‘Treating Illness’: Translation of a Chapter from a Medieval Chinese Buddhist Meditation Manual by Zhiyi (538–597)

in Asian Medicine

Abstract

This translation is an excerpt from a meditation treatise by one of the most important figures in East Asian Buddhist history, the Chinese scholar-monk Zhiyi (538–597). Zhiyi was notable as a systematizer and domesticator of Buddhist knowledge, and particularly for his writings on śamatha and vipaśyanā meditation. The excerpt translated below is a complete chapter from the shorter of his meditation treatises. It focuses specifically on how various strands of Indian and Chinese medical and religious knowledge could be employed to diagnose and treat illness while the practitioner remained engaged in seated meditation. Incorporating both foreign and domestic knowledge into the framework of śamatha and vipaśyanā, this chapter represents one of the earliest examples of systematic Indo- Sinitic medical syncretism, and one of the most important expressions of a unique medieval Chinese Buddhist perspective on healing.

Abstract

Abstract

This translation is an excerpt from a meditation treatise by one of the most important figures in East Asian Buddhist history, the Chinese scholar-monk Zhiyi (538–597). Zhiyi was notable as a systematizer and domesticator of Buddhist knowledge, and particularly for his writings on śamatha and vipaśyanā meditation. The excerpt translated below is a complete chapter from the shorter of his meditation treatises. It focuses specifically on how various strands of Indian and Chinese medical and religious knowledge could be employed to diagnose and treat illness while the practitioner remained engaged in seated meditation. Incorporating both foreign and domestic knowledge into the framework of śamatha and vipaśyanā, this chapter represents one of the earliest examples of systematic Indo- Sinitic medical syncretism, and one of the most important expressions of a unique medieval Chinese Buddhist perspective on healing.

The translation below is an excerpt from a meditation treatise by one of the most important figures in East Asian Buddhist history, the Chinese scholar-monk Zhiyi 智顗 (538–597). The founder of the Tiantai school 天台宗 influential in China, Korea, and Japan, Zhiyi, was notable as a systematizer and domesticator of Buddhist knowledge. Among his more well-known contributions are his writings on śamatha 止 and vipaśyanā 觀 meditation (i.e., meditations that focus on calming the mind to develop single-pointed concentration vs. those that use more active methods of investigation, analysis, or contemplation). The translation below comes from a text commonly known as Shorter [Treatise on] Śamatha and Vipaśyanā 小止觀, a brief explanation of the two types of meditation that Zhiyi composed while on retreat on Mt Tiantai between 575 and 585.1 Like many of his compositions, this text attempted to organise the vast array of Buddhist knowledge that had entered China rather haphazardly over the course of the early medieval period, and to explain this material to a Chinese audience. The excerpt translated below is the complete ninth chapter of the treatise. Titled ‘Treating Illness’ 治病, it focuses specifically on how various strands of Indian and Chinese medical and religious knowledge could be employed to diagnose and treat illness while the practitioner remained engaged in seated meditation. Incorporating both foreign and domestic knowledge into the framework of śamatha and vipaśyanā, these passages represent some of the earliest examples of systematic Indo-Sinitic medical syncretism, and some of the most important expressions of a unique medieval Chinese Buddhist perspective on healing.

The Shorter [Treatise on] Śamatha and Vipaśyanā exists today in several printed and manuscript versions, the most readily accessible of which appears in Volume 46 of the Taishō Tripitaka (T 1915). However, based on extensive comparison of the extant versions, the Japanese scholar Sekiguchi Shindai has published a critical edition of the text that is believed to be more representative of Zhiyi’s original composition.2 As the Taishō Tripitaka version of the medical chapter differs from Sekiguchi’s reconstruction in its explanations of the symptoms of disease and therapeutic methods—sometimes significantly—I have chosen to follow Sekiguchi’s version for the translation below.3

Although there are many ways I could have approached the task of rendering this text into English, here I have attempted to provide a translation that is accessible to a wide range of scholars who are not necessarily accustomed to reading either Buddhist scriptures or Chinese medical treatises. I accordingly have chosen to prioritize readability over the preservation of the original word order, and whenever possible have opted to use natural language rather than stilted ‘Buddhist hybrid English’ or whatever the equivalent phenomenon might be called in Chinese medical translation.4 Because it is not readily available outside of his 1954 publication, I also have included Sekiguchi’s text below to provide specialists with the original Chinese for reference. As the purpose of this brief publication is to provide a translation rather than an exhaustive analysis, I will leave further comments on the text and its relationship to wider currents in Indian and Chinese medicine for a future work.5

修止觀法門: 治病第九

The Essentials of Practicing Śamatha and Vipaśyanā,

Chapter 9: Treating Illness

行人安心修道, 或本四大有病, 因今用心, 心息鼓擊, 發動本病° 或時不能善調適, 身息心三事, 內外有所違犯, 故有病發°

Once a practitioner begins diligently cultivating the Path, it may happen that the primordial Four Elements become diseased because an underlying illness is aggravated by concentrating the mind on the rhythm of the breath or the heart.6Or else, at that time, one may be unable to skilfully harmonise the three objects of body, breath, and mind, and this conflict between the internal and the external causes illness to manifest.

