Interdependence and Nonduality: On the Linguistic Strategy of the Platform Sūtra

Philosophy East and West 66 (4):1231-1250 (2016)
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Although Chan, or Zen, Buddhism traditionally claimed itself as a special transmission outside doctrinal teachings that eschews the written word, it has long been praised for its improvisational, atypical, intriguing, and intricate use of words. Prominent Chan masters are characteristically skillful in employing paradoxical and aporetic phrases, figurative and poetic expressions, negations, questions, repetitions, and so forth, to express their thoughts, indicate their awakened states of mind, cut off the interlocutor’s habitual dualistic thinking, or evoke in him or her an experience of awakening. This fact, among others, has led some contemporary scholars to claim that the Chan experience of awakening does not...
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