The fourteenth-century Zen master Bassui was recognized as one of the most important Zen teachers of his time. Accessible and eloquent, these teachings cut to the heart of the great matter of Zen, pointing directly to the importance of seeing our own original nature and recognizing it as Buddhahood itself. Bassui is taking familiar concepts in Buddhism and recasting them in an essential Zen light.
Though he lived centuries ago in a culture vastly different from our own, Zen Master Bassui speaks with a voice that spans time and space to address our own modern challenges - in our lives and spiritual practice.
Like the revered Master Dogen several generations before him, Bassui was dissatisfied with what passed for Zen training, and taught a radically reenergized form of Zen, emphasizing deep and direct penetration into one's own true nature. And also like Dogen, Bassui uses powerful and often poetic language to take familiar Buddhist concepts recast them in a radically non-dual Zen light, making ancient doctrines vividly relevant.
This edition of Mud and Water contains several teachings never before translated.
The fourteenth-century Zen master Bassui was recognized as one of the most important Zen teachers of his time. Accessible and eloquent, his teachings cut to the heart of the great matter of Zen, pointing directly to the importance of seeing our own original nature and recognizing it as Buddhahood itself. Bassui takes familiar concepts in Buddhism and recasting them in an essential Zen light.
"Bassui was one of Japanese Zen's most original, dynamic and accessible teachers. Braverman has given us a sparkling translation that fully captures Bassui's unique vigor and insight and throws new light on an often neglected period of Zen's history"
– Peter Haskel, author of Bankei Zen
"How wonderful! Not only the words of Zen Master Bassui, but also his marrow. Wherever you go in this precious book you will find your life."
– Joan Halifax Roshi, Head Teacher, Upaya Zen Center
"Bassui's standard of enlightenment is awe inspiring! For over 30 years of our own practice Bassui's talks have inspired us. No matter how often we read him, his teaching is always fresh and alive. No matter how far into the bottomless well of wisdom we go, Bassui is there coaxing us deeper."
– Zen teachers Chozen and Hogen Bays, co-abbots of Great Vow Zen Monastery
"Step in anywhere and you sink deeper and deeper through the rich mud. Thank you, Arthur Braverman, for introducing us so graciously."
– Robert Aitken
"This work fully displays the engaging teaching style of Bassui, an important medieval Japanese master. With his independent spirit and dedication to Buddha nature, Bassui managed to bridge and include several prominent strands of Zen and Japanese Buddhism. His teachings demonstrate persistent study of true self, right in the mud of phenomena. He drinks the water of diverse Dharma teachings, helpfully elucidating their metaphors for us."
– Taigen Dan Leighton, author of Bodhisattva Archtypes and translator, Cultivating the Empty Field