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Thread: Linji sect at Shaolin

  1. #1

    Linji sect at Shaolin

    I'm trying to find any information on the Linji sect of Chan Buddhism in relation to Shaolin. Like was it practiced there and when, or any masters that had ties to Shaolin.
    I'm also interested in any information on the martial arts associated with the sect or known to have been practiced by any of the masters of the sect.
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    As you say, these are sects of Chan Buddhism. Martial arts training does not really have anything to do with the specific Buddhist sect. Martial arts is not a typically Buddhist practice, to say the least. It was in the history of the Shaolin Monastery even before Chan entered China, not to mention a much later developed sect within that specific tradition. It also most often came through outside sources, such as through the military. There is not a specific Caodong or Linji style of martial arts.

    That being said though, there have been several monks of Linji lineage at Shaolin in the current era that I'm aware of. Usually they were ordained at monasteries that were largely Linji sect, and then moved to Shaolin where it is predominately Caodong. If they practiced martial arts, it was either from their childhood or upon entering Shaolin.

    Shaolin Monastery has gone through three major lineages in its history, each teaching a different approach to Buddhism.

    1. Buddhabhadra (Batuo) - Nikaya

    2. Bodhidharma (Damo) - Chan

    3. Xueting Fuyu - Caodong Chan

    We are currently within the 30th generations of Xueting Fuyu's lineage.

  3. #3
    Yes I'm well aware of the relationship between martial arts and Buddhism (or lack there of). I'm trying to get information on any monks of the Linji sect who were known to have practiced martial arts and what styles they practiced or created.
    As for the lineages you listed as being at Shaolin Bodhidharma's lineage is usually considered to have died out with the sixth patriarch (if he existed). Between the mid 9th century and the early 10th century the five schools of Chan came into existence. During the time between then and the mid 13th century when Xueting Fuyu became abbot, what lineages of Chan were practiced at the temple?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tea Serpent View Post
    I'm trying to get information on any monks of the Linji sect who were known to have practiced martial arts and what styles they practiced or created.
    So are you looking for historical figures in Shaolin? There may be some. I'll have to look, but I can name several from recent times.

    As for the lineages you listed as being at Shaolin Bodhidharma's lineage is usually considered to have died out with the sixth patriarch (if he existed). Between the mid 9th century and the early 10th century the five schools of Chan came into existence. During the time between then and the mid 13th century when Xueting Fuyu became abbot, what lineages of Chan were practiced at the temple?
    Are you suggesting that when a patriarch dies without naming another, their entire teaching is forgotten and lost in the world? There was no seventh patriarch because it was unnecessary. Chan had become well-rooted and flourished by that point.

    The tradition continued in Shaolin until they adopted the Caodong approach when Xueting Fuyu took abbotcy. There is no break in lineage between Xueting Fuyu and Huineng. I can provide the complete chart if you need.

