Taking the philosophy of “pacifying the mind” in Chinese Chan tradition as the my its main theme, this thesis tries to explore the Nianfo Chan approach in order to uncover how the Nianfo Chan method may be used to settle our body and mind, and further reveal the practical spirit of the Chinese Chan approach as passed down by the Nianfo Chan teachings.
In this thesis, we first discuss the different Indian practices of “mindfulness of the Buddha” or “recollection of the buddha” (Nianfo in Chinese, Buddhānusmṛti in Sanskrit). Secondly, we go on to explore the different teaching points of the “Nianfo Chan” in the Chinese Chan Buddhism tradition, from the fourth Patriarch Daoxin (580-651) to Yongming Yanshou (904-976). Then we directly expound the doctrine for pacifying the mind in the the Nianfo Chan approach. Finally, we elaborate on the Nianfo Chan’s notion of “the non-abiding of the mind”, which exemplifies the practical spirit of the Buddha-Dharma.
pacify the mind; non-thought; formless; non-abiding; Nianfo Chan