夫坐禪之法, 若能善用心者, 則四百四病, 自然除差, 若用心失所, 則動四百四病, 是故, 若自行化他, 應當善識病源, 善知坐中內心, 治病方法° 若不知治病方法, 一旦動病, 非唯行道有障, 亦則大命可憂°

If in one’s meditation one can concentrate well, then the 404 diseases may be dispelled spontaneously.7 But, if one does so poorly, then this may [instead] agitate the 404 diseases. Thus, whether practising one’s self or teaching others, one ought to understand well the origins of illness and know well the methods of treating illness with meditations involving internal contemplation. If you do not know these methods of treating illness, then when an illness is aroused not only will it hinder your practice, but it could even be life-threatening.

今明治病法中, 分為二意: 一明病發相, 二明治病方法°

Now, the explanation of the treatment of illness can be divided into two principles: (1) an explanation of symptoms, and (2) an explanation of the therapeutic methods.

一, 明病發相者°

1. Explanation of symptoms

病發雖復多途, 略出不過二種: 一四大增損病, 二從五臟生病°

Despite the various ways they can progress, there are essentially no more than two types of illnesses: (1) illnesses of the fluctuation of the Four Elements, and (2) illnesses arising from the Five Viscera.

四大中病發者, 若地大增者, 則腫結沈重, 身體枯瘠, 如是等百一患生° 若水大增者, 則痰癮脹滿, 飲食不消, 腹病下痢等, 百一患生° 若火大增者, 則煎寒壯熱, 支節皆痛, 口爽鼻塞, 大小便痢, 並皆不通等, 百一患生° 若風大增者, 身體虛懸戰掉, 疼痛痒悶, 脹急嘔吐, 嗽逆氣急, 如是等百一患生° 故經云: 「一大不調, 百一病惱° 四大不調, 四百四病, 一時俱動° 」四大病發, 各有相貌, 當於坐時, 及夢中察之°

Illnesses arising in the Four Elements: If the Earth Element is excessive, then there may be accumulations8 and weight gain, or else emaciation.9 One hundred and one conditions of this type may arise. If the Water Element is excessive then there may be phlegm, bloating, indigestion, abdominal disease, or diarrhoea. One hundred and one afflictions [of this type] may arise. If the Fire Element is excessive then there may be [alternating bouts] of hot and cold, extreme fever, painful limbs and joints, loss of the sense of taste, a congested nose, incontinence of the bladder and bowels, or [the stool and urine] may be unable to flow. One hundred and one conditions [of this type] may arise. If the Wind Element is excessive, then the body may be spent,10may tremble, ache, or be oppressively itchy, or there may be distention, vomiting, coughing, or agitated breathing. One hundred and one afflictions of this type may arise. This is why a scripture says, ‘When one Element is out of balance, one suffers 101 diseases. When four Elements are out of balance, 404 diseases all arise simultaneously.’11The illnesses arising from the Four Elements each have their own symptoms. You ought to investigate these [by looking at the contents of] your meditation and dreams.12

次, 明五臟生患之相° 從心生患者, 多身體寒熱, 及疼痛口燥等, 心主口故° 從肺生患者, 多身體脹滿, 四支煩疼, 心悶鼻塞等, 肺主鼻故° 從肝生患者, 多喜愁憂不樂, 悲思瞋恚, 頭痛眼闇等, 肝主眼故° 從脾生患者, 身體頭面上, 遊風㿇㿇, 痒悶疼痛, 飲食失味等, 脾主舌故° 從腎生患者, 或咽喉曀塞, 腹脹耳滿等, 腎主耳故° 五臟生患眾多, 各有其相貌, 當於坐時, 及夢中察之, 自可得知°

Next, an explanation of the symptoms that the Five Viscera are afflicted: In afflictions arising from the Heart, the whole body may be cold or hot, achy, or the mouth may be dry. This is because the Heart rules the mouth.13In afflictions arising from the Lungs, the whole body may become bloated, the four limbs may ache, the mind may be troubled, and the nose may be congested. This is because the Lungs rule the nose. In afflictions arising from the Liver, one may be euphoric, anxious, unhappy, melancholy, or angry. The head may ache, or the eyesight may dim. This is because the Liver rules the eyes. In afflictions arising from the Spleen, ‘wandering winds’ may run over the surface of the body, head, and face.14 There may be numbness, oppressive itchiness, or pain. Food and drink may have no taste. This is because the Spleen rules the tongue. In afflictions arising from the Kidneys, the throat may become obstructed, the abdomen may be bloated, and one’s ears may become stopped up. This is because the Kidneys rule the ears. The many afflictions arising in the Five Viscera each have their own symptoms. You ought to investigate these [by looking at the contents of] your meditation and dreams, and you will know for yourself.

