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千崎如幻 Senzaki Nyogen (1876–1958)

Dharma name: 朝露如幻 Chōro Nyogen



PDF: Vasfurulya
Fordította: Hetényi Ernő

PDF: 101 zen történet
Fordította: Bánfalvi András

PDF: Százegy zen történet
Fordította: Szigeti György

Tíz bika
Fordította: Acsai Roland

A tíz bika történet
Fordította: Dobosy Antal

PDF: The Iron Flute
Translated by Nyogen Senzaki & Ruth Strout McCandless

PDF: Zen Flesh, Zen Bones
Compiled by
Nyogen Senzaki & Paul Reps

PDF: 禅的故事 Chan de gu shi, 2003
Illustrated Chinese version

DOC: 101 Zen Stories
101 Zen Stories
Transcribed by Nyogen Senzaki & Paul Reps

"10 Bulls"
Introduction and verse by Kuoan Shiyuan [Kakuan Shien]
Transcribed by Nyogen
Senzaki & Paul Reps
Woodblock prints by 德力富吉郎 Tokuriki Tomikichirō

DOC: The Gateless Gate by Mumon (1228)
Transcribed by Nyogen Senzaki & Paul Reps

PDF: Buddhism and Zen
Translated by Nyogen Senzaki & Ruth Strout McCandless

PDF: Reflections on Zen Buddhism
by Nyogen Senzaki

PDF: Sufism and Zen
by Nyogen Senzaki

Selected Poems of Jakushitsu
Translated by
Nyogen Senzaki

Choro Nyogen, Dai Osho Choro Nyogen (1876-1958) is most usually referenced under the name Nyogen Senzaki Sensei. Choro means “morning dew” and Nyogen means “like a phantasm”. He himself commented many times on his pilgrimage as a nameless and homeless monk, remembering that he began life as an abandoned baby in Siberia, the son of a Japanese mother and a Russian father. A brilliant young student, he finished the Chinese Tripitaka by age 18, and became a monk. He loved his teacher, but came to reject what he called “Cathedral Zen” with its rather worldly hierarchy of titles and authority. He loved his years in Japan as priest of a little temple where he was a “hands-on” director of its kindergarten. When he set up a Zen center in San Francisco, he called it a “mentorgarden”. Strout McCandless reports that he once said “I want to be an American Hotei, a happy Jap in the streets”. (Ironically, he was interred in a camp during WWII). Senzaki actively searched for and encouraged Japanese Zen masters willing to come to the United States, and as Aitken Roshi comments “the Diamond Sangha in Hawaii, the Zen Center of Los Angeles, the Zen Studies Society in New York, and the Rochester Zen Center – all can trace their lineage through the gentle train of karma that Senzaki began.


DOC: The Gateless Gate by Mumon (1228)
Transcribed by Nyogen Senzaki & Paul Reps
First published in 1934 by John Murray, Los Angeles

This classic Zen Buddhist collection of 49 koans with commentary by Mumon was originally published in 1934, and later included in Paul Reps and Nyogen Senzaki's popular anthology Zen Flesh, Zen Bones. Due to non-renewal it is currently in the public domain in the US (although other parts of Zen Flesh, Zen Bones are not).

Table of Contents

Title Page
1. Joshu's Dog
2. Hyakujo's Fox
3. Gutei's Finger
4. A Beardless Foreigner
5. Kyogen Mounts the Tree
6. Buddha Twirls a Flower
7. Joshu Washes the Bowl
8. Keichu's Wheel
9. A Buddha before History
10. Seizei Alone and Poor
11. Joshu Examines a Monk in Meditation
12. Zuigan Calls His Own Master
13. Tokusan Holds His Bowl
14. Nansen Cuts the Cat in Two
15. Tozan's Three Blows
16. Bells and Robes
17. The Three Calls of the Emperor's Teacher
18. Tozan's Three Pounds
19. Everyday Life Is the Path
20. The Enlightened Man
21. Dried Dung
22. Kashapa's Preaching Sign
23. Do Not Think Good, Do Not Think Not-Good
24. Without Words, Without Silence
25. Preaching from the Third Seat
26. Two Monks Roll Up the Screen
27. It Is Not Mind, It Is Not Buddha, It Is Not Things
28. Blow Out the Candle
29. Not the Wind, Not the Flag
30. This Mind Is Buddha
31. Joshu Investigates
32. A Philosopher Asks Buddha
33. This Mind Is Not Buddha
34. Learning Is Not the Path
35. Two Souls
36. Meeting a Zen Master on the Road
37. A Buffalo Passes Through the Enclosure
38. An Oak Tree in the Garden
39. Ummon's Sidetrack
40. Tipping Over a Water Vase
41. Bodhidharma Pacifies the Mind
42. The Girl Comes Out from Meditation
43. Shuzan's Short Staff
44. Basho's Staff
45. Who Is He?
46. Proceed from the Top of the Pole
47. Three Gates of Tosotsu
48. One Road of Kembo
49. Amban's Addition

