Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Bunan 至道無難

(Shido Bunan Zenji Munan)

1603 – 1676 CE

When young and known as the “Kana-writing boy” because of his skills, Bunan started practicing Zen and became a married innkeeper but also an addicted gambler and alcoholic. A chance encounter with a teacher, Gudo led to a radical life change, his enlightenment, and a recognition of the corruption that had entered the Rinzai Zen tradition. He became a famous poet, the teacher of Shoju Etan, teacher to Hakuin who revitalized Japanese Zen, and started many of the modern lines of Zen masters. Bunan eschewed fame and fortune, conventionality, rules, and following the words of the teaching rather than the sense.

Poets Zen


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Quotes by Bunan (11 quotes)

“While living, be a dead man, be thoroughly dead – whatever you do, then, will always be good.”

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“The moon’s the same old moon, the flowers exactly as they were;
Yet I’ve become the thingness of all the things I see!”

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“the greatest evil in heaven and on earth: they pass through the world without doing any useful work and are thus great thieves”

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“Live always with the mind of total nothingness, and the evils that come to you will dissipate completely.”

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“All of you are right now Buddhas, only you do not know it. If you do know it, you break with the Buddhas and Patriarchs. If you do not know it, you become entangled in birth and death.”

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“There are names like Buddha, God, or Heavenly Way but they all point to the mind which is nothingness.”

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“While deluded, one is used by this body; when enlightened, one uses this body.”

Themes: Health Delusion

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“There is no special doctrine for the study of Zen. All that is needed is to see it directly, hear it directly. In direct seeing there is no seeing. In direct hearing there is no hearing.”

Themes: Buddhism

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“People Are Always Wrong About: Discriminating others' right and wrong while not acting properly oneself.”

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“People Are Always Wrong About: hating to be fooled by others while liking to be fooled by oneself.”

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“Die while you're alive and be absolutely dead Then do whatever you want: it's all good.”

Themes: No Trace

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Quotes about Bunan (0 quotes)

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