  5. #5
    Are you suggesting that when a patriarch dies without naming another, their entire teaching is forgotten and lost in the world? There was no seventh patriarch because it was unnecessary. Chan had become well-rooted and flourished by that point.
    Obviously if the teaching had died out there wouldn't be a Caodong,Linji or any other sect.
    At least the way I understand it, Bodhidarma's lineage was the lineage of the patriarchs. By the time of the 6th (or even 5th) patriarch Chan Buddhism had already begun to split into different lines each with their own methods and teachings showing increasing reliance on Upaya (Koans, etc.) instead of sole reliance on Chan and mind to mind transmission.
    Obviously these sects were all still Chan Buddhism and continued to transmit the core methods.
    I have also heard that by the time of the 6th patriarch no 7th was needed as the teaching was already firmly established.
    But I don't really care to argue about it as it has no bearing on the topic.
    I recall hearing/reading that the Linji sect of Chan Buddhism was tuaght in the northern temple for a short time and was transmitted to the southern temple shortly before the northern temple adopted the Caodong sect.
    I've also read that Fuyu didn't actually bring the Caodong sect to Shaolin, but he is generally remembered as the founder for two reasons. One is that he led a "purge" to rid Shaolin of the influences of other schools (and monks loyal to those schools and their teachings). The other is for writing the generational poem. I can't remember where I read this but the other other information I've seen seems to suggest that both of these are true. If anyone has any other information on either of these I would appreciate it.
    The tradition continued in Shaolin until they adopted the Caodong approach when Xueting Fuyu took abbotcy. There is no break in lineage between Xueting Fuyu and Huineng. I can provide the complete chart if you need.
    Is this what you are talking about?
    HTML Code:
    http://shaolinchancity.blogspot.com/2008/12/three-lineages-of-shaolin_11.html
    I've seen several things like this one English and Chinese sites. If you actually read it there are many things which suggest the opposite of what it says about there being only 3 lineages of Buddhism.
    For one it list Bodhidharma and the other 5 patriarchs as being the abbots in his lineage even though none of them were ever appointed abbot of Shaolin and aside from Bodhidharma (maybe) teaching there, none ever taught at Shaolin (Huike having left to teach in Hebei when Bodhidharma left).
    Then it talks about the five schools of Chan with no mention of them being at the temple aside from a vague reference to the temple being burned as a result of "turmoil" (why turmoil if none of the five schools were present there before Fuyu?)
    The section on Fuyu's lineage starts:" After the death of Huineng a new generation of monks was started at the Shaolin Monastery. The first abbot of this new lineage was Xueting Fuyu (Chin.: Xuětng Fy 雪庭福裕, 1203-1275)."
    A period of over 500 years seems like a pretty large gap between generations.
    There is also something about him being sent there by Kublai Khan to "restor order" (is this a veiled reference to his leading a religious purge?)
    The chances of a monastery as large and important as Shaolin (or any monastery for that matter) maintaining an unbroken (in house) lineage of abbots for a period of about 600 years is extremely unlikely (although this does seem like the kind of convenient, over simplified story that I would expect from Shaolin).
    Often politics both internal (Buddhist) and national were the deciding factor in selecting the new abbot. While it is natural to think of the appointment of a new abbot as the decision of the elder monks of that temple, it was actually common practice for government officials to appoint eminent monks (not necessarily from the same temple, area, or even sect) to the position of abbot, especially in the case of larger temples. In the history of famous monks it is not unusual to hear of them presiding as abbot at sometimes two or three temples a different points in their career. It is also common to hear of monks being appointed as abbot of temples over a thousand miles away.
    Anyway, according to the info I was able to find Shaolin was just like any other temple with a long history. It has had multiple sects there over time including at least two abbots from the Tiantai school (XingJun 行钧 , 行钧 FuLi) during the late 9th / early 10th centuries.
    Several abbots of the Caodong sect predating Xueting Fuyu such as 报恩 BaoEn, 清江 QingJiang, and 善应法和 Shanying Fahe, etc.
    For over 60 years Shaolin from 1161-1224 was overseen by a succession of 6 abbots of the Linji sect, 法海 FaHai, 悟鉴 WuJian, 普照 PuZhao, 兴崇 XingChong, 教亨 JiaoHeng, and 宏相 HongXiang.
    Fuyu can't even be said to have established the 万松 Wansong line of Caodong as the previous abbot 乳峰德仁 Rufeng Deren, was also a disciple of Wansong.

    I found most of the information here:
    http://www.dahe.cn/xwzx/zt/sh/060906...907_650957.htm
    Although it basically just confirms what I have read previously.

    I also checked the names of the abbots with the the Shaolin abbot list, and for some I was able to find verification of their existence and sect affiliations in other sources.

    In the section on the 6 abbots of the Linji school there is also a mention of the Linji sect being transmitted to Fujian from Shaolin at the time. I can only assume that they were talking about the southern temple as the Linji school was already known in Fujian.

  6. #6
    There is a speciality regarding Chinse History, which makes the cup of tea difficult to drink. You cannot fully go by sources. Even If someone is not mentioned by anyone it doesnt mean that he didnt existed. Of course he does not exist for written history but written history its not all.
    Sometimes you have to go beyond our modern conceptions of thinking and believing, what you develop by that is another way of thinking and doing and by chance you learn and meet other people which you hadnt meet or learned by the conventional way of thinking.

    Anyway interesting conversation between to both of you, keep it on.


    Kind regards,
    Xian

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Tea Serpent View Post
    I'm trying to find any information on the Linji sect of Chan Buddhism in relation to Shaolin. Like was it practiced there and when, or any masters that had ties to Shaolin.
    I'm also interested in any information on the martial arts associated with the sect or known to have been practiced by any of the masters of the sect.
    Thanks
    Shi Wanheng is of the Linji lineage.

    Traditionally the five families each have their sort of, focus or specialty, Linji was known for using gong-an.

    The martial arts as mentioned in previous posts weren't attached to specific Ch'an lineages, per se, like how you are thinking to line them up, like Linji monks practiced XYZ because they were Linji. But Wanheng has specialties which were passed down to him, which are martial, which may align with Linji dharma transmissions...remember you could have several kinds of masters at Shaolin so it all kind of depends on the individual trees and how and what you are tracing back. I don't remember Shi Wanheng's Shifu's names.

    I had soooooooo much of this stuff written down, and a lot in my head, and it's been years since it was fluent.
    "All Art Is Martial." - RZA

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