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John Blofeld on the Chan School and the Heart Sutra

Excerpts from The Jewel in the Lotus: An Outline of Present Day Buddhism in China, published by Sidgwick & Jackson for The Buddhist Society, 1948, and Gateway to Wisdom, published by Allen & Unwin, 1980, by John Blofeld.

Chan Calligraphy

Chapter X: The Meditation Sect

This sect, more generally known in Europe by its Japanese name of Zen, is called Ch’an Tsung in Chinese, Ch’an being the equivalent of the Sanskrit word dhyana (meditation) and tsung meaning a sect. It has for over a thousand years been one of the most influential sects in the country and has played a great part in the development of Chinese philosophy and art, as well as making a peculiar impression of the psychology of the Chinese people. The interest which its doctrines have aroused in certain circles in the West is partly due to the labours of Dr. D. T. Suzuki, but mainly to the extreme freshness of its doctrines and the attitude to life of its adherents, which is in such sharp contrast to that of other religious groups.

The principle doctrine of the sect is that Nirvana can be attained in this life as the result of an experience known as sudden Enlightenment, which connotes sudden apprehension of our real nature and of the fact that this nature is identical with that of the ultimate reality underlying the appearances of all phenomena. […]

The word ch’an (dhyana) can be rendered into English as “meditation” or “pure thought”. Adherents of the Meditation Sect emphasise the importance of attaining Enlightenment through carefully directed concentration of mind and certain mental exercises, holding that the study of the scriptures is a much more uncertain road to that goal. Having little belief in the efficacy of words and acquired knowledge, they call their doctrine “a teaching beyond teaching”. Their method is to practise the eradication of wayward thoughts by concentration and to open their minds to that intuitive knowledge, which, they believe, will come to them as the result of prolonged mental efforts to obtain it. They hope to be able to recognise and understand the “intrinsically pure essence of mind” which is the common possession of all, though few are aware of it. This “essence of mind” is said to be our Buddha-nature, our true nature, obscured by the darkness of desire, aversion and ignorance, but of unchanging and unchangeable purity in itself. By intuitive wisdom, the fruit of rightly performed meditation, we can grasp this nature and realise that the individual is in reality a Buddha, or looked at from a wider point of view, “one with Buddha” and, indeed, the whole Universe. This method is still practised today by millions of people throughout the Far East, but often accompanied by the methods for obtaining Enlightenment advocated by other Buddhist sects.

Moreover, though Ch’an is called a wordless teaching, several books are now popular with the adherents of the Meditation Sect, especially the Diamond Sutra (Vajrachedikka Sutra), the Heart Sutra (Smaller Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra), and the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, the Exalted Teacher and Treasure of the Law. […]

The Heart Sutra contains the essence of the teachings of the Meditation Sect in a very few words, and is given here in full as an example of Ch’an philosophy. It runs as follows:

* * *

When Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva was practising the profound Prajnaparamita (1), he perceived that the five congregates (2) were all void; and by so perceiving liberated himself from all sorrows. (3)

Sariputra (he said), matter differs not from void, nor void from matter. Indeed, matter is void and void is matter. And such also is the case with sensation, perception, discrimination and consciousness. (4)

Sariputra, all of these are of the nature of void. They are neither existing nor non-existing; not impure nor pure; neither growing nor decaying. Therefore in the void there is no matter, neither is there sensation or perception, discrimination or consciousness. And in it there are no eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body or mind. There is no form, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch and no knowledge. There is no that which is seen by the eye, heard by the ear, etc. up to no that which is conceived by the mind; no ignorance nor ignorance exterminated; no decay and no death, nor are they extirpated; no sorrow nor cause of sorrow, nor extinction of sorrow nor way to its extinction. There is no wisdom, nor anything to be gained by it. Because nothing is gained, so one is a Bodhisattva. Because of the Prajnaparamita, the mind is liberated. Because the mind is liberated, so one is free from worry and ignorant thoughts and can attain to the supreme Nirvana. (5)

All the Buddhas of the three periods attained supreme Buddhahood by way of Prajnaparamita. Therefore it is known that Prajnaparamita is the most divine mantra, the unsurpassed mantra, the peerless mantra. It can assuage all sufferings and is the Truth. Therefore I teach you the mantra of the Prajnaparamita, thus:

“Gati gati paragati parasamgati bodhi svaha.”

