On researching Zen Buddhist literature I'm seeing a gap after Dogen's Shobogenzo in the 13th century, and before Hakuin's Commentary in the 17th century.

Was there any notable Zen writing produced during this period? What was happening in Zen history during this time?

1 Answer 1


I did some digging, and found a write-up on what was called the 'post-classical' period:

Post-Classical Chán

During the Ming Dynasty, the Chán school was so dominant that all Chinese monks were affiliated with either the Linji school or the Caodong school.[262]

Some scholars see the post-classical phase as being an "age of syncretism."[263] The post-classical period saw the increasing popularity of the dual practice of Chán and Pure Land Buddhism (known as nianfo Chan), as seen in the teachings of Zhongfeng Mingben (1263–1323) and the great reformer Hanshan Deqing (1546–1623). This became a widespread phenomenon and in time much of the distinction between them was lost, with many monasteries teaching both Chán meditation and the Pure Land practice of nianfo.[264][265][63]

The Ming dynasty also saw the efforts of figures such as Yunqi Zhuhong (1535–1615) and Daguan Zhenke (1543–1603) to revive and reconcile Chan Buddhism with the practice of Buddhist scriptural study and writing.[263]

In the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, Chán was "reinvented", by the "revival of beating and shouting practices" by Miyun Yuanwu (1566–1642), and the publication of the Wudeng yantong ("The strict transmission of the five Chan schools") by Feiyin Tongrong's (1593–1662), a dharma heir of Miyun Yuanwu. The book placed self-proclaimed Chan monks without proper Dharma transmission in the category of "lineage unknown" (sifa weixiang), thereby excluding several prominent Caodong monks.[266]

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