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Chapter Summary

This is the final chapter of this book, which deals with the pluralistic environment in which Li Gonglin developed his Buddhist faith, and in which participants moved effortlessly between Buddhist and Confucian-literati spheres. Sinicized Buddhism consisted of Mahāyāna ideology, domesticated in its expression and in its methods of cultivation. Yang Jie and Guo Xiangzheng, both literati officials, were the most prominent literati-Buddhists in the Longmian region during the eleventh century. In choosing site and structure names, Li construed his Longmian Mountain Villa as an earthly Pure Land. His guiding principle was the Mahāyāna bodhisattva path, and he adopted current ideas from the most popular sūtras and methods of cultivation of his time. Painting was Li's most sincere form of self-expression, and as Su Shi observed, "Through painting, Li Gonglin transmitted the words of Buddhas and bodhisattvas". In that statement lies the quintessence of Li's painting ethos.

Keywords: bodhisattva path; Buddhist faith; Li Gonglin; Longmian mountain villa; Mahāyāna ideology



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