* * *

Heart Sutra 陳沛然

The Heart Sutra. Calligraphy by 陳沛然.

This translation is based on one made by the Teacher of the Dharma, Wei Huan (惟幻法師), a disciple of the Venerable T’ai Hsü (太虛法師). The meaning of the Sanskrit words of the mantra at the end is: “O wisdom, gone, gone to the other shore, arrived at the other shore, svaha,” but mantras are not supposed to be thought of in relation to the exact meaning of the words of which they are composed, some of them having no apparent meaning at all; they are valued and used for the sake of their esoteric meaning and particular sound, which, it is said, help to establish contact between human beings and the spiritual being to which the mantra employed is specially appropriate.

The Heart Sutra carries to extreme length the doctrine that not only form but the Dharma itself is void. Even the Four Noble Truths of suffering, the cause of suffering, the existence of a way to end suffering and the Noble Eightfold Path, which are often considered the keystones of Buddhism, are denied, though they are, of course, considered to hold true in the relative sense that anything exists at all. Thus it will be seen how the Meditation Sect emphasises the fundamental voidness of everything, including the Buddhist teaching itself, and even postulates that the consciousness of the thinker himself is void. The Buddha is represented in this sutra as having pondered over the existence of sorrow, sickness, decay and death, prescribed as an antidote in the Four Noble Truths and then, speaking as from a higher plane, to have stated emphatically that sorrow, death and the Four Noble Truths do not exist, in order to emphasise that absolutely nothing exists except in a relative sense.

Notes: For the sake of clarity, John Blofeld’s notes on the Heart Sutra, originally inserted directly into the text, have been relegated to the end of this post and are as follows.

  1. Arriving at the further shore by means of wisdom.
  2. Skandha.
  3. The five congregates are matter, sensation or the effect of on the senses of matter and or phenomena, perception or the mental awareness of having received these impressions, discrimination or the mental acts of liking or disliking the objects of these impressions, and consciousness.
  4. Sariputra was the disciple to whom Gautama Buddha is said to have delivered this lecture.
  5. “That which is seen by the eye” means that which results from the contact of the eye and the object which it perceives. So, also with the other sense organs and the objects which they apprehend.

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In a later work, ‘Gateway to Wisdom’ (1980), John Blofeld returned to the Heart Sutra and its teaching:

 

All the ordinary teachings of the Buddha are here transcended in the light of intuition of the void nature of existence. The five skandhas or components of an individual’s seeming personality are proclaimed to be void, as are the six sense organs (including mind), the six forms of sense perception, and the six types of consciousness to which they give rise. Even such fundamental teachings are negated as the twelvefold chain of causation leading from primordial ignorance, through becoming, etc., to decay, death and rebirth; the Four Noble Truths (that existence is inseparable from suffering/frustration; that the cause of suffering is inordinate desire; that the remedy is cessation of inordinate desire/aversion; and that this results from treading the Noble Eightfold Path requiring right attitudes and conduct of both body and mind); and the attainment of Nirvana through the exercise of wisdom. All these teachings, though absolutely valid at the level of relative truth apparent to us all, are found to have no pertinence once the void nature of reality has been fully realised and conceptualisation transcended. The reference at the end of the sutra to uttering the mantra of Highest Wisdom means not that the one just utters it, but that he lives the mantra by perceiving the voidness of all concepts, entities and beings without exception. The exoteric teachings of the Buddha must most certainly not be abandoned until the intuitive experience of voidness leads to brilliant, unwavering perception of the pure, boundless, shining void. The words to be recited are as follows:

 

Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva, while engaged in deep practice of the highest wisdom, perceived that all the five aggregates are void, and thereby passed beyond all forms of suffering.

