A spiritual high in the temples of Takayama

Jun 18, 2016

A spiritual high in the temples of Takayama

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Isolated from the pulsating sounds of pachinko parlors and the neon lights of Tokyo, the small, laid-back city of Takayama in the mountains of Gifu Prefecture offers something that visitors to Japan's urban hubs don't typically find: quiet. Caught in the bustle of the modern ...

Hakuin's picture of Zen Buddhism

May 3, 2016

Hakuin's picture of Zen Buddhism

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Zen, traced to the ancient teachings of the Buddha Shakyamuni, took root in China via India around 1,500 years ago through the first Zen patriarch, Bodhidharma. Spread there by the priest Linji Yixuan (Rinzai Gigen, died 867), it was transmitted to Japan in the ...

Hakuin: The sight of one hand clapping

Jan 17, 2013

Hakuin: The sight of one hand clapping

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Most people know the famous riddle, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Many are also aware that it is connected with Zen Buddhism, and some will even know that it is a famous koan by the 18th-century monk Hakuin. A koan, of course, ...