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Huineng (638–713)

Huineng was a Chinese Chan (Chinese Zen) monastic who is one of the most important figures in the entire tradition. He is the Sixth Patriarch of Chinese Chan Buddhism, as well as the last official patriarch. Since then, there are unofficial "patriarchs" of different lineages derived from Chan. In Japanese he is known as Daikan En. Whining is said to have advocated an immediate and direct approach to Buddhist practice and enlightenment, and in this regard, is considered the founder of the "Sudden Enlightenment" Southern Chan school of Buddhism. While these are the legendary accounts handed down by the tradition, it is widely understood that the actual history of the situation may have been quite different, to the extent that most believe that the primary work attributed to Huineng, the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, which ended up becoming one of the most influential texts in the East Asian meditative tradition, has no true association with him.

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