Tradition and Transmission in Chinese Chan by Randolph S. Whitfield
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Tradition and Transmission in Chinese Chan by Randolph S. Whitfield

Tradition and Transmission in Chinese Chan by Randolph S. Whitfield

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The Buddhist Society

58 Eccleston Square

London, United Kingdom

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Free to attend and open to all

The subject of the talk is the first canonical Chinese Chan/Zen text, the ‘Records of the Transmission of the Lamp’ (Jingde Chuandeng Lu, Jap. Keitoku Dentoroku, hereafter CDL) published in 1008 CE during Song dynasty. The CDL is a biographical compilation of the teaching and transmission stories of approximately 1,700 Chan masters and is the source book for many of the later gong’an (Japanese kōan) collections. The talk will seek to show that Zen’s rather one-sided popular appeal to ‘spontaneity’ is rooted in a traditional training going back directly to the Buddha’s awakening.

About the speaker

Randolph S. Whitfield is a long-standing student of the Ven. Myokyoni. He studied Classical Guitar and Piano at Trinity College of Music, London and later Chinese language and Literature at Leiden University in Holland. He is about halfway through the first full-length translation of the CDL, a key training manual in use for the last thousand years.

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The Buddhist Society

58 Eccleston Square

London, United Kingdom

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