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Buddhist I Ching, The

Product no.: 0-87773-408-9
Chih-hsu Ou-i uses the concepts of T'ien T'ai Buddhism to elucidate the I Ching—concentration and insight, calmness and wisdom, and various levels of realization.

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Publisher's Synopsis
The present work is the only full-length interpretation of the I Ching by a Chinese Buddhist meditation master. Chih-hsu Ou-i offers three levels of interpretation: social, Buddhist, and meditational. The first part (hexagrams 1-30) deals with awakening to one's true qualities through Buddhist enlightenment. The second part (31-64) deals with cultivating human qualities by understanding the relationships inherent in situations and acting or desisting appropriately. The author intended his reading to lead from understanding of society to understanding of spiritual practices.

Excerpt
"The yang at the top says the dragon has regret at the peak. What does this mean?

Confucius said, 'Noble without rank, high without subjects, the wise are in low positions, and have no helpers; therefore regret accompanies activity.'

According to one explainer, up until now Confucius has been saying that a sage does not become arrogant at the peak of exaltation; but when it is viewed from the point of view of fulfillment of practice and effecting self-reduction, Confucius then can be seen to be using 'no rank, no subjects, no helpers' to represent this. This is the spirit of ancient kings who ruled the world but were not impressed with themselves because of it; it does not mean rank is lost, the people rebel, and the wise leave.

The word 'activity' is used well here. The most intransigent obstacle in the world is easy for the sage who does not stop and ponder, and has no second thoughts. It only takes action to bring about regret, and it only takes regret to deal with arrogance. To interpret this in Buddhist terms, the body of reality is not in any category, so it is 'noble without rank.' Buddhahood goes beyond all realms, so it is 'high without subjects.' The experience of silent light, the land of the eternal buddhas, is not accessible to those below the stage of enlightenment equal to buddhas, so 'sages are in low positions, without helpers.'

Therefore, in the ultimate stage it is imperative to turn back and appear in the world in forms consistent with those of the people in various states, to manifest innocence in the midst of the world and deal compassionately with their problems.

'The hidden dragon is not to be employed' means lying low. 'Seeing the dragon in the field' means leaving off for the moment. 'Working all day' means carrying out tasks. 'Sometimes leaping in the abyss' means self-testing. 'The flying dragon is in the sky' means the leadership is itself properly governed. 'At the peak the dragon has regret' means the calamity of going to extremes. Using yang, positive energy, the creative basis, means the whole world is functioning harmoniously. This is a reinterpretation of the six lines in terms of the states of times."

Biography
Chih-hsu Ou-i (1599–1655) wrote commentaries on dozens of Buddhist texts and Chinese classics and was proficient in both esoteric and exoteric studies. His work influenced the development of modern Buddhism in China.

Author Chih-hsu Ou-i
Translator Cleary, Thomas
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 264 pp.
Publisher Shambhala Publications 2001
Browse these categories as well: I Ching Texts and Commentaries, Confucian Classics, Saichō and the Tendai School, Eastern Buddhism and Zen Masters, Noteworthy Releases 2001

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