The title Can Ton Qi (TS’AN-T’UNG-CH’I) (Chinese) — Sandōkai (Japanese) has much in it. It makes reference to a very well known Daoist text which was written in the Han Dynasty around the year twenty five CE. This particular Daoist text has the same title and is a description of the kind of esoteric practices that you undertake in order to become an immortal or transform yourself into a deity. He’s using this as kind of a pointer, but this text is showing the mind of Buddha. How you view things, how you practice the mind of Buddha.
‘Can Ton Qi.’ Can means participating in. It can mean functioning, merging, and integrating. Ton means together. The character means ‘under a blanket’, so it means equalness or same, sameness, together. Qi is a promise or an agreement, or a vow, or a meeting of minds. So the title can imply a kind of promise of the meeting of light and dark, simultaneously in the present moment: both the same and different at the same time. Light and dark, emptiness and form, absolute and relative.

PDF to download: R M Saido Sandokai autumn 2010

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