如是四大五臟病患, 因起非一, 病相眾多, 不可具說° 行者, 若欲修止觀法門, 脫有患生, 應當善知因起° 此二種病, 通因內外發動° 若外傷寒冷風熱, 飲食不慎, 而病從二處發者, 當知因外發動° 若由用心不調, 觀行違僻, 或因定法發時, 不知取與, 而致此二處患生, 此名因內發病°

Because the illnesses and afflictions of the Four Elements and Five Viscera have all of these different causes, their symptoms are too varied to explain in full. If a practitioner wishes to use śamatha and vipaśyanā to prevent the arising of these afflictions, he should be familiar with the reasons for their arising. Both of the categories of illness are caused by internal and external factors. If one becomes sick from external injury, cold, wind, heat, or carelessness in what one eats or drinks, and illness emerges in [one of] the two locations [i.e., Elements or Viscera], then you should know it was provoked by external causes. If it is from an unbalanced mind, or from inappropriate contemplations, or from not knowing what to do when entering into the meditative absorptions that an affliction emerges in [one of] the two locations, then this is an illness with internal causes.

復次, 有三種得病, 因緣不同: 一者, 四大五臟增損得病, 具如前說° 二者, 鬼神所作故得病° 三者, 業報故得病° 如是等病, 初得即治, 甚易得差° 若經久, 則病成身羸, 治之則難愈°

Finally, there are three different causes of illness: (1) illnesses caused by fluctuations of the Four Elements and Five Viscera as explained in detail above, (2) illnesses caused by the actions of spirits, and (3) illness caused by karmic retribution. If these sorts of illness are treated at their inception, they are exceedingly easy to cure. If much time passes, the illness matures and the body weakens, and this is harder to cure.

二, 略明治病方法°

2. Brief explanation of the methods of treating illness

既深知病源, 因緣起發, 當作方法治之° 治病之法, 乃有多途, 舉要言之, 不出止觀, 二種方便°

Having thoroughly understood the origins of an illness and the reason for its emergence, one should employ a technique to treat it. There truly are many ways to proceed in the treatment of illnesses, but I will limit my discussion to the expedient uses of śamatha and vipaśyanā.

云何用止治病相? 有師言: 但安心止在病處, 即能治病° 所以者何? 心是一期果報之主, 譬如國王, 有所至處, 群賊迸散°

How can śamatha meditation be used to treat one’s symptoms? There are teachers who say that merely settling one’s mind on the location of an illness is enough to cure it. How is that so? The mind is the ruler of the karmic retributions in the present life. [Its effect on negative karma] is analogous to how a king’s arrival at any given place causes all the bandits there to scatter.

次有師言: 臍下一寸, 名憂陀那, 此云丹田° 若能止心守, 此不散逕久, 即多有所治°

Also, some teachers say that one inch below the navel is the udāna, also called the dantian. If one is able to fix one’s mind there without deviation for a long time, all will be healed.

又有師言: 常止心足下, 莫問行住寢臥, 即能治眾病° 所以者何? 人以四大不調故, 多諸疾患° 此由心識上緣故, 令四大不調° 若安心在下, 四大即自然調適, 眾病除矣°

There are also teachers who say that fixing the attention on the soles of the feet continuously—no matter whether walking, standing, or lying down—can cure all illnesses. How is that so? It is because the Four Elements are out of balance that people have various illnesses and afflictions, and it is because the mind is [usually] conscious of the upper [parts of the body] that the Four Elements come to be out of balance. So, if one settles the mind on the lower [parts], the Four Elements will rapidly and naturally come into balance and all of the illnesses will disappear.

