Treating illness: Translation of a chapter from a medieval chinese buddhist meditation manual by zhiyi (538-597)

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Abstract

This translation is an excerpt from a meditation treatise by one of the most important figures in East Asian Buddhist history, the Chinese scholar-monk Zhiyi (538-597). Zhiyi was notable as a systematizer and domesticator of Buddhist knowledge, and particularly for his writings on śamatha and vipaśyana meditation. The excerpt translated below is a complete chapter from the shorter of his meditation treatises. It focuses specifically on how various strands of Indian and Chinese medical and religious knowledge could be employed to diagnose and treat illness while the practitioner remained engaged in seated meditation. Incorporating both foreign and domestic knowledge into the framework of śamatha and vipaśyana, this chapter represents one of the earliest examples of systematic Indo- Sinitic medical syncretism, and one of the most important expressions of a unique medieval Chinese Buddhist perspective on healing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-473
Number of pages13
JournalAsian Medicine
Volume7
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

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Meditation
History
Buddhist
Illness
Medieval Period
Treatise

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Cite this

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