O Sariputra, form differs not from void, nor void from form. Form IS void; void IS form. With feelings, perceptions, conditionings and consciousness it is the same. Sariputra, all these are marked by emptiness, neither coming into being nor ceasing to be, neither foul nor pure, neither increasing nor diminishing.

Therefore within the void there is no form, no sensation, perception, discrimination or consciousness; no eyes, no ears, nose, tongue, body or mind; nor form, sound, smell, taste, touch or thought; nor any of the others from eye-consciousness to mind-consciousness.

There is neither ignorance, nor extinction of ignorance, nor any of the others [twelve links of causation] down to decay and death. There is no suffering, no cause, no remedy, no path [thereto]. There is no wisdom, no attainment. Because there is nothing to be attained, Bodhisattvas, relying on this highest wisdom, are free from hindrances of mind. Being rid of these hindrances, they have no fear, are free from all upsets and delusions, and in the end attain Nirvana. It is by relying on this highest wisdom that all Buddhas of the past, the present and the future achieve Supreme Enlightenment.

Therefore do we know that the highest wisdom is a great and sacred mantra, a great mantra of knowledge, a mantra unsurpassed, unequalled. It can terminate all suffering truly and unfailingly. Therefore utter this mantra of Highest Wisdom thus – Gaté, gaté, paragaté, parasamgaté, bodhi svāhā. [gone, gone, gone beyond, wholly gone beyond! Enlightenment! Svāhā!]

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Read another translation of the Heart Sutra by Red Pine (Bill Porter):

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MASTER NAN HUAI-CH’IN

[Nán Huáijǐn, 南怀瑾, 南懷瑾]

March 18, 1918 – September 29, 2012

Nan_Portrait

Master Nan Huai-chin

 

 

Master Nan Huai-Chin, who passed away on this day two years ago according to the western calendar, was one of the most renowned and revered lay Buddhist masters in Asia. A great teacher in all three traditions of spiritual cultivation in China, namely the Confucian tradition, the Buddhist tradition and the Taoist tradition, he wrote over 40 books on these subjects. While Master Nan is regarded by many in China as one of the most influential Chán Buddhist teachers, he is little known outside the Chinese cultural sphere. Master Nan died at the age of 95 on Sept. 29th, 2012 in Suzhou, China.

 

For a glimpse of his experience, we note that Master Nan studied the ancient Chinese martial arts in his youth and mastered the works of Confucian and Taoist sages at the age of seventeen. Master Nan studied social welfare at Jinling University and later went on to teach at the Central Military Academy in Nanjing. In the late 1930s at the age of 21 years, he became a military commander at the border regions of Sichuan, Xikang, and Yunnan during the Second Sino-Japanese War. There, he led a local group of 30,000 men against the Japanese invasion.

 

In 1942, at the age of twenty-four, Master Nan went into a three-year cultivation retreat in the E-Mei Mountains, one of the four sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites in China. It was there that he verified his experience against the Chinese Tripitaka and composed gathas for each of the thirty two chapters of the Diamond Sutra. In 1945, he left for Tibet to learn from Tibetan Masters and was conferred the official title of Vajra Master by the Hutuktu Kung Ka (貢噶 呼圖克圖), a high ranking tulku of the Kagyu tradition. He was also the most eminent student of the renowned lay Chan Master Yuan Huan-Xian (袁煥仙), making him an adept in both the Chan and the Tantric Buddhist traditions. Master Nan’s Dharma name was Tōngchán (通禅).

 

Following the revolution in China, Master Nan moved to Taiwan in 1949 where he became a well-known university professor and author. His first book, “The Sea of Chán” was published in 1956 and was the first in a line of over 40 books and related materials published in his name.

