The Way to Buddhahood

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Most western students of Buddhism have been woefully unaware of the extraordinary vitality of contemporary Chinese Buddhism, particularly as it has developed in post-war Taiwan. This has been especially lamentable in view of the fact hat the foremost leader of Chinese Buddhism’s intellectual resurgence, the monk Yin-shun, is both a scholar and an original thinker of the first order.


Master Yin Shun's life was dedicated to Buddhism. He was born in 1906 and became a Buddhist monk in 1930. During his lifetime, he wrote over seven million words in over forty books. Being a student of Master Taixu (1890-1947), he expanded the teaching of "Human-oriented Buddhism" (Renjian Fojiao). In 1973, he received a PhD from Taisho University of Japan (this was not an honorary degree) based on his work on Zhongguo Chanzong shi (The History of Chinese Chan Buddhism). He became the first Chinese Buddhist monk to receive a Ph.D.


The Way to Buddhahood is a compendium of two thousand years of Chinese practice in assimilating and understanding the Buddhist experience of enlightenment. It is the first in-depth explanation of Chinese Buddhism by Master Yin-shun. His broad scope not only includes the traditional Chinese experience but also ideas from the Tibetan monastic tradition. This is one of those rare classics that authentically captures an entire Buddhist tradition between its covers.