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Bankei Eitaku

Bankei Eitaku ( Bankei Yōtaku), also Kokushi (1622–93). Japanese Zen teacher of the Rinzai school. When young, he wandered through Japan, attending various Zen teachers, and then retired into seclusion to practise zazen. Neglecting his health, he had an enlightenment experience at a moment of critical illness. He received further instruction from Dōsha Chōgen, who bestowed on him the seal of recognition (inka-shōmei), but Bankei seized it and tore it up—he had no need of written authority. In 1672, he was appointed abbot of Myōshin-ji (monastery) in Kyōto, and at this point the extreme simplicity of his teaching led to a Rinzai revival, in which ritual preoccupations were transcended. Although he prohibited the recording of his teaching, some instructions and dialogues have survived.

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