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Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693
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Unborn: The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei, 1622-1693

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  52 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In 1633, at age eleven, Bankei Yotaku was banished from his family's home because of his consuming engagement with the Confucian texts that all schoolboys were required to copy and recite. Using a hut in the nearby hills, he wrote the word Shugyo-an, or "practice hermitage," on a plank of wood, propped it up beside the entrance, and settled down to devote himself to his ow ...more
Paperback, 156 pages
Published July 31st 2000 by North Point Press
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Sanjay Gautam
Aug 03, 2014 Sanjay Gautam rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest books on Zen. It is the teaching of the unborn mind. The master has gone through many hardships because he had been a foolhardy, and a very stubborn man. One day, while he was suffering from a severe lung disease, he thrown a black lump of size more than his two hands combined and suddenly he felt at ease, and then it dawned on him that what he was seeking was already been there always, within him. The Unborn. And thus began his teachings of the Unborn Mind.

The master was a v
...more
Cosuma
Apr 09, 2009 Cosuma rated it it was amazing
A monk: The great Zen Masters of the past had to go through a long and hard course of instruction until they could dig so deep into the great enlightenment. Also your enlighenment happened, as I have heard, after many years of troubles and deprivation.

Somebody like me, who has not followed a course of instruction or in any way has achieved enlightenment, can impossibly attain true peace of mind in simply realizing that it is necessary to live in the unborn Buddha-Spirit; and for the rest just st
...more
the gift
beautiful, concise, this work shows the practice of zen. there are no koans, no zazen, no sutras, no wisdom of patriarchs. there are no sticks, no discrimination by sex, by morals, by history of acts, there is only unborn/undying, only direct pointing to the Buddha-mind which we are all born with. there is truth of being unborn-undying. this is very zen, certainly shows the influence of daoism, of vernacular, of skillful means, of how something 220 years old is still worth reading. not the best ...more
Gary
Sep 05, 2008 Gary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Nondualists
Recommended to Gary by: Adyashanti
there is little to say except to look to the Unborn
Karen
Jul 02, 2008 Karen rated it it was amazing
Ahhh. To wait four hundred years to be opened. Alas, I wasn't in a hurry until now.
Brandon
Aug 10, 2013 Brandon rated it it was ok
Shelves: japan, theology
Literally the first book of Zen I've found that I HATE. Sure, the meditations on the Unborn have something going for them, but Bankei is uncannily reminiscent of every other religious hack and charlatan I've had the displeasure to interact with. A few simple noun substitutions and he'd be right at home among the conservative preachers of my youth. Really, really awful. Perfectly harmless mediocre religious preacher, I guess; but it is a certain kind of nauseating to read the hagiography of a hac ...more
Ben
Jul 07, 2014 Ben rated it it was amazing
I'm many ways the Buddhadharma espoused by Bankei can be seen in the Thai Forest tradition of Ajahns Chah and Mun. Direct, experiential and vital, his bravery in seeking the ultimate was a highlight. Compares to the Life of Milarepa
Marian
May 11, 2013 Marian rated it it was amazing
The root of the beautiful lotus flower is hidden deep into the mud. Just follow the stalk down to it's source and you will see the bright jewel, shining there unstained.
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