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Asian Medicine

Journal of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine

Asian Medicine: Journal of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Asian Medicine (previously subtitled Tradition and Modernity) is a multidisciplinary journal aimed at researchers and practitioners of Asian medicine. It makes available in one single publication academic essays that explore the historical, anthropological, sociological and philological dimensions of Asian medicine as well as practice reports from clinicians based in Asia and in Western countries, translations of relevant texts, and other types of articles. With the recent upsurge of interest in non-Western alternative approaches to health care, Asian Medicine will be of relevance to those studying the cross-cultural translations and adaptations of Asian medical systems in the age of globalization. It will also be relevant to those who wish to learn more about the traditional background and contemporary practice of Asian medicines within their countries of origin. On account of its appeal to scholars from a range of academic backgrounds (such as history, philology, anthropology, sociology, archaeology) as well as to practitioners based in Asia and in Western medical institutions and alternative health care settings, the journal constitutes a unique resource for both scholarly and clinically focused institutions.
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C. Pierce Salguero

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C. Pierce Salguero

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.

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C. Pierce Salguero, Robban Toleno, William J. Giddings, Joshua Capitanio and Marcus Bingenheimer

Abstract

The excerpts below were selected to introduce a number of disparate genres and types of discourses about healing, illness, and cure that are embedded within the Chinese Buddhist canon. They include an excerpt from a monastic disciplinary code concerning the storage of medicines, a scripture with a story of an encounter between a bodhisattva and a famous physician, a liturgy dedicated to a major healing deity, an author’s advice to doctors from a Buddhist perspective, and a devotional verse that plays on medical metaphors. Taken together, they indicate some of the diversity of perspectives and approaches of Buddhist materials and suggest the potential importance of often-overlooked Buddhist materials for the study of Asian medicine.