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圓爾辯圓・円爾弁円 Enni Ben'en (1202–1280)

Enni Ben'en / Enni Bennen; 円爾弁円 (=Shinjitai); 圓爾辯圓 (=Kyūjitai); posthumous title: Shōichi/Shōitsu Kokushi 聖一國師


Portrait of Enni Ben'en by 吉山明兆 Kichizan Minchō (1352-1431)
Ink and color on paper, 267.2*139.4cm, Kyōto 京都, Tōfukuji 東福寺

Enni Ben'en (圓爾辯圓; Chinese Yuan'er Bianyuan; 1202–1280) was a Japanese Buddhist monk. He started his Buddhist learnings as a Tendai monk. While he was studying with Eisai, a vision of Sugawara no Michizane appeared to him in a dream and told him to go to China and study meditation. Following this vision, he met the Rinzai teacher Wuzhun Shifan in China, and studied Mahayana with him.[1] When he returned to Japan, he founded Tōfuku-ji monastery in Kyoto, and practiced Zen as well as other types of Buddhism. His disciples included Mujū.
Enni Ben'en is the possible author of the Shoichikokushi kana hogo (Vernacular Dharma Words of the National Teacher Sacred Unity). The text is also known as the Zazen ron (Treatise on Seated Meditation). It is a brief text, composed of 24 questions and answers.
It is believed that he was the first to bring udon noodles to Japan from China.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enni

 

伝吉山明兆筆:聖一国師像
Portrait of Enni Ben'en by 吉山明兆 Kichizan Minchō (1352-1431)

Enni Ben’en. (C. Yuan’er Bianyuan 圓爾辨圓) (1202–1280). Japanese ZEN
master in the Chinese LINJI ZONG and Japanese RINZAISHŪ. Enni was
tonsured at the TENDAI monastery of Onjōji (see MIIDERA) at the age of
seventeen, and received the full monastic precepts at the precepts platform
(kaidan) in the monastery of TŌDAIJI. In 1235, Enni left for China and visited
the CHAN masters Chijue Daochong (1169–1250), Xiaoweng Miaokan (1177–
1248), and Shitian Faxun (1171–1245). Enni eventually visited the Chan master
WUZHUN SHIFAN at the monastery of WANSHOUSI on Mt. Jing and inherited
his Linji lineage. In 1241, Enni returned to Japan and began to teach at the capital
Kyōto at the invitation of the powerful Fujiwara minister Kujō Michiie (1191–
1252). In 1243, Enni was given the title Shōichi (Sacred Unity). Enni also won the
support of the powerful regent Hōjō Tokiyori (1227–1263). Michiie later installed
Enni as the founding abbot (J. kaisan; C. KAISHAN) of his powerful monastery
of Tōfukuji. Enni also served as abbot of the Zen monastery of KENNINJI in
Kyōto. In 1311, Enni was named State Preceptor Shōichi (Shōichi Kokushi (聖一國師).
His teachings are recorded in the Shōichi Kokushi goroku and Shōichi kokushi kana hōgo.


Enni Ben'en 圓爾辯圓 (1201–1280) was born in Suruga, present Shizuoka Prefecture, entered a temple at five and commenced Tendai studies at eight. At eighteen he entered monastic life at the great Tendai temple Mii-dera, and took the precepts at Todai-ji in Nara. His wide-ranging studies included Confucianism, Abhidharma thought, and the exoteric and esoteric Tendai teachings. In 1235 he left for a seven-year stay in China, where he practiced under the eminent master Wuzhun Shifan 無準師範 (J., Bujun Shipan; 1177–1249). In 1241, after receiving the seal of enlightenment from Wuzhun, Enni returned to Japan and took up residence in Kyushu, where he established a number of Zen monasteries. In 1243 the chancellor Kujo Michiie 九条道家 (1192–1252) invited Enni to serve as the founding priest of Tofuku-ji 東福寺, a great Zen temple planned by Michiie to compare in grandeur to the great temples of Todai-ji 東大寺 and Kofuku-ji 興福寺 in Nara. Enni was well prepared to lead the Shingon, Tendai, and Zen practices that comprised the monastic training at Tofuku-ji at that time. Enni also served as the tenth abbot of Kennin-ji, simultaneously with his duties at Tofuku-ji. He was awarded the posthumous title National Teacher Shoichi 聖一國師 by Emperor Hanazono. Though Enni's teachings combined Zen with Tendai and Shingon, he was instrumental in helping the Zen school, still relatively new to Japan at the time, win increasing acceptance and respect in the capital.