Nyogen Senzaki, Eloquent Silence
Nyogen Senzaki's Gateless Gate and Other Previously Unpublished Teachings and Letters
edited and introduced by Roko Sherry Chayat; foreword by Eido Shimano
Wisdom Publications, 2008, 456 pages
The most comprehensive collection available of Nyogen Senzaki's brilliant teachings, Eloquent Silence brings new depth and breadth to our knowledge and appreciation of this historic figure. It makes available for the first time his complete commentaries on the Gateless Gate, one of the most important and beloved of all Zen texts, as well as on koans from the Blue Rock Annals and the Book of Equanimity. Amazingly, some of these commentaries were written while Senzaki was detained at an internment camp during WWII. Also included are rare photographs, poems reproduced in Senzaki's beautiful calligraphy and accompanied by his own translations, and transcriptions of his talks on Zen, esoteric Buddhism, the Lotus Sutra, what it means to be a Buddhist monk, and other subjects. Roko Sherry Chayat has edited Nyogen Senzaki's words with sensitivity and grace, retaining his wry, probing style yet bringing clarity and accessibility to these remarkably contemporary teachings.

Table of Contents

Foreword by Eido Shimano xiii
Introduction by Roko Sherry Chayat 1
Acknowledgments 23
Photographs 27

Part I: Commentaries on the Gateless Gate 35
Introductory Comments 37
Mumon's Introduction 40
Case One: Joshu's Dog 43
Case Two: Hyakujo's Fox 47
Case Three: Gutei's Finger 51
Case Four: A Beardless Foreigner 54
Case Five: Kyogen's Man in a Tree 57
Case Six: Buddha Twirls a Flower 60
Case Seven: Joshu's "Wash Your Bowl" 63
Case Eight: Keichu's Wheel 67
Case Nine: A Buddha before History 70
Case Ten: Seizei Alone and Poor 74
Case Eleven: Joshu Examines a Hermit Monk in Meditation 77
Case Twelve: Zuigan Calls His Own Master 80
Case Thirteen: Tokusan Holds His Bowls 83
Case Fourteen: Nansen Cuts the Cat in Two 87
Case Fifteen: Tozan's Three Blows 91
Case Sixteen: The Bell and the Ceremonial Robe 94
Case Seventeen: The Three Calls of the Emperor?s Teacher 97
Case Eighteen: Tozan's Three Pounds 100
Case Nineteen: Everyday Life Is the Path 104
Case Twenty: The Man of Great Strength 107
Case Twenty-one: Dried Dung 110
Case Twenty-two: Kashyapa's Preaching Sign 113
Case Twenty-three: Think Neither Good, Nor Not-Good 116
Case Twenty-four: Without Speech, Without Silence 121
Case Twenty-five: Preaching from the Third Seat 124
Case Twenty-six: Two Monks Roll Up the Screen 127
Case Twenty-seven: It Is Not Mind, It Is Not Buddha, It Is Not Things 130
Case Twenty-eight: Ryutan Blows Out the Candle 133
Case Twenty-nine: Not the Wind, Not the Flag 137
Case Thirty: This Mind Is Buddha 141
Case Thirty-one: Joshu Investigates 144
Case Thirty-two: A Philosopher Asks Buddha 147
Case Thirty-three: This Mind Is Not Buddha 151
Case Thirty-four: Wisdom Is Not the Path 154
Case Thirty-five: Two Souls 158
Case Thirty-six: Meeting a Master on the Road 163
Case Thirty-seven: The Cypress Tree in the Garden 166
Case Thirty-eight: A Buffalo Passes through an Enclosure 169
Case Thirty-nine: Ummon's Off the Track 172
Case Forty: Tipping Over a Water Vessel 175
Case Forty-one: Bodhidharma Pacifies the Mind 178
Case Forty-two: The Woman Comes Out from Meditation 182
Case Forty-three: Shuzan's Short Staff 185
Case Forty-four: Basho's Staff 188
Case Forty-five: Who Is It? 191
Case Forty-six: Proceed from the Top of the Pole 194
Case Forty-seven: The Three Barriers of Tosotsu 197
Case Forty-eight: One Path of Kempo 200
Amban's Addition 203

