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Bassui Zenji

Bassui Zenji ( Tokushō) (1327–87). Jap. Zen teacher of the Rinzai school. When he was 7, his father died, and this prompted him into dai-gidan, probing questions based on doubt which form one of the three foundation pillars of zazen, especially after Hakuin. This led to a number of enlightenment experiences, and to monastic ordination. He eventually consented to become abbot of a monastery, and died sitting in the lotus position (see PADMĀSANA), saying, ‘Do not be deceived: Look closely: what is this?’ His letters and some of his dharma instruction have been preserved: see P. Kapleau, The Three Pillars of Zen (1980).

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