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Chapter 4: How about You?

You will be wondering why all these masters have two names. The reason is because of China and Japan; one name is Chinese and one name is Japanese.

Between master and disciple a new sect was established, known as the Kuei-Yang school.

Isan tried his best to rebel against Ma Tzu, so between the master and the disciple - between Isan and Kyozan - a new school was established; its name was Kuei-Yang.

It was characterized by the distinction made between the Zen of meditation based on the Lankavatara sutra, and instantaneous Zen, which completely divorced itself from the sutra.

The Lankavatara sutra is one of the most profound books in the world. It contains the very essentials of Buddha, and hence it is respected and loved through all the Buddhist countries. China, Japan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Tibet, Taiwan, Korea - the whole Far East loves the Lankavatara sutra. It has tremendous beauty. It is not like other religious books; it has a great poetry in it, it is a creative work of art.

This new sect that Isan and his foremost disciple Kyozan established was against the Lankavatara sutra. It was a difficult task. I don’t think Isan or Kyozan was capable of doing it. Of course, Ma Tzu could have done it. They didn’t have that genius, but still what they did was good. Every rebellion is good, even if it is a small rebellion.

The Lankavatara sutra fundamentally preaches gradual enlightenment, which seems to be more rational, practical, understandable - that step by step you move and discipline yourself, and when the time is ripe and you have come to the point where enlightenment is supposed to happen, it will happen. But it is not an instantaneous thing; it is not like instantaneous coffee. You have to prepare yourself to receive it, and that preparation can be of years. Twenty years, thirty years it may take for you to become a vehicle for enlightenment.

It was a logical system, hence Lankavatara sutra had never been opposed. Even people like Ma Tzu and Bodhidharma did not mention it. They simply avoided it. They did what they wanted to do - which goes against Lankavatara sutra - but they did not mention it, because they also loved it. Its beauty is so profound that it will look almost like going against yourself. So they did not mention it, they simply bypassed it, because their preaching was instantaneous Zen. They were opposing Lankavatara sutra in the very foundations, but they were capable - Bodhidharma and Ma Tzu, these two persons were certainly capable - of bringing a new insight. Drop the idea of gradualness and bring the idea of instantaneous Zen.

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