Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Jikan » Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:33 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:
But I would also submit that the "single-practice" schools that emerged from Tendai (the Nichiren schools, the Pure Land schools, Soto & Rinzai Zen...) bear a number of hallmarks of Tendai. I can go into that a bit if anyone's interested.


I'm interested!


There are continuities and breaks. The breaks are just as significant as continuities.

This gets complicated quickly, but the short version is that the single-practice schools emerged from Tendai-shu in different ways in response to particular social crises that Tendai as a whole could not address. This is particularly so with the Pure Land schools and Nichiren's project, which took practices internal to Tendai (nembutsu and TienTai teachings on the Lotus Sutra) in very new directions, and directly to the people and the city. So there are ways in which the single-practice schools are defined by the way in which they are *not* Tendai... by their focus on one practice, by their accessiblity.

That said, one can find significant continuity from Tendai through these schools doctrinally. Nichiren and Dogen had plenty to say (different things of course) about hongaku shiso, for instance. Eisai Zenji evidently wished to set up his school as Tendai-plus-koans at first.

That's hardly a complete or water-tight answer, but it's a start.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Huifeng » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:07 pm

But do these aspects start from Tiantai / Tendai itself, or are they also in turn found in the sources which Tiantai / Tendai used? ie. Tiantai / Tendai is simply continuing the single-practice approach(es) of earlier tradition(s).

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Jikan » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:19 pm

I should have been clearer: I'm referring to the rather baroque matrix of practices, doctrines, and institutional power that characterized Tendai-shu around 1100-1300. I don't think anyone would characterize Tendai in this period as single-practice.

Or am I misunderstanding the question?
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Jikan » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:52 pm

I should also add that this isn't really my area of expertise (because I don't really have an area of expertise, I'm an amateur at this). I'm interested in learning more on this topic generally, and particularly about the continuities and breaks between Tendai meditative practices and those in Soto & Rinzai Zen.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Queequeg » Thu Nov 08, 2012 2:33 pm

Huifeng wrote:But do these aspects start from Tiantai / Tendai itself, or are they also in turn found in the sources which Tiantai / Tendai used? ie. Tiantai / Tendai is simply continuing the single-practice approach(es) of earlier tradition(s).

~~ Huifeng

Hey All,

Nichiren practitioner here. To the extent I can contribute to the conversation...

How single practice traditions emerged out of the Tendai is a huge subject. You really have to go back and follow the story from China, and from there follow it back into India and the emergence of Mahayana devotional traditions (which will take you further back, and back and back). But to keep this simple we have to set an arbitrary starting point, and the most convenient might be Zhiyi.

IIRC, Zhiyi taught Nembutsu as an aspect of Walking Samadhi in MohoChihkuan. Simply, this is the practice of circumambulating an Amida image while chanting the Nembutsu - a practice that is still very popular at Hieizan, as I understand. Zhiyi supposedly wrote a text on PureLand faith, but scholars doubt its authenticity, and based on what I've read of Zhiyi (in English translation so FWIW) it doesn't sound like Zhiyi. :shrug:

Parallel to all this, we have the Pure Land traditions. So, I don't know how familiar people are with the Pure Land Sutras - but basically, Amitabha/Amitayus Buddha made a vow when he was still a bodhisattva that if after he became a Buddha, anyone, anywhere, called on him, they would, on their death, be reborn in a lotus calyx in Sukhavati, his Pure Land in the West. In this Pure Land, they would be guaranteed enlightenment. Pureland practice flows from this vow. I'm simplifying it, and some Pure Land traditions have very well developed and subtle philosophies, but that is the nutshell version.

Many Pure Land traditions, however, are very simple and advocate nearly single-minded devotional practice. This tradition has precedent in China (Shantao, for instance), as well as Japan long before the Kamakura period when the other, more well know Single Practice traditions emerged from Tendai - but I'm skipping ahead. These schools of thought became integrated into both Tendai and Shingon traditions by the Kamakura period.

I'll focus on Nichiren, because that's who I am most familiar with. There are other exclusivist schools - like Jodo Shinshu started by Shinran, and Dogen with Soto Zen, but I don't know as much about their emergence.

