I first came to the Unborn teachings of Zen Master Bankei Yõtaku, whilst training to be a Zen teacher in the Rinzai Zen tradition in a lineage whose mother temple was Bankei’s hermitage in Japan. These teachings on the Unborn became a personal time bomb, and brought me to the end of Zen as I knew it, and to the feet of my Master, Advaita Zen Master, Sri Mooji, whom I have been with for the past two years.
Even today, Bankei’s book, Unborn : The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei is one of only a handful of books I travel with, one of my most treasured. These teachings blew away my old life, and woke me up to a new one.
Radical for his time, called a heretic for his maverick, fresh and direct way of pointing directly to the truth, Bankei wanted us to waste no time in recognising that we are all already perfect Buddhas. His method, simply to point us to this, so we can make the discovery of our true nature, for ourselves.
Teacher of lay and ordained alike, on attaining enlightenment, Bankei threw out the traditional zazen and koan practice that got him there, seeing so clearly that there was a more direct way to recognise our innate Buddha nature. This was Zen as Satsang, unique in it's time.
Bankei has, and continues to be, the fuel on the fire of my spiritual life. I have so much gratitude to him, and to my Master, Mooji, for the living pointings he gives me, in the manner of Bankei.
Today, at 16:00 CET, I begin a new series of readings on The Advaita Channel, from Unborn : The Life and Teachings of Zen Master Bankei. If you can't join us live, you can watch the recording, available an hour later, onThe Advaita Channel,, or on my YouTube channel.
To read Bankei today, is like attending Satsang with Mooji. Listen, and discover for yourself, the truth of who you are.
“You are the unborn Awareness: indivisible, imperishable, timeless, pure, untouched.” — Mooji
words & image : Bhagavati