Individual wrote:In other words, Huineng took what was becoming a ridiculous superstition and then tried to turn it into something useful. Gautama did the same thing with proto-Hindu beliefs... I see Bodhidharma and Huineng turning Chinese folk religion on its head as basically being the same thing Gautama did with proto-Hinduism. Rather than trying to work against the concepts through preaching beliefs people didn't agre with or understand, they took the wisdom of the Buddha and applied it contextually, working through the concepts and mindsets of the people there.
Except that Huineng accepted the validity of Pure Land schools (Who relying upon the trikaya doctrine more than other Mahayana schools) and not totally against it. The previous quoted statement is another way of saying that the trikaya is found within everyone (like Buddha nature) rather than locally externally, not rejecting it.
Huineng used criticisms as a means to induce people into seeing the nature of their mind but most people misunderstood that He is actually serious about it and trying to create a deviation from the mainstream system.
Oh, and Retrofuturist, I would add, based on the above, that "Zen Buddhism" shouldn't be merely associated with Japan, but rather, China (Chan) and it was exported to Japan. Bodhidharma, Huineng, the Zen classics from the Song Dynasty, these were all Chinese.
Bodhidharma was an Indian and before Him, the early patriarchs of Zen were Indians and Arahants. And Bodhidharma came to China in the Northern and Southern Dynasty period while Huineng was alive during the Tang dynasty.