Author Topic: Zen Stories  (Read 1741 times)


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 47994
    • View Profile
Zen Stories
« on: January 13, 2009, 11:10:56 AM »
Kaigen championed the neglected study of Buddhist and Zen
lierature in the middle of the nineteenth century.  Many people
thought he was just a scholar, not realizing that he was an enlightened
Zen Master.

Kaigen first studied scriptural Buddhism with the great Zen Master
Sengai. Later he studied Zen meditation with Seisetsu and Tankai.
At one point Kaigen went to Kyoto to study at the academics of the
other schools of Buddhism.  Disturbed by what he found, he wrote:

At the Fifth Avenue bridge,
I turn my head and look;
east, west, south, north,
ignorant monks are many!

Later on, Zen Master Doukon explained: "Poeple of the time all
considered Kaigen to be widely learned, with a powerful memory.
And it is true.

"However, he also had three Zen teachers and found out the innermost
secrets of Zen, finally receiving the seal of approval from Zen Master
Tankai.  People of his time thought that Kaigen was a teacher of doctrinal
Buddhism, but that was not his reality.

"What Kaigen was worried about was that there were many Zen followers with sterile intellects and few who understood the principles of the Teaching. It was because of this that he concentrated on preaching literary Zen, in order to develop and guide young seekers.

"Kaigen's attention was focussed on rescuing people from the decadence of the times.  He didn't have time to pay any mind to other things.  This is precisely what made him great."

(Source: Zen antics. Thomas Cleary. Shambhala, Boston.)

Arunachala Siva.