The Shi chan boluomi cidi famen 釋禪波羅蜜次第法門 (Explanation of the Gradual Method of the Dhyāna pāramitā) [T nr. 1916] is the first work by Tiantai Zhiyi 天台智顗 (538-97), and offers a systematic presentation of the Buddhist meditation techniques that had reached China by the 6th century. Soon overshadowed by the development of Chan 禪 and its practices, the text is enjoying renewed popularity in modern times. This essay includes a general presentation of the Shi chan boluomi cidi famen and the complete translation of its first chapter, entitled ‘General Intent of the Practice of Dhyāna pāramitā’ (Xiu chan boluomi dayi 修禪波羅蜜大意). The translation was realised together with the students of a seminar on medieval meditation texts (spring term 2021).
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