘Utter purity now begets further enlightenment. This is called the stage of illumination (vimala).'