Hakuin Zenji

Hakuin is often considered the father of modern Rinzai Zen. He studied under several teachers but considered Shoju Rojin to be his dharma father. Shoju never acknowledged Hakuin's enlightenment in hopes to drive him further. Before he was able to complete his studies under Shoju he was forced to leave and run a monastery near his home and was not able to return before his teacher died.

Hakuin joined the Rinzai Zen sect about 1700. He subsequently became an itinerant monk, during which time he first experienced enlightenment, and returned in 1716 to the Shoin Temple in his native Hara, which remained his base until his death. Hakuin taught that direct knowledge of the truth is available to all, even the lowliest, and that a moral life must accompany religious practice.

He utilized koans (unsolvable riddles) to aid meditation and invented the well-known paradox of contemplating the sound of one hand clapping. Hakuin also is known as an artist and calligrapher. Typically using bold brushstrokes and dark ink colours, he sought to evoke in the viewer’s mind his feelings on Zen practice and on the attainment of enlightenment.

He was considered in his time to be the greatest Rinzai Zen teacher of his age and his heritage is substaniated by the continuation of his line of Zen.

In terms of a break in the lineage we should be fully aware that Hakuin was a fully ordained and acknowleged Zen monk & priest not just a rogue individual who established himself as a Zen Master. The lineage of Zen Buddhism rests on ordination, not on Inka-shomei or transmission by a teacher.

Such transmissions do lend credibility, but these are a devise established in China. Even in the early days of Buddhism in China “transmission” was not the lineage. Lineage was a function of ordination and ordained monks then established themselves as worthy teachers.

Hui-neng 638-713
Nan-yueh Huai-jang (Nangaku Ejo) 677-744
Ma-Tzu (Baso) 709-788
Pai-chang (Hyakujo) 749-814
Huang-po (Obaku) d.850
Lin-chi (Rinzai) d.866
Hsing-hua Ts’ung-chiang (Koke Zonsho) 830-888
Nan-yuan Hui-yung (Nan’in) d. 930
Feng-hsueh Yen-chao (Fuketsu Ensho) 896-973
Shou-shan Shen-nien (Shuzan Shonen) 926-993
Fen-yang (Fun’yo Zensho) 942-1024
Shih-shuang (Sekiso Soen) 986-1039
Yang-ch’i Fang-hui (Yogi Hoe) 992-1049
Pai-yun Shou-tuan (Hakuun Shutan) 1025-1072
Wu-tsu Fa-yen (Goso Hoen) 1024-1104
Yuan-wu (Engo) 1063-1135
Hu-ch’iu (Kukyu) 1077-1163
Ying-an (Oan) 1103-1163
Mi-an (Mittan) 1118-1186
Sung-yuan (Shogen Sogaku) 1139-1209—Last Zen Master in the Mumon kan
Yun-an P’u-yen (Un’an Fugan) 1156-1226
Hsu-t’sang Chih-yu (Kido Chigu) 1189-1269
Shomyo (Daio Kokushi) 1235-1309
Myocho Shuho (Daito Kokushi)
Kanzan Egen (Muso Daishi) 1277-1360
Juo Sohitsu 1296-1390
Muin Soin 1326-1410 *
Tozen Soshin (Sekko Soshin) 1408-1486 *
Toyo Eicho 1429-1504
Youzan Keiyou (*dates unknown, listed in an old Japanese document. Other names are possible)
Gudou Tosyoku (gudo kokushi) 1577-1661 *
Shidou Bunan—1602-1676
Shoju Rojin (Dokyu Etan)
Hakuin (1689-1769)