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Oxhead school


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One of the earliest identifiable divisions of the Ch'an school in China during the first half of the T'ang dynasty (618–907). This school was founded by Fa-jung (594–657), a monk whose first affiliation was with the San-lun school, which emphasized the study of Perfection of Insight literature (see prajñā-pāramitā sūtras). He is also reported to have been a disciple of the fourth patriarch of Ch'an after Bodhidharma.Tao-hsin (580–651), but this cannot be historically verified. The school derives its name from Fa-jung's temple, located on Oxhead Mountain (Chin., Niu-t'ou shan) south of Nanking. During the controversy between the Northern School and the Southern School (see Northern–Southern School controversy), the Oxhead school represented a third way, and sought to find a middle path between the extreme position each of the other schools had taken while the debate was at its height. It joined the Southern School in its insistence that meditative practice be joined to the realization of perfect wisdom, but, with the Northern School, did not insist on the abandonment of all other practices and Buddhist scriptures in favour of an exclusive reliance on meditation. The Oxhead school appears to have died out after eight generations, and the last name given in its patriarchal line is that of Ching-shan Tao-ch'in (714–92).

Subjects: Buddhism.


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