By Sallie B. King

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5 In fact, w u has such a positive nature that in Daoism it is considered the source or ben of all manifested things. We shall shortly speak again of this concept, ben. The author’s most fundamental concerns in the BN T are, soteriologically, to promote practice and change, and, philosophi­ cally, to explain reality, human being, and human transformation in dynamic, process-oriented terms that ultimately derive from the experience of practicing Buddhism. On the basis of this agenda, he argues that neither the concept of existence (you) nor of nonexistence (tm/) can account for the point of his interest; namely, that some here and now are realizing their Buddha nature and some are not.

The B N T s author stepped into 39 BUDDHA NATURE the same void and filled it with a very different kind of language, a language that could speak positively of such things as Buddha nature and tathagatagarbha. The author makes his point clearly and succinctly in this key passage:“Attachments are not real, therefore they are called vacuous. If one gives rise to these attachments, true wisdom will not arise. When one does away with these attachments, then we speak of Buddha nature. Buddha nature is the Thusness (zhen r u ) revealed (x ia n ) by the dual emptiness of person and things.

Many of the views articulated in the text, and especially the overall standpoint from which the author speaks, are very much in harmony with widespread ideas in Chinese Buddhist thought as they are expressed in the various indigenous Chinese Buddhist schools. This is especially true of Chan, but it also is true to a lesser degree of Tian-tai and Hua-yan. Some of the themes that will emerge in this book as the philosophy of the BN T and that are important components of the foundation of Chinese Buddhist thought are as follows : 1.

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