The Mystique of Transmission is a close reading of a late-eighth-century Chan/Zen Buddhist hagiographical work, the Lidai fabao ji (Record of the Dharma-Jewel Through the Generations), and is its first English translation. The text is the only remaining relic of the little-known Bao Tang Chan school of Sichuan, and combines a sectarian history of Buddhism and Chan in China with an account of the eighth-century Chan master Wuzhu in Sichuan. Chinese religions scholar Wendi Adamek compares the Lidai fabao ji with other sources from the fourth through eighth centuries, chronicling changes in the doctrines and practices involved in transmitting medieval Chinese Buddhist teachings. While Adamek is concerned with familiar Chan themes like patriarchal genealogies and the ideology of sudden enlightenment, she also highlights topics that make Lidai fabao ji distinctive: formless practice, the inclusion of female practitioners, the influence of Daoist metaphysics, and connections with early Tibetan Buddhism. The Lidai fabao ji was unearthed in the early twentieth century in the Mogao caves at the Silk Road oasis of Dunhuang in northwestern China.
Discovery of the Dunhuang manuscripts has been compared with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, as these documents have radically changed our understanding of medieval China and Buddhism. A crucial volume for students and scholars, The Mystique of Transmission offers a rare glimpse of a lost world and fills an important gap in the timeline of Chinese and Buddhist history.
Wendi L. Adamek is assistant professor of Chinese religions at Barnard College/Columbia University. She specializes in medieval Chinese Buddhism. Her current research interests include Buddhist nuns of the Tang dynasty, Buddhist donor practices, and religious art of the Silk Road.
Acknowledgments Part 1. The Mystique of Transmission 1. Authority and Authenticity 2. Transmission and Translation 3. Transmission and Lay Practice 4. Material Buddhism and the Dharma Kings 5. Robes and Patriarchs 6 Wuzhu and Others 7. The Legacy of the Lidai fabao ji Part 2. Annotated Translation of the Lidai Fabao Ji Section 1. Sources and the Legend of Emperor Ming of the Han Section 2. Buddhism in China Section 3. Transmission from China to India (the Fu fazang zhuan) Section 4. The First Patriarch, Bodhidharmatrata Section 5. The Second Patriarch, Huiki Section 6. The Third Patriarch. Sengcan Section 7. The Fourth Patriarch. Daoxin Section 8. The Fifth Patriarch. Hongren Section 9. The Sixth Patriarch. Huineng, Part 1 Section 10. Dharma Master Daoan and the Scripture Quotations Section 11. Huineng Part 2 Section 12. Zhishen and Empress Qu Section 13. Chan Master Zhishen Section 14. Chan Master Chuji Section 15. Chan Master Wuxiang Section 16. The Venerable Shenhui Section 17. Discourses of the Venerable Wuzhu Section 18. Wuzhu and Wuxiang Section 19. Du Hongjian's Arrival in Shu Section 20. Du Hongjian and the Wuzhu Meet Section 21. Cui Gan Visits the Wuzhu Section 22. Dialogue with Chan Master Tiwu Section 23. Dialogue with Chan Master Huiyi Section 24. Dialogue with Masters Yijing, Zhumo, and Tangwen Section 25. Dialogue with Master Jingzang Section 26. Dialogue with Master Zhiyi Section 27. Dialogue with Master Zhongxin Section 28. Dialogue with Dharma Master Falun Section 29. Dialogue with the Brothers Yixing and Huiming Section 30. Dialogue with Changjingjin and Liaojianxing (Female Disciples) Section 31. Excerpts and Quotations Part 1 Section 32. Excerpts and Quotations Part 2 Section 33. Tea Gatha Section 34. Dialogue with Daoists Section 35. Dialogue with Dharma Masters Section 36. Dialogue with Vinaya Masters Section 37. Dialogue with Treatise Masters Section 38. Trading Quotations with Masters Daoyou, Mingfa, and Guanlu Section 39. Taking on Chan Disciples While Drinking Tea Section 40. Dialogue with Master Xiongjun Section 41. Dialogue with Master Fayaun Accompanied by His Mother Section 42. Discourse to Lay Honors Section 43. Portrait-Eulogy and Final Scene Notes Appendix Abbreviations Bibliography Index