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Buddhadharma : Summer 2005
summer 2005| 30 |buddhadharma In Rinzai Roku (The Book of Rinzai), there is a saying that goes, “All of them depend on grasses and leaves, like ghosts who cling to bamboo and trees.” This refers to evil spirits, but also to those who go through their lives without knowing what to do. It seems to me that modern society is producing such people one after the other, while they themselves are not even aware of it. I suspect that Muishitsu Eido Roshi, the abbot of Dai Bosatsu Zendo in America, was motivated by this recent phenomenon to take on the challenge of translating Rinzai Roku into English [The Book of Rinzai: The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Rinzai (Linji), Zen Studies Society, 2005]. While guiding his monks and lay students, after many years of strug- gle, at last this project is completed. The Tang Dynasty in China, around the time of the Sixth Emperor Genso, was a period of decadence. Just when this dec- adence became most extreme, Master Rinzai Gigen was born. His recorded sayings and doings were compiled into Rinzai Roku. On January 10, 867 C.E. (another source gives the date as April 10, 866 C.E.), Master Rinzai passed away while sitting in zazen. His life reflects the period of confusion at the end of the Golden Age of Zen in China. Nevertheless, throughout these recorded sayings, we can see how beautifully and effectively he influenced society and inspired people’s hearts as “Rinzai Shogun” (General Rinzai). — Sogen Yamakawa, abbot of Shogen-Ji monastery, Minokamo, Japan Eido Shimano RoShi iS hEad of thE ZEn StudiES SociEty, and abbot of dai boSatSu ZEndo in upStatE nEw yoRk and ZEndo Shobo-Ji in nEw yoRk city. RepRoducedwiththepeRmissionoftheReveRendsoshoYamada,ofshinju-an,daitoku-ji. Rinzai Roku (The Book of Rinzai) Calligraphy by Soen Nakagawa Roshi In TranslaTIon This Mountain Monk’s View teachings from The Book of Rinzai: The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Rinzai, from the new english translation by eido shimano Roshi.