五停心観 GOJŌSHIN-KAN – Five Hindrances Meditation

五停心観 GOJŌSHIN-KAN The Five Meditations for Stopping the mind, aka Five Meditations for mental stability, are a traditional set of Indian meditations taught by Zhiyi – the founder of Chinese Tiantai (Japanese Tendai). These traditaional practices are a way of calming the mind, eliminating the delusional mind, and for overcoming the Five Hindrances (五蓋) of… Continue reading 五停心観 GOJŌSHIN-KAN – Five Hindrances Meditation

UPĀYA

‘SKILL IN MEANS’ The Sanskrit word ‘upāya’, or ‘Hōben 方便’ in Japanese, is translated as ‘expedient means’, or ‘skill in means’, or simply ‘skilful means’ (upāya kauśalya). This teaching features prominently in the Lotus Sutra, and also is a key component in Tendai philosophy. Simply put, upāya means to use wisdom to teach in a… Continue reading UPĀYA

Ichinen Sanzen

ICHINEN SANZEN 一念三千 3000 worlds in a single thought By Seishin Clark ‘3000 worlds in a single thought’ is a Tendai/Tientai doctrine created by the founder of Chinese Tientai, Chih-i (Zhiyi). In the following essay I hope to give a simple explanation of this incredibly important Tendai doctrine, although I feel I will not be… Continue reading Ichinen Sanzen

Amitabha Buddha

AMIDA BUTSU 阿弥陀仏 (AMITABHA BUDDHA) Originally, Amida was a Bodhisattva monk called Dharmakāra (Hōzō 法蔵). He was a king who, like Shakyamuni, gave up his thrown to become a monk. After eons of practice, he became Dharmakāra Bodhisattva, who then made 48 vows. Having fulfilled them, he became known as Amitābha Buddha. This story doesn’t… Continue reading Amitabha Buddha

TENDAI MIKKYO

WHAT IS ‘MIKKYO’? Do not expect to be taught mikkyo in the following article. Instead, I want to explore the etymology of ‘mikkyo’ and hopefully dispel some misunderstandings surrounding its practice. ‘Mikkyo’ 密教 literally means “secret teachings” or “secret doctrine”, and mostly refers to the practices of Japanese Esoteric Buddhism within the Tendai, Shingon, Shugendo… Continue reading TENDAI MIKKYO