Author Topic: The Lotus Sutra & Zen Buddhism  (Read 55 times)

Offline Dharma Flower

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The Lotus Sutra & Zen Buddhism
« on: January 12, 2019, 07:55:20 am »
Dogen, the 13th-century Japanese founder of Sōtō Zen Buddhism, used the Lotus Sūtra often in his writings.

According to Taigen Dan Leighton, “While Dogen’s writings employ many sources, probably along with his own intuitive meditative awareness, his direct citations of the Lotus Sūtra indicate his conscious appropriation of its teachings as a significant source”[139] and that his writing “demonstrates that Dogen himself saw the Lotus Sutra, ‘expounded by all buddhas in the three times,’ as an important source for this self-proclamatory rhetorical style of expounding.”[140]

In his Shobogenzo, Dogen directly discusses the Lotus Sūtra in the essay Hokke-Ten-Hokke, “The Dharma Flower Turns the Dharma Flower”. The essay uses a dialogue from the Platform Sutra between Huineng and a monk who has memorized the Lotus Sūtra to illustrate the non-dual nature of Dharma practice and sutra study.[139]

The Soto Zen monk Ryōkan also studied the Lotus Sūtra extensively and this sutra was the biggest inspiration for his poetry and calligraphy.[141]

During his final days, Dogen spent his time reciting and writing the Lotus Sutra in his room which he named “The Lotus Sutra Hermitage”.[142]

The Rinzai Zen master Hakuin Ekaku achieved enlightenment while reading the third chapter of the Lotus Sūtra.[143]

Has anyone read Master Hakuin's autobiography? It's a good read, and the Lotus Sutra plays an important part in it.


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