Buddhist Faith and Sudden Enlightenment

By Sung Bae Park

Subjects: Buddhism
Paperback : 9780873956741, 211 pages, June 1983
Hardcover : 9780873956734, 211 pages, June 1983

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Table of contents

1. The Primacy of Faith in Buddhism
2. Patriarchal Faith and Doctrinal Faith
3. Buddha-nature and Patriarchal Faith
4. Essence-Function versus Subject-Object Constructions
5. Nonbacksliding Faith and Backsliding Faith
6. The Two Truths and Skill-in-Means
7. The Unity of Faith and Enlightenment in Practice
8. Bodhidharma's Wall Meditation
9. Questioning Meditation and the Dynamics of Faith
10. Practice in the Treatise on Awakening Mahayana Faith
11. Faith and Practice in Pure Land Buddhism
12. Faith as the Practice of Compassion
13. Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Practice
14. Faith and Enlightenment in the Hua-yen Sutra
15. Kkaech'im: The Experience of Brokenness
16. Revolution of the Basis
17. The Three Gates
Glossary of Chinese Characters


Buddhist Faith and Sudden Enlightenment explains how sudden enlightenment occurs through the awakening of patriarchal faith. This is the non-dual affirmation that one is already Buddha as opposed to the doctrinal, dualistic faith that one can become Buddha. The essence of the presentation is that patriarchal faith forms the basis for sudden enlightenment in Zen meditation. For the practitioner, this book establishes the Zen method of mind-cultivation on a higher level by introducing a new understanding of awakening right faith.

Included is extensive material on the history of faith in Buddhism with the main attention devoted to Ch'an (Zen) and Hua-yen. There are also substantial discussions of Buddhist antecedents to these schools and of the Pure Land School.

This is the first book in English to examine the central role of faith in Mahayana Buddhism. The author's approach develops from his personal experiences as a son (Zen) monk of the Chogye order, which was heavily influenced by the integration of meditation and scriptural study established by Chinul.

Sung Bae Park is Assistant Professor of East Asian Religions at the Center for Religious Studies, State University of New York at Stony Brook.