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.
Silent Illumination: The Practice and Realization of Natural Awakened Mind
Dates: Nov 10, 2023 - Nov 12, 2023
Days: Friday - Sunday
Number of Nights: 2 nights
Covid-19 Safety Protocol:
About the Instructor(s):
GuoGu (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).