Enni Ben'en (1202–1280) Japanese Rinzai monk who helped establish Rinzai Zen in Japan. Enni began his career in the Tendai tradition, where he learned the synchretic mixture of Zen and esoteric practice taught by Eisai (1141–1215). Enni was born in Suruga (present-day Shizuoka). He received his early education at Buddhist temples and took the tonsure at Mii-dera, a major Tendai temple, at age 18. At Chôrakuji, he studied the Zen and esoteric mixture introduced by Eisai under the instruction of Shakuen Eichô (d.1247). In 1235, Enni went to China, where he remained for seven years, studying at Mount Ching. During that time, he became the Dharma heir of the Chinese Zen master Wu-shuh Shin-fan (1177–1249) from the Yang-ch'i (J. Yôgi) lineage of Rinzai. When Enni returned to Japan in 1241, he promoted Zen practice, while still incorporating aspects of esoteric ritual that appealed to wealthy patrons. He established a strong lineage, accepting many disciples and recognizing several as Dharma heirs. Under the patronage of Fijiwara Michiie (1192–1252), Enni founded Tôfuku-ji, one of the most prominent Zen monasteries in Kyoto. He also served as abbot at Jufuku-ji and Kennin-ji. Among his major writings are the Jisshûyôdôki and the Shôichi Goroku.

Shôichi Ha 聖一派
A Japanese Rinzai lineage founded by Enni Ben'en (1202–1280), which was closely
associated with the Tôfuku-ji monastery in Kyoto. The lineage was one of the dominant
lineages within the Gozan system of Rinzai Zen. The name of the lineage derives from
Shôichi Kokushi (National Teacher Sagely Unity), the posthumous title bestowed on
Ben'en by the Emperor Hanazono (1297–1348).

 

Enni Ben'en's Dharma Lineage

大鑑慧能 Dajian Huineng (Daikan Enō 638-713)
南嶽懷讓 Nanyue Huairang (Nangaku Ej ō 677-744)
馬祖道一 Mazu Daoyi (Baso Dōitsu 709-788)
百丈懷海 Baizhang Huaihai (Hyakujō Ekai 750-814)
黃蘗希運 Huangbo Xiyun (Ōbaku Kiun ?-850)
臨濟義玄 Linji Yixuan (Rinzai Gigen ?-866)
興化存獎 Xinghua Cunjiang (Kōke Zonshō 830-888)
南院慧顒 Nanyuan Huiyong (Nan'in Egyō ?-952)
風穴延沼 Fengxue Yanzhao (Fuketsu Enshō 896-973)
首山省念 Shoushan Shengnian (Shuzan Shōnen 926-993)
汾陽善昭 Fenyang Shanzhao (Fun'yo Zenshō 947-1024)
石霜 / 慈明 楚圓 Shishuang/Ciming Chuyuan (Sekisō/Jimei Soen 986-1039)
楊岐方會 Yangqi Fanghui (Yōgi Hōe 992-1049)
白雲守端 Baiyun Shouduan (Hakuun Shutan 1025-1072)
五祖法演 Wuzu Fayan (Goso Hōen 1024-1104)
圜悟克勤 Yuanwu Keqin (Engo Kokugon 1063-1135)
虎丘紹隆 Huqiu Shaolong (Kukyū Jōryū 1077-1136)
應庵曇華 Yingan Tanhua (Ōan Donge 1103-1163)
密庵咸傑 Mian Xianjie (Mittan Kanketsu 1118-1186)
破庵祖先 Poan Zuxian (Hoan Sosen) 1136–1211)
無準師範 Wuzhun Shifan (Bujun Shipan 1177–1249)
圓爾辯圓 Enni Ben'en (1201–1280) [聖一國師 Shōichi Kokushi]

Some of his direct disciples:

東山湛照 Tōzan Tanshō (1231–1291),
無關玄悟 Mukan Gengo (aka Mukan Fumon; 1221–1291)
白雲慧曉 Hakuun Engyō (1228–1297)

Chronologically, Jufuku-ji at Kamakura was first established by Myōan Eisai in 1200, the second year of Shōji era during the reign of Tsuchimikado Tennō, when he was 60 years of age. Then, Eisai founded Kennin-ji at Kyoto in 1202, the second year of Kennin era under the reign of Tsuchimikado Tennō.

