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Silent Illumination: The Practice and Realization of Natural Awakened Mind

Residential Program
Dates: Oct 28, 2022 - Oct 30, 2022
Days: Friday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 2 nights

Instructor(s): Guo Gu

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Course Description:
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In the Chinese Chan (Zen) tradition, silent illumination refers to the natural awakened mind. It is also a method of cultivation, the simultaneous practice of stillness and clear-seeing, quiescence and luminosity, or samādhi and prajñā. It is similar to the practices of śamatha and vipaśyanā (Pāli: vipassanā) in the Theravada tradition and the shikantaza (“just sitting”) practice of Japanese Soto Zen. Silent illumination, however, is also unique. As a practice it cannot be pigeonholed into distinct sectarian methods, intellectual knowledge, or some kind of reified experience that can be possessed. This study retreat will be based on the writings of Chan master Hongzhi Zhengjue (1091–1157). We will explore several expedient means to cultivate silent illumination on and off the cushion, learning formal seated meditation practice as well as how to cultivate silent illumination in daily life. 


Noble Silence:
Noble silence will begin with the opening talk on the first evening and continue through the closing session.

Experience Level:
Suitable for beginning and experienced practitioners.

Cancellation Policy:
During the pandemic, there is a cancellation fee of $50 for all residential programs longer than two nights and $25 for weekend programs.

Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
Please review our Covid-19 Safety Protocols here: https://www.buddhistinquiry.org/covid-19/.

DEI:
As we work to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we invite feedback/suggestions you may have regarding ways that we can make participation in the program more accessible and welcoming. Please email us at contact@buddhistinquiry.org.
    About the Instructor(s):
  • Guo Gu (Jimmy Yu) is a Chan (Zen) is the founder of the Tallahassee Chan Center and the founder of the socially engaged intra-denominational Buddhist organization, Dharma Relief. Guo Gu is also an Associate Professor of Buddhism and East Asian religions at Florida State University. He was the late Master Sheng Yen’s senior and closest disciples for close to four decades, nine of which as the master's attendant monk. He is the author of Silent Illumination (2021),  The Essence of Chan (2020), and Passing Through the Gateless Barrier (2016).