又有師言: 但知諸法, 空無所有, 不取病相, 寂然止住, 多有所治° 所以然者? 由心憶想鼓作四大, 故有病生° 息心和悅, 眾病即差° 故淨名經云: 「何謂病本? 所謂攀緣° 云何息攀緣? 謂心無所得° 」

There are other teachers who say that one merely has to understand that all phenomena are empty and lacking inherent existence. Remaining unattached to the signs of illness, abiding calmly and undisturbed, all will be healed. Why is that so? This is because the mind’s cogitations affect the Four Elements and cause illness to arise. A still mind is content, and any illness will be cured. This is why the Vimalakīrti Sutra says, ‘What is the root of illness? It is being captivated with sensory objects. How does one stop being captivated with sensory objects? It is by the mind being unattached to anything.’15

如是種種說, 用止治病之相非一° 故行人須知, 善修止法, 能治眾患°

There are numerous teachings such as these that use śamatha to treat symptoms of illness. Therefore, practitioners must know how to practice śamatha well in order to cure any affliction.

次、明觀治病者° 或師云: 觀心想, 用六種氣治病者, 即是觀能治病° 何等為六種氣? 一吹, 二呼, 三嘻, 四呵, 五噓, 六呬° 此六種氣, 一一皆於, 唇口之中, 想心方便, 轉側而作° 若於坐中, 寒時應吹, 熱時應呼° 若以治病, 吹以去寒, 呼以去熱, 嘻以去痛及以治風, 呵以去煩又以下氣, 噓以散痰又以消滿, 呬以補勞° 若治五臟, 呼吹二氣, 可以治心, 噓以治肝, 呵以治肺, 嘻以治脾, 呬以治賢°16

Next, I will explain the treatment of illness with vipaśyanā: There are teachers who say that contemplation of the Six Breaths is [an example of how] vipaśyanā can treat illness.17 What are the Six Breaths? [They are the syllables] (1) chui, (2) hu, (3) xi, (4) he, (5) xu, and (6) si. Imagine each of the Six Breaths revolving around inside your mouth and between your lips, and then make [the sounds].18 If you are in meditation, use chui when you are cold and hu when you are hot. For the treatment of illnesses, chui is for eliminating cold, hu is for eliminating heat, xi is for eliminating pain and treating Wind, he is for eliminating mental troubles and also flatulence, xu is for breaking up phlegm and relieving congestion, and si is for replenishing exhaustion. If you are treating the Five Viscera, the two breaths of hu and chui can treat the Heart, xu is for treating the Liver, he is for treating the Lungs, xi is for treating the Spleen, and si is for treating the Kidneys.

次有師言: 若能善用觀想, 運作十二種息, 能治眾患° 一上息, 二下息, 三滿足, 四燋息, 五增長息, 六滅壞息, 七煖息, 八冷息, 九衝息, 十持息, 十一和息, 十二補息° 此十二息, 皆從觀想心生° 今略明十二息, 對治之相: 上息治沈重, 下息治虛懸, 滿息治枯瘠, 燋息治腫滿, 增長息治羸損, 滅壞息治增盛, 煖息治冷, 冷息治熱, 衝息治壅結不通, 持息治戰動, 和息通治四大不和, 補息資補四大° 善用此息, 可以遍治眾患, 用之失所, 則更生眾患, 推之可知°

Additionally, some teachers say that if one is adept at contemplation, one can use the Twelve Respirations to treat various afflictions. [These are:] (1) upwards respiration, (2) downwards respiration, (3) filling [respiration], (4) scorching respiration, (5) increasing respiration, (6) dissipating respiration, (7) warming respiration, (8) cooling respiration, (9) forceful respiration, (10) retained respiration, (11) respiration, and (12) nourishing respiration.19 These Twelve Respirations all arise within the contemplative mind. Now, to explain how the Twelve Respirations relate to the treatment of symptoms: The upwards respiration cures weight gain, the downwards respiration cures feeling spent, the filling respiration cures emaciation, the scorching respiration cures bloating, the increasing respiration cures depletion [of the Four Elements], the dissipating respiration cures [their] excess, the warming respiration cures cold, the cooling respiration cures heat, the forceful respiration cures blockages, the retained respiration cures trembling, the respiration completely cures disharmony of the Four Elements, and the nourishing respiration nourishes the Four Elements. One who is good at using these respirations can cure any and all afflictions—but, as you can infer from this, doing them wrong can cause even more afflictions to arise.

次有師言: 善用假想觀, 能治眾病° 如人患冷, 想身中有火氣而起, 即能治冷° 此如《雜阿含》中《治禪病秘法》七十二法中廣說°

Next, some teachers say that one who is good at visualization can cure all illnesses. If a person is afflicted with cold, he can visualize within his body a fiery qi arising and thereby cure it. This is just like the seventy-two methods explained in detail in the Secret Methods of Curing Illness in the Saṃyuktāgama-sūtra.20

次有師言: 但用止觀, 檢析身四大中病不可得, 心中病亦不可得, 眾病不治自差°

Additionally, some teachers say that simply by using śamatha and vipaśyanā to analyse the non-existent nature of the illnesses of the Four Elements of the body and of the mind, all illnesses will thereby cure themselves spontaneously without treatment.

