The Ordinary Mind in Chan/Zen Buddhism and its psychological significance

Submitted by James Miller on Tue, 02/01/2011 - 18:20
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TitleThe Ordinary Mind in Chan/Zen Buddhism and its psychological significance
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsZhu, C. J.
Date Published2010
ISBN Number1124270868, 9781124270869
KeywordsAsian Studies, Cognitive psychology, Religion
Abstract

The Ordinary Mind that Chan masters Mazu and Nanquan defined in medieval China is chiefly a non-dual, non-discriminative spiritual and ontological state of freedom. This dissertation explores the context and phenomena of the Ordinary Mind and articulates a distinction between Ordinary Mind, mindfulness-based ordinary mind, and ordinary mind that has received no meditation training Hermeneutics and a psychological lens are used as the main tools for interpreting nuances of the three states, which answer the research question: What is pingchangxin?. This dissertation posits that there is a shift from an ontological and non-discriminative state (the Ordinary Mind) to a meaningfully engaged and functional state (the mindfulness-based ordinary mind).

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