Still trying to dig out a reasonable Chinese translation for the idea as it's presented in English.
To give an idea how tricky this is....
Basic Definition: One mind.
- The mind as the most fundamental basis. The true thusness of all existence. 'One' means that the ordinary is one with the absolute. 'Mind' means 'certainty.' Also, the one consciousness that is the basis for all sentient beings. The absolute reality that is the basis for all phenomena in the universe. This concept is central to the Awakening of Faith 起信論, where the one mind is identified with the dharmakāya 法身 and dharmadhātu 法界 (Skt. svacitta-mātra; eka-agra; eka-citta; dhyāna). 〔起信論 T 1666.32.576a5〕 [Charles Muller; source(s): Nakamura,Iwanami]
- To unify the mind; therefore, 'unity of the psyche' or 'concentration.' The mind concentrated on Amitâbha Buddha 阿彌陀 when praying to him. [Charles Muller]
- To concentrate the mind in the empowering sense of 'devotedly' or 'whole-heartedly,' without scattering. [Charles Muller]
- Attentively, carefully, considerately (Skt. sat-kṛtya; Pāli sakkaccaṃ). (T 1426.22.554c06). [Nyanatusita]
(Skt. cittaikâgratā; adhyāśaya, ananya-citta, *eka-cittena, ekaṃcittam, ekatracitte, ekâgra, ekâgra-citta, cittaikâgra, cittaikâgrya, prayata, prahitâtman, samādhi, samāhita, *smṛtimat) [Charles Muller; source(s): Hirakawa]
Basic Definition: to think with a concentrated mind
- (Skt. ekâgra-citta, sam-anv-ā-√hṛ) 〔文殊師利問經 T 468.14.506c26〕 [Charles Muller; source(s): Hirakawa]
Basic Definition: three insights in one thought
- The three viewpoints in a single thought. A type of Tiantai 天台 meditation in which one views a phenomenon from three viewpoints within the same instant: (1) empty 空; being produced by various causes, it is in its essence devoid of any permanent existence and is therefore empty. (2) provisional 假; nevertheless, it does have a real, if only provisional, immediate existence. (3) the mean 中; since the phenomenon is a blending of both empty and provisional, it should be seen as occupying midway position between both poles. For the Tiantai follower, these three views are performed simultaneously within the same instant of thought, and hence are termed 'the integrated three views 圓融三觀' or 'the three views without sequence 不次第三觀.' Emptiness, nominal designation, and the mean indicate, respectively, the three aspects of phenomenon: its basic dependence upon conditions of causation, its temporary existence and its real nature. These three aspects cannot be independent of each other. This doctrine occupies a central position in the Tiantai school and is regarded as the ultimate teaching of the Buddha. Also written as 一心三智 and 不可思議三觀. 〔摩訶止觀 T 1911.46.55b19〕 [Charles Muller; source(s): JEBD]
Basic Definition: Marvelous Precept of the One Mind
- Isshin myōkai shō. A work by Gudō-bō Ejin 求道房惠尋 (?–1268) of the Kurotani (or Kurodani) branch 黑谷流 of Japanese Tendai 天台. Among Mt. Hieiʼs major scholarly trends, the most important single contribution to the restoration of the 'precepts for attaining sudden awakening preached in the perfect exoteric teaching' 圓頓戒 were seen in the works of Ejin and especially this text. The structure and contents of this work are said to be lacking in systematic form, but also clearly show that his thought and suggested practice were oriented toward restoring the precept for attaining sudden awakening at Mt. Hiei.
- With regard to the contents, isshin (the 'One Mind' or 'oneʼs own mind' ) 一心 in Tendai teaching is used, as in the case of 'contemplation of the three truths in oneʼs own mind' 一心三觀, in a context referring to the idea of embracing the entire phenomenal world and Buddhist teachings through the contemplation of a momentary activity of oneʼs own mind. In Ejin too, we can consider isshin to possess a similar meaning, but in addition, to directly relate isshin as the 'One Mind' to the notion of precepts 戒 and naming it isshin-kai 一心戒 (precept of the One Mind), which is generally assumed to express his own original way of thinking based on the conviction that the precept for attaining sudden awakening represents the pillar of the entire Buddhist doctrinal system.
- The contents of this work can be summarized in 10 points as follows:
1. With regard to the Three Disciplines 三學 of morality 戒, meditation 定, and wisdom 慧, Ejin says: "Among the three disciplines, that of the morality is fundamental." And with regard to the marvelous precepts for sudden awakening 圓頓妙戒, he says: "The One Mind 一心 is the most essential issue."
2. The marvelous precept to sudden awakening 圓頓妙戒 is the comprehensive entity of the One Mind 一心ノ惣體, and the essence of the precepts 戒體 is the very foundation 大地 of the two phenomena of meditation and wisdom 二法. Meditation and wisdom should be established only upon the essence of the precepts. In other words, the precept of the One Mind expresses the truth that the precept to sudden awakening is the very basis of the Buddhist path, i.e., the global entity of the One Mind.
3. The Marvelous Contemplation of the Middle Way 中道妙觀, whose true identity 正體 is to observe the precept to sudden awakening, is also the practice of śamatha-vipaśyanā 止觀, the most superior contemplation.
