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The Huffington Post continues to bring nonduality to the mainstream. Here is another article.
Before There Was Stress Reduction, There Was No-Thought
by Wendi L. Adamek (Author, "The Teachings of Master Wuzhu: Zen and Religion of No-Religion")
Master Wuzhu is your
typical Zen Master: he reads minds, hides himself away in
inaccessible mountains and tells earthy stories. Most
importantly, he jettisons all conventional religious practices,
and he did this about twelve hundred years before Alan Watts,
Esalen or MBSR. What makes him unique in the annals of Chan/Zen
is that his followers compiled a book about his antecedents,
anecdotes and aphorisms at a time (roughly 780 C.E.) when Zen was
not yet a powerful religious network evolving its way into the
heart of the cultures of
Chan/Zen formed itself around a contentious issue: how do you teach Buddhist practice if you reject all forms of practice as misleading? Forms of practice are misleading because they make something concrete out of something that is not even abstract. As Master Wuzhu puts it: "When there is true no-thought, no-thought itself is not." This "formless practice" immediately makes the everyday challenge of making distinctions and choices even more challenging. Or does it?
If non-dual enlightenment is neither good nor evil, is this a dangerous thing to teach? How do you encourage people to get a move on in their practice while telling them there's nowhere to go? Should you be paid for doing this? Did Wuzhu's female disciple Liaojianxing compile the Lidai fabao ji? And, finally, what kind of sound does a paddy-crab make?
In the Lidai fabao ji
these issues -- antinomianism, formless practice, support of
monastics, the role of women and out-of-the-box teaching -- are
presented through accessible dialogues and stories. Yet they have
roots in complex Buddhist philosophical scriptures and treatises.
Many of Wuzhu's teachings echo a style used in the
Praj˝a-pa-ramita (Perfection of Wisdom) literature, which often
links antithetical characteristics to express what is meant by
"emptiness." Thus, one line of the Heart Su-tra reads:
"no old age and death, and also no extinction of them."
This in turn generated the Ma-dhaymaka (
So, when I find myself wondering whether it would have mattered to Wuzhu that we are still interested in reading about him, I suspect he would have not-cared -- and he would have cared, very much.
Order The Teachings of Master Wuzhu: Zen and Religion of No-Religion (Translations from the Asian Classics), by Wendi Adamek from Amazon.com:
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