Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Early Tibet: Dzogchen and Chan

I’ve written four posts on Tibetan Chan without mentioning the question of whether the Chinese meditation tradition known as Chan influenced the Tibetan meditation tradition known as Dzogchen. Or, to put it in the stronger version, whether Dzogchen is just a disguised form of Chan. Partly, I’ve left the question alone because it doesn’t seem that interesting to me. It seems evident that if you spend a while with Chan and Dzogchen texts from the time when the influence is supposed to have taken place (the 8th/9th centuries) that there is one clear difference between the two: they are in dialogue with two different scriptural bases. That is to say, Chan is a tradition in dialogue with the sutras, while Dzogchen is in dialogue with the tantras.

Read more here.

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