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Ikkyū

Japanese Buddhist monk
Ikkyu Sojun

Ikkyu (一休宗純 Ikkyū Sōjun) (13941481) was an eccentric, iconoclastic Japanese Zen Buddhist priest, poet and calligrapher. He was born as an illegitimate son of Emperor Go-Komatsu and was forced to become a priest in his childhood. He was one of the influential figures in establishing the Japanese tea ceremony.

Contents

SourcedEdit

  • Natural, reckless, correct skill;
    Yesterday's clarity is today's stupidity
    The universe has dark and light, entrust oneself to change

    One time, shade the eyes and gaze afar at the road of heaven.
    • As quoted in Ikkyū and The Crazy Cloud Anthology : A Zen Poet of Medieval Japan (1986) by Sonja Arntzen.
  • Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
    A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.

    Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
    Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.
    • "A Fisherman" in Wild Ways : Zen Poems (2003), edited and translated by John Stevens, p. 37.
  • From the world of passions returning to the world of passions:
    There is a moment's pause.
    If it rains, let it rain, if the wind blows, let it blow.
    • As quoted in The Essence of Zen : Zen Buddhism for Every Day and Every Moment (2002) by Mark Levon Byrne, p. 28.
  • It has the original mouth but remains wordless;
    It is surrounded by a magnificent mound of hair.
    Sentient beings can get completely lost in it
    But it is also the birthplace of all the Buddhas of the ten thousand worlds.
    • "A Woman's Sex" in Wild Ways : Zen Poems (2003), edited and translated by John Stevens, p. 74.
  • Eight inches strong, it is my favourite thing;
    If I'm alone at night, I embrace it fully -
    A beautiful woman hasn't touched it for ages.
    Within my fundoshi there is an entire universe!
    • "A Man's Root" as quoted in Mishima's Sword : Travels in Search of a Samurai Legend (2007) by Christopher Ross, p. 195.


DisputedEdit

  • Having no destination, I am never lost.
    • Attributed to Ikkyu in Nine-headed Dragon River : Zen journals, 1969-1985 (1986) by Peter Matthiessen

Quotes about IkkyuEdit

  • Ikkyū Zenji is the most remarkable monk in the history of Japanese Buddhism, the only Japanese comparable to the great Chinese Zen masters.
  • His "mad" behavior was perhaps his way of disrupting the corrupt and feeble Zen he saw around him.

See alsoEdit

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