There is an interesting article from 2009 called, “An Inquiry Into Master Xuyun’s Experiences of Long-dwelling in Samādhi,” by Huimin Bhikṣu.
It aims to analyze and explore some accounts of Xuyun’s experiences in long-dwelling samādhi, and try to understand some of the characteristics in light of classical analyses from the Sarvāstivādins and others. The beginning of the article gives a brief introduction and synopsis of the events.
According to the Chronicle, Master Xuyun had three experiences of long dwelling in samādhi, the duration and details of which are reported as follows:
- For a period of 18 days. From the end of 1901 to the beginning of 1902, at the age of 63 the Master, living alone in his hut in Zhongnan mountain. While sitting cross-legged waiting for his meal of taro to be well cooked, he entered into samādhi and remained therein for half a month.
- For a period of nine days. In 1907 (age 68), at Thailand’s Longquan temple, while delivering discourse on Pumenpin (the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sūtra) following his discourse on Dizang-jing (the Earth Repository Sūtra), the Master entered into samādhi, forgetting about his speech. He stayed in concentration for nine days, which made a stir in the capital city of Thailand. The king and ministers as well as ordinary men and women believers all came to pay their worship.
- For a period of nine days (the Yunmen incident). In the year 1951 (when the Master was aged 112), the Yunmen Chan temple in Guangdong Qujiang was accused of hiding weapons and treasure. Twenty-six monks were arrested and tortured. Some were tortured to death or suffered broken bones. The Master also endured several savage beatings. On the third day of the third lunar month, the Master, now seriously ill, sat cross-legged and entered into samādhi. He closed his eyes and would not talk, eat, or drink, while only his attendants Fayun and Kuanchun waited on him day and night. In this manner he stayed in the samādhi for nine days.
From the traditional Buddhist viewpoint, how are such instances of long-dwelling in samādhi possible? What are the relevant issues for the tradition regarding the study of samādhi? Are other, similar cases, found in the Buddhist literature? These issues among others are the focal themes of this article.
Many related issues are discussed at some length. You can read the full article here: