Zen Hermits

User avatar
Beatzen
Posts: 206
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2012 6:18 am
Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

Zen Hermits

Postby Beatzen » Mon Jan 02, 2012 10:44 pm

Lots of people talk about hermits, tantric yogis in the tibetan and ancient indian traditions.

Does anyone know about examples of this kind of solitary retreat in the history of the Zen tradition, preferably Soto?
"Cause is not before and Effect is not after"
- Eihei Dogen Zenji

User avatar
Mr. G
Posts: 4031
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby Mr. G » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:15 am

Sorry, not Zen, but Chan:

Road to Heaven: Encounters with Chinese Hermits by Red Pine - The writing is a bit dry and disjointed, but it had stories of Chan, Pure Land and esoteric practitioners. Life is a bit rougher for these practitioners than people realize.

Also, the documentary "Amongst White Clouds" which was inspired by Road to Heaven.
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu

User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
Posts: 5138
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby kirtu » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:24 am

Hsu Yun, at least for many years. Don't know of any Soto hermits although there have been some.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Even if you practice only for an hour a day with faith and inspiration, good qualities will steadily increase. Regular practice makes it easy to transform your mind. From seeing only relative truth, you will eventually reach a profound certainty in the meaning of absolute truth."
Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche

DGA
Former staff member
Posts: 7401
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm
Contact:

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby DGA » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:37 am

Not Soto but Soto-friendly:

George Bowman (or Bo Mun sunim), the "resident hermit" at Furnace Mountain:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Bowman
I don't know anything about Hongaku Jodo.

viewtopic.php?f=39&t=22229

SamBodhi
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Jan 03, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby SamBodhi » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:41 pm

I know that there is a story that Bodhidharma sat facing the wall in meditation for nine years. Please correct this if it is just a story, but I always thought that this had something to do with the reason why Soto Zen practitioners sit facing the wall. So, even though he was not a Soto Zen person, it would seem to have relevance to that tradition.

with metta
no tea is too good for me

User avatar
Paul
Posts: 1726
Joined: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:12 pm

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby Paul » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:52 pm

Mr. G wrote:Also, the documentary "Amongst White Clouds" which was inspired by Road to Heaven.


That is an incredible film.
phpBB [video]
Look at the unfathomable spinelessness of man: all the means he's been given to stay alert he uses, in the end, to ornament his sleep. – Rene Daumal
the modern mind has become so limited and single-visioned that it has lost touch with normal perception - John Michell

User avatar
Mr. G
Posts: 4031
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:36 am
Location: Spaceship Earth

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby Mr. G » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:15 pm

Yup, good stuff!

:thumbsup:
    How foolish you are,
    grasping the letter of the text and ignoring its intention!
    - Vasubandhu

User avatar
Huifeng
Posts: 1476
Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:51 am

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby Huifeng » Wed Feb 08, 2012 1:53 am

Beatzen wrote:Lots of people talk about hermits, tantric yogis in the tibetan and ancient indian traditions.

Does anyone know about examples of this kind of solitary retreat in the history of the Zen tradition, preferably Soto?


In Chan, I can think of a fair few Dharma brothers and sisters, and other friends and acquaintances.
Won't find these on the internet, thank goodness! :P

~~ Huifeng

User avatar
Indrajala
Posts: 6261
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:19 pm
Contact:

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby Indrajala » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:23 am

Beatzen wrote:Lots of people talk about hermits, tantric yogis in the tibetan and ancient indian traditions.

Does anyone know about examples of this kind of solitary retreat in the history of the Zen tradition, preferably Soto?


Ryōkan Taigu 良寛大愚 (1758-1831) comes to mind.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ry%C5%8Dkan

Not just as a solitary yogi in the wilderness, he also wrote a lot of poetry.

User avatar
Qian Zheng Yi
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:57 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby Qian Zheng Yi » Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:35 pm

http://www.hermetica.info/hanshan.htm

Han Shan - he was a Ch'an hermit:


"If I hide out at Cold Mountain

Living off mountain plants and berries -

All my lifetime, why worry?

One follows his karma through.

Days and months slip by like water,

Time is like sparks knocked off flint.

Go ahead and let the world change -

I'm happy to sit among these cliffs."


I know that is not exactly what you are looking for but I hope it is of some help.
Image

User avatar
Adamantine
Former staff member
Posts: 3457
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:09 am
Location: Space is the Place

Re: Zen Hermits

Postby Adamantine » Wed Mar 07, 2012 7:33 am

Yeah Cold Mountain, Pick Up and Big Stick were three buddies that sometimes lived together in one retreat temple but often were on their lonesomes out in the caves and mountains... They all were poets, although Cold Mountain the most prolific, and they inscribed all the poetry we have records of on the sides of cliffs or caves, etc. This one is one of my favorites, -- of Pick Up(Shih-te) -translated by Red Pine-:

For a mud ball dropped in water
big plans make no sense
for a fragile dreamlike body
a hundred years are rare
unable to ponder deeply
and claiming they're immortal
people steal a ton of gold
then leave it all behind
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha


Return to “Zen”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests