Ancestral Lineage of Our Teachers
"A special transmission outside the scriptures; No dependence upon words and letters; Direct pointing to the soul of man: Seeing into one's own nature and attainment of Buddhahood" -Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch of Zen
What makes Zen Buddhism unique amongst the myriad of Buddhist schools is that the historical Buddha transmitted his knowledge and understanding to only one of his many Disciples. It is this "special transmission" of great intuitive grasping from Zen Master to Zen Disciple- passed down through the generations that validates the true Zen Master.
More than 2600 years ago, when Shakyamuni Buddha gave his dharma speech at Vulture’s peak, over ten thousand laity and monks were assembled to hear Buddha’s dharma. And Buddha sat on the high rostrum but he didn't open his mouth. After several minutes of silence, he held up a flower and showed it before the assembly. But no one understood. At that moment only Mahakasyapa smiled. Buddha looked at the Mahakasyapa's smile and said, “I have true dharma, and I transmit my dharma to Mahakasyapa.” So Mahakasyapa became the first patriarch succeeded Buddha’s dharma.
KECHIMYAKU - The Significance Of The Transmission Of The Lamp
In order to pragmatically explain the transmission of mind, I asked myself, "Where do I begin?". The solution finally became quite obvious that I should begin at the beginning, and I should finish at the end.
The first historically recorded transmission of Mind took place about 2,500 years ago when Shakyamuni Buddha held before the assemblage a beautiful golden flower. None of his disciples understood, or grasped, the profundity of this message- except for one, Mahakasyapa, who smiled serenely as his eyes me the Buddha's. Their eyes locked, and the first transmission of the Mind was verified.
Since that occasion, the successful transmission of Mind is what has established what is today known as the Zen Buddhism from Master to Disciple.
The history of Zen, as an established school of Buddhism, actually dates with the coming of Bodhidharma from India to China. Bodhidharma came to China with a special message, as the Chinese Buddhists were unfamiliar with the "direct method of Zen".
Instead, they were caught up in philosophizing and contemplation. The direct method of Zen was to see directly into the truth of Enlightenment and realize Buddhahood without going through so many stages as prescribed by the scholars at the time.
Bodhidharma's message was clear:
A special transmission outside the scriptures:
No dependence on words or letters;
Seeing into one's own nature, and the attainment of Buddhahood.
This message signifies the origins of our Zen school of Buddhism, ad thus represents the Transmission from Mind to Mind, or KECHIMYAKU.
This is the significance of Ke Chi Myaku. There is much history of Zen since that time, but since that is not what we are directly concerned with here, I will avoid it at this moment. Anyone who wishes to explore this matter further may do so through the vast volumes of Zen literature on their own.
As for this temple, Sarasota Zen Center, Venerable Daito Zenei Thompson, is the direct spiritual descendant of Sakyamuni Buddha.
Therefore, the Ke Chi Myaku, which is presented at this temple will have inscribed his name, under which will be the name of any recipients of the Ke Chi Myaku.
As this is a most important document, only those who deserve it will receive it.
I can only hope that this short talk will portray the significance of the Zen Mind Transmission.
- Reverend Daito Zenei Thompson- Osho, director Sarasota Zen Center
Listed below is the historical "direct mind transmission" lineage to the present.
Names in Sanskrit Names in Japanese
Vipashyin Buddha Bibashi Butsu
Shikhin Buddha Shiki Butsu
Vishvabhû Buddha Bishafu Butsu
Krakucchanda Buddha Kuruson Butsu
Kanakamuni Buddha Kunagonmuni Butsu
Kâshyapa Buddha Kashô Butsu
Shakyamuni Buddha Shakyamuni Butsu
Names in Sanskrit Names in Japanese
Simha Bhikshu Shishibodai
Names in Pinyin Names in Wade-Giles Names in Japanese
Dazu Huike T’a-tsu Hui-k’o Taiso Eka
Jianzhi Sengcan Chien-Chih Seng-ts’an Kanchi Sôsan
Dayi Daoxin Ta-i Tao-hsin Daii Dôshin
Daman Hongren Ta-man Hung-jen Daiman Kônin
Dajian Huineng Ta-chien Hui-neng Daikan Enô
Qingyuan Xingsi Ch’ing-yüan Hsing-ssu Seigen Gyôshi
Shitou Xiqian Shih-t’ou Hsi-ch’ien Sekitô Kisen
Yaoshan Weiyan Yao-shan Wei-yen Yakusan Igen
Yunyan Tansheng Yün-yen T’an-sheng Ungan Donjô
Dongshan Liangjie Tung-shan Liang-chieh Tôzan Ryôkai
Yunju Daoying Yün-chü Tao-ying Ungo Dôyô
Tongan Daopi T’ung-an Tao-p’I Dôan Dôhi
Tongan Guanzhi T’ung-an Kuan-chih Dôan Kanshi
Liangshan Yuanguan Liang-shan Yüan-kuan Ryôzan Enkan
Dayang Jingxuan Ta-yung Ching-hsüan Taiyô Kyôgen
Touzi Yiqing T’ou-tzu I-ch’ing Tôshi Gisei
Furong Daokai Fu-jung Tao-k’ai Fuyô Dôkai
Danxia Zichun Tan-hsia Tzu-ch’un Tanka Shijun
Changlu Qingliao Ch’ang-lu Ch’ing-liao Chôro Seiryô
Tiantong Zongjue T’ien-t’ung Tsung-chüeh Tendô Sôkaku
Xuedou Zhijian Hsüeh-tou Chih-chien Setchô Chikan
Tiantong Rujing T’ien-t’ung Ju-ching Tendô Nyojô