Eisai's dharma descendants were as follows: Shaku'en Eichō (d. 1247), Taikō Gyōyū (1162–1241), Dōju Myōzen (1187–1229), Genyū, and others. Taikō was the second abbot of Jufuku-ji and became the founder of Jōmyō-ji in 1212, the second year of Kenryaku era under the reign of Juntoku Tennō. 

Shaku'en Eichō's disciples were Zōshū Rōyo (1194–1277) and Enni Ben'en (1202–1280). Zōshū was the third abbot of Jufuku-ji. Enni was the founder of Tōfuku-ji in 1255.

In 1255, the seventh year of Kenchō era, Enni Ben'en founded the Tōfuku Temple at Kyoto. Enni became a monk in 1219, when he was 18 years of age. He studied under Shaku'en Eichō and Taikō Gyōyū . In 1235, when he was 34 years of age, he went to Sung-China. He arrived at Mingchow (Ningpo) and paid homage to Mujun Shihan (1178–1249). He received Inka from Mujun Shihan and returned to Japan in 1241, when he was 40 years of age. He would be the most important person in the Rinzai School after Eisai. He was honored by the title Shōichi Kokushi. His disciple Mukan Fumon would be the founder of Nanzen-ji.

In 1258, the second year of Shōka era under the reign of Gofukakusa Tennō, Manju-ji was founded by Enni's disciple, Tōsan Tanshō (1231–1291). Enni's other disciples were as follows:

Jinshi Eison (1193–1272);

Zōsan Junkū (1233–1308);

Choku'ō Chikan (1245–1322);

Hakuun Egyō (1223–1297);

Sanshū E'un (1227–1301);

Gessen Shinkai (1231–1308);

Tenchu Sōkō (d. 1332);

Muju Ichien (1226–1312);

Chigot Daie (1229–1312);

Nansan Shiun (1254–1335);

Sōhō Sōgen (1263–1335);

Senkei Shoken (d. 1330);

Mui Shōgen (d. 1311);

Mugai Jinen.

 


Portrait of Priest Enni, Inscription by Enni, (Important Cultural Property, Manju-ji Temple)

ENNI BEN’EN [SHOICHI KOKUSHI]
Richard Bryan McDaniel: Zen Masters of Japan. The Second Step East. Rutland, Vermont: Tuttle Publishing, 2013.

Although Zen teachers—immigrants as well as native born—could now readily be found in Japan, some of the more serious students still felt it necessary to travel to China to get the training they wanted. One of these was Enni Ben’en, also known by the posthumous name, Shoichi Kokushi—Shoichi, the National Teacher

The syncretic Zen of Myoan Eisai, a combination of the Chinese Rinzai tradition and Tendai, was short-lived in Japan. It would be the form of Rinzai brought back to the islands from China by Shoichi that would persevere.

During his lifetime Enni Ben’en was admired both for his extensive erudition and the depth of his enlightenment. Like Eisai and Gikai, later in his life Enni was willing to make accommodations for other Buddhist traditions; however, as a young man he was not so flexible.

His early training had been a mixture of Tendai and Confucianism. Then he went to Chorakuji to study with one of Myoan Eisai’s disciples, the monk Eicho. Like that of Eisai before him, Eicho’s Buddhism was a combination of Tendai and Zen. Enni decided that he wanted to experience a Zen unadulterated by other traditions, so went to China where he was accepted as a student by Mujun Shiban. Enni studied under Shiban’s direction for seven years and came to enlightenment in 1237.

After his awakening, Enni returned to Japan, fully familiar with Chinese monastic discipline. For a time, he taught in a temple located in the port city of Hakata on Kyushu, the southernmost of the Japanese isles. There he encountered the same hostility Zen and Pure Land teachers were still receiving from other Buddhist sects in Kyoto; although Shingon and Tendai animosity did not prevent him from teaching, it did frustrate him because he held both traditions in esteem.

When the retired statesman, Kujo Michiie, determined to build a temple in Kyoto, he recruited Enni as its abbot. That temple, Tofukuji, is today designated one of Japan’s national treasures. While in Kyoto, Enni also served as abbot of Eisai’s Kenninji. He divided his time between the two temples, walking from one to the other every day.

 

Tofukuji, as envisioned by Michiie, was to be a place where the Zen, Shingon, and Tendai traditions could co-exist. Enni, who had had training in the other two schools as well, was able to preside over the rituals associated with all three, but he gave precedence to the Zen practice of meditation.

Zen, he told his disciples, was not a system of thought like the other traditions but was the vehicle by which one achieved the same state of mind as the Buddha himself. “When one practices Zen, one is Buddha! If one practices for a day, one is Buddha for a day. If one were to practice one’s whole life, one would be Buddha one’s whole life.”

Zen is the Buddha mind. The precepts (morality) are its external form; the teachings [sutras] are its explanation in words; the invocation of the name (nembutsu) is an expedient means (upaya). Because these three proceed from the Buddha mind, this school [Zen] represents the foundation.

 

The Chinese form of Rinzai that Enni promoted took an aggressive approach to zazen. Students were advised to put all their energy into their practice: “Imagine that you’ve fallen into a deep well. In such a situation, your only thought would be how to escape. All your attention, all your energy would be focused on that alone. Day and night, all you would dwell on was how to escape.”

The use of koans gave an energy to meditation not always present in the Soto practice of shikan taza. In a popular formula, three components were deemed necessary to achieve awakening: Great Faith, Great Perseverance, and Great Doubt. Great Doubt was the driving question that compelled one’s practice—such as Dogen’s question about why one needed to sit zazen if one were already, as the Buddha had proclaimed, enlightened. Koans forced the practitioner to approach his or her meditation with an inquiring frame of mind, and that spirit of questioning proved to be an effective tool—a “skillful means” or upaya—for arousing the “Great Doubt” needed to bring aspirants to awakening.

In spite of the preferential status he gave Zen, Enni also honored the Shingon and Tendai teachings and was thus eventually able to win respect for the Zen school, which was beginning to be seen less as a Chinese oddity and more of a mainstream tradition in Japan. But Enni understood that Zen was still young in Japan, and he continued to encourage his disciples to travel to China to deepen their practice.

Enni’s Rinzai was not yet a school independent of Shingon and Tendai teachings, but it was Zen on its way to independence from those traditions.

 

Enni’s fame spread throughout the land, and word about him came to the Imperial Household. Michiie arranged for Enni to have an audience with the Emperor Go-Uda. [The prefix “Go” means “later” and was appended to the name of an Emperor whose post-humous name was the same as that given to a previous emperor.] During the interview, Enni presented the Emperor with a volume of teachings from the Chinese Zen masters. The emperor was so impressed by the book that he later took the precepts from Enni and became a Buddhist.

 

During his 79th summer, Enni ordered the temple drums to be sounded and announced to his disciples that he was going to die. He then wrote a farewell poem, in which he stated: “Those who do not see things as they are will never understand Zen.” Then he bid his disciples farewell and passed away.

 

 


円爾弁円 Enni Ben'en / 聖一國師 Shōitsu Kokushi


Sayings of National Teacher Shoitsu While Dwelling at Tofuku Zen Temple

Translated by Thomas F. Cleary
In: The Original Face: An Anthology of Rinzai Zen, Grove Press, 1978. pp. 43-57.

Addressing the Community on the New Year
Offering Incense in Memory of Wujun
Address on the Occasion of a Buddha-Image-Washing Ceremony on Buddha's Birthday
Informal Talk at the Beginning of Summer Retreat
Address at the Beginning of Summer Retreat
Informal Talk at the End of Summer Retreat

• Addressing the Community on the New Year

Zen is not conception or perception; if you establish
an idea, you turn away horn the source. The way is
beyond cultivated effects; if you set up accomplishment,
you lose the essence. The news of the new year does not
stir a bit of dust-harvesting blessings according to the
season, no celebration inappropriate . If you assess it in
terms of Buddhism, you are calling a bell a pitcher; if
you call it mundane reality and its ordinary conven-
tions, you fall on your face on level ground. Do you all
understand? Early spring is still cold; return to the hall
and have tea.

 

• Offering Incense in Memory of Wujun

In the old days when I was traveling, I sailed across
seas and climbed mountains, dragging mud and drip-
ping water, traveling all over the south. Then on Five
Topknots Peak I bumped unawares into this old teacher
[Wujun] and encountered his poison hand-there was
no way for me to escape . Setting my eyebrows above
my eyes, I cleared away my life and even up till now
have nothing to explain, no principle to expound; now
in the presence of the assembly I will raise the depths
and turn them over-[raising the incense]

The rock of ages will someday wear away, but when
will this sorrow end?

