Tiantong Zongjue (Chinese :天童宗珏; Japanese : Tendō Sōkaku), was a Chinese Zen Buddhist monk during the Song Dynasty. He was born in Hezhou, but left home to practice Buddhism at the age of sixteen. His ordination took place two years later. Zuzhao Daohe of the Yunmen School was his first teacher. However, Daohe retired and was replaced by Zhenxie Qingliao of the Caodong/Sōtō School, who became the teacher that gave Zongjue dharma transmission. In 1132, Zongjue became the abbot of Yuelin Temple where he served for 23 years. After this period, his abbacy switched to Mt. Xuedou. He remained there for four years before becoming the abbot of Tiantong Monastery near the modern city of Ningbo in 1159. :438 He was replacing the former abbot, the famous Hongzhi Zhengjue, who died there in 1157. It was from this final temple, where Zongjue died in 1162, that he took his name. :438 Tiantong temple was the same monastery where Eihei Dogen studied under Tiantong Rujing before bringing the teaching back to Japan and founding the Sōtō School. :454
Dōgen Zenji, also known as Dōgen Kigen (道元希玄), Eihei Dōgen (永平道元), Kōso Jōyō Daishi (高祖承陽大師), or Busshō Dentō Kokushi (仏性伝東国師), was a Japanese Buddhist priest, writer, poet, philosopher, and founder of the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan.
Sōtō Zen or the Sōtō school is the largest of the three traditional sects of Zen in Japanese Buddhism. It is the Japanese line of the Chinese Cáodòng school, which was founded during the Tang dynasty by Dòngshān Liánjiè. It emphasizes Shikantaza, meditation with no objects, anchors, or content. The meditator strives to be aware of the stream of thoughts, allowing them to arise and pass away without interference.
Shunryu Suzuki was a Sōtō Zen monk and teacher who helped popularize Zen Buddhism in the United States, and is renowned for founding the first Zen Buddhist monastery outside Asia. Suzuki founded San Francisco Zen Center which, along with its affiliate temples, comprises one of the most influential Zen organizations in the United States. A book of his teachings, Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, is one of the most popular books on Zen and Buddhism in the West.
The Ōbaku-shū (黄檗宗) is one of several schools of Zen in Japanese Buddhism, in addition to Sōtō and Rinzai.
Yúnmén Wényǎn, was a major Chinese Chan master in Tang-era China. He was a dharma-heir of Xuefeng Yicun.
The Rinzai school is one of three sects of Zen in Japanese Buddhism.
Buddhism, once primarily practiced in Asia, is now also practiced in the United States. As Buddhism does not require any formal "conversion", American Buddhists can easily incorporate dharma practice into their normal routines and traditions. The result is that American Buddhists come from every ethnicity, nationality and religious tradition. In 2012, U-T San Diego estimated U.S. practitioners at 1.2 million people, of whom 40% are living in Southern California. In terms of percentage, Hawaii has the most Buddhists at 8% of the population due to its large Asian American community.
Japanese Zen refers to the Japanese forms of Zen Buddhism, an originally Chinese Mahāyāna school of Buddhism that strongly emphasizes dhyāna, the meditative training of awareness and equanimity. This practice, according to Zen proponents, gives insight into one's true nature, or the emptiness of inherent existence, which opens the way to a liberated way of living.
Gentō Sokuchū was a Sōtō Zen priest and the 50th abbot of Eihei-ji, the school's head temple. He was part of a 17th and 18th century movement within the Sōtō school that sought to bring the school's teachings back in line with those of the 13th century founding teacher, Dōgen. To this end, he edited major editions of works by Dōgen and succeeded in disseminating them widely. He is best remembered for compiling the Eihei Rules of Purity, a collection of writings by Dōgen laying out a strict code of conduct for monks. These rules had been largely unheeded in the school in the preceding several centuries, and Gentō used his high position as abbot of Eihei-ji to reintroduce and enforce them. His work on the Eihei Rules of Purity was completed in 1794 while he was serving as the eleventh abbot of Entsū-ji. The following year he became the 50th abbot of Eihei-ji. He was also involved in editing Dōgen's master work, the Shōbōgenzō.
Denkōroku is a kōan collection written in 1300 by Keizan Jokin Zenji, the Great Patriarch of Sōtō Zen Buddhism, based on approximately a year of his Dharma talks.
Keizan Jōkin, also known as Taiso Jōsai Daishi, is considered to be the second great founder of the Sōtō school of Zen in Japan. While Dōgen, as founder of Japanese Sōtō, is known as Highest Patriarch, Keizan is often referred to as Great Patriarch.