如是等種種說, 用觀治病不同, 善得其意, 皆能治病, 必有差理°

There are many teachings like these about different ways to use vipaśyanā to cure illness. If you grasp their meanings well, all of them can be used to cure illness and [you will see that] each certainly has a therapeutic logic.

當知: 止觀二法, 若人善得其意, 則無病而不治也° 若是鬼病, 當用強心, 加呪以助治之° 若是業病, 必須加助, 以修福懺悔, 患即自滅°

You should know that if one is able to grasp the meanings of both of these methods, śamatha and vipaśyanā, there will be no illness one is unable to cure. If it is [a case of] a demonic illness, then you should resolutely employ incantations to help with curing it. If it is a karmic illness, you must seek assistance in the practice of meritmaking and repentance, and the affliction will spontaneously disappear.

[Conclusion]

此二種治病之法, 若行人善得一意, 則可自行, 亦能兼他, 況復具足通達!若都不知, 則病生無治, 非唯廢修正法, 亦恐性命有慮, 豈可自行教人? 是故, 欲修止觀之者, 必須善解內心治病之法° 內心治病, 方法眾多, 豈可具傳於文? 若於習知, 當更尋訪° 上來所出, 止是示其大意, 正依此用之, 恐未可承案°

As far as these two methods of treating illness are concerned, if a practitioner grasps one well, then he can practise it himself and with others. How much more so if he fully understands both! But, if he does not understand either, he has no treatments for illnesses that may arise. Not only is he neglecting to practise the true Dharma, but I’m afraid he is also endangering his life. How could he possibly cultivate himself or teach others? For these reasons, one who wishes to practise śamatha and vipaśyanā must understand well how to treat illness using the mind. The methods of mentally curing illness being so many, how could they be fully transmitted in writing? If you wish to practise and know more, you should seek further instruction. The preceding is limited to pointing out the main ideas, and if you strictly rely upon it for your practice I’m afraid it will not be enough for a successful outcome.

問曰: 用心坐中治病, 必有效否?

Question: When using meditations to treat illnesses, will they always be efficacious?

答曰: 若具十法, 無不有益° 十法者: 一信, 二用, 三勤, 四恒住緣中, 五別病因起, 六方便, 七久行, 八知取捨, 九善將護, 十識遮障°

Answer: If you have perfected ten dharmas, there is no way you can not be successful. These ten dharmas are (1) faith, (2) practice, (3) effort, (4) staying with the object, (5) discriminating the causes of illness, (6) expedience, (7) practising for the long term, (8) knowing [when] to hold and release, (9) guarding well, and (10) understanding the hindrances.

何謂為信? 謂信此法, 必能治病° 何謂為用? 謂隨時常用° 何謂為勤? 謂用之專精不息, 取得差為度° 何謂為住緣中? 謂細心念念依法, 而不異緣° 何謂別病因起? 別病因起, 具如上說° 何謂為方便? 謂吐納運心緣想, 善巧成就, 不失其宜° 何謂為久行? 謂若用之, 未即有益, 不計日月, 常習不廢° 何謂知取捨? 謂知益即勤用, 損則捨之, 微細轉心取治° 何謂知將護? 謂善識異緣犯觸° 何謂識遮障? 謂得益不向外人論說, 未益不生疑謗°

What do I mean by ‘faith’? I mean having faith that these methods actually can cure illness. What do I mean by ‘practice’? I mean regularly using them whenever appropriate. What do I mean by ‘effort’? I mean practising them in a focused way, without rest, with the achievement of a cure as your goal. What do I mean by ‘staying with the object’? I mean each and every successive thought should be focused on the method, and not on any other object. What do I mean by ‘discriminating the causes of illness’? Discriminating the causes of illness as explained above. What do I mean by ‘expedience’? I mean [using] breathing exercises and ways of thinking that are skilful, successful, and appropriate. What do I mean by ‘practising for the long term’? I mean that if you do not get immediate results from the practice, don’t worry about how many days and weeks [it has been]. Keep practicing and don’t give up. What do I mean by ‘knowing [when] to hold and release’? I mean that if you know something is beneficial, then practise it diligently. If it is detrimental, then let it go. Make subtle mental adjustments in pursuit of a cure. What do I mean by knowing how to be ‘on guard’? I mean you should understand well how mental distractions can lead to moral transgressions. What do I mean by ‘understanding the hindrances’? I mean that if you have gotten some benefit [from the techniques], you should not [pridefully] discuss that with others. If you have not yet benefited, you should not disparage them.

若依此十法者, 所治必定有効, 不虛也°

If you follow these ten dharmas, your treatments are guaranteed to be effective and will not be in vain.

1 For details on the authorship of this text, how it fits within Zhiyi’s literary corpus, and a summary of Zhiyi’s ideas about meditation more broadly, see Swanson 2007.

2 Sekiguchi 1954; cited in Swanson 2007. Sekiguchi identifies two major streams of the text, and bases his critical edition on the more concise, and probably older, one. The version included in the Taishō Tripitaka contains many accretions and modifications that were likely added by later writers. The medical chapter of the Shorter [Treatise on] Śamatha and Vipaśyanā is closely related to a similar section of Zhiyi’s A Step-by-Step Teaching for Understanding Dhyāna-pāramitā 釋禪波羅蜜次第法門 (T 1916). See also a section on treating illness in Zhiyi’s Mohe zhiguan 摩訶止觀 (T 1911), an English translation of which will be published in the near future by Paul Swanson.

3 Sekiguchi 1954, pp. 356–60.

4 I borrow the term ‘Buddhist hybrid English’ from Griffiths 1981. An English translation of this section of T 1915 is available in Bhikshu Dharmamitra 2008, pp. 168–87, although the translation style is unfortunately too literal and stilted to be of much use to the non-specialist reader. An older translation of the same in Lu 1964 omits much of the medical material. For insightful observations gained from long-term engagement in interpreting and translating Zhiyi, see Swanson 1999 and 1997, pp. 25–9.

5 I discuss Zhiyi’s role as a cultural translator of Buddhist medical knowledge rather extensively in Salguero forthcoming. On his medical thought, see also Yamano 1985; Demiéville 1985, pp. 80–2, 85; Birnbaum 1989, pp. 39–42; Huang 2000. On the medieval Chinese reception of Buddhist medicine more generally, see also Salguero 2009, 2010, 2010–11; Chen Ming 2013.

6 The Four Elements (Skt. mahābhūta) are Earth, Water, Fire, and Wind, the building blocks of the material world and of the human body in various strains of Indian religious and medical thought.

7 The expression ‘404 diseases’ is a conventional Buddhist way of referring to all human ailments. Many texts specify that these comprise 101 diseases for each of the Four Elements—as, indeed, Zhiyi does below.

8 Literally ‘swelling and binding’, this is a condition characterized by growths and masses.

9 Zhiyi’s account of Four Element diagnosis is neither complete nor wholly accurate. While he states above that each Element fluctuates 增損 (i.e., can suffer from either depletion or excess), this section only gives symptoms of excess. Furthermore, in some cases, he seems to have mixed symptoms of depletion into his symptoms of excess, for example, when claiming that an excess of Earth Element will lead to emaciation. As both T 1915 and T 1916 contain the same error, we must conclude either that all three texts are corrupted or that Zhiyi was misinformed about this very basic Indian medical doctrine.

10 Literally ‘vacuous and suspended’, this term usually refers to financial insolvency. Here, I take it to mean a depletion of the body’s natural supply of energy, and was pleased an English expression with similar financial and physical connotations.

11 A similar passage appears in the Sutra on the Five Kings 佛說五王經 (T 523: 796b21–22). On Zhiyi’s practices of quoting and misquoting scripture, see Swanson 1997.

12 Connections between the Four Elements and both mental qualities and dreams are outlined in another important text on Buddhist medicine, the Sutra of Golden Light 金光明經 (T 663–5), translated in Salguero 2013.

13 See discussion of connections between organs and orifices in classical Chinese medicine in Unschuld 2003, pp. 141–3. As Unschuld shows, such connections were constantly shifting in early texts.

14 ‘Wandering winds’ 遊風 refer to inflammatory skin conditions.

15 This is a partial quote of T 475: 545a17–20.

16 Most of this passage is missing from the Taishō Tripitaka version of the text. In its place are two lines of seven-character verses (T 1915: 472a02–3) that may date as late as the Song (see Despeux 2006, p. 50).

17 On this practice, see Despeux 2006.

18 This sentence is somewhat opaque in both the Sekiguchi and the Taishō Tripitaka versions.

19 These Twelve Respirations are suggestive of Indian prāṅāyāma, or breath control exercises. See discussion in Salguero forthcoming.

20 No such section of the Saṃyuktâgamasūtra exists today. I take this as a reference to the Secret Essential Methods for Curing the Meditation Illnesses 治禪病祕要法 (T. 620), which uses similar language in its title line and presents numerous healing visualisations.

