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同安觀志 Tongan Guanzhi (n.d.)

aka 中同安志 Zhong Tongan Zhi

(Rōmaji:) Dōan Kanshi

Tongan Guanzhi

(Chinese: 同安觀志; Japanese: Dōan Kanshi ) was a Zen Buddhist monk during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period in 10th century China. Traditionally, he is considered to be the student of Tongan Daopi. However, the basis for this belief comes from a text by Huihong called the Chanlin sengbao zhuan (Chronicle of the Sangha Treasure in the Groves of Chan), which was completed in 1119, many years after Tongan's death.


Tongan Guanzhi's name first appears in the Transmission of the Lamp, which was compiled around 1004. However, in that work, he is not listed as a student of Tongan Daopi. In fact, it states Daopi has no students at all. The Transmission of the Lamp instead claims that Tongan Guanzhi is the disciple of Tongan Wei 同安威, in turn a student of Jufeng Puman, with Jufeng being an apparently obscure student of the famous Dongshan Liangjie.

Both Tongan Wei and Jufeng Puman are listed for the first time in the Transmission of the Lamp, and neither with much information. However, Dayang Jingxuan , who in Huihong's version of the lineage is a descendant of Tongan Daopi, is recorded in the Transmission of the Lamp as being descended through Jufeng Puman and Tongan Wei. Dayang was close with Wang Shu, one of the compilers of Transmission of the Lamp, and as such it is unlikely that an error would have been made therein about his lineage.

This suggests that Tongan Guanzhi is more likely to have been a student of Tongan Wei and not Tongan Daopi.





by Andy Ferguson
In: Zen's Chinese Heritage: The Masters and Their Teachings, Wisdom Publications, pp. 316-317.

TONGAN GUANZHI was a student of Tongan Daopi. There is no record of his life before becoming a monk, and little about his life as a teacher. The lamp records offer an obscure account of his life and teachings.


When Zen master Tongan Daopi was about to die, he entered the hall and addressed the monks, saying, “The disciples before the stupa are adept, but what about the affair before the five old peaks?”

He asked this question three times, but none of the monks responded.

Finally, Tongan Guanzhi stood up and said, “Beyond the window screen, the chiliocosm is arrayed in the clear night. Everywhere, a song of great peace.”

Daopi said, “You should all be like this foolish ass!”


A monk asked, “How do you sing of the place where duality can’t reach?”

Tongan said, “There is no place where this can be encountered. But within the mystic principle it is never lost.”


A monk asked, “Everywhere are words and phrases, but they are all exhausted in the present moment. I come before the master to request that you point directly at it.”

Tongan said, “If it is not revealed before the eyes, there’s no confusion after the words.”


A monk asked, “What is the transcendent matter?”

Tongan said, “Pivoting but not changing position. Any special sign is bad.”