I have been dancing off and on with Zen for about 15 years with the last two
settling in to what is now twice daily zazen sitting. I thought I'd share with
you some of the mileposts along my journey.
One of the first schools I encountered was that of Pen Chi Chiung P'ing (I
think that's the correct Wade-Giles for it). They had the habit of congregating
near really high bridges. I liked them because they were the closest to Western
philosophy-they reminded me a lot of Soren Kierkegaard,always talking about
taking leaps of faith over and over again. But I decided to try elsewhere
because they never seemed to get anywhere.
Next, I discovered a school that tried to combine Zen and Tantra. I remember
there were three main teachers Zen Master Pei T'e, Zen Master Pei Hsiung, and
Zen Master Pei T'ing (again I'm guessing at the correct Wade-Giles).They must
have been centered in some temple named Pei. I got a lot from them but decided
to move on when it seemed like they were a little too in to solitary
Then I tried the works of those two 9th century masters Seppo and Ganto. I
found they had 3 other lesser known Dharma Brothers- I couldn't find their
Japanese versions but the Wade-Giles were Zen Masters Ha P'ou, Ch'i K'ou, and
some foreign guy they called Kao Ch'ou. Ha P'ou would teach using silence as an
answer to every question. You've heard of Chao Chou's Dog, Nansen's Cat, and
Pai Chang's Fox? Ch'i K'ou was most famous for a koan involving a duck and a
very wise lesson in equanimity. I can't remember all of it, but at the end he
asked the question "Why not a goose or a chicken?" Most intimate.
Now, I'm deeply engrossed in the teachings of the San Sa T'u Cha School. I
love the three main teachers: Zen Masters La Ji, Mou, and (my favorite) K'ih Li
Chou. I've written before about Gutei's one-finger Zen. Zen Master Mou was most
famous for his two-finger Zen. Many is the time he would kindly use his
two-fingers to open the Dharma Eyes of his two brothers to grant them immense
kensho experiences. And you all remember that Master who awakened upon hearing
the hollow sound produced by a rock hitting bamboo? That couldn't begin to
compare with the many kensho experiences all three masters would have upon
hearing the hollow sound produced by a brick hitting their own heads. Most
intimate. I have a feeling I can learn a lot from these guys.
I'll keep you posted on my future progress.
Endymion <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
I always try to take to Heart-Mind my favorite saying from the
noted Japanese Soto Zen Master Tsunomono Ohitashi:
All right Suckas: BENDOWA and take the Dharma like a man. Then sit down, shut
up, and just DO the fukan Zazengi!!
Al <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
From: "anatmanwave" <---And Al, how would you know that?>
My study of Zen is limited to Japanese samurai movies and especially the
Blind Samurai (Zatoichi).
I choose not to read zen books any more. I gave many away and sold the rest
on ebay. Zatoichi is easier to understand and much more entertaining than
Bankei or Dogen.
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