References

  • DharmamitraBhikshu The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: A Classic Śamatha-Vipaśyanā Meditation Manual: The Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation by the Great Tiantai Meditation Master & Exegete: Śramaṇa Zhiyi (Chih-I) (538–597 CE) 2008 Seattle Kalavinka Press

  • BirnbaumR. SullivanL. E. ‘Chinese Buddhist Traditions of Healing and the Life Cycle’ Healing and Restoring: Health and Medicine in the World’s Religious Traditions 1989 New York and London Macmillan 33 57

  • ChenMing陳明 Zhonggu yiliao yu wailai wenhua 中古醫療與外來文化 2013 Beijing Peking University Press

  • DemiévilleP. TatzMark Buddhism and Healing: Demiéville’s Article ‘Byō’ from Hōbōgirin 1985 Lanham, Md., and London University Press of America

  • DespeuxC. KohnL. ‘The Six Healing Breaths’ Daoist Body Cultivation: Traditional Models and Contemporary Practices 2006 Magdalena, NM Three Pines Press 37 67

  • GriffithsP. J. ‘Buddhist Hybrid English: Some Notes on Philology and Hermeneutics for Buddhologists’ Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 1981 4 2 17 32

  • HuangBoyuan黃柏源 ‘Zhiyi yixue sixiang zhi yanjiu—yi《Mohe zhiguan》“Guanbing huanjing” wei zhongxin 智顗醫學思想之研究-以《摩訶止觀》「觀病患境」為中心’ 2000 (English Title: A Study on Zhiyi’s Thought of Medical Science—Focus on ‘Contemplation in a State of Illness’ of Mo-ho-chih-kuan) unpublished MA Thesis Huafan daxue 華梵大學

  • LuK’uan Yü The Secrets of Chinese Meditation: Self-Cultivation by Mind Control as Taught in the Ch’an Mahāyāna and Taoist Schools in China 1964 London Rider

  • SalgueroC. Pierce ‘The Buddhist Medicine King in Literary Context: Reconsidering an Early Example of Indian Influence on Chinese Medicine and Surgery’ History of Religions 2009 48 3 183 210

  • SalgueroC. Pierce ‘“A Flock of Ghosts Bursting Forth and Scattering”: Healing Narratives in a Sixth-Century Chinese Buddhist Hagiography’ East Asian Science Technology & Medicine 2010 32 89 120

  • SalgueroC. Pierce ‘Mixing Metaphors: Translating the Indian Medical Doctrine Tridoṣa in Chinese Buddhist Sources’ Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 2010–11 6 1 55 74

  • SalgueroC. Pierce ‘“On Eliminating Disease”: Translations of the Medical Chapter from the Chinese Versions of the Sutra of Golden Light’ eJournal of Indian Medicine 2013 6 1 21 43

  • SalgueroC. Pierce Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China forthcoming Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Press (in press)

  • SekiguchiShindai關口真大 Tendai shōshikan no kenkyō 天台小止観研究 1954 Tokyo Sankibō busshorin

  • SwansonP. L. ‘What’s Going on Here? Chih-i’s Use (and Abuse) of Scripture’ Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 1997 20 1 1 30

  • SwansonP. L. ‘Dry Dust, Hazy Images, and Missing Pieces: Reflections on Translating Religious Texts’ Nanzan Bulletin 1999 23 29 43

  • SwansonP. L. ‘Ch’an and Chih-kuan: T’ien-t’ai Chih-i’s View of “Zen” and the Practice of the Lotus Sutra’ Tendai Bulletin 天台学報 2007 Special issue 143 164

  • UnschuldP. U. Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: Nature Knowledge Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text 2003 Berkeley and Los Angeles University of California Press

  • YamanoToshirou山野俊郎 ‘Tendai Chigi no igaku shisō josetsu 天台智顗医学思想序説’ Shinshū Sōgō Kenkyūjo kenkyū kiyō 真宗総合研究所研究紀要 1985 3 115 142

  • 2

    Sekiguchi 1954; cited in Swanson 2007. Sekiguchi identifies two major streams of the text and bases his critical edition on the more concise and probably older one. The version included in the Taishō Tripitaka contains many accretions and modifications that were likely added by later writers. The medical chapter of the Shorter [Treatise on] Śamatha and Vipaśyanā is closely related to a similar section of Zhiyi’s A Step-by-Step Teaching for Understanding Dhyāna-pāramitā 釋禪波羅蜜次第法門 (T 1916). See also a section on treating illness in Zhiyi’s Mohe zhiguan 摩訶止觀 (T 1911) an English translation of which will be published in the near future by Paul Swanson.

  • 3

    Sekiguchi 1954pp. 356–60.

  • 17

    On this practice see Despeux 2006.