In the late Heian period, Japanese Buddhists generally concluded that Shakyamuni's teachings had entered the final age of degeneracy and no longer could save people. By their calculations, this age started around 1054. This cynical view engendered what seems like a spiritual crisis - people came to believe that all the tragedies - social and natural - were somehow related to this end of the Buddhadharma. In this climate, Pure Land practice really took off and gained wide popularity - basically, if enlightenment was impossible here, then one ought to pray to Amida to be born in his Western Paradise where Buddhadharma was still vital. The exclusivist Pure Land gauntlet was finally thrown down by Honen who came out and explicitly said - Shakyamuni Buddha's teachings are dead. All practices based on his teachings are futile. There is nothing to do but seek rebirth in Sukhavati.

Enter Nichiren.

Basically, in my reading, Nichiren was fighting against the apocalyptic cynicism of Mappo, particularly as taught by Honen. He looked to the Perfect Enlightenment of Tientai/Tendai to redeem the efficacy of Shakyamuni's teachings in this world. At the same time, he seized on the ease and accessibility of Nembutsu practice to make the Perfect Enlightenment possible for all people, not just people with the leisure to sit on a mountain and pursue the catholic approach of Tendai. (Nichiren also thought that authentic Tendai was lost when Saicho died, and really was destroyed when Enin and Enchin took a hard turn toward Shingon-esque doctrines - but that's sort of another subject) To make the perfect enlightenment accessible to all, he boiled the practice down to the Daimoku or recitation of the title of the Lotus Sutra. This builds on Tientai thought concerning the identity of entering the path and perfecting the path. One way to understand is Zhiyi's Six Identities - with Buddha in Principle at the bottom and full blown enlightenment at the top - everyone is on the spectrum of perfection of Buddhahood. Being a novice is, in the final analysis, no different than Buddha. This later developed into Original Enlightenment thought in Japan, but at Nichiren's time, this teaching had not really emerged distinctly yet.

To really talk about Nichiren's theory, you have to have a grasp of Zhiyi's thought. In a sense, Nichiren took the implications of FahuaHsuan-i, ie. that the entire gist of the Lotus Sutra, the teaching of the Eternal Shakyamuni Buddha revealed in the 16th chapter of the Lotus Sutra, is contained in the title of the Sutra. By chanting this title, according to Nichiren, applying the theory of Zhiyi, one thereby undertakes all practices contained in the Lotus Sutra. This in turn is all the practices that the Eternal Shakyamuni undertook himself and taught to others. When the Trace is Opened to Reveal the Root, all practices are revealed to be the practice of the Lotus Sutra. Its the same theory that underlies Tendai catholicism. All life is the practice of the Lotus Sutra. There is nothing that is not the practice of the Lotus Sutra. Chanting the Daimoku is an exclusive affirmation of this teaching, as well as its practice.

I'll leave that there, because going further gets off topic about how Nichiren's single practice emerged from Tendai.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby rory » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:39 am

For Tendai I suggest you read both Paul Groner's books on Saicho and Ryogen.
Ryōgen and Mount Hiei : Japanese Tendai in the tenth century
the establishment of the Japanese Tendai School : with a new preface / Paul Groner

and this excellent article by Paul Swanson
http://www.academia.edu/1092296/Chih-i_ ... _Chih-kuan

the 3rd book Jacqie Stone's is critical to understanding Tendai and the development of the schools, especailly Nichiren
Original enlightenment and the transformation of medieval Japanese Buddhism
Stone, Jacqueline Ilyse.
Honolulu : University of Hawaiʻi Press, c1999.

there already was single practice in medieval Tendai Buddhism going back to Genshin, who wrote a famous work on Pure Land. Stone's book explains just what was going on in Tendai and is absolutely critical for understanding.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby BuddhaSoup » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:49 pm

Rory, many thanks for your interesting postings as well as the link to academia.edu ....what an amazing website and collection of scholars, articles and scholarly treatises!
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:58 pm

Rory & Queequeg make important points here. It's true that there were proposals for a single-practice orientation in Tendai-shu, for instance. But this isn't adequate to explain why or how single-practice schools emerged in this period, often in direct critique of Tendai practices & institutions. Gishin was no Honen.

To take this from a different direction: How did Nichiren feel about esoteric practices? pure land practices?
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:04 pm

Jikan wrote:Rory & Queequeg make important points here. It's true that there were proposals for a single-practice orientation in Tendai-shu, for instance. But this isn't adequate to explain why or how single-practice schools emerged in this period, often in direct critique of Tendai practices & institutions. Gishin was no Honen.

To take this from a different direction: How did Nichiren feel about esoteric practices? pure land practices?


