Yoshizen's Blog

Ikkyu-san

Posted in Belief system, Buddhism, Emotion, Fun to read :-D, Mind, Mushin, Subconsciousness, Zen by yoshizen on May 13, 2010

One of the most famous  Zen monk,  Ikkyu  Sojun  is the literally most talked about Buddhist in Japan.

I don’t know how many books tribute to him and even cartoon comics featuring him for the children has been kept coming  to the book shelf, not mention  TV anime. Though, as he got so many legendary stories,  it is hard to tell which story has historical fact behind or it was an invention of novelist.  Yet still, I especially like this story which is so typical in Zen mind.

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When Ikkyu was exiled to a remote corner of northern Japan by the Shogun,  as he was an out-spoken critics and a pain on the neck,  the local  War-Load who was made responsible to keep him, put a woman to cook and take care of his daily life,  expecting  Ikkyu to have a relation with this woman,  which would give a convenient pretext to kill him.   Which was a hidden intention to isolate and exile him away from the Buddhist’s center of Kyoto.  Though, even a year past, no such relation had ever taken place.

The woman wondered if she is sexy enough to attract him or not.  So that, woman took a drastic action one night,  waited him in his bed  (well, it was a Futon)  naked. When Ikkyu saw her in his bed,  he didn’t show any surprise and get into the bed saying  ” I knew this would happen soon or later.  It’s nice to have human hot water bottle.  Oh good, its warm”  and within few minutes he started snoring. ——– Woman was utterly devastated.

——– Most of  women are having strange belief almost like a religion.

A man will do the business when he saw a woman laying naked.  But it doesn’t apply to a Zenist. 😀     (It exclude sham Zenist ! )

Unless its business is his task,  a naked body is just a naked body,  nothing to do with him and his body doesn’t react with so-called instinct.   Naked body is there just as it is.  Its sexual connotation is in one’s mind.  Without sexual connotation, it’s still beautiful, soft and warm to touch.   No problem to be there.

Unlike popular belief,  being as a monk Ikkyu had a mistress and he was more than capable to do the business until his old age, though unless the woman was the one he committed,  anybody else was the no existence.

In Mushin, if it is the task to take,  commit to it 100 % down to the level of subconscious.  If not, it is 0 % to the level of subconscious,  in deed to the instinct level.

(As the Emotion was detached,  sexual object wouldn’t cause the seclusion of adrenalin or testosterone,  hence so-called instinctive reflection doesn’t occur.)       (There said to be an extreme training to become a Tantra High Priest (Adjari) = While attending an all night sitting, the monk has to keep his penis elected continuously. = keep his mind totally concentrated to sexual arose. —– it’s a hard act for an amateur to try. )

Zen has only 100 % all, or nothing 0 %. ( Incidentally, this would explain Why Japanese tend to go to extreme. As there is nothing between, when it came to the situation of fight such as in war,  it would be either kill or be killed.   Somewhere between,  beaten yet still alive and become Prisoner of War was not acceptable.   It was regarded to be in half minded / coward.

All those psyche were originated from the Zen ethos. ——-  To reconcile with this extremity with Middle Way needs to have a real understanding of the Middle Way. = not a kind of “Somewhere between”. )

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  1. Ikkyu story (2) « Yoshizen's Blog said, on January 15, 2013 at 23:15

    […] Ikkyu Sojun (一休宗純) was the most famous Zen monk in Japanese history, […]


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