 

•  Address on
the Occasion of a Buddha-Image-Washing
Ceremony on Buddha's Birthday

Prince Siddhartha, manifestation of the body of
reality, today was born; in the palace of the King of
Pure Food, nine dragons spit water to bathe the golden
body, and golden lotuses sprouted from the ground to
bear his feet. He boasted throughout heaven and earth,
pointlessly opening his mouth and saying he alone was
to be honored. He had all the adorning marks of a great
man, and performed subtle and marvelous great Buddh-
ist services. But what are great Buddhist services? [a
silence] Getting down from the seat, asking the pillar
and the lamp to enter the ocean of fragrant water of
those who realize thusness, and help this old fellow turn
the great wheel of the true teaching.

 

•  Informal Talk at the Beginning
of Summer Retreat

In the secret transmission on the Spiritual Mountain,
the pure tradition of Shaolin, actions accord, words
complement each other, great perfect awareness is one's
own sanctuary. Body and mind dwelling at peace, with
knowledge of equality of the real nature of all things,
not going anywhere for ninety days, protecting crea-
tures for three months, keeping pure as ice and snow.
Summon forth great energy in your efforts, great
courage and determination; wielding the sword of
wisdom, go directly ahead, killing all, whether in the
stage of learning or beyond learning, and after having
killed all you see that mountains are mountains, rivers
are rivers, the whole body comes thus, the whole body
goes thus-there are no complications around at all. At
this time, can you call it the fundamental business of a
patch-robed monk? You must let go your hands over a
mile-high precipice and appear with your whole body
throughout the universe.

Tokusan said to his group, "According to my view,
there are neither buddhas nor patriarchs. Bodhidharma
was a greasy-smelling old barbarian; bodhisattvas of the
tenth stage are dung haulers; the perfectly and incon-
ceivably enlightened ones are immoral fools; enlighten-
ment and nirvana are donkey-tethering stakes; the
canonical teachings are ghost tablets, paper for wiping
sores; the four grades of saints and three grades of
sages, from initiates to those of the highest stages, are
ghosts hanging around graves, unable to save even
themselves." Tokusan can function beyond the crowd,
clearly analyzing past and present, casting the all
embracing net of the school to bring in latecomers.
[raising his staff] Even so, his nose has been pierced by
this staff of mine so that he has no way to breathe. Is
there anyone in the crowd who can show some energy?
[planting his staff once] Those with eyes discern.

 

• Address at the Beginning of Summer Retreat

Going high beyond the ten stages of bodhisattva-
hood without going through countless eons of practice,
things and self one thusness, mind and body equa-
nimous, not keeping company with myriad things, not
on the same road as the thousand saints; this is bringing
forth the whole potential of buddhas and patriarchs,
alone revealing the true eye of humans and gods, just
dwelling on the summit of the solitary peak, forbidden
to leave, yet extending your hands at the crossroads,
killing and giving life freely, capturing and releasing
freely. But tell me: is there anything in this that is in
accord with the holy precepts? [a silence] No inter-
change in daily activities, right in your being there is
shutting down and opening up.

 

• Informal Talk at the End of Summer Retreat

The great potential and great function, free in all
ways, not lingering in the sages' barriers of potential,
not falling into the nest of the patriarchs, clean and
naked, with no defilement, bare and unhindered, with
nothing concealed-the original face, the scene of the
fundamental ground, speaking without sound, shattered
along with the words, not anything before form,
merging together with things, opening the cloth bag,
smashing the iron gate barrier, wielding the blown-hair
sword, coming from the south going north, your state
thoroughly peaceful, treading on reality with every step.
But tell me: what is the expression of walking on
reality? If you don't enjoy the purity of ice, how can you
appreciate the purity of snow?

 

Instructions of National Teacher Shoitsu

To Eminent Kumyo
To Elder Nyo
To Eminent Chizen
To Zen Man Chimoku
To Elder Kakujitsu
To a Zen Man

