Dongshan’s Five Ranks - Table of Contents

Keys to Enlightenment

“Very well done.”—Robert Aitken



320 pages, 6x9 inches


ISBN 9780861715305

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Dongshan’s Five Ranks
Gatha of the Five Positions of Ruler and Minister
The Five Stages of Merit

I. Overture to the Five Ranks

1. Dongshan and the Five Ranks
2. The Philosophical Heritage of the Five Ranks
3. Working with the Five Ranks

II. Movements of the Five Ranks

The Cycle of the Essential and the Contingent

4. An Overview of the Cycle of the Essential and the Contingent
5. The First and Second Modes Paired: Encountering the Ancient Mirror
6. The Third and Fourth Modes Paired: Solitary and Exquisite
7. The Final Mode: Homecoming

The Five Modes in Detail

8. The Darkened Mirror: The Contingent within the Essential
9. The Dawn Mirror: The Essential within the Contingent
10. The Mysterious Source: Arriving within the Essential
11. Lotus in the Midst of Fire: Approaching from the Contingent
12. The Return: Arriving at Concurrence

The Cycle of Merit

13. An Overview of the Cycle of Merit
14. Orientation
15. Service
16. Merit
17. Merit in Common
18. Merit upon Merit
19. Reflecting on the Stages of Merit

The Literary Heritage of the Five Ranks

20. Shitou Xiqian’s “Accord on Investigating Diversity and Wholeness”
21. Dongshan’s Stream Gatha
22. Dongshan’s “Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi”

III. Coda to the Five Ranks

23. The Five Modes of Time and Timelessness
24. Some Reflections on the Nature of the Five Ranks


Appendix 1: Caoshan Benji (840–901): Two Accounts of the Five Ranks
Appendix 2: Linji Yixuan’s (d. 866) Four Measures

Selected Bibliography
About the Author