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Full Access ‘Treating Illness’: Translation of a Chapter from a Medieval Chinese Buddhist Meditation Manual by Zhiyi (538–597)

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‘Treating Illness’: Translation of a Chapter from a Medieval Chinese Buddhist Meditation Manual by Zhiyi (538–597)

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AbstractThis translation is an excerpt from a meditation treatise by one of the most important figures in East Asian Buddhist history, the Chinese scholar-monk Zhiyi (538–597). Zhiyi was notable as a systematizer and domesticator of Buddhist knowledge, and particularly for his writings on śamatha and vipaśyanā meditation. The excerpt translated below is a complete chapter from the shorter of his meditation treatises. It focuses specifically on how various strands of Indian and Chinese medical and religious knowledge could be employed to diagnose and treat illness while the practitioner remained engaged in seated meditation. Incorporating both foreign and domestic knowledge into the framework of śamatha and vipaśyanā, this chapter represents one of the earliest examples of systematic Indo- Sinitic medical syncretism, and one of the most important expressions of a unique medieval Chinese Buddhist perspective on healing.

Affiliations: 1: Penn State University / Abington CollegeUSA

10.1163/15734218-12341262
/content/journals/10.1163/15734218-12341262
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AbstractThis translation is an excerpt from a meditation treatise by one of the most important figures in East Asian Buddhist history, the Chinese scholar-monk Zhiyi (538–597). Zhiyi was notable as a systematizer and domesticator of Buddhist knowledge, and particularly for his writings on śamatha and vipaśyanā meditation. The excerpt translated below is a complete chapter from the shorter of his meditation treatises. It focuses specifically on how various strands of Indian and Chinese medical and religious knowledge could be employed to diagnose and treat illness while the practitioner remained engaged in seated meditation. Incorporating both foreign and domestic knowledge into the framework of śamatha and vipaśyanā, this chapter represents one of the earliest examples of systematic Indo- Sinitic medical syncretism, and one of the most important expressions of a unique medieval Chinese Buddhist perspective on healing.

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1. Dharmamitra Bhikshu The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: A Classic Śamatha-Vipaśyanā Meditation Manual: The Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation, by the Great Tiantai Meditation Master & Exegete: Śramaṇa Zhiyi (Chih-I) (538–597 CE) 2008 Seattle Kalavinka Press
2. Birnbaum R. Sullivan L. E. "‘Chinese Buddhist Traditions of Healing and the Life Cycle’" Healing and Restoring: Health and Medicine in the World’s Religious Traditions 1989 New York and London Macmillan 33 57
3. Chen Ming 陳明 Zhonggu yiliao yu wailai wenhua 中古醫療與外來文化 2013 Beijing Peking University Press
4. Demiéville P. Tatz Mark Buddhism and Healing: Demiéville’s Article ‘Byō’ from Hōbōgirin 1985 Lanham, Md., and London University Press of America
5. Despeux C. Kohn L. "‘The Six Healing Breaths’" Daoist Body Cultivation: Traditional Models and Contemporary Practices 2006 Magdalena, NM Three Pines Press 37 67
6. Griffiths P. J. "‘Buddhist Hybrid English: Some Notes on Philology and Hermeneutics for Buddhologists’" Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 1981 Vol 4 2 17 32
7. Huang Boyuan 黃柏源 "‘Zhiyi yixue sixiang zhi yanjiu—yi《Mohe zhiguan》“Guanbing huanjing” wei zhongxin 智顗醫學思想之研究-以《摩訶止觀》「觀病患境」為中心’" 2000 (English Title: A Study on Zhiyi’s Thought of Medical Science—Focus on ‘Contemplation in a State of Illness’ of Mo-ho-chih-kuan), unpublished MA Thesis, Huafan daxue 華梵大學
8. Lu K’uan Yü The Secrets of Chinese Meditation: Self-Cultivation by Mind Control as Taught in the Ch’an, Mahāyāna and Taoist Schools in China 1964 London Rider
9. Salguero C. Pierce "‘The Buddhist Medicine King in Literary Context: Reconsidering an Early Example of Indian Influence on Chinese Medicine and Surgery’" History of Religions 2009 Vol 48 3 183 210 http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/598230
10. Salguero C. Pierce "‘“A Flock of Ghosts Bursting Forth and Scattering”: Healing Narratives in a Sixth-Century Chinese Buddhist Hagiography’" East Asian Science, Technology, & Medicine 2010 Vol 32 89 120
11. Salguero C. Pierce "‘Mixing Metaphors: Translating the Indian Medical Doctrine Tridoṣa in Chinese Buddhist Sources’" Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 2010–11 Vol 6 1 55 74
12. Salguero C. Pierce "‘“On Eliminating Disease”: Translations of the Medical Chapter from the Chinese Versions of the Sutra of Golden Light’" eJournal of Indian Medicine 2013 Vol 6 1 21 43
13. Salguero C. Pierce Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China forthcoming Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Press (in press)
14. Sekiguchi Shindai 關口真大 Tendai shōshikan no kenkyō 天台小止観研究 1954 Tokyo Sankibō busshorin
15. Swanson P. L. "‘What’s Going on Here? Chih-i’s Use (and Abuse) of Scripture’" Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 1997 Vol 20 1 1 30
16. Swanson P. L. "‘Dry Dust, Hazy Images, and Missing Pieces: Reflections on Translating Religious Texts’" Nanzan Bulletin 1999 Vol 23 29 43
17. Swanson P. L. "‘Ch’an and Chih-kuan: T’ien-t’ai Chih-i’s View of “Zen” and the Practice of the Lotus Sutra’" Tendai Bulletin 天台学報 2007 Special issue 143 164
18. Unschuld P. U. Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text 2003 Berkeley and Los Angeles University of California Press http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520233225.001.0001
19. Yamano Toshirou 山野俊郎 "‘Tendai Chigi no igaku shisō josetsu 天台智顗医学思想序説’" Shinshū Sōgō Kenkyūjo kenkyū kiyō 真宗総合研究所研究紀要 1985 Vol 3 115 142
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2012-01-20
2018-06-25

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