To Eminent Kumyo

In the direct teachings of the ancestral masters, there
are no special techniques, just to lay down all entangle-
ments, put to rest all concerns, and watch the tip of your
nose for six hours in the daytime and six hours at night;
whenever you wander into distinctions among things,
just raise a saying-rdon't think of it in terms of the way
to enlightenment, don't think of it in terms of purifica-
tion, don't consciously anticipate understanding, don't
let feelings create doubt or despair, but go directly in
like cutting through an iron bun with a single stroke,
where there is no flavor, no path of reason, without
getting involved in other thoughts. After a long time,
you will naturally be like waking from a dream, like a
lotus blossom opening. At this moment, the saying you
have been observing is just a piece of tile to knock at
the door-throw it over on the other side and then look
instead at the sayings of the enlightened ancestors and
buddhas expressing activity in the world of. differenti-
ation. All of these are just to stop children crying; the
one road going beyond does not let a single thread
through, but cuts off the essential crossing between
ordinary and holy, while students toil over forms like
monkeys grasping at the moon. We might say that if
you forget your own body and go frantically searching
outside, when can you ever find it? Sitting peacefully on
a cushion, day and night seeking to become buddhas,
rejecting life and death in hopes of realizing enlighten-
ment, is all like the monkey's grasping at the moon. If
you want some real help, it's just that not minding is the
way; yet it's not the same as wood or stone-always
aware and knowing, perfectly distinctly clear, seeing
and hearing are normal; there are no further details.

Elder Kumyo sits facing a wall day and night and
has asked for some words to urge him on. Not
begrudging the way of my house, I have let my brush
write this, 1267.

 

To Elder Nyo

Buddha after buddha extended their hands, not only
for others; it was of their own power of gratitude. A
square peg fitting into a round hole, a clod of earth
washed in the mud, communicated patriarch to pa-
triarch, an empty valley answering a voice, calling south
north, three ways across and four ways up, sitting one
and walking seven, difficulty and confusion is un-
avoidable. In the dark dim semiawakeness before a
single breath has appeared, if you can trust completely,
you are still in the secondary-if you don't get it until
the indiscernible is already distinguished, you have
fallen into the third level.

See for yourself. Directly transcend the principles
and activities of the buddhas and patriarchs, go through
the forest of thorns, transcend the barriers of potential
described by the ancestral teachers, pass through the
silver mountain and iron wall-then for the first time
you will realize there is a transcendent fundamental
endowment; you can sit and wear clothes, helping
people solve their sticking points and untie their bonds.

Elder Nyo has been in the assembly for years and
now returns to his native place. He wouldn't turn back
even if called; he cannot be trapped or held. He returns
barefoot. 50 I write this to send him off.

 

To Eminent Chizen

In the school of the ancestral teachers we point
directly to the human mind; verbal explanations and
illustrative devices actually miss the point. Not falling
into seeing and hearing, not following sound or form,
acting freely in the phenomenal world, sitting and lying
in the heap of myriad forms, not involved with phe-
nomena in breathing out, not bound to the clusters and
elements of existence in breathing in, the whole world is
the gate of liberation, all worlds are true reality. A
universal master knows what it comes to the moment it
is raised; how will beginners and latecomers come to
grips with it? If you don't get it yet, for the time being
we open up a pathway in the gateway of the secondary
truth, speak out where there is nothing to say, manifest
form in the midst of formlessness. How do we speak
where there is nothing to say? "A mortar runs through
the sky." How do we manifest form from formlessness?
"The west river sports with a lion."

During your daily activities responding to circum-
stances in the realm of distinctions, don't think of
getting rid of anything, don't understand it as a hidden
marvel-with no road of reason, no flavor, day and
night, forgetting sleep and food, keep those sayings in
mind.

If you still don't get it, we go on to speak of the
tertiary, expounding mind and nature, speaking of
mystery and marvel; one atom contains the cosmos, one
thought pervades everywhere. Thus an ancient said:

Infinite lands and worlds
With no distinctions between self and others
Ten ages past and present
Are never apart from this moment of thought

Chizen brought some paper seeking some words, so I
dashed this off, senile and careless; after looking at it
once, consign it to the fire.

 

• To Zen Man Chimoku

Since the buddhas and patriarchs, there have been
three general levels of dealing with people. On the
uppermost level there are no further techniques, no
meaning of principle; verbal understanding is impossi-
ble. If you can take it up directly at this, then there is no
difference from lithe cypress in the garden," "three
pounds of hemp," "swallow the water of the west river
in one gulp."

On the second level, it is just a matter of bringing
out a question, going along to break through; this is like
Rinzai questioning Obaku and getting hit sixty times.

On the third level, we enter the mud and water,
setting down footnotes, blinding people's eyes, destroy-
ing the lineage of the Buddha.

But a true patch-robed one must search out and
investigate the living word, not go for the dead word.
Eminent Chimoku, you are pure and true; if you can
attain realization at the living word, you can be teacher
of buddhas and patriarchs. Not begrudging my family
way, I have shown you three levels of device.