Hongzhi Zhengjue, also sometimes called Tiantong Zhengjue (1091–1157), was an important Chinese Chan Buddhist monk who authored or compiled several influential texts. Hongzhi's conception of silent illumination is of particular importance to the Chinese Caodong Chan and Japanese Sōtō Zen schools. Hongzhi was also the author of the Book of Equanimity, an important collection of kōans
Koun Ejō (孤雲懐奘) (1198-1280) was the second patriarch of the Japanese Sōtō school of Zen Buddhism who lived during the Kamakura period. He was initially a disciple of the short-lived Darumashū sect of Japanese Zen founded by Nōnin, but later studied and received dharma transmission under the Sōtō schools founder Dōgen. Today Ejō is considered Dōgen's spiritual successor by all existing branches of the Sōtō school. He is remembered today primarily as the author of the Shōbōgenzō Zuimonki, a collection of informal talks by Dōgen which Ejō recorded throughout his discipleship. He is also featured prominently in the Denkōroku, the first major piece of scripture produced in the Sōtō school after Dōgen, with his transmission story serving as the final koan. After Dōgen's death, Ejō struggled to maintain leadership of the new Eihei-ji monastery, due in part to his lack of training in China that prevented him from completing the temple as a Chinese-style meditation hall, as well as unfamiliarity with Chinese-style monastic practices. He gave dharma transmission to Jakuen, Gikai, Gien and Giin, all of whom were originally students of Dōgen, but his failure to designate a clear heir himself led to a power struggle known as the sandai sōron that temporarily split the community.
Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism that originated in China during the Tang dynasty, there known as the Chan School, and later developed into various schools. The Chan School was strongly influenced by Taoist philosophy, especially Neo-Daoist thought, and developed as a distinct school of Chinese Buddhism. From China, Chán spread south to Vietnam and became Vietnamese Thiền, northeast to Korea to become Seon Buddhism, and east to Japan, becoming Japanese Zen.
Chan, from Sanskrit dhyāna, is a Chinese school of Mahāyāna Buddhism. It developed in China from the 6th century CE onwards, becoming dominant during the Tang and Song dynasties. After the Yuan dynasty, Chan more or less fused with Pure Land Buddhism.
Yongming Yanshou (904–975) was a prominent Buddhist monk during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period and early Song Dynasty in China.
Furong Daokai (1043-1118), was a Zen Buddhist monk during the Song Dynasty. He was born is a city known at the time as Yizhou, which is the present-day city of Linyi in the southern part of Shandong Province. Along with his fellow student Dahong Baoen, Daokai is considered to have returned the Caodong/Sōtō Zen lineage to prominence after its near extinction a generation earlier. He was so prominent, in fact, that an extensive biography appeared in the Xudeng lu, a compendium of biographies of prominent monks, in 1101, before he had even reached the height of his career, which was quite unusual for such biographies. The earliest full account of his life appears in Juefan Huihong's biographical compilation of 1119, the Chanlin sengbao zhuan. This source speaks very highly of Daokai, despite the fact that its author was a member of the competing Rinzai school. According to his funerary inscription of 1127, he ordained 93 students during his life, and many of these went on to become prominent teachers themselves.
Zhenxie Qingliao, also known as Changlu Qingliao, was a Chinese Zen Buddhist monk during the Song Dynasty.
Xuedou Zhijian, was a Chinese Zen Buddhist monk during the Song Dynasty. He was born in an ancient town called Chuzhou in what is now Anhui Province. The details of his life have not survived in great detail. In 1154, he is known to have become the abbot of Xizhen Temple near modern Hangzhou. He moved again in 1184 to Mount Xuedou, where he was said to have many students. In the years leading up to his death in 1192, he apparently lived in seclusion in a cottage to the east of his temple. According to the Conglin shengshi, written in 1199 by Guyue Daorong, Zhijian wrote a popular verse that poked fun at the renowned teacher Hongzhi Zhengjue. The verse is: “Obtaining one Zong, losing one Chong; Joining his palms in front, beating his chest in back.” "Zong" refers to a well-known student of Hongzhi named Sizong, while "Puchong" is a reference to Yetang Puchong, a student who studied under Hongzhi, but later left to study under Caotang Shanqing, a teacher of the rival Rinzai/Linji school.
Zen was introduced in the United States at the end of the 19th century by Japanese teachers who went to America to serve groups of Japanese immigrants and become acquainted with the American culture. After World War II, interest from non-Asian Americans grew rapidly. This resulted in the commencement of an indigenous American Zen tradition which also influences the larger western (Zen) world.
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