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Thread: Silent Illumination and shikantaza?

  1. #1

    Silent Illumination and shikantaza?

    hi Jundo...

    Do you know whether there is difference between silent illumination and shikantaza?

    Do you have any information about Hongzhi's stuff?

    Gassho, Shui di

  2. #2

    Re: Silent Illumination and shikantaza?

    Hi Shui,

    How are you?

    This has come up a couple of times in the Forum in the past ...


    The best book on the subject in English I know is this book by Taigen Dan Leighton ... ... 0865474745

    ... which is summarized in this shorter essay version ... ... st_sitting

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Silent Illumination and shikantaza?

    Hi Jundo,

    I'm well.... thanks,

    hmm... I also some times feel there is a danger to become "sit possession" in Zazen.

    Yes, Sitting is just the enlightenment it self, but standing laying and walking also the enlightenment it self. Can you find something that's not enlightened. Every thing has it's own nature...

    Zazen it's just the way to taste it, to taste the suchness. If we get the point, everything is Zazen.

    And about Silent Illumination...

    I'm not so clear about this,....

    Btw, thanks for the info, Jundo

    Gassho, Shui Di

  4. #4

    Re: Silent Illumination and shikantaza?


    I found this at

    It's quite lovely and maybe it''ll help.

    Guidepost of Silent Illumination - A poem on the essential way of Silent Illumination (Caodong), by Hongzhi Zhengjue, one of the great founding fathers of that tradition.

    Guidepost of Silent Illumination

    By Hongzhi Zhengjue

    Silent and serene, forgetting words, bright clarity appears before you.
    When you reflect it you become vast, where you embody it you are spiritually uplifted.
    Spiritually solitary and shining, inner illumination restores wonder,
    Dew in the moonlight, a river of stars, snow-covered pines, clouds enveloping the peaks.
    In darkness it is most bright, while hidden all the more manifest.
    The crane dreams in the wintery mists. The autumn waters flow far in the distance.
    Endless kalpas are totally empty, all things are completely the same.
    When wonder exists in serenity, all achievement is forgotten in illumination.
    What is this wonder? Alertly seeing through confusion
    Is the way of silent illumination and the origin of subtle radiance.
    Vision penetrating into subtle radiance is weaving gold on a jade loom.
    Upright and inclined yield to each other; light and dark are interdependent.
    Not depending on sense faculty and object, at the right time they interact.
    Drink the medicine of good views. Beat the poison-smeared drum.
    When they interact, killing and giving life are up to you.
    Through the gate the self emerges and the branches bear fruit.
    Only silence is the supreme speech, only illumination the universal response.
    Responding without falling into achievement, speaking without involving listeners.
    The ten thousand forms majestically glisten and expound the dharma.
    All objects certify it, every one in dialogue.
    Dialoguing and certifying, they respond appropriately to each other;
    But if illumination neglects serenity then aggresiveness appears.
    Certifying and dialoguing, they respond to to oeach other appropriately;
    But if serenity neglects illumination, murkiness leads to wasted dharma.
    Whe silent illumination is fulfilled, the lotus blossoms, the dreamer awakens,
    A hundred streams flow into the ocean, a thousand ranges face the highest peak.
    Like geese preferring milk, like bees gathering nectar,
    When silent illumination reaches the ultimate, I offer my teaching.
    The teaching of silent illumination penetrates from the highest down to the foundation.
    The body being shunyata, the arms in mudra,
    From beginning to end the changing appearances and then thousand differences share one pattern.
    Mr. Ho offered jade [to the Emperor]; [Minister] Xiangru pointed to its flaws.
    Facing changes has its principles, the great function is without striving.
    The ruler stays in the kingdom, the general goes beyond the frontiers.
    Our school’s affair hits the mark straight and true.
    Transmit it to all directions without desiring to gain credit.

    Many Blessings,

  5. #5

    Re: Silent Illumination and shikantaza?

    thanks Lora for the website.
    That's really interesting.

    Gassho, Shui di

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