 

Master Nan’s books have achieved a great deal of popularity in mainland China and Taiwan. In total, more than 20 million copies of his books have been sold in Chinese-speaking countries. Some of his more popular works have gone to a 20th printing in Taiwan and his works on Confucianism are used as standard university references in the mainland and Taiwan. There is no question that his teaching has transformed many young intellectuals and is one of the main forces of genuine Buddhist resurgence in China. His books are also well respected by the academicians. According to Thomas Cleary, who has translated one of Master Nan’s books:

 

“There is no question that Master Nan’s work is a cut above anything else available from modern authors, either academic or sectarian, and I would like to see his work gain its rightful place in the English speaking world. … [His] studies contain broad learning in all three main traditions of Chinese thought, Confucian, Taoist, and Buddhist. Although this comprehensive purview was common to the greatest minds of China since the T’ang dynasty, it is rare among scholars today.”

 

The following article provides further biographical and bibliographical details up until the mid-1990s.

 

Master Nan gave teachings on most of the major Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian texts:

Buddhist Sūtras: Śūraṅgama Sūtra, Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra, Heart Sūtra, Diamond Sūtra, Sūtra of Complete Enlightenment, Vimalakīrti Sūtra, Medicine Buddha Sūtra, the Yogācārabhūmi śāstra.

Taoist Classics: Tao Te Ching (Daodejing), Zhuangzi, Liezi, Can Tong Qi, Huang Di Nei Jing.

Confucian Classics: The Analects, the Great Learning, the Doctrine of the Mean, Mencius, The Yijing (I Ching, Book of Changes).

 

Master Nan went to the U.S.A. in 1985, and then lived in Hong Kong from 1988. Later he was invited to act as a bridge for the peace talks between Mainland China and Taiwan by both governments. He was involved in spearheading and promoting a wide array of cultural, educational and philanthropic initiatives, both in China and abroad. In 2006, Master Nan founded the 200-acre Taihu Great Learning Center (太湖大學堂) on the banks of Lake Taihu near Suzhou. The school curriculum is meant to combine the best approaches of traditional China and the West. It has unique emphases such as meditation, ethics and etiquette, traditional Chinese medical theory, and Chinese and English recitation. The name of the school is in reference to the Great Learning, one of the “Four Books” of Confucianism.

 

146430656

* * *

 

Books by Master Nan Huai-Chin in European languages:

Nan_Collected_Works

Master Nan’s Collected Works in Chinese

 

The vast majority of the books written by Master Nan have not been translated into the English language from the original Chinese. The following is an attempt at a comprehensive bibliography of the works translated into English and into French. The only other foreign language editions we are aware of (with the exception of Korean) are the translations into various European languages of ‘Tao and Longevity’ and ‘Grass Mountain’ from the English editions as indicated below.

 

* * *

 

Tao and Longevity - Huai-Chin  Nan - English Editions

Tao & Longevity English Editions

 

《静坐修道与长生不老》

Translated by Wen-Kuan Chu, published by Samuel Weiser Inc., 1984. Republished by Dongfang Publishing [东方出版社] in 2008. Originally published in 1973 by Lao Ku Books [老古出版社].

  • Tao e longevità. La trasformazione di mente e corpo’, Italian translation by Patrizia Nicoli, Astrolabio Ubaldini, 1986
  • Tao y larga vida : transformación de la mente y el cuerpo’, Spanish translation by Rafael Lassaletta, EDAF, 1990, reprinted 2001.
  • Das Tao des langen Lebens’, German translation by Katharine Cofer, verlag Hermann Bauer gmbh, 1991.
  • Tao i długowieczność : transformacja świadomości i ciała’, Polish translation by Marek Wasilewski, Zysk i S-ka Wydawnictwo, 1995.
  • Tao: Transformação da Mente e do Corpo’ Portuguese translation, Pensamento, 1995.

