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Pai-chang Huai-hai

Pai-chang Huai-hai (Jap., Hyakujō Ekai; 720–814). Chʾan/Zen master, dharma-successor (hassu) of Ma-tsu Tao-i. His major achievement was to establish a rule of life for Chʾan monasteries, thereby securing their independence and self-identity in relation to other Buddhist schools—hence his title, ‘The patriarch who created the forest’ (i.e. the communities of many monks). His rule was first practised in the monastery he founded, Ta-chih shou-sheng chʾan-ssu (Jap., Daichijushō-zenji), where the vital addition of a monks' hall (sōdō) was first made, allowing the Zen monk's ‘life on a straw mat’ during periods of ascetic training—i.e. the mat on which he would sleep, eat, and meditate.

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