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It was a thirteenth-century Ch'an Buddhist, Liu Ping-chuang, who came out of his retirement for meditation to guide the celebrated Mongol emperor Kublai Khan in getting rid of the chaos into which the administration of China had fallen. His practical reforms were successful and the emperor admired him as a statesman, trusted him as an adviser, and valued his help. Nor was he narrowly limited in his spiritual studies: the ethics and social political ideas of Confucius, the monkish disciplines and contemplations of Buddhism, and the mysteries of Taoism were all embraced and synthesized. He had no official title until after his death, but wanted none. After twenty-six years of such capable and distinguished service he again retired to seclusion and spent the last six years of his life in Taoistic study, practices, and meditation.

-- Notebooks Category 15: The Orient > Chapter 3: China, Japan, Tibet > # 145

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