Life and teachings of Bankei Yotaku, , Japan’s widely acclaimed and deeply enlightened Zen Master whose teachings on awakening to Buddha Nature. The eccentric Bankei has long been an underground hero in the world of Zen. At a time when Zen was becoming overly formalized in Japan, he stressed its. Bankei became a Zen man of the people. He spoke to crowds of ordinary country folk and as Zen students. With his simple and direct language, he impressed.
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Umpo advised he go see the Ch’an master, and Bankei set off for Nagasaki hoping to finally have his enlightenment confirmed. But remember, until that moment you were secure in the birthless Buddha-mind. Some cogent verses communicating his deep Zen wisdom are as follows in a translation by Peter Haskel :. While Bankei lived among the other monks at the temple, he refused to chant the sutras with them in Chinese. Bankei repeatedly drove home the profound if paradoxical point that no sentient being, in their Absolute Identity as Buddha-Nature Skt.: Yet almost no rules were needed, and here and at his monasteries none of the traditional Zen beating or scolding was allowed, since Bankei trusted the natural goodness of our perfect Buddha-nature to prevail over our human nature.
Compiled from various sources  see endnotes by Timothy Conway We are always already none other than the One that is also Many; our real Nature is the undefined, unstructured, infinite Openness-Emptiness Skt.: No, they never teach the importance of staying in the birthless Buddha-mind.
He would sit for hours practicing zazen.
A mass of black phlegm large as a soapberry rolled down the side After a ban,ei living in the countryside near Daisen-ji, Bankei travelled back to Umpo once again. They were frightened and must have thought me a heretic, as bad as a Roman Catholic. The Buddha Mind is Unborn because it is always here, innate, and it enlightens the mind.
Bankei also traveled on invitation to teach.
But if you hoe in anger, your anger is an evil work… and your work is toilsome and painful. In his boyhood Bankei was called Muchi.
It is zazen perpetually, and not merely during the time of the [formal meditation] practice called zazen. It’s when you become any other sort of being that there are different places to go.
He functions with perfect freedom in accordance with circumstances, letting things take their way. My message to everyone is that the Buddha Mind is innate in them.
Exhaustion, a shrunken stomach, and an increased desire to go on. So Bankei visited the temples of other Zen teachers in the area, but found no one with the direct intuitive understanding to confirm his awakening. Here great crowds would gather to hear him. When Bankei was 11, his father died, and in the following year he entered school. It is known that when Bankei was 15 he trained at a Shingon temple, where he apparently gained some footing in sutra study.
But… today all you have to do is look around you to see how many come to me. Bankei was offended by this initially and refused to accept it.
A View of Bankei
They would make of it a lump of doubt. Nothing is left, nothing at all. A very serious mistake. From the moment you have begun to [authentically] realize this fact, you are a living Buddha, and need make no further efforts on your tatami mats…. He practiced this way for many years, but eventually the bodily neglect caused him to contract tuberculosis.
5 Quotes And 2 Poems By Zen Master Bankei
When apprehended and questioned he will of course speak of an inborn tendency. Of course, all this forces people to have doubts. When you penetrate directly, beyond words and letters, going forward or backward, whatever you do creates a refreshing breeze.
bnakei Certainly you were born with none. You must have faith that the original mind that is realized and that which realizes original mind are not different. None truly strays from It if he is aware of doing so. If so, listen and try to grasp the meaning of what I say.