Tao Te Ching

The Power of Goodness, the Wisdom Beyond Words
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Bassui Tokushō 抜隊 得勝

1327 – 1387 CE

Meditation master without distraction

A student of Sōtō and Rinzai as well as Ch'an schools, Bassui criticized the state of practice and realization during his time. He thought most teachers and students either tilted either too far toward understanding only the words or too far toward only trying to understand the sense; either too much emphasis on dogma and form or too much on freedom and spontaneity. Personally, he refused to wear robes or engage in the traditional rituals and focused on meditation practice itself. He preferred solitude and lonely hermitages; but, because of his clear realization, large numbers of students continually followed and sought him out.

Japanese Zen


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Quotes by Bassui Tokushō (13 quotes)

“Buddhas bear the same relation to sentient beings as water does to ice. Ice, like stone or brick, cannot flow. But when it melts it flows freely in conformity with its surroundings. So long as one remains in a state of delusion he is like ice. Upon realization he becomes as exquisitely free as water.”

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“There is no ice which does not return to water. So you will understand there is no difference between ordinary beings and Buddhas except for one thing - delusion. When it is dissolved they are identical.”

Themes: No Trace Delusion

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“If you grasp the leftovers, you cannot hold to reality and will end up cut off from the source.”

Themes: Reality Ambition

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“I have not heard of a single Buddha, past or present, who has been enlightened by sacred prayers and scriptures.”

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“If a statement is true or false depends on the heart of the speaker, not on the words he uses. Without meeting the person in question, it is impossible to tell.”

Themes: Lies Deception

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“Trying to get rid of habits that derive from attachment to form without having seen into your own nature is like trying to get rid of a dream while asleep... It doesn't matter how much you search for something in a dream, you will never find it.”

Themes: Dream

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“Look straight ahead. What's there? If you see it as it is, you will never err.”

Themes: Here and Now

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“Seeking the Buddha and Dharma outside our minds is like cooking sand in the hopes of producing rice.”

Themes: Delusion

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“If you hear the wordless sutra once, the heavens will become sutras filled with golden words, clear and obvious before you.”

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“The wonderful nature of your mind, unchanging through countless ages, is the essence of all the sutras.”

Themes: Mind

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“To understand the essence, listen to the call of frogs, the billowing wind, the falling rain, all speaking the wonderful language of the essential Nature.”

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“Buddha Nature, the Self of all beings, is the simple Truth. From Buddhas to insects, it is the seer, hearer, and mover.”

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“Seeing one's nature is Buddhahood.”

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Quotes about Bassui Tokushō (0 quotes)

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