Bassui | Rinzai Zen Master | 1327-1387

In 1387 (at the age of 61), as Bassui was sitting in zazen meditation among his followers, he turned to them and shouted twice, “Look directly! What is this? Look in this manner and you won’t be deceived!”. He then died.

As a young man Bassui had many questions, ones like “What is a soul?” and “Who is this that hears, sees and understands?” These are questions he would struggle with for a good portion of his life. He would pursue this style of inquiry in meditation, one day realizing that the soul is ungraspable due to its inherent emptiness.


Buddhism | Mindfulness | Meditation

These two quotes from two different Buddhist teachers are quite helpful. One explains the problem that we face, the source of our discontent. The other tells us how the problem is solved.

“Lack of vigilance is like a thief, who slinks behind when mindfulness abates.
And all the merit we have gathered in. He steals, and down we go to lower realms.”

–Shantideva, The Way of the Bodhisattva

“The more I doubted, the more I meditated, the more I practiced. Whenever doubt arose I practiced right at that point. Wisdom arose. Things began to change. It’s hard to describe the change that took place. The mind changed until there was no more doubt. I don’t know how it changed. If I were to try telling someone, they probably wouldn’t understand.”

Ajahn Chah, Food for the Heart

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