Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Bankei 盤珪永琢

(Bankei Yōtaku)

1622 – 1693 CE

Along with Dogen and Hakuin, one of the most influential Japanese Zen masters, Bankei developed a teaching he called “Unborn Zen” - a refinement D. T. Suzuki called “one of the most original developments in the entire history of Zen thought.” As a student, Bankei traveled widely, studied Confucian texts, practiced
Shin Buddhism, studied with many famous scholars, became a monk, but remained unsatisfied. Seriously ill and with a fatal prognosis, a near-death experience led to his enlightenment and return to health. Refusing a senior position in his monastery, he instead worked in the kitchen and then moved to the mountains living as a hermit and developing his teaching of seeing into the true nature of existence.


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Quotes by Bankei (15 quotes)

“The ‘valley spirit’… is named the Mysterious Female and the Doorway of the Mysterious Female is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang. It is there within us all the while; draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.”

Chapters: 6. The Source

Themes: Magic

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“Rather than trying to become a buddha, nothing could be simpler than taking the shortcut of remaining a buddha!”

Chapters: 10. The Power of Goodness

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“Originally, thoughts have no real substance… if they arise, just let them arise; if they stop, just let them stop. As long as you’re not attaching to these reflected traces, delusions won’t be produced.”

Chapters: 14. Finding and Following the Formless Form

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“Self-nature is empty and illuminating, so let things take care of themselves”

Chapters: 51. Mysterious Goodness

Themes: Letting Go

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“Chasing after words, pursuing phrases, when will you ever be done?”

Chapters: 11. Appreciating Emptiness

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“Trying to suppress delusion is delusion too. Delusions have no original existence; they’re only things you create yourself by indulging in discrimination.”

Chapters: 19. All Methods Become Obstacles

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“Illuminate original mind and no other understanding is necessary.”

Chapters: 16. Returning to the Root, Meditation

Themes: Mind

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“We never came into being and we never go out of being. All of these coming and goings are just pulses in the pattern.

Chapters: 24. Unnecessary Baggage

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“Enlightened awareness is within each one of us, right at this moment… without effort rest naturally as the Unborn Mind, as a living Buddha.”

Chapters: 57. Wu Wei

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“People have no enemies, none at all right from the start. You create them all yourself fighting over right and wrong.”

Themes: Conflict Enemy

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“Clear are the workings of cause and effect. You become deluded, but don't know it's something that you've done yourself... what's called self-centeredness.”

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“Though the years may creep ahead, mind itself can never age. This mind that's always just the same—Wonderful! Marvelous! When you've searched and found at last the one who never will grow old”

Themes: Longevity Old Age

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“The Pure Land where one communes at peace is here and now, it's not remote millions and millions of leagues away.”

Themes: Shambhala

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“As for zazen, since za (sitting) is the Buddha Mind's sitting at ease, whilst Zen (meditation) is another name for Buddha Mind, the Buddha Mind's sitting at ease is what is meant by zazen. When you are abiding in the Unborn, all the time is zazen; zazen isn't just when you are practicing formal meditation.”

Themes: Meditation

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“My miracle is that when I feel hungry I eat, and when I feel thirsty I drink.”

Themes: Ordinary Mind

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Quotes about Bankei (0 quotes)

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