Wansong Xingxiu
Jap., Bansho Gyoshu
10,000 Pines      Movement  Elegant
born:  1166
died:  1246

place:  China
Chan master:  Xueyan Man
Chan disciples:  Yelu Chucai, ...

Zen: The Mystery and Poetry of the Beyond, ch.
Wansong (J. Bansho) is the Chinese Chan master
who is credited with taking "Tiantong" Hongzhi
Zhengjue's book of stories and verses, and adding
his commentaries to it. This came to be known as
Cong Rong Lu--The Book of Serenity,
translated into English in the late 20th century.

His stupa pagoda still exists today in downtown
Beijing, China, on
Xi'anmen Street in the Xisi area.

Bansho Gyoshu studied meditation first with
Master Shomoku. He told Bansho, "Studying
this path is like refining gold. When it is impure,
the pure gold does not show.

"As I look between your eyebrows, there is very
much something there. If you don't pierce
through cold bones, once, you won't be able to
cast this thing off. Hereafter, see for yourself –
it is not a matter of my speaking much."

Then Bansho was given the saying of Chosha's
to contemplate on: "Turn yourself back into
mountains, rivers and earth."

For six months Bansho met with no success and
Shomoku made the comment, "I only hope you
will understand later."

Finally, after a long time, Bansho did suddenly
have an insight.

Have you ever thought how gold is purified?
Only through fire. When the gold passes
through fire, all that was not gold is burnt, and it
comes out as pure gold, utterly refined.

Meditation is a fire, a very cool fire. You will not
be burnt, but all that is false will disappear. And
when you will come out of those flames, you will
not be able even to recognize yourself, because
now you will be having your original face, not
the mask that the society has given to you. Now
your personality will be gone – that was the
contaminating factor – your individuality will
come as sharp as a sword...

Zen: The Mystery and Poetry of the Beyond,
ch. 1
     oshobob  The Living Workshop                                         
                                                    Zen Masters
Chinese simplified: 万松行秀