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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To prepare you for this is my greatest desire…. To say you were born a hothead is to tax your parents with something that is no fault of theirs.

Though his world was very different from our own, there is something contemporary in much of what he has to say. But if you hoe without any clouds of anger or other passions, your work baknei be easy and pleasant. He sat for long, rigorous hours immersed in zazen meditation. I realized what it was that had escaped me until now: Nevertheless, they have bankeo among themselves to sit in Zen for a period of two incense sticks [an hour or so] daily.

It is that you turn the Buddha-mind into something else…. When apprehended and questioned he will of course speak of an inborn tendency. See this essay on the 6 kinds of karma. Dosha confirmed this bannkei next day, stating Bankei had finally settled the Great Matter.

These places became the main teaching centers for Bankei.

Bankeei had given up bodily comfort and had no other goal during this time aside from coming to a complete understanding of things. Once in birthlessness, to attempt to advance is to recede from the [undefined] state of non-birth.


I spat against a wall. All things are perfectly resolved in the unborn.

Bankei Yotaku, Zen Master of the “Unborn”

Stop piling up evil deeds, stop being a demon, a hungry ghost, an animal [etc. He traveled extensively among them and to other sites, especially those temples needing restoration, to train disciples male and female and preach to the masses of people.

The Buddha Mind is neither good nor bad, but operates beyond them both. It is likely baknei Bankei began practicing Shin Buddhism during this time.

Bankei Yōtaku – Wikipedia

From them you received the Buddha-mind, nothing else. And your realizing it will be due to your earnest and single-minded cultivation. His main advice, given to everyone from rich aristocrats and menacing samurai to merchants, peasant farmers and children, was quite frequently and simply expressed as: Bankei felt no satisfactory answers were given. A very intelligent lad, he also displayed a very unruly, rebellious streak of mischief.

A View of Bankei

To attain the truth today all one needs is self-criticism. North Point Press, rev. He replied that they should listen to the sounds of everyday life, as the gist of his teaching is this: Enlightenment only exists in contrast to delusion. Bankri lose your temper as occasion arises…. At all times he abides continually in the Buddha Mind….

Indeed, I make it a rule not to give bankel the words of Buddha himself, let alone the Zen patriarchs.

De directe bevrijdingswegCothen: Zazen means only one bankeei tranquilly in the Buddha-mind. Doubleday Anchor Books, ; and others. When you realize that you’re producing all aspirations yourself and, without getting involved with particular things, remain as you innately are, your own intrinsic nature will be revealed.

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From the viewpoint of birthlessness, they are of little significance.

It zdn the seeing into the true nature of existence[8] the seeing that “all objects are without self-substance”. At this time Umpo informs him that the answer which he seeks can only be found within, not through an intermediary.

If your normal walking and standing, your sitting and reclining are the work of a living Buddha, nothing further remains to be done. Bankeii left shortly after this return and built a small hut in the nearby village of Nonaka and lived as an isolated hermit.

This temple no longer exists. In his boyhood Bankei was called Muchi. He also refused a senior position in the monastery, preferring to remain humbly working within the kitchen. But if you hoe in anger, your anger is an evil work… and bannkei work is toilsome and painful. Here great crowds would gather to hear him. I realized what it was that had escaped me until now: Your mistake bankeo one of self-love, which makes you concern yourself with others and insists that you have your own way.

None truly strays from It if he is aware of doing so.

My advice, then, is that you accustom yourself to remaining in a state of non-birth. 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…. Only your selfishness and deplorable mental habits bring them into being. A natural thing, after all….