Ink on paper, Eisei Bunko Foundation. Two and a half centuries after his death, the thing Hakuin c. Cartoon sitcoms aside, Hakuin Ekaku is undeniably one of the most important of all Zen masters.
|Published (Last):||19 July 2005|
|PDF File Size:||15.6 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||14.81 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
He is regarded as the reviver of the Rinzai school from a moribund period of stagnation, refocusing it on its traditionally rigorous training methods integrating meditation and koan practice. Hakuin was born in in the small village of Hara, at the foot of Mount Fuji. His mother was a devout Nichiren Buddhist, and it is likely that her piety was a major influence on his decision to become a Buddhist monk. This deeply impressed the young Hakuin, and he developed a pressing fear of hell, seeking a way to escape it.
He eventually came to the conclusion that it would be necessary to become a monk. While at Daisho-ji, he read the Lotus Sutra, considered by the Nichiren sect to be the king of all Buddhist sutras, and found it disappointing, saying "it consisted of nothing more than simple tales about cause and effect". Hakuin despaired over this story, as it showed that even a great monk could not be saved from a bloody death in this life.
How then could he, just a simple monk, hope to be saved from the tortures of hell in the next life? He gave up his goal of becoming an enlightened monk, and not wanting to return home in shame, traveled around studying literature and poetry. While studying with the poet-monk Bao, he had an experience that put him back along the path of monasticism. He saw a number of books piled out in the temple courtyard, books from every school of Buddhism. Struck by the sight of all these volumes of literature, Hakuin prayed to the gods of the Dharma to help him choose a path.
He then reached out and took a book; it was a collection of Zen stories from the Ming Dynasty. Inspired by this, he repented and dedicated himself to the practice of Zen. He again went traveling for two years, settling down at the Eigen-ji temple when he was twenty-three. It was here that Hakuin had his first entrance into enlightenment when he was twenty-four.
He locked himself away in a shrine in the temple for seven days, and eventually reached an intense awakening upon hearing the ringing of the temple bell.
However, his master refused to acknowledge this enlightenment, and Hakuin left the temple.
Hakuin Ekaku: A Reader's Guide
Thinking what you heard to be strange, you have written to ask me to explain to you the principle I expounded and to tell you of any other pertinent matters. In this letter I shall deal largely with the import of what I said, and ask you to read and reread what I write, in the hope that it will prove to be to your satisfaction. I do indeed always say: Outside the mind there is no Lotus Sutra and outside the Lotus Sutra there is no mind. Outside the ten stages of existence there is no mind and outside the ten stages of existence there is no Lotus Sutra. This is the ultimate and absolute principle.
Hakuin Ekaku Quotes
Early years[ edit ] Hakuin was born in in the small village of Hara , [web 1] at the foot of Mount Fuji. His mother was a devout Nichiren Buddhist , and it is likely that her piety was a major influence on his decision to become a Buddhist monk. This deeply impressed the young Hakuin, and he developed a pressing fear of hell , seeking a way to escape it. He eventually came to the conclusion that it would be necessary to become a monk.