Visiting Hieizan now, its hard to imagine what that place must have been like in the Heian through medieval periods. It was a thriving monastic university. IIRC, when Oda Nobunaga burned it down, there were some 50,000 monks on the mountain, not to mention the monks at Onjoji. Of course, this image of Hieizan as it once was is layered with the heated disputes within Tendai, against other sects, against the state, etc., which gave rise to the notorious armed monks of Hiei. I think it would be an understatement to say that Hiei was a hotbed of Buddhist thought. The single practice tendencies would have been one strain of thought in the cacophony. I get the sense that the single practice tendencies were actually a response to the cacophony - something to simplify the sprawling array of enlightenment methods practiced on the mountain and the satellite institutions.

Nichiren's views on Pure Land practices -

I'll take this one first because its easier. In the simplest terms - he was against them. He thought that they were detrimental and destructive. He seems to have found the other-world orientation with the attendant abandonment of the concerns in this world abhorrent. There is some indication that he was particularly disturbed on seeing the violent, panic-stricken death throes of a devoted Pure Land adherent when he was young. These are impressions that I get from passing comments in his writings.

In terms of his doctrinal criticism, Nichiren tended to couch it in terms of the Tendai 5 period classification system - attributed to Zhiyi (Tendai-daishi), but more likely the innovation of Zhanran (Myoraku-daishi). This system puts Pure Land sutras in the category of Vaipulya Sutras - the third of five categories. Considering a lower teaching like the Pure Land Sutras as superior to a higher teaching like the Lotus Sutra, distorts the Buddhadharma as taught by Shakyamuni, leading to wrong views and suffering. He also criticized Pure Land on the grounds that Amitabha/Amitayus is a Trace Buddha, one of the emanation Buddhas who appear in the Lotus Sutra. Honoring a Trace Buddha in itself is not wrong, however, if you displace Shakyamuni Buddha as the Buddha of this Saha world in favor of a Trace Buddha like Amitabha/Amitayus, you are, in effect chasing a reflection rather than the actual. Honen, and many others, did this. To the extent that Pure Land practice took you away from the teachings of Shakyamuni, this was a destructive teaching that would lead to suffering.

Rather than try to explain the subtle distinctions, Nichiren advocated the wholesale abandonment of Pure Land teachings. I suspect this position is derived from the Mahaparinirvana Sutra parable about the doctor who prescribes milk for all illnesses. The wise doctor comes along and prohibits milk because people use it arbitrarily for all ailments. At some point the king gets sick, and the wise doctor prescribes milk. The explanation is that rather than explain all the ways that milk is misunderstood, the wise doctor just prohibited it. Once the impulse to use milk for anything was purged from people's minds, the wise doctor could then explain the proper use of milk. I think Nichiren understood Amida has a place in Buddhist teachings, but rather than confront all the confused teachings on Pure Land of his day - and it appears there were many, he just took the stand of cutting it all off. Contrary to common belief, Nichiren seems to have had a nuanced view of Buddhist teachings, but advocated a bright line.

With all of that said, Nichiren stated that he believed the spread of the Nembutsu opened the way for the spread of the Daimoku - ie. the Nembutsu prepared people to accept the idea of chanting as a single practice.

Esoteric practices -

The influence of esoteric practice is clear - the way in which the Daimoku is described in terms that resonate with descriptions of Dharani and Mantra; the central place of the Mandala in his teachings. There is strong evidence suggesting he practiced Mikkyo when he was younger and that his tutelary deity was Kokuzo Bosatsu. There is also evidence that he continued to practice esoteric/Shinto his entire life.

There are two kinds of esoteric practices that Nichiren criticized - first is Shingon and then there is Tendai. Shingon is criticized because, similar to Pure Land, they identify the supreme Buddha as some entity other than Shakyamuni, ie. Dainichi-nyorai (Mahavairocana). This Buddha is not considered a complete Buddha because he only has an eternal dharma body. He is therefore considered an emanation Buddha also. There is a curious passage in one of Nichiren's writings where he suggests that Subhakarasimha, one of the Shingon patriarchs in China, that he was relieved of excessive torments in hell because he integrated the Lotus Sutra into the Womb-World and Diamond-World practice. The rest of the Shingon lineage Nichiren criticized as basically a fantastic story that confused the primacy of the Lotus Sutra - that Shingon school had gone off course because they stole the essence of the Lotus Sutra (ichinen sanzen) and appropriated it to interpret Shingon texts without acknowledging this. As a result, Shingon went off course, and caused wrong views and suffering.

