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Buddhism and Qi

By: Joe Hing Kwok Chu  

     Buddhism is one of the most widespread religions in the world. It originated approximately twenty five hundred years ago in the borderlands of India and Nepal, by the Indian prince Gautama. He was called the Buddha, meaning "the enlightened one."

   In general many of the meditation trainings in Buddhism are considered as qigong and many of the tantric trainings in Tibetan Tantric Buddhism are also considered as qigong from the modern point of view. But Buddhist monks or Tantric lamas do not consider their training as qigong but as paths to enlightenment.

The Different Buddhist Sects

(I) Mahayana (major vehicle)

The eight Mahayana sects in China: 

  1.               Fa Xiang, 法相

  2.               San Lun (Three Sastras or Abhidhammas), 三論  

  3.               Hua Yen,   華嚴 

  4.               Tian Tai,天台 

  5.               Chan Zong (pronounced Zen in Japanese),禪宗

  6.               Lu Zong (Canons),律宗 

  7.               Tantric, 密宗 

  8.               Pure Land 淨土宗.

Each emphasizes certain sutras and treatises (sastra and abhidhammas).

For   example:

  Tian Tai (Tendai in Japanese) sect emphasizes the Sadharma Pundarika Sutra (妙法蓮華經.觀世音菩薩普門品), the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, the Maha Prajnaparamita Sutra and the Sastra of Great Wisdom.

 Pure Land sect emphasizes the Amitayus Sutra, the Contemplation of Amitayus Sutra, Amitabha Sutra, and the Incarnation Sastra.

 (II) Theravada (Hinayana, or minor vehicle as called by the Mahayana sect and some Western Buddhist scholars. This sounds belittling to some Theravada Buddhists)

(III) Tantric Buddhism

      Western scholars consider Tantric Buddhism as one of the Mahayana sects. But many lamas of the Tantric school consider Tantric Buddhism to be a separate branch of Buddhism, although Vajaryanists (Tantric practitioners) also practise Mahayana.

The Tantric sect emphasizes Mahāvairocana sutra (大日經).

    (a) Eastern Tantric Buddhism

         The Eastern Tantric Sect was introduced to Japan and Korea from China during the Tang dynasty. Eastern Tantric Buddhism differs from other non esoteric sects of Buddhism in the fact that it is more ritualistic.  

    (b) Tibetan Tantric Buddhism

           Tibetan Tantric Buddhism is not only like the Eastern Tantric Buddhism in being more ritualistic than other non-esoteric Buddhist sects, but it also includes the sexual tantra which is not found in other Buddhist sects.  

Go to:

The Buddhist Scripture

Buddha and His Teaching


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