Zen / Mahayana
The Mahayana tradition of Buddhism, of which Zen is an important expression (along with Chinese Chan and Korean Soen), arose sometime around the first century C.E. in South India and spread throughout Asia. It is characterized by the ideal of the bodhisattva: the compassionate being whose desire for enlightenment isn’t an individual quest but includes all other sentient beings as well.
Ryokan (1758–1831) is, along with Dogen and Hakuin, one of the three giants of Zen in Japan. But unlike his two renowned colleagues, Ryokan was a societal dropout, living mostly as a hermit and a beggar. He was never head of a monastery or temple. He liked playing with children. He had no dharma heir. Even so, people recognized the depth of his realization, and he was sought out by… Read More
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