Silent Illumination

Released on March 09, 2021.

Our natural awakening—or buddha-nature—is inherent within all of us and waiting to be realized. Buddha-nature has the qualities of both silence and illumination, and by working with silent illumination meditation you can find your own awakening. Distinguished Chan Buddhist teacher Guo Gu introduces you to the significance and methods of this practice through in-depth explanations and guided instructions. To help establish a foundation for realizing silent illumination, he has translated twenty-five teachings from the influential master Hongzhi Zhengjue into English, accompanied by his personal commentary. This book will be an indispensable resource for meditators interested in beginning or deepening their silent illumination practice. – Overview of Silent Illumination 


Guo Gu offers commentary on his translation of Hongzhi’s “The Lucid Lake” (p. 132) from Silent Illumination.

News & Reviews

“Buddhist readers will learn much from Guo Gu’s intellectually robust yet pragmatic introduction to silent illumination Chan.” —Publishers Weekly
“In Silent Illumination, Guo Gu offers a strikingly fresh perspective on the significance of this phrase, grounded in the Chinese Chan perspective, compellingly reintroducing silent illumination and the teaching of Zen Master Hongzhi to the English-speaking world. For Guo Gu, silent illumination is not a specific practice but a synonym for buddha nature. Silent Illumination, then, includes the whole path of practice and realization. If you think you know what silent illumination is, think again! And read this book!”—Dosho Port, author of The Record of Empty Hall
“A crystal clear and powerful book. Guo Gu’s teachings and the Chan lineage on which he rests come through with eloquence and generosity. I recommend this book to those new to practice and those deeply experienced as well.”—Narayan Helen Liebenson, author of The Magnanimous Heart: Compassion and Love, Loss and Grief, Joy and Liberation
“Guo Gu has given us a marvelous book, saturated with the sweetness of practice, of silence, and a generous appreciation of the gift of being alive. Here we have a clear, elegant, and refined picture of a major Chan lineage, with excellent translations included. There is a glow about everything Guo Gu writes. And this is a good time for such a book to appear—so that we can remember the living paths of the old masters in our time, when their wisdom is especially needed.”—John Tarrant, author of Bring Me the Rhinoceros: And Other Zen Koans That Will Save Your Life