The story of Ch'an Master Teshan; through Ch'an (Zen) the Chinese make Buddhism their own - a similar challenge faces us in the West today; the practice of 'What is this?' is the practice of the First Noble Truth: dukkha; how Zen fits into the context of the Four Truths; the Four Truths and the Four Great Vows; the self who practices the path is neither existent nor non-existent; Layman P'ang: chopping wood and carrying water.
Hui-neng's definition of sitting meditation; the middle way as the avoiding of the 'deadends' of existence and non-existence; the Greek philosopher Pyrrho as an example of a similar attitude; Hui-ko asks Bodhidharma to 'set his mind at rest'; the infinity of things; emptiness as the unfindability of things; to question 'what is this' is the practice of such emptiness that neither affirms nor denies anything.
Reflections on the nature of 'religion'; the Buddha's awakening as a resolution of the questions posed by life itself; Zen as a 'direct pointing to the heart, independent of scripture'; the aim of Buddhist practice is the achievement of autonomy; towards the possibility of a 'secular religion'.
Concluding remarks: recap. on namarupa/consciousness, and reiteration that, as a way of embracing dukkha, this account of experience is prescriptive NOT descriptive; example from literature that illustrates the poignancy of this view of life; reflection on Dhammapada v. 80 to illustrate how the self is a project to be realised, a middle way approach that avoids both eternalism and nihilism; reflection on three suttas that provide a foundation for ethics and one's relation with others; how to tend to the Buddha entails tending to those who suffer.
Recapitulation on the principle of conditioned arising; the 6, 10, and 12 "links"; an analysis of the passage where the Buddha declares that consciousness is conditioned by nameform [namarupa] and nameform by consciousness; the meaning of term namarupa in Brahmanic thought; a phenomenological account of each of the nama factors (contact, feeling, perception, intention and attention) and their role in consciousness.