Nichiren criticized Tendai esotericism because he argued that it had accepted Shingon - Specifically, he argued that Enchin (Chisho-daishi) destroyed Japanese Tendai because he wrote a treatise which equated the theoretical teachings of the Lotus Sutra and the Mahavairochana Sutra, but that the latter was superior because of the practice of mudras and mantras. In Nichiren's view, this was a complete betrayal of Zhiyi and Saicho teachings and led to the corruption of Tendai Buddhism in Japan.

With all that said, other than not acknowledging Shakyamuni as the Root Buddha (honbutsu 本佛) and the primary place of the Lotus Sutra, I don't know if Nichiren really had a problem with esoteric practice per se. I think he abandoned them for the same reasons as the Milk parable. They were so intertwined with what he viewed as corrupt teachings that it would be better to just avoid them. There is evidence of at least one direct disciple who studied on Hiei while Nichiren was still alive, but the information is very limited and some people doubt the authenticity of writings addressed to him because they include a criticism of hongaku thought. :shrug:

That's a very brief summary...
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:23 pm

Excellent material, Queequeg. My point in posing the question is that the single-practice schools arose in part because there was a need for it. The conviction that mappo is real and mappo is now that characterized the period we're describing reflected the turmoil of the period. Tendai wasn't able to respond to that adequately. If it was, then leaders such as Nichiren and Honen wouldn't have arisen; their message was directly suited to the time. Put differently, Honen and Nichiren et al had ready and eager followers because their approach to Dharma was more immediately relevant to their historical moment. And because their approaches were at odds, there arose not one big counter-school to Tendai hegemony, but a plethora of new institutions.

That's oversimplified, but I think it makes sense as far as it goes.

What's interesting to me is the way in which these leaders recontextualized what they'd learned from the Tendai tradition in the process of presenting their Dharma, as the harpooneer's post also points toward.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby BuddhaSoup » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:32 pm

Reading these posts of Jikan, Queequeg, Rory, Huifeng, I am trying to assimilate an understanding of Tendai practice, both as it may have existed in its earliest stages, and how it may or may not have evolved in later periods (such as during Nichiren's time) into a more Pure Land and esoteric practice.

What attracts me to Tendai is what I know of Saicho and what has been described as an exoteric synchretic practice.

Within 2012's Tendai practice, is the practice more closely related to the root of Saicho's synchretic yet traditional Buddhadharma, or has it evolved into a more esoteric, Amidist practice? Within Tendai, is there room to practice in a traditional way as, perhaps, Saicho would have preferred, or has Tendai become closer to Pure Land practices?

My question betrays my lack of knowledge of Tendai and how it is practiced today, but my question is also posed as I am very attracted to so many aspects of Tendai, and Saicho, and plan to be in Canaan as soon as I can get there. I'd like to get there with at least a better understanding.

Any thoughts from you scholars above is welcome and appreciated.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Seishin » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:45 pm

I'm probably not the best person to answer, but from what I've experienced, the answer is both. The different paths within Tendai are paths inthemselves. You are able to follow a Pureland path if you wish, or a mikkyo path (for the ordained) or a meditative path etc. There is also scholarly path, artist, aesthetic path etc. These paths are routed in the original Tendai and Tientai but have also grown and expanded. This is why I love Tendai so much :smile:

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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:45 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:Reading these posts of Jikan, Queequeg, Rory, Huifeng, I am trying to assimilate an understanding of Tendai practice, both as it may have existed in its earliest stages, and how it may or may not have evolved in later periods (such as during Nichiren's time) into a more Pure Land and esoteric practice.

What attracts me to Tendai is what I know of Saicho and what has been described as an exoteric synchretic practice.

Within 2012's Tendai practice, is the practice more closely related to the root of Saicho's synchretic yet traditional Buddhadharma, or has it evolved into a more esoteric, Amidist practice? Within Tendai, is there room to practice in a traditional way as, perhaps, Saicho would have preferred, or has Tendai become closer to Pure Land practices?

My question betrays my lack of knowledge of Tendai and how it is practiced today, but my question is also posed as I am very attracted to so many aspects of Tendai, and Saicho, and plan to be in Canaan as soon as I can get there. I'd like to get there with at least a better understanding.

Any thoughts from you scholars above is welcome and appreciated.


I'm no scholar, but I'll give it a shot.

*I've met Tendai people for whom seated meditation is their primary practice.

*I've met Tendai people for whom the goma ceremony is their primary practice.

