Zhiyi's interpretation of the concept "dhyana" in his Shi chan boluomi tsidi famen
AdvisorGimello, Robert M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study is an analysis of Zhiyi's interpretation of the concept of "dhyana" in his Shi chanboluomi cidi famen (An Exposition of Methods to Achieve the Stages of Meditative Perfection, hereafter, The Stages of Meditative Perfection). In the studies of Chinese Buddhism, dhyana , translated into Chinese "chan," is commonly associated with the Chan school (Chan zong ) developed in China in the seventh and the eighth century. In Zhiyi's The Stages of Meditative Perfection, however, dhyana is generally understood as the Four Dhyanas. In the "Four Dhyanas" chapter of The Stages of Meditative Perfection, Zhiyi specifically defines dhyana as "zhilin (dhyana factors)" and "gongde tsonglin (an array of meritorious qualities)." The Stages of Meditative Perfection is Zhiyi's systemization of the various dhyana methods practiced by Chinese Buddhists from the second to the sixth centuries A.D. A general sketch of The Stages of Meditative Perfection is made in the first three chapters of this study. In the first chapter I make a brief textual review and discuss some general features of this text. In chapter two, I discuss some of the important terms related to meditation practices used inThe Stages of Meditative Perfection. The third chapter is an analysis of some of Zhiyi's dhyana classification systems that appear in the first five chapters of The Stages of Meditative Perfection , which comprises Zhiyi's theoretical systemization of Dhyana-paramita . Among Zhiyi's discussion of the actual practice of the fifteen dhyana methods discussed in the sixth and seventh chapters of The Stages of Meditative Perfection, two dhyana practices, the Four Dhyanas and the Tongming guan (The Contemplation Leading to [Six] Supernormal Powers and [Three Illuminating] Insights) are the most crucial for our understanding of Zhiyi's concept of dhyana. Therefore, these two dhyana practices are selected as the subject of detailed analysis. Four aspects of Zhiyi's interpretation of dhyana will be examined in my analysis: Zhiyi's definitions of dhyana, his concepts of "Mundane Dhyana" and "Supramundane Dhyana," the role of intellect and physiology in the meditative states in Zhiyi's interpretation of dhyana, and Zhiyi's method of synthesizing practice and doctrine in his interpretation of dhyana.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
East Asian Studies