HAKUIN EKAKU PDF

Hakuin joined the Rinzai Zen sect about Buddhism in Japan had been largely coopted by the Tokugawa shogunate the ruling feudal government , but while many priests sought personal advancement, Hakuin lived in great poverty among his peasant parishioners. His spirituality, contentment, and humility attracted a large following that became a new foundation for Rinzai Zen in Japan. Hakuin taught that direct knowledge of the truth is available to all, even the lowliest, and that a moral life must accompany religious practice. He utilized koans unsolvable riddles to aid meditation and invented the well-known paradox of contemplating the sound of one hand clapping.

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We are shipping to all international locations. Learn more here about our many free resources and special digital offers. Two and a half centuries after his death, the thing Hakuin c. It pops up in the strangest places whenever Zen inscrutability needs to be demonstrated: it's been the title of a novel, of a movie-and even the answer to a question on Jeopardy.

It's hard to know what Hakuin would have thought of his inadvertent contribution to twenty-first-century popular culture, but if the record he left us in words and images is any indication, he had a fine and subtle sense of humor.

He'd likely have gotten a kick out of the Simpsons episode in which Lisa poses the famous case to her aggressively indifferent brother Bart. Cartoon sitcoms aside, Hakuin Ekaku is undeniably one of the most important of all Zen masters. He came into the Rinzai school of Zen and revitalized it during a period when its very survival was in question, focusing practice back on the basics of zazen and koan study. He was the quintessential Zen master of the people, who extended his teaching far beyond the monastery to include folks from all walks of life.

All modern Rinzai masters trace their lineage back through Hakuin. Compared to a lot of figures from the eighteenth century, we actually know a good deal about the details of Hakuin's life-primarily through his own autobiographical writings, Goose Grass and Wild Ivy , and also through his student Torei Enji's Biography of Zen Priest Hakuin.

Hakuin was born around in a small village near the base of Mount Fuji. He's said to have found the esteemed scripture deeply disappointing, as it "consisted of nothing more than simple tales about cause and effect.

Four years after his entry into the monastic life, his teacher allowed him to set off on pilgrimage to study with Zen masters all over Japan. This pilgrimage ended up lasting fourteen years, ending only when he was called back to become priest at Shoin-ji, which had fallen into near-ruin during the years he was away. It became his place of practice and teaching for the rest of his life.

An example of the intensity with which Hakuin practiced comes from Torei's biography:. He endured great privation without ever deviating from his spare, simple way of life. He didn't adhere to any fixed schedule for sutra-chanting or other temple rituals. When darkness fell, he would climb inside a derelict old palanquin and seat himself on a cushion he placed on the floorboard. One of the young boys studying at the temple would come, wrap the master's body in a futon, and cinch him up tightly into this position with ropes.

There he would remain motionless, like a painting of Bodhidharma, until the following day when the boy would come to untie him so that he could relieve his bowels and take some food.

The same routine was repeated nightly. On a spring night in , when he was forty-one, after numerous other "small " enlightenment experiences, Hakuin attained final, decisive awakening while reading the passage in the Lotus Sutra the same scripture he'd scorned as a youth that declares a bodhisattva's mission as one of practicing beyond enlightenment until all beings are saved.

That passage became the theme of the rest of his life. Up until that night, Hakuin's practice was directed toward his own awakening. But from that moment on, his life was completely devoted to leading others to liberation-something for which he seems to have had a talent.

Students gathered around him in increasing numbers, and before long, monks, nuns, and laypeople from all over Japan began to make their way to this once-obscure temple to hear Hakuin expound on the dharma. The countryside around Shoin-ji sometimes came to resemble a big Zen camp meeting. Hakuin left over fifty written works, most of them based on recorded talks, several of which have been translated into English by the great modern Hakuin scholar Norman Waddell, and several of which Shambhala has been honored to publish.

The Essential Teachings of Zen Master Hakuin is a translation of the work whose Japanese title translates "Talks Given Introductory to Zen Lectures on the Records of Sokko, " which is considered one of his most important works, most representative of his teaching in general. It's a great place to start with Hakuin, and it includes the wonderfully titled talk "Licking Up Hsi-keng's Fox Slobber.

Hakuin's teaching style was what might be referred to today as "in your face. The seriousness of Hakuin's efforts to save all beings, including lay-beings, is demonstrated in his correspondence, some of which has been collected and translated into English again, by the indefatigable Norman Waddell under the title Beating the Cloth Drum. Two Blind Men on a Bridge. Ink on paper, 28 x Manayan Collection.

But to focus only on Hakuin's written work would be to miss some of his most important teaching-which is found in his art. His paintings and calligraphies were a powerful vehicle for his dharma transmission, particularly to the world beyond the monastic community, because what he presents in them goes beyond words and intellectual concepts to speak directly to the heart.

Using traditional Buddhist images and sayings-but also themes from folklore and daily life-Hakuin created a new visual language for Zen: profound and whimsical at the same time, and unlike anything that came before.

It includes some of the most famous works as well as lesser known gems. Some of them can make you laugh out loud. Finally, to get a sense of his approach to the koan practice that was so important to him, the best book may well be Thomas Cleary's Secrets of the Blue Cliff Record. Unfortunately, it contains only excerpts -as his complete commentary on Blue Cliff runs to over pages! The fact is that only a small portion of Hakuin's work has been translated into English at this point.

We can only hope that a new generation of scholars will continue the work of bringing Hakuin's teaching into our language. In the meantime, we can exult in his art--for which no translation is necessary--and we can be grateful for the work of people like Norman Waddell, through whom we've come to know texts like Hakuin's delightful "Song of Zazen ":. Hotei Watching Mice Sumo.

Ink on paper, Ginshu collection. Menu Search. Cart You have no items in your shopping cart. Search: Search. My Account Login. Shambhala logo. Hakuin Ekaku: A Reader's Guide. Hakuin: self-portrait. Eisei Bunko Foundation. An example of the intensity with which Hakuin practiced comes from Torei's biography: He endured great privation without ever deviating from his spare, simple way of life.

Hotei with a Mallet. Manyoan Collection. Hotei Meditating. Ginshu Collection. Related Topics Buddhist Art.

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Hakuin Ekaku

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 , [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. 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.

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Hakuin Ekaku: A Reader's Guide

We are shipping to all international locations. Learn more here about our many free resources and special digital offers. Two and a half centuries after his death, the thing Hakuin c. It pops up in the strangest places whenever Zen inscrutability needs to be demonstrated: it's been the title of a novel, of a movie-and even the answer to a question on Jeopardy.

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Hakuin Ekaku. Bodhidharma Japanese: Daruma , the Indian monk credited with spreading Chan Zen Buddhist teachings to China in the sixth century, was a favorite subject of the Japanese artist Hakuin Ekaku. A highly influential Zen priest of the Rinzai sect, Hakuin was also a prolific painter whose striking and sometimes humorous pictures played an important role in his teaching. Dozens of half-length portraits of the Indian patriarch can be dated to the last few decades of Hakuin's life. Like many of Hakuin's Bodhidharma portraits, in this work the few brushstrokes in dark ink that describe the figure's robe contrast with the lighter tone of ink used for his scruffy face and chest.

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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.

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