 

Tao and Longevity - Huai-Chin  Nan - Foreign Editions

Tao & Longevity Foreign Editions

 

Note: The two appendices, ‘Cultivating Samadhi and Wisdom though Ch’an’ 《修定与参禅法要》 and ‘Ch’an and Pointing at the Moon’ 《参禅指月》, together form the last chapter of the work《禅海蠡测》 ‘Chan hai li ce’ – ‘The Sea of Chan’, as yet untranslated into English. The Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German and Polish editions are based on the English translation by the late Dr. Chu Wen-Kuan [Zhu Wenguang, 朱文光], one of Master Nan’s foremost disciples.

 

* * *

Grass_Mountain

Grass Mountain English Edition

 

《习禅录影》

  • Grass Mountain: A Seven Day Intensive in Chan Training with Master Nan Huai-Chin.’ Translated by Margaret Yuan [Liu Yu-Hung, 刘雨虹] and Janis Walker, published by Samuel Weiser Inc., 1986.
  • Chan : siete días de práctica intensiva’, translation into Spanish from the English edition by Jorge A. Sánchez, Editorial Ibis, 1992.
  • Góra traw: siedem dni intensywnego treningu ch’an z mistrzem Nan Huai-chin’, translation into Polish from the English edition by Maciej Kanert, Dom Wydawniczy Rebis, 1996.

 

Grass Mountain - Nan Huai Chin -  Spanish and Polish Editions

Grass Mountain Foreign Editions

 

Note: Consists of the translation of the transcripts of a seven-day Chan session in 1962, forming part of the series called Profiles of Zen Training, regrouping the accounts of a number of such sessions, first published in 1976 by Lao Ku Books. Includes a Chinese-English glossary.

 

* * *

如何修证佛法

《如何修证佛法》

 

《如何修证佛法》

 Published in English in 2 volumes as follows:

Enlightenment

Working Toward Enlightenment & To Realize Enlightenment

 

Translated by J.C. Cleary, published by Samuel Weiser Inc., 1993.

 

Translated by J.C. Cleary, published by Samuel Weiser Inc., 1994.

 

Note: This important work is based on a series of some 28 conferences given in 1978, and published in Chinese in 1989.

Read an excerpt from ‘Working Toward Enlightenment‘:

Read an excerpt from ‘To Realize Enlightenment‘:

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Chinese_Zen_cover

The Story of Chinese Zen English Edition

 

《禅宗与道家》

Translated by Thomas Cleary, published by Charles E. Tuttle (Tuttle Library of Enlightenment), 1995.

 

Note: Consists of the first part of the dual history of Chinese Zen and Taoism. The appendix on the influence of Zen and the Zen monastic system on Chinese society present in the original Chinese edition was omitted in this translation, but subsequently reproduced in ‘Basic Buddhism’ (see below). Originally published in Chinese in 1968.

Read an excerpt from ‘The Story of Chinese Zen‘:

 

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《中国佛教发展史略述》

Basic Buddhism - Nan  Huai-chin

Translated by J.C. Cleary, published by Samuel Weiser Inc., 1998. Republished by Jaico Publishing in India on a number of occasions, and by Dongfang Publishing [东方出版社] in China in 2008.

 

Note: Originally published in Chinese in 1987. The later Chinese-published English edition is slightly censored and lacks the chapter dealing with the history of Buddhism in Tibet, among other things (see below).

 

* * *

Zen_Tao

Zen & Tao Chinese Edition

 

《禅宗与道家》

Translated by Dr. William Brown, Top Shape Publishing, 2002.

 

Note: Consists of the second part of the dual history of Chinese Zen and Taoism, published as an e-book.

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Diamond_Sutra_Explained

Diamond Sutra Explained English Edition

《金刚经说什么》

Translated by Pia Giammasi [Hue En, 纪雅云], Primordia, 2004.

 

Note: Consists of a translation of the Diamond Sutra from the Chinese of Kumarajiva, and Master Nan’s detailed commentary. The translator Pia Giammasi was a student of Master Nan’s. Based on a conference series held in 1988, and published in 1992.

 

* * *

Spiritual_Paths

 

《现代学佛者修正对话》

With William Bodri [包卓立], Top Shape Publishing, 2010.