4. The 'essence of the precepts' 戒體, i.e., the 'unproduced-ness of the true nature of all phenomena and its temporary appearance in a tangible form' 性無作假色, is classified on the basis of the teaching of both the first 迹門 and second half 本門 of the Lotus Sutra. Here, the essence of the precept of sudden awakening is classified as 'the conditioned and ever-changing form of thusness' as shown at the stage of the originally awakened Buddha (in the second half of the Lotus Sutra) 本門位ノ隨緣眞如 and 'the essence of the precepts' 戒體 as 'the unproduced-ness of the true nature of all phenomena and its momentary appearance in a tangible form' 性無作假色 is situated at the stage of the Buddha as a 'visible trace' in this world, representing the pure, unstained, unchanging ninth consciousness 第九識 (thusness 眞如) that, depending on circumstances, appears in many phenomenal forms 事相. In other words, at the stage of the Buddha as a 'visible trace' in this world preached in the first half of the Lotus Sutra 迹門位, the 'essence of the precepts' 戒體 coincides with the unchanging thusness 不變眞如, i.e., the unconditioned 無爲, the true nature of all phenomena 性, the noumenon 理. On the other hand, the psychic phenomena of the mind as 'conditioned and ever-changing forms of thusness' 隨緣眞如 operate as conditioned phenomena 有爲, so that the One Mind 一心 can be redefined as a function of thusness that appears in many forms depending on worldly circumstances.
5. All phenomena belonging to the trichiliocosm 三千諸法 and the threefold contemplation in oneʼs own mind of emptiness 空, momentary appearance 假, and the middle way 中道 are each a single phenomenon produced in our own minds 心ノ一法 . In other words, all of them can be reduced to the One Mind because they represent nothing but a momentary instant of mental activity as a conditioned and ever-changing form of thusness 隨緣眞如ノ一念.
6. The One Mind is founded on the precept to sudden awakening. For this reason, it is called the 'precept of the One Mind' 一心戒. Moreover, by contemplating that thusness, i.e., the Buddhahood 佛性, appears in a conditioned and ever-changing form, a form possessing the concretely visible shape of the precepts 戒相 pursued by a practitioner, we can become aware that the very foundation of all Buddhist paths should be found in the precepts, including the precept to sudden awakening.
7. Based on such a view, Ejin redefines the threefold contemplation within oneʼs own mind as the marvelous contemplation 妙觀, based upon the precept of the One Mind.
8. The division of correct contemplation 正觀 and marvelous contemplation 妙觀 assumes that the first reveals the meaning of śamatha-vipaśyanā 止觀 and the second reveals the meaning of the threefold contemplation of emptiness 空, momentary appearance 假, and the middle way 中 in oneʼs own mind.
9. Ejin introduces two categories: 'revealing the originally attained state of awakening through abiding at the stage of the Buddha as a 'visible trace' in this world' 住迹顯本 and 'revealing the originally attained state of awakening at the stage of the originally awakened Buddha' 住本顯本. He then considers the correct contemplation to mean 'abiding at the stage of the Buddha as a 'visible trace' in this world' 住迹 and the fruit of its practice to be the Buddhahood shown at the same stage (in the first half of the Lotus Sutra). Next, he considers the marvelous contemplation to mean 'abiding at the stage of the originally awakened Buddha' 住本 and the fruit of its practice to be the Buddhahood shown at the same stage (in the second half of the Lotus Sutra).
10. If one relies on the precept of the One Mind, i.e., the mental activity based on the precept to sudden awakening, even the śamatha-vipaśyanā 止觀 can be turned into the marvelous contemplation 妙觀, the method of contemplation superior to all others.
- The expression isshin-kai as the precept of the One Mind probably derives from the Denjutsu Isshinkai-bun 傳述一心戒文 (Dengyō Daishi Zenshū 傳教大師全集, bekkan 別卷, p. 629–636) by Kōjō 光定 (779–854), often quoted by Ejin in the Isshin myōkai-shō. The meaning of isshin-kai in the work of Kōjō is also explained by quoting the Tendai bosatsukai-so 天台菩薩戒疎 (T 1812) by Mingkuang 明曠, a disciple of Zhanran, and the Dainichikyō-so 大日經疏 by Yixing 一行 (683–727), one of the eight patriarchs of the Shingon school who learned from Śubhakarasiṃha 善無畏 (637–735) and Vajrabodhi 金剛智 (669–741), so we can assume that the Isshin myōkai-shō also includes elements for a type of fusion of the esoteric teaching with the idea of precept for attaining sudden awakening preached in the 'perfect exoteric teaching' 圓頓戒 (see Terai Yoshinobu 寺井義宣, “Gudō-bō Ejin no Isshin Myōkai no Shisō” 求道房恵尋の「一心妙戒」の思想 (The Thought of the Perfect Precept on One Mind by Gudō-bō Ejin), Tendai Gakuhō 天台学報, N.39, Tendai Gakkai, Tōkyō, 1997, p.73–80) [Giglio Emanuele Davide]
Basic Definition: the triple realm is nothing but the one mind
- The triple world is but one mind. This expression is commonly seen in Chan texts, but originally comes out of Huayan, and in turn reflects a Yogâcāra view of existence, but in a more idealistic sense. Soothill, Yokoi, and Nakamura (at least—and maybe other sources) all attribute this line to the Huayan jing 華嚴經, but although such a message might be gleaned from relevant passages in that sūtra, this actual phrase is not found there. This identification is probably made following the line from Fazangʼs commentary on the Awakening of Mahāyāna Faith, which indicates the Huayan jing as the source. 〔大乘起信論義記 T 1846.44.255a4〕 [Charles Muller; source(s): Soothill]