27 April 2015

Contemplation: Tendai Daishi's Edonsho

After reviewing the guidelines for this practice, take the following as your contemplation:

The perfect and sudden calming and contemplation from the very beginning takes ultimate reality as its object. No matter what the object of contemplation might be, it is seen to be identical to the middle. There is nothing that is not true reality. When one fixes the mind on the dharmadhatu as object and unifies one’s mindfulness with the dharmadhatu as it is, then there is not a single sight nor smell that is not the middle way. The same goes for the realm of self, the realm of Buddha, and the realm of living beings. Since all aggregates and sense-accesses of body and mind are thusness, there is no suffering to be cast away. Since nescience and the afflictions are themselves identical with enlightenment, there is no origin of suffering to be eradicated. Since the two extreme views are the middle way and false views are the right way, there is no path to be cultivated. Since samsara is identical with nirvana, there is no cessation to be achieved. Because of the intrinsic inextistence of suffering and its origin, the mundane does not exist; because of the inexistence of the path and its cessation, the supramundane does not exist. A single, unalloyed reality is all there is – no entities whatever exists outside of it. That all entities are by nature quiescent is called “calming”; that this nature, though quiescent, is ever luminous, is called “contemplation”. Though a verbal distinction is made between earlier and later stages of practice, there is no ultimate duality, no distinction between them. This is what is called “the perfect and sudden calming and contemplation.


Donner, N. and Stevenson, D (1993) The Great Calming and Contemplation: A study and annotated translation of Chih-i’s mo-ho chih-kuan. Honolulu; A Kuroda Institute Book: 112-114.

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