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Buddhadharma : Spring 2009
27 SPRING 2 00 9 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly As you probably know, Zen Buddhism was introduced to Japan from China during the thirteenth century. There were originally twenty-four different roots. Some of them were brought by Chinese monks to Japan, and some roots were developed by Japanese monks who went to China to study and practice, and then came back. Among the twenty-four lineages, or roots, there are only two that survived to this day: Rinzai and Soto. As for Rinzai’s root, it was continued by Nampo Shomyo Zenji, Shuho Myocho Zenji, Just Say Hai! and Kanzan Egen Zenji. This is the only Rin- zai lineage that is still active today. The Rinzai branch was welcomed by the government and samurai in those days and overly protected by them. There is a group of famous monasteries in Japan known as Kyoto Gosan, which means “Five Mountains of Kyoto.” These monasteries were protected and supported by the government, and con- sequently the abbots and monks left behind a legacy of religious texts known as the “Five Mountain Scriptures.” But the living practice When Nansen came back from the bathhouse, he saw the monk in charge of the bath stoking the fire. Nansen asked, “What are you doing?” The monk answered, “I am making the bathwater warm.” Nansen said, “Don’t forget to invite the water buffalo to take a bath.” The monk said “Hai!” [“Yes!”] In the evening, the monk came to Nansen’s quarters. Nansen asked, “What’s up?” The monk said, “Venerable Water Buffalo, the bath is ready.” Nansen asked, “Did you bring a leash or not?” The monk had no reply. When the Master [Joshu] came later to greet Nansen, Nansen mentioned what had happened. The Master said, “I have something to say.” Nansen said, “Fine, but have you brought a leash with you?” The Master dashed forward and grabbed Nansen by the nose. Nansen remarked, “Okay, but it is too coarse!” Case No 8 from the Joshu Roku (The Recorded Sayings of Zen Master Joshu) The essence of Zen practice, says Eido Shimano Roshi, can be condensed into one word: Hai! (Yes!) The difficulty is learning to say Hai! without adding “But, but...” CallIGRaPhy by EIdo ShImaNo RoShI