 

Note: An expanded version of the original Chinese lecture series delivered in 1996 and published in two volumes in 2003 and 2004. Previously published as an e-book with the different title: ‘The Insider’s Guide to The World’s Best and Worst Spiritual Paths and Practices’.

 

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Chinese_generation

《新旧的一代》,《亦新亦旧的一代》,《二十世纪青少年的思想与心理问题》

Translated by Joshua BenOr, Top Shape Publishing, 2008.

 

Note: An incomplete translation of this work on recent Chinese history and culture, omitting the final two chapters and the four appendices, essentially dealing with education and literature. Made freely available on William Bodri’s Meditation Expert website. The work was published under three different titles in Chinese, explaining the various renditions in English.

* * *

Nan_Senge_Book

《南怀瑾与彼得·圣吉》

Translated by Shi Hong, edited by William Bodri, Top Shape Publishing, 2008.

Nan_Senge

Master Nan & Peter Senge

 

Note: Translation of a series of lectures given for Peter Senge of MIT between 2003-2005. Consists of the first half of the Chinese edition, which includes the transcripts of further lectures for the ELIAS group, given in 2007. Published as an e-book.

* * *

 

 

Other Writings:

 

***

Dhyana_System

 

《禪宗叢林制度與中國社會》

  • Dhyana monastic system and Chinese society

Bilingual Chinese-English edition, English translation by Huang Fu 黄復. Published by 兿文印書館, Yi Wen Shu Guan, Taipei, 1964. Republished by Lao Ku Books.

Note: This edition contains both the Chinese text and an English translation in the same volume, according to the bibliographic sources we have been able to consult. However, as we have not been able to see this work, any further information is welcome. The content would appear to be identical to the chapter ‘The Zen Monastic System and Chinese Society‘ appended to ‘Basic Buddhism‘.

 

***

Zhuge_Liang_Letter

Zhuge Liang’s Letter to my Son

南怀瑾老师讲诸葛亮《诫子书》

Translated by Steven Clavey, in: The Lantern: Volume VII, Issue 2 – Article #9

 

Note: Excerpted from the book 《禅与生命的认知初讲》 (Chan yu shengming de renshiUnderstanding Chan and Life) – a transcription of a series of lectures delivered at the Taihu Great Learning Centre in 2006, published by Dongfang Publishing, 2009. Published as an electronic article in the The Lantern, a journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

 

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Lunyu_Biezai

《論語別裁》

《論語別裁》

 

Note: A partial translation of the first section of Master Nan’s seminal work on the Confucian Analects by Dr. Will Zhang, one of Master Nan’s students. Available to read online here:

 

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《馬祖道一禪師語錄》

Ma-Tsu-De-gesprekken

Translation of: ‘Ma-tsu, de gesprekken’ from the Dutch by Julian F. Pas; introduced, translated into Dutch and annotated by Bavo Lievens; with a preface and commentary by Nan Huai-chin. Edwin Mellen Press, 1987. The original Dutch edition was published in 1981 by Wereldvenster.

 

Note: Prof. Bavo Lievens, who produced the initial Dutch translation of this work, was a student of Master Nan’s, and later wrote the book ‘The Mind Experiment’ partly based on Master Nan’s teachings.

 

* * *

Zhunti

Cundi Bodhisattva

《准提法修持仪轨简要》

 

Note: Illustrated description of the Zhunti (Cundi) Bodhisattva sadhana by Master Nan Huai-chin. Read online here:

 

* * *

 Wisdom_of_Asia

Master Nan penned the Foreword to Awakenings : Asian wisdom for every day, Olivier & Danielle Föllmi, Abrams, 2007. Also published in the UK as: The Wisdom of Asia: 365 days: Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Thames & Hudson, 2007.

Awakenings

* * *

 

* * *

Heritage_of_Change_Cover

Heritage of Change

《易经传承》

By W.A. Sherrill; East-West Eclectic Society (Lao Ku Books), 1972.