Part II: Commentaries on the Blue Rock Collection 207
Case One: I Know Not 209
Case Two: The Ultimate Path 211
Case Eight: Suigan's Eyebrows 213
Case Twelve: Tozan's Three Pounds of Flax 216
Case Twenty-two: Seppo's Cobra 218

Part III: Commentaries on the Book of Equanimity 221
Introduction 223
Chapter One: Buddha Takes His Preaching Seat 226
Chapter Two: Bodhidharma Walks Out from Samskrita 229

Part IV: Dharma Talks and Essays 235
An Ideal Buddhist 237
A Meeting with Sufi Master Hazrat Inayat Khan 242
Seven Treasures, Part One 244
Seven Treasures, Part Two 250
Seven Treasures, Part Three 254
The Ten Stages of Consciousness 258
Emancipation 261
How to Study Buddhism 266
Zen Buddhism in the Light of Modern Thought 269
Buddhism and Women 273
Obaku?s Transmission of Mind, Part One 277
Obaku?s Transmission of Mind, Part Two 280
Obaku?s Transmission of Mind, Part Three 282
Obaku?s Transmission of Mind, Part Four 286
Esoteric Buddhism in Japan 289
Shingon Teachings 296
What Is Zen? An Evening Chat 299
What Does a Buddhist Monk Want? 305
On Zen Meditation 309
On The Lotus of the Wonderful Law:
Introducing Soen Nakagawa 315
Bankei?s Zen 322

Part V: Calligraphies and Selected Poems 325
"Basho" 327
"Opening words of Wyoming Zendo" 328
"Evacuees make poinsettia" 329
"Autumn came naturally" 330
"In this part of plateau" 331
"This desert on the plateau" 332
"My uta (Japanese ode)" 333
"Those who live without unreasonable desires" 334
"The mother was named an enemy-alien" 335
"Naked mountains afar!" 336
"No spring in this plateau" 337
"Closing the meditation hall" 338
"Bodhidharma" 339
"This world is the palace of enlightenment" 340
"Until now the radiant moon" 341
Bodhidharma Commemoration 343
Celebration of Buddha?s Birth 343
Translations of Three Poems by Jakushitsu: 344
Ryo-Ryo (Loneliness) Ko-Fu (Old Way) 344
Free Hands 344
The House of Evergreen: Sosui-An 345
Commemoration of Soyen Shaku 345
Thirty-third Commemoration of Soyen Shaku 346

Part VI: The Autobiography of Soyen Shaku
(Translated and with Comments by Nyogen Senzaki) 347

Part VII: Correspondence 363
To Soyen Shaku, December 25, 189? 365
To Soyen Shaku, March 21, 1905 378
The Purpose of Establishing Tozen Zenkutsu, April 8, 1931 382
Article and Related Letters to the Editor, Second General Conference of Pan-Pacific Young Buddhist Associations, 1934 384
Exchange with Myra A. Stall, July 11 and 16, 1956 402

Notes 407
Bibliography 411
Index 313


PDF: Reflections on Zen Buddhism
by Nyogen Senzaki
The following articles originally appeared in Pacific World I, no. 2 (September 1925): pp. 40–42, 56; Pacific World II, no. 2 (March 1926): pp. 41, 48; and Pacific World II, no. 6 (May 1926): pp. 57, 71.


The Last Statement of Nyogen Senzaki


In Memoriam Nyogen Senzaki (1876-1958)
In: The Iron Flute : 100 Zen Kōan with commentary by Genrō, Fūgai and Nyogen.
Translated and edited by Nyogen Senzaki and Ruth Strout McCandless;
C. E. Tuttle, Ruthland, Vt. & Tokyo, 1961, pp. 159-165.

Sōen Shaku on Nyogen Senzaki

IF THE hitting of Tê-shan’s big stick covers me like rain, I will not
be frightened. If the shouting of Lin-chi’s “Katsu!” roars like a
thunderstorm, I will not be surprised. If Punna’s sermons are as
fluent as running water and Shariputra’s wisdom sparkles like the
morning star, I will not envy them. If one keeps the precepts,
consecrates his life, lives alone in a mountain hut, takes his meal
once a day, fasts often, makes his body transparent with pure food,
and performs Buddhist ceremonies six times a day, but lacks the
vow to save all sentient beings, I cannot encourage myself to
respect him.
My idea is shown in the Saddharma-pundarika Sutra as a
character named “ Bodhisattva Never-Despised.” If in our day a
Bodhisattva accomplishes realization of selflessness, using his
hands only for loving-kindness as a mother cares for her baby,
walks the road of life to serve him, rocks the cradle to comfort him,
and thinks of all boys and girls as her own children, so a monk
considers all workers on the different stages as his companions,
makes a home without wife or children, gathers mentors with no
discrimination of guest and host, speaks plain humanity, implying
Buddha-nature, he will certainly bring my admiration and make
me shed tears of sympathy. I wonder, how many monks or priests
such as this are among the hundred thousand Buddhist workers in
Monk Nyogen tries to live the Bhikkhu’s life according to the
teaching of Buddha, to be non-sectarian with no connection to a
temple or headquarters; therefore, he keeps no property of his own,
refuses to hold a position in the priest-hood, and conceals himself
from noisy fame and glory. He has, however, the four vows—
greater than worldly ambition, with Dharma treasures higher than
any position, and loving-kindness more valuable than temple
treasures. He walked out of my monastery and now wanders around
the world, meeting young people, associating with their families,
and making religion, education, ethics, and culture the steps to
climb to the highest. He is still far from being a “ Bodhisattva
Never-Despised,” but I consider him as a soldier of the crusade to
restore the peaceful Buddha-land for all mankind and all sentient
beings. Every step of continuation means success to him for this
sort of endless work. I congratulate him this very moment.
Autumn 1901
Engaku Monastery

An Autobiographical Sketch
As Told to One of His Students

YOU HAVE asked me about my past training and my work in
America. I am merely a nameless and homeless monk. Even to
think of my past embarassess me. However, I have nothing to
hide. But, you know, a monk renounces the world and wishes to
attract as little attention as possible, so whatever you read here you
must keep to yourself and forget about it.
My foster father began to teach me Chinese classics when I
was five years old. He was a Kegon scholar, so he naturally gave
me training in Buddhism. When I was eighteen years old, I had
finished reading the Chinese Tripitaka, but now in this old age I
do not remember what I read. Only his influence remains: to live
up to the Buddhist ideals outside of name and fame and to avoid as
far as possible the world of loss and gain. I studied Zen in the Sōtō
school first, and in the Rinzai school later. I had a number of
teachers from both schools, but I gained nothing. I love and respect
Sōen Shaku more than all other teachers, but I do not feel like
carrying all my teachers’ names on my back like a sandwich man;
it would almost defile them.
In those days one who passed all kōans called himself the first
and best successor of his teacher and belittled others. My taste does
not agree with this manner. It may be my foster father’s influence,
but I have never made any demarcation of my learning, so do not
consider myself finished at any point. Even now I am not
interested in inviting many friends to our meetings. You may
laugh, but I am really a mushroom without a very deep root, no
branches, no flowers, and probably no seeds.
After my arrival in this country in 1905 , I simply worked through
many stages of American life as a modern Sudhana—meditating
alone in Golden Gate Park or studying hard in the public library of
San Francisco. Whenever I could save money, I would hire a hall
and give a talk on Buddhism, but this was not until 1922. I
named our various meeting places a floating Zen-dō. At last in
1928 I established a Zen-dō, which I have carried with me as a
snail his shell; thus, I came to Los Angeles in 1931. I feel only
gratitude to my teachers and all my friends, and fold my hands
palm to palm.