 

• To Elder Kakujitsu

The fundamental style of the ancestral teachers, the
one expression of transcendence, plunging into the
other side with a heroic spirit, then being free wherever
you are, inconceivable activities unhindered. Wielding
the jewel sword of the diamond king, cutting off
difficulty and confusion, using the killing and reviving
staff to eliminate affirmation and denial. Striking and
shouting at appropriate times, sitting one walking
seven; by this that tawny-faced old teacher Shakyamuni
assembled all kinds of people over three hundred and
sixty times-able to act as king of the. teaching, he was
free in all respects. The blue-eyed first patriarch sat for
nine years facing a wall and offered instruction for later
students-" outwardly ceasing all involvements, in-
wardly no sighing in the mind, mind like a wall, thereby
one may enter the way." These and their like are
elementary techniques; later you realize on your own-
casting off all involvements, letting myriad things rest,
is the foremost technique. If you stick to this technique,
then it is not right. It cannot be helped, to give
meticulous explanations, to mix with the mud and
water, to use a stake to extract a stake, to use a state to
take away a state; a thousand changes, myriad transfor-
mations, seven ways up and down, eight ways across. If
you take the words as the rule, you will produce
interpretations along with the words and fall into the
clusters and elements of physical-mental existence, the
world of shadows; if you don't even know techniques,
how could you know the true source?

Elder Kakujitsu is extraordinary by nature, a com-
pletely pure person. He asked for some words of
exhortation, so I wrote this.

 

• To a Zen Man

On the forehead, at the feet, it is necessary to realize
here is a great road through the heavens. Without
establishing the practice and vows of Samantabhadra or
speaking of the active knowledge of Manjusri, hold
Vairocana still so that all traces of ordinary or holy
disappear-then afterward the great capacity and great
function will come into being wherever you may be; on
the hundred grasses speaking of the provisional and the
true, in the heap of sound and form setting up
illumination and function, giving helpful techniques,
freely and independently. But if you have a clear-eyed
person look at this, it is still only halfway-it is still
wearing stocks presenting evidence of your crime.

However, even so, you must know there are meth-
ods of offering help and guidance; one is the technique
of sitting meditation, the other is the technique of direct
pointing. Sitting meditation is the great calm; direct
pointing is the great wisdom. Before the empty eon, on
the other side of the ancient buddhas, self-enlighten-
ment without a teacher, without any such techniques-
this is what Bodhidharma taught, the hidden transmis-
sion of personal experience. After the empty eon, there
is enlightenment and delusion, there are questions and
answers, there are teachers and students; all these are
guiding techniques.

The buddhas have come forth, with "merging of
inner reality," "barriers of potential," "transcendence,"
"reintegration," "coming from light, merging in dark-
ness," "sun face Buddha, moon face Buddha," -taking
in the hand a talisman that lights the night, wielding the
diamond sword with the eye of an adept, using tongs
and hammer in accord with the situation, not needing
verbal explanations, not needing devices or objectives,
those of superior knowledge with sharp faculties pene-
trate through to direct realization; they can be said to be
like the sky covering all, like the earth supporting all;
vast and open as empty space, shining in all directions,
like sun and moon. An ancient said.vIn the community
of the fifth patriarch, seven hundred eminent monks all
understood Buddhism . There was only workman Lu
who didn't understand Buddhism." This is the way of
direct pointing; as for the technique of sitting medita-
tion, you are already thoroughly familiar with this and
don't need my instruction. As you come with some
paper asking for a saying, I scribble this senile
confusion.

Awakening on your own without a teacher before
the empty eon and being awakened by a teacher after
the appearance of the buddhas and patriarchs, that is
awakening and being awakened, are both techniques of
guidance. All that has been communicated from bud-
dhas to patriarchs, inconceivable liberated activity, is all
just the mutual accord of states and words.

Great Master Bodhidharma crossed the sea and
crossed the river, sat upright for nine years facing a
wall, and returned alone with one shoe-this, too, was in
the sphere of accord of words and actions. Eminent, if
you want to attain accord, you must cut off the root of
birth and death, break up the nest of sage and
sainthood, become clean and naked, bare and untram-
me led, not relying on anything; only then will you have
some realization. Now when I speak this way, is there
any accord? Is there none? If you can search it out, don't
say I didn't tell you.