Heritage_of_Change_Frontispiece

Master Nan – Heritage of Change Frontispiece

 

 

Note: Wallace Sherrill was a Rear-Admiral of the US Navy who lived in both mainland China and Taiwan, where he studied with Master Nan. He also co-authored 2 books on the I Ching with Dr. Chu Wen-kuan; ‘An Anthology of I Ching’, and ‘The Astrology of I Ching’. This book, on the influence of the Book of Changes on Chinese culture as well as its practical applications, contains the syllabus of courses offered by Master Nan in Fu-Jen University, and thus gives an idea of the breadth and depth of his learning. A portrait of Master Nan also serves as frontispiece. The book has been digitized and made available here:

 

* * *

French Translations – Livres de Maître Nan en français:

 

Yi_King

《道家《易经》与中医医理》

Translated by Jean-Claude Dubois, Monica Esposito, Gabrièle Goldfuss, Vincent Durand-Dastès, preface by Catherine Despeux, Guy Trédaniel Éditeur, 1994.

 

Note: Consists of a series of conferences on Taoism, the Book of Changes (I Ching) and Traditional Chinese Medicine entitled 《道家《易经》与中医医理》, included in the volume 《道家、密宗与东方神秘学》 (‘Taoïsme, tantrisme et ésotérisme en Extrême-Orient,’ – ‘Taoism, Esoteric Buddhism and Oriental Mysticism’). The translation team was directed by Dr. Jean-Claude Dubois, who studied with Master Nan. Prof. Catherine Despeux [戴斯博], who wrote the preface, also studied with Master Nan.

 

* * *

Experience_Eveil

《如何修证佛法》

Translated by Sylvie Hureau-Denis, Françoise Toutain-Wang, Catherine Despeux, Shuhua Liang, Gabrièle Goldfuss, Éditions du Seuil, 1998.

 

Note: Consists of a translation of the first 10 of the 28 chapters of the original Chinese edition. Contrary to what one Chinese bibliography states, this translation was done from the Chinese, not from the English edition.

 

* * *

Sagesse_Chan

Compiled and translated by Liao Yi Lin, Guy Trédaniel Éditeur, 2010

 

Note: Consists of a lavishly illustrated anthology of texts and poems by Master Nan, translated and commented by Liao Yi Lin. Ms. Lin studied with Master Nan in later years.

 

* * *

Eveils

 

Master Nan wrote the Preface to Eveils : 365 Pensées de sages d’Asie, Taoïsme, Confucianisme, Bouddhisme, Olivier & Danielle Föllmi, Éditions de La Martinière, 2007.

* * *

Nan_Sutra_Coeur

《心經修證圓通法門》

Presented and translated by Catherine Despeux, Les Deux Océans, 2015.

Note: Transcript of a teaching on the Heart Sutra delivered during a Chan retreat in Taiwan in 1983.

* * *

Caveat:

 

Readers of the Chinese editions should be aware of the censorship of the PRC publications: one will note that any unflattering references to the Chinese Communist Party, any references whatsoever to the Kuomintang Nationalist Party, the Chinese Civil War, the Cultural Revolution, or criticisms of modern political ideology, are entirely lacking from the PRC editions. Furthermore, the Chinese-published English editions of ‘Tao & Longevity’ and ‘Basic Buddhism’ (both Dongfang Publishing, 2008) are similarly censored; the latter omitting the sub-chapter dealing with the history of Buddhism in Tibet, and any other reference to Tibet being inevitably preceded by the word ‘China’ in the genitive case, something neither present in the original nor in the original English translation.

 

Given that most of Master Nan’s books in English are out of print and some command high prices on the second-hand market, we suggest using a service such as Bookfinder in order to compare prices and purchase hard-to-find titles.

 

Readers who notice any errors or omissions are cordially invited to contact us in order to make this bibliography as complete and as accurate as possible. Thank you. Contact: thebamboosea[@]gmail[.]com

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