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Buddhadharma : Summer 2019
120 BUDDHADHARMA: THE PRACTITIONER’S QUARTERLY 121 A valuable contribution to our understanding of Tibetan monas ticism, The Monastery Rules: Buddhist Monastic Organization in Pre-Modern Tibet (University of California 2018) is the first study of its kind to examine the genre of chayik, or monastic guidelines, in detail. Challenging mystified and idealized notions of Tibetan monasticism as isolated and spiritual, Berthe Jansen argues that pre modern Buddhist monasteries in Tibet were “de facto loci of influ ence of power,” with monastic regulations functioning like laws. In the monastic guidelines for the Drepung monastery from 1682, for example, laypeople had to comply with the same rules of not riding horses, not singing songs, and so on, established within the monas tery. In addition, with the exception of murder, treason, and forgery, Jansen has found that premodern monasteries themselves had the authority to make judicial decisions independent from the state. In short, monasteries were more influential in shaping the government than the government was in shaping monasteries. “Seon directly points to absolute truth, which it calls an ‘open secret.’ However, most people today, entangled in the complexities of daily life and myriad stereotypical ideas, cannot see this reality.” In A Bird in Flight Leaves No Trace: The Zen Teachings of Huangbo with a Modern Commentary (Wisdom 2019), Master Subul Sunim of the Korean Seon tradition elaborates on this open secret of abso lute truth through his modern commentaries on the classic Chan text Essentials of Transmitting the Mind–Dharma, composed by ninth century Chinese master Huangbo Xiyun. Following the traditions of the Linji (Jpn., Rinzai) lineage, Subul Sunim lectures frequently on the Essentials at the Anguk Seonwon in Busan, one of the largest lay Buddhist practice centers in Korea today. He dedicates his com mentary to Buddhist practitioners who want to understand the true nature of their minds and seek a sudden awakening to that nature, but he also reminds readers that, according to Huangbo, there is no need to do anything in order to develop our enlightenment; the true nature of the mind is that it is already enlightened. Guardians of the Buddha’s Home: Domestic Religion in the Con- temporary Jodo Shinshu (University of Hawaii 2019) opens with a vivid snapshot of a Japanese family’s life in the temple: women preparing food in the kitchen and children running around, all while a liturgy is under way. In this pioneering ethnographic study of bomori, or temple wives, Jessica Starling illuminates women’s religious subjectivity and reveals previously unseen dimensions of