Zen Buddhism - Rinzai School

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  • Rinzai
    • Rooted in Lin Chi
      • The Lin Chi sect was brought to Japan by Eisai where it is known as Rinzai Zen.
      • Using various innovations pioneered by people like Ma-stu e.g. emphasised the use of Koans, harsh methods in interviews, and that awakening comes suddenly.
      • Yuan-we Ko'ochin (a Lin Chi master) wrote the famous 'Blue Cliff Records' which consisted of 100 Koans with his commentary
        • Later Wu-men Hi-k'ai compiled 48 Koans with a commentary entitled 'The Gateless Gate' held in high regard in Japan.
    • Eisai
      • In the 12th Century, Eisai first introduced Zen from China in its Rinzai form believing it was the best form of practice.
        • Eisai faced some opposition in establishing the Rinzai School, since it was thought that the emphaisis on meditation would have a debilitating effect on people.
          • However his ability to adapt the teachings enabled Zen to take root.
    • Koan practice
      • A koan is the recorded question or saying attributed to one of the Zen masters, which is designed to shatter ones conventional thinking.
        • Insight is produced once the mind lets go of the attempt to make sense of the koan.
      • What is the sound of one hand clapping?
        • The more you think about the idea of clapping the more you find the concept of ua single hand clapping to be meaningless. There is no solution to the dilemma of what the single hand clapping can be
    • Hakuin
      • Hakuin helped to revive Rinzai Zen back into a spiritual practice after a period where it had gradually become more of a cultural and artistic (secular) phenomenon
      • Hakuin's philosophy
        • All conceptual grameworks of space time and identity are false, imposed on underrerntiated reality by the mind.
          • Our Buddha nature is our real nature; i.e. original face, hidden beneath the clutter of conceptual thoughts.
            • The key goal of Zen is 'no mind' i.e. going beyond the ego-centred mind.
    • Key teachings
      • Koans, paradoxical questions given by a teacher to a disciple to trigger enlightenment.
      • Use of zen arts
      • meditation in every day activities used to focus the mind and hope to attatin enlightenment
      • Sudden experience of satori


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