Of Rinzai and Soto (Bendowa VI)

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In today's Bendowa, Master Dogen recounts the story of his travels to China, searching for Truth ...

First, his years of study with Rinzai Zen Master Myozen, before heading to China and beginning the Soto Zen path.

What is the difference between "Rinzai" and "Soto"?  Well, there are many differences in methods and approaches.

But perhaps, in the end, both discover that there was nothing ever to find ...


After I established the will to pursue the Dharma, I visited [good] counselors in every quarter of our land. I met Myozen of Kennin [Temple]. Nine seasons of frosts and of flowers"swiftly passed while I followed him, learning a little of the customs of the Rinzai lineage. Only Myozen had received the authentic transmission of the supreme Buddha-Dharma, as the most excellent disciple of the founding master, Master Eisai - the other students could never compare with him. I then went to the great kingdom of Song [China], visiting [good] counselors in the east and west of Chekiang and hearing of the tradition through the gates of the five lineages. At last I visited Zen Master Nyojo of Dai-byaku-ho mountain, and there I was able to complete the great task of a lifetime of practice. After that, at the beginning of the great Sung era of Shojo, 1came home determined to spread the Dharma and to save living beings - it was as if a heavy burden had been placed on my shoulders. From: Bendowa - A Talk about Pursuing the Truth  - Nishijima-Cross

(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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