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The Practical Thought of Chan and the Question of Self-realization  

The Practical Thought of Chan and the Question of Self-realization

Ven. Seong-bon / A professor /

The department of Buddhism /

Dongguk university in Keoungju

Chan is a religion of self-realization. The self-realization gets an individual to follow the life of Bodhisattva path with wisdom and personality after he has directly achieved by himself the perfect wisdom of Buddha-dharma. The perfect wisdom is insight that one achieves by realizing practically the spirit and thought of the Buddha-dharma. And it goes beyond language or letter a master uses to give an instruction to his disciples.

The self-realization in Chan buddhism is wisdom that truly knows and sees ones own existence and reality. It denotes that one gets the eyes of wisdom which can penetrate the true reality of all things. Hence, the wisdom which can truly see the right Dharma is fulfilled by self-realization through Chan practice, viz. by the experience of awakening

When considering Chan practice from the general standpoint of Buddhism, there are various modes according to different schools and periods respectively. However, their main purposes focus on achieving and cultivating prajñā-wisdom through self-realization

In other words, the self-realization in Chan buddhism signifies that one lives as a creative person doing what to do here and now, and fulfills the path of Bodhisattva to liberate the living beings from suffering with prajñā-wisdom after penetrating Buddha-nature that is ones own original nature.

* Key words

Chanpractice(),self-realization(), prajñā-wisdom(), The Discourse on the Awakening of Faith in Mahāyāna(), sudden enlightenment and seeing self-nature(̸)


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