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中峰明本 Zhongfeng Mingben (1263-1323)

(Rōmaji:) Chūhō Myōhon


中峰明本书法(柳叶体) Zhongfeng Mingben's Calligraphy

Mingben's stūpa on Mount Tianmu

Illusory Abiding: The Cultural Construction of the Chan Monk Zhongfeng Mingben
by Natasha Heller

A groundbreaking monograph on Yuan dynasty Buddhism, Illusory Abiding offers a cultural history of Buddhism through a case study of the eminent Chan master Zhongfeng Mingben. Natasha Heller demonstrates that Mingben, and other monks of his stature, developed a range of cultural competencies through which they navigated social and intellectual relationships. They mastered repertoires internal to their tradition—for example, guidelines for monastic life—as well as those that allowed them to interact with broader elite audiences, such as the ability to compose verses on plum blossoms. These cultural exchanges took place within local, religious, and social networks—and at the same time, they comprised some of the very forces that formed these networks in the first place. This monograph contributes to a more robust account of Chinese Buddhism in late imperial China, and demonstrates the importance of situating monks as actors within broader sociocultural fields of practice and exchange.
Harvard East Asian Monograph Series, 2014
Glossary-Index: http://publications.asiacenter.harvard.edu/files/asia_center_publications_program/files/heller_index.pdf

Zhongfeng Mingben and the Case of the Disappearing Laywomen
by Natasha Heller
Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal (2013, 26: 67-88)

"The Chan Master as Illusionist: Zhongfeng Mingben's Huanzhu Jiaxun"
by Natasha Heller
Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, Volume 69, Number 2, December 2009

To examine the metaphor of illusion in Chinese Buddhism, Natasha Heller focuses on “Huanzhu jiaxun” 幻住家訓 (The family instructions of “Illusory Abiding”) by the Chan monk Zhongfeng Mengben 中峰明本 (1263–1323). Considering Mingben's usage of the term “illusory” (huan ) in relation to its history in non-Buddhist and Buddhist sources, she examines how he addressed the use of language, with special reference to the Chan concept of “observing the key phrase” (kanhua). Mingben remained within the established philosophical discourse on illusion but, Heller argues, shifted away from metaphors related to the concept; instead he emphasized the character huan to suggest an alternative to intellectual analysis of words. He thereby advanced the discussion of kanhua Chan while affirming the ultimate illusoriness of such practice.

"7: Between Zhongfeng Mingben and Zhao Mengfu: Chan Letters in Their Manuscript Context" by Natasha Heller, Buddhist Manuscript Cultures III, New York: Routledge, 2009, pp. 109–123.

Natasha Lynne Heller, Illusory abiding: The life and work of Zhongfeng Mingben (1263–1323), Harvard University, 2005

My dissertation examines the figure of Zhongfeng Mingben, one of the most eminent Chan monks of the Yuan dynasty. While Mingben never left southeast China, he attracted followers from throughout China and from abroad. These followers were not only Buddhist monks but also elite lay men and women. Mingben refused to head large monasteries, but instead traveled and lived in the small cloistered communities that he founded in the Jiangnan region. Thus he was a figure of both religious and cultural importance but also one who stood outside the monastic mainstream. Mingben's approach to the study of Chan rejected reliance on the textual tradition and instead demanded rigorous, long-term attention to the cultivation of mind. This underlying religiosity was central to all his pursuits, in both Buddhist and literati realms. My study is divided into three parts. The first two chapters consider the context and construction of Mingben's life. Chapters three and four analyze his contributions to Chan through his teachings and through the monastic code he authored. Chapters five through seven consider Mingben in relation to his literati followers, with special attention to his use of cultural forms to convey his core teachings.


A Master of His Own: The Calligraphy of the Chan Abbot Zhongfeng Mingben (1262-1323)
by Uta Laurer (1961-)
(Studien zur Ostasiatischen Schriftkunst, 5.) 164 pp, 43 plates. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 2002.




PDF: The Definition of a Koan
by Chung-feng Ming-pen

Translated by Ruth Fuller Sasaki
In: Miura, Issho and Ruth Fuller Sasaki. Zen Dust: The History of the Koan and Koan Study in Rinzai (Lin-chi) Zen. Kyoto: The First Zen Institute of America, 1966.



Mingben's Portraits


Image result for A Master of His Own: The Calligraphy of the Chan Abbot Zhongfeng Mingben (1262-1323) by Uta Laurer


Unidentified Artist, Portrait of the Monk Zhongfeng Mingben (123.5 x 51.3 cm). 14 cent. Lent by Shôkoku-ji, Jishô-in, Kyoto


Portrait of Zhongfeng Mingben 中峰明本像, 121.9cm × 54.4cm, early 14th century 14 世 纪初, Kyōto 京都, Senbutsu-ji Temple 選仏寺



In: Buddha tudat, Zen buddhista tanítások. Ford., szerk. és vál. Szigeti György, Budapest, Farkas Lőrinc Imre Könyvkiadó, 1999, 103. oldal

Démonok birodalma

A zen a tudat tiszta földjének tanítása. Ha meg akarod
érteni az élet-halálról szóló mély értelmű tanítást, ak-
kor be kell látnod, hogy a kétség vagy a zavarodottság
egyetlen gondolata nyomban a démonok birodalmába
taszít téged.


Csak higgy magadban!

Csak higgy magadban!


A tudat valójában tiszta

A tudat valójában tiszta és nyugodt, alapvetően rnen-
tes minden szennyeződéstől.



Ha meditációd közben gondolatok kavarognak a fejed-
ben, és az elképzeléseid összezavarnak, akkor ne foglal-
kozz velük egyáltalán, függedenül attól, hogy azok jók
vagy rosszak, igazak vagy hamisak.