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Rinzai Zen Buddhism

To: soc.religion.eastern
From: Marc Wachowitz (
Date: unknown
Subj: Rinzai Zen Buddhism (

Quoting: Lin-Chi 

Some quotes of Lin-Chi (Rinzai); taken from Thomas Cleary's "Zen Essence"
(German title: "Der Mond scheint auf alle Tueren"), a collection of quotes
from various ancient Zen masters.

I've taken the option for a free translation when a literal translation
appeared problematic - please look at it critically :-)

__________________________________________ quotes begin

"Don't depend on anything, whereever you are, just there is realization.
 Arising circumstances cannot change you. Even when you have bad habits,
 you will be free of them without further doing something about them."

"There is a Buddhism-obsession being mixed with the essence. [...]
 When you love the holy and despise the ordinary, you are still swimming
 in the ocean of delusion."

"You hold onto names and quotes, and those names and quotes, whether they are
 used in everyday life or are considered holy, become your hindrance. They
 cover your view of the truth as it really is, and your understanding is
 not clear."

"When you want to be free, recognize your true self. It has no form, no
 appearance, no root, no base, no place, but it is fresh and vivid.
 It reacts fast and flexible, but one cannot tell where it is - when you
 seek it, you withdraw from it, when you want to reach it, you just turn
 away from it more and more."

"Just let thinking become calm, and don't seek anymore in the outside.
 Whatever appears to you, to that direct your awareness; trust that what
 is just working in you, and there will be nothing anymore about which
 you had to worry."

"There are blind naked-heads, who, after having eaten enough, practice zazen;
 they stop forming thoughts that they don't arise, they flee the disturbance
 of the world and seek the silence. This is a deviating form of Zen."

"You are taking the words of these ordinary Zen-teachers for the true way;
 you think that Zen-teachers cannot be understood and that you as ordinary
 humans could not risk to look critically at the ancient ones. When you
 hold this habit for your whole lifetime, despite what your view teaches
 you, you are blind."

"In the Zen schools they say there were a way to be practiced, and a truth
 to be realized. Tell me, which truth is there realized, which way practiced?
 What are you missing in the way you are currently functioning? What do you
 want to correct?

 Young novices, who don't yet understand, immediately believe those blinders,
 and let them talk things which do only put humans in chains."

"I do not have any teaching, which I could give humans; I do only heal defects
 and untie chains."

"There are disciples who, being in chains, visit a teacher who then gives them
 yet another chain. The disciples, unable to differentiate, are delighted.
 That is called: A guest looks at another one."

"When I say there is nothing outside, then disciples who don't understand me
 think the inside were meant; therefore they sit silently and think this were

 That is a big error. If you think a state of motionless clarity were Zen, you
 accept ignorance as your slave-master."

"When you try to grasp Zen in movement, it escapes into silence. When you try
 to grasp Zen in silence, it escapes into movement. It is like a fish in a
 source, who makes waves and dances at will.

 Movement and silence are two states. The independent master can use movement
 and silence freely."

Marc Wachowitz   

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