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‘Treating Illness’: Translation of a Chapter from a Medieval Chinese Buddhist Meditation Manual by Zhiyi (538–597)

in Asian Medicine

Sections

References

DharmamitraBhikshu The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: A Classic Śamatha-Vipaśyanā Meditation Manual: The Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyāna Meditation by the Great Tiantai Meditation Master & Exegete: Śramaṇa Zhiyi (Chih-I) (538–597 CE) 2008 Seattle Kalavinka Press

BirnbaumR. SullivanL. E. ‘Chinese Buddhist Traditions of Healing and the Life Cycle’ Healing and Restoring: Health and Medicine in the World’s Religious Traditions 1989 New York and London Macmillan 33 57

ChenMing陳明 Zhonggu yiliao yu wailai wenhua 中古醫療與外來文化 2013 Beijing Peking University Press

DemiévilleP. TatzMark Buddhism and Healing: Demiéville’s Article ‘Byō’ from Hōbōgirin 1985 Lanham, Md., and London University Press of America

DespeuxC. KohnL. ‘The Six Healing Breaths’ Daoist Body Cultivation: Traditional Models and Contemporary Practices 2006 Magdalena, NM Three Pines Press 37 67

GriffithsP. J. ‘Buddhist Hybrid English: Some Notes on Philology and Hermeneutics for Buddhologists’ Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 1981 4 2 17 32

HuangBoyuan黃柏源 ‘Zhiyi yixue sixiang zhi yanjiu—yi《Mohe zhiguan》“Guanbing huanjing” wei zhongxin 智顗醫學思想之研究-以《摩訶止觀》「觀病患境」為中心’ 2000 (English Title: A Study on Zhiyi’s Thought of Medical Science—Focus on ‘Contemplation in a State of Illness’ of Mo-ho-chih-kuan) unpublished MA Thesis Huafan daxue 華梵大學

LuK’uan Yü The Secrets of Chinese Meditation: Self-Cultivation by Mind Control as Taught in the Ch’an Mahāyāna and Taoist Schools in China 1964 London Rider

SalgueroC. Pierce ‘The Buddhist Medicine King in Literary Context: Reconsidering an Early Example of Indian Influence on Chinese Medicine and Surgery’ History of Religions 2009 48 3 183 210

SalgueroC. Pierce ‘“A Flock of Ghosts Bursting Forth and Scattering”: Healing Narratives in a Sixth-Century Chinese Buddhist Hagiography’ East Asian Science Technology & Medicine 2010 32 89 120

SalgueroC. Pierce ‘Mixing Metaphors: Translating the Indian Medical Doctrine Tridoṣa in Chinese Buddhist Sources’ Asian Medicine: Tradition and Modernity 2010–11 6 1 55 74

SalgueroC. Pierce ‘“On Eliminating Disease”: Translations of the Medical Chapter from the Chinese Versions of the Sutra of Golden Light’ eJournal of Indian Medicine 2013 6 1 21 43

SalgueroC. Pierce Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China forthcoming Philadelphia University of Pennsylvania Press (in press)

SekiguchiShindai關口真大 Tendai shōshikan no kenkyō 天台小止観研究 1954 Tokyo Sankibō busshorin

SwansonP. L. ‘What’s Going on Here? Chih-i’s Use (and Abuse) of Scripture’ Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 1997 20 1 1 30

SwansonP. L. ‘Dry Dust, Hazy Images, and Missing Pieces: Reflections on Translating Religious Texts’ Nanzan Bulletin 1999 23 29 43

SwansonP. L. ‘Ch’an and Chih-kuan: T’ien-t’ai Chih-i’s View of “Zen” and the Practice of the Lotus Sutra’ Tendai Bulletin 天台学報 2007 Special issue 143 164

UnschuldP. U. Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen: Nature Knowledge Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text 2003 Berkeley and Los Angeles University of California Press

YamanoToshirou山野俊郎 ‘Tendai Chigi no igaku shisō josetsu 天台智顗医学思想序説’ Shinshū Sōgō Kenkyūjo kenkyū kiyō 真宗総合研究所研究紀要 1985 3 115 142

2

Sekiguchi 1954; cited in Swanson 2007. Sekiguchi identifies two major streams of the text and bases his critical edition on the more concise and probably older one. The version included in the Taishō Tripitaka contains many accretions and modifications that were likely added by later writers. The medical chapter of the Shorter [Treatise on] Śamatha and Vipaśyanā is closely related to a similar section of Zhiyi’s A Step-by-Step Teaching for Understanding Dhyāna-pāramitā 釋禪波羅蜜次第法門 (T 1916). See also a section on treating illness in Zhiyi’s Mohe zhiguan 摩訶止觀 (T 1911) an English translation of which will be published in the near future by Paul Swanson.

3

Sekiguchi 1954pp. 356–60.

17

On this practice see Despeux 2006.

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