Nyogen Senzaki on His Zen-dō

In the beginning this place was selected by some Japanese
Buddhist friends as a shelter for Buddhist monks. My ideal as a
Buddhist monk is to have no permanent place to stay, but to take
a course of pilgrimage as a lone cloud floating freely in the blue
sky. Even though I have been staying in this place two years and
five months, I have always considered myself a pilgrim on a
journey, making each a day a transient stay. As it is a transient
stay, I do not worry about tomorrow. It is today I am living with
gratitude. What can my regret do with the happenings of
yesterday? If I have to go away for a long trip, some other monk or
monks may stay in this shelter, transiently, the same as I. As long
as this principle of Anikka, the principle of impermanence, is
practiced, this shelter will remain a Buddhist house. In fact, I am
passing away every day. What you saw about me yesterday, you
cannot see any more. Tomorrow you will meet a man who looks
like Senzaki, but he is not the Senzaki you met today. As long as
you dwell in the understanding of Anatta, the principle of nonindividuality,
our relation will be Buddhistic.
If any of you have a desire to move our meditation hall to
another location to increase your comfort and pleasure, you are
clinging to delusions which are not Buddhistic at all. True
Buddhists never proselytize. I did not ask you to come to this
place; your own Buddha-nature guided you here. If a new location
and a better house would attract more people, what would be the
use of them if we had no Buddhist spirit within ourselves? Some
may say they are satisfied with this location and house, but for the
sake of strangers we must make it more attractive. This world is
nothing but the phenomena of dissatisfaction. Wherever one goes,
one must face some sort of suffering. This is the principle of
Dukkha, the principle of suffering, which Buddha repeatedly
stressed. Those who come for comfort and pleasure will never be
satisfied in a Buddhist house. They have not belonged here from
the beginning, so why should we try to attract them? This house
is a shelter for Buddhist monks, and you, our honorable guests,
should feel obliged to follow its principles. If you wish to
meditate, I will join you in meditation. If you wish to study
scriptures, I will assist your learning. If you wish to take the vows
to keep the precepts, I will ordain you as monks, nuns, upasakas,
or upasikas, and will endeavor to live the Buddhist life with you.
If you wish to donate material or immaterial things, the monks
will receive them in the name of the Dana-paramita. You need not
worry how and where your seeds of charity are planted. Just give
and forget. This is the way to maintain the Sangha, the group of
practical Buddhists. No guest of the Buddhist house should worry
about spreading the teaching or maintaining the movement. His
time should be utilized in meditation, understanding the
scriptures, and practicing what he is learning in his own world.
This is the true spirit by which the teaching of Buddha will remain
among mankind in its proper form.
Of course, I have no objection to your starting your own
movement with the understanding you have attained, but while
you are coming to this meditation hall, I wish you to be the
“ silent partner” of Zen. Throw out your ideas of teaching others,
and devote yourselves to study—there are one thousand seven
hundred kōans that you have to pass. There are five thousand
books on Buddhism in European languages, which require your
reading. And as for realization, once you think you have attained
something, you will find yourself ten thousand feet below and have
to start at the bottom again.
I am telling you this in such a severe way because I want you
to attain the real, Buddhist enlightenment. There are many
teachings from the Orient, but none of them can lead you to true
enlightenment, true emancipation, except Zen Buddhism. They
may satisfy your worldly desires, which they call spiritual
attainment, but they will not lead you to the highest stage of
Nirvana; you will drop to the world of dust again as an arrow shot
toward the heavens falls to earth. What I say is the echo of my
teacher’s wisdom, and what my teacher told me is the wisdom of
his teacher. We can trace directly through history seventy-nine
generations of teachers to Buddha Shakyamuni. I shall tell you
how to discipline yourselves until you are ready to practice Zen
meditation. I could give you a longer discourse, but until you are
ready to enter Samadhi, the more you hear about the theories and
speculations, the more you will carry the unnecessary burden upon
your shoulders.
I wish all of you to come practice the true Buddhism,
following the discipline of Zen monks, and forgetting your own
self-limited, worldly opinions.
September 19, 1933