Life and teachings of Bankei Yotaku, , Japan’s widely acclaimed and deeply enlightened Zen Master whose teachings on awakening to Buddha Nature. The eccentric Bankei has long been an underground hero in the world of Zen. At a time when Zen was becoming overly formalized in Japan, he stressed its. Bankei became a Zen man of the people. He spoke to crowds of ordinary country folk and as Zen students. With his simple and direct language, he impressed.
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If one of you thinks himself astray, let him come forward and show me in what way. The following year Bankei returned to Harima for a short while, and then left for Yoshino in the Nara Prefecture to live again as a hermit.
Bankei told a layman who thought all of this was a rather insubstantial teaching: A mass of black phlegm large as a soapberry rolled down the side For instance, when a woman complained that her gender was a karmic obstacle, he retorted: Bankei wrote that his motivation throughout all this was bankie merely an individual concern: No, they never teach the importance of staying in the birthless Buddha-mind. During his travels he would stay over at temples or sleep in the open wilderness, scrounging by as a beggar.
Bankei’s mother bore the last name of Noguchi, and little more is known of her, other than that the society of the time extolled her as ‘Maya who begot three Buddhas,’ – Maya being the mother of the historical Buddha, Shakyamuni. Trying to suppress delusion is delusion too.
This gap in Bankei’s understanding gave birth to many doubts and questions, and so he seized most every chance to question others on their knowledge. Bankei was above the use of special devices in making people achieve the satori of the birthless Buddha-mind. When Bankei was 11, his father died, and in the following year he entered school. Zazen means only one thing—sitting tranquilly in the Buddha-mind. He simply preached and exhorted. When you have fully settled in the immaculate Buddha-mind of nonbirth, nothing will deceive you….
Tell me, is your temper quick at this very moment? Bankei wasted no time with Umpo and implored him on the meaning of bright virtue, to which Umpo advised the only path toward such understanding could be had through bankie practice of zazen.
Indeed, I make it a rule not to give even the words of Buddha himself, let alone the Zen patriarchs. I felt a strange sensation in my throat.
5 Quotes And 2 Poems By Zen Master Bankei
It is that you turn the Buddha-mind into something else…. So Bankei visited the temples of other Zen teachers in the area, none of which had priests with the proper understanding themselves to confirm his understanding. He became so distraught in his need to find answers that school was no longer a priority for him, and in he was kicked out of his family home. So what is it you need to realize?
Exhaustion, a shrunken stomach, and an increased desire to go on. From the moment you have begun to [authentically] realize this fact, you are a living Buddha, and need make no further efforts on your tatami mats…. However, Bankei was not satisfied with the Shingon approach and left that following year.
5 Quotes And 2 Poems By Zen Master Bankei – DAILY ZEN
While Bankei lived among the other monks at the temple, he refused to chant the sutras with them in Chinese. Give your ear to me, and forget as so much rubbish all your preconceptions.
Following this breakthrough his doubt and questioning ceased while his physical condition turned for the better. As he reflected on his own life: Nevertheless, they have agreed among themselves to sit in Zen for a period of two incense sticks [an hour or so] daily. Bankei then refused a senior position in the monastery, preferring his unassuming existence instead working in the kitchen. This is equally true of other types of illusion. A very intelligent lad, he also displayed a zzen unruly, rebellious streak of mischief.
From them you received the Buddha-mind, nothing else.
They were frightened and must have bamkei me a heretic, as bad as a Roman Catholic. Since all beings possess the unborn Buddha-heart from their birth, you are not now seeking for the first time to follow it. However, when Bankei arrived Gudo was attending to another temple of his in the countryside. In the next year he entered school and began studying some of the old Chinese Confucian classics, but these texts greatly confused him.