*Same for kaihogyo, nembutsu, intellectual inquiry, and so on. (speaking of nembutsu: the intensive practices in Pure Land chanting that Chih-i advocated are still practiced on Mt. Hiei... as transmitted by Saicho as part of the traditional way.)

*And I've met Tendai people who really have no practice per se except to perform the services, do the funerals, run the temples, and work with people as they need: the bodhisattva's life.

If you want to practice the Dharma as prepared by Chih-i and transmitted by Saicho, then that is available. Much of it available in English.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:46 pm

Seishin wrote:I'm probably not the best person to answer, but from what I've experienced, the answer is both. The different paths within Tendai are paths inthemselves. You are able to follow a Pureland path if you wish, or a mikkyo path (for the ordained) or a meditative path etc. There is also scholarly path, artist, aesthetic path etc. These paths are routed in the original Tendai and Tientai but have also grown and expanded. This is why I love Tendai so much :smile:

Gassho,
Seishin

:good:
I feel the same way.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Seishin » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:49 pm

Jikan wrote: :good:
I feel the same way.


I was going to say the same about your post :twothumbsup:
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby BuddhaSoup » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:01 pm

Many thanks for these rapid and excellent responses to my question.

Is this what is meant by the 'single practice' concept...that Tendai allows for a traditional yet wide umbrella for practice, while at some point in time, the need was felt in Japan to reject the synchretic view and adopt single focused "brands" that were Tendai based ( ie Pure Land) or Tendai derived ( ie Dogen and Soto Zen)?

I have sat with Soto Zendos, and appreciate their focus on Dogen, but I've often wondered why Dogen grasped the idea that Tendai directed the view of original enlightenment without practice, when what I've read of Saicho, the practice embraced Buddha nature that is revealed through practice. Did Dogen make a long journey to China based on an incorrect assumption? Or, was Dogen more interested in crafting a 'brand' for himself, in order to oppose the Tendai establishment?

My sense is that Tendai is a perfectly sound and suitable place to practice the traditional Buddhayana Mahayana way, and if these other sects developed, it wasn't for lack of flexibility within Tendai....
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Jikan » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:22 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:Many thanks for these rapid and excellent responses to my question.

Is this what is meant by the 'single practice' concept...that Tendai allows for a traditional yet wide umbrella for practice, while at some point in time, the need was felt in Japan to reject the synchretic view and adopt single focused "brands" that were Tendai based ( ie Pure Land) or Tendai derived ( ie Dogen and Soto Zen)?

I have sat with Soto Zendos, and appreciate their focus on Dogen, but I've often wondered why Dogen grasped the idea that Tendai directed the view of original enlightenment without practice, when what I've read of Saicho, the practice embraced Buddha nature that is revealed through practice. Did Dogen make a long journey to China based on an incorrect assumption? Or, was Dogen more interested in crafting a 'brand' for himself, in order to oppose the Tendai establishment?

My sense is that Tendai is a perfectly sound and suitable place to practice the traditional Buddhayana Mahayana way, and if these other sects developed, it wasn't for lack of flexibility within Tendai....


I think you have the gist of it. There are differing views on this, but my own take is that the single-practice schools emerged due to the institutional and social history of Japan. They're still here for the same reason. However...

I don't know the answer to your question on Dogen, a master I understand very poorly. That one's well above my pay grade. I'd like to hear from others what relation Dogen's thought has to Chih-i's.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby Queequeg » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:01 pm

Jikan wrote:My point in posing the question is that the single-practice schools arose in part because there was a need for it. The conviction that mappo is real and mappo is now that characterized the period we're describing reflected the turmoil of the period. Tendai wasn't able to respond to that adequately. If it was, then leaders such as Nichiren and Honen wouldn't have arisen; their message was directly suited to the time. Put differently, Honen and Nichiren et al had ready and eager followers because their approach to Dharma was more immediately relevant to their historical moment. And because their approaches were at odds, there arose not one big counter-school to Tendai hegemony, but a plethora of new institutions.


You know, taking up Contextualizing and Recontextualizing - while in one sense Nichiren and Honen (leave aside Shinran and Dogen for the moment as they were contemporaries of Nichiren and seem to have had little, if any knowledge of each other and arguably, significantly less connection to Tendai) stood as alternatives to institutional Tendai, but that misses a big part. I think it could also be said that Nichiren was primarily reacting to Honen, while in a sense viewing himself as a Tendai reformer (at least in the earlier decades of his public career). Nichiren explicitly identified himself as following in the lineage of Zhiyi and Saicho, calling himself their disciple. My sense is that Nichiren's first attempt was to bring everyone back into the Tendai fold by proposing a single practice that would unite everyone under a Tendai banner (in the manner that the Pure Land teachings of Honen seemed to do under Amdia). In at least one of his earlier writings, Nichiren proposed the Daimoku as a primary practice, supplemented by more traditional Tendai devotional and meditative practice - particularly Zhiyi's Contemplation of Ichinen Sanzen. Nichiren criticized Ennin and Enchin only later as he turned his reformist zeal on what he seems to have viewed as his own lineage. (Nichiren made a more thorough break with Tendai late in his career - another development that is removed from this subject).

Honen, I think, even though he spent a lot of time on Mt. Hiei, may more appropriately be viewed as part of the pan sectarian Pure Land movement - he just happened to be on Hiei. Shinran, who founded the Jodo Shinshu, was a disciple of Honen, but his connection to Hiei is significantly less, although I believe he did spend some time in his early years studying on Hiei. With that said, my limited understanding of Shinran - there definitely are Tendai-esque influences there - immediate and gradual, single moment of faith, etc. My point with that is, I'm not sure how much Shinran was consciously opposing Tendai so much as he was well on the way off a tangent. Shinran, Honen and even Genshin, and the emergence of Single Practice might be more appropriately be understood as pan sectarian Pure Land movement which had antecedents back through China. From this Pure Land perspective - the influence of Pure Land thought in Tientai/Tendai is a story about how Amida went through a Zhiyi spin cycle. Tientai/Tendai then becomes a peripheral influence on Pure Land Buddhism, and Nichiren becomes a Tendai reactionary to an extent.

To the extent of finding a fundamental source of Single Practice thought - the greatest influence may in fact be the Pure Land movement - and the emergence of Jodo-shu (Honen), Jodo Shin-shu, and Hokke Shu (Nichiren) were the sparks that flew out from the confluence of Pure Land and Tendai. To the extent that Dogen also formulated a Single Practice (and I think I know less about him than even Shinran) - we could look at him as joining in on the Single Practice fad from a Dhyana/Chan/Zen perspective which also had its Single Practice tendencies going back to China.

Many many ways to think about Single Practice.

Context/recontext ad infinitum.
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby rory » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:04 am

JIkan; it's Genshin,源信 not Ghshin who was the famous and influential Pure Land practitioner within Tendai and here is a passage from J. Stone's "Original Enlightenment and the Transformation of Japanese Buddhism"
"Hazama Jiko notes that, within the Tendai tradition, side by side with inclusive readings in which all practices are seen as the practice of the one vehicle, there have existed exclusive, hierarchical readings that elevate one teaching or practice above others and assert its superiority, as seen for example, in Saicho's subordination of "Hinayana" precepts to Mahayana; in Taimitsu thought, which identified the one vehicle with the esoteric teachings and ranked it above the exoteric, three-vehicle teachings; or in Genshin's advocacy of the Pure Land path as uniquely efficacious for ignorant persons of the Final Dharma age.The trend toweard hierarchical arrangement of teachings in which a particular form is held to surpass others was, in Hazama's view especially prominent in the medieval Tendai emphasis on private, kanjin[i][/i]-style readings as revelatory of the most profound truth; it was this structure, he argues, that influenced Honen and Nichiren in their commitment to single practice." p.232

There's much more, this is a must read for any understanding of Tendai and the development of the Kamakura sects & it's easily available second hand.

Here is another important new book: it refutes the myth that Saicho brought back esoteric transmissions to Japan from China; they were later Japanese forgeries.

Chen, Jinhua, 1966-
Title Legend and legitimation : the formation of Tendai esoteric Buddhism in Japan / by Jinhua Chen.
Imprint Bruxelles : Institut belge des hautes études chinoises, 2009.
gassho
rory
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Re: Influence of Tendai on single-practice schools

Postby jikai » Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:44 am

Seishin wrote:
Jikan wrote: :good:
I feel the same way.


I was going to say the same about your post :twothumbsup:


I'm on board with both of you! :good: :twothumbsup: :woohoo:

Gassho
Jikai.
"There are no seperate dharma's in the Three Realms. There is only the operation of the one mind."
"Whoever wishes to benefit beings ought to establish teachings that fit their capacities, expound the dharma in accordance with their capacities, and match the doctrines to them"
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