Bassui Zenji


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Bassui was an itinerant zen practitioner of the Rinzai school, reformer, and popularizer. Fiercely independent by nature, he attached himself to neither school nor teacher, although in later years the enormous number of disciples who gathered around him (over a thousand by some accounts) forced him to settle down. He worked to demystify enlightenment (bodhi; satori) and show that it was within reach of any person, whether lay or monastic, male or female. He spoke in simple and direct words, and wrote in Japanese kana script rather than Chinese characters so as to reach a wider audience. He required only that people abide by the moral precepts and apply themselves energetically to their practice.

Subjects: Buddhism.

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