Hakuin Zenji also known as Hakuin Ekaku (1686 1769)

Hakuin Zenji also known as Hakuin Ekaku (1686 1769)
Reformer of Zen Buddhism
What is the sound of one hand clapping?

Image of Hakuin asking What is the sound of one hand clapping?

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

So asked Hakuin, the author of this well known Zen koan. Hakuin was one of the most important Japanese Zen masters of the Rinzai school. He is often referred to as the father of modern Rinzai Zen, since he gave new impetus to the Rinzai school which had been gradually deteriorating since the 14th century and reformed it. He systematized koan training and emphasized once again the importance of zazen (sitting in absorption) the practice of which had been more and more eclipsed by intellectual preoccupation with Zen writings.

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Ibn-al-Arabi

Ibn-al-Arabi
born: 1165, Murcia, Spain
obit: Damascus 1240 Abu Bakr Muhammad

 

Muhyi al-Din Ibn al-Arabi was born in Murcia into a very pious and cultured milieu. When he was seven, he and his family moved to Seville, the capital of the Almohades Empire which extended all over North Africa. At 16, having studied with Andalusian spiritual leaders, he‘ entered on the path’. He was so cultured that at an early age he was awarded an important administrative post; it was also at this time that he met and married a young woman whom he considered to be the spiritual ideal. But a grave illness which brought with it powerful visions led him to give up his career and his possessions in order to practise asceticism in strict seclusion. Several long years of pilgrimage followed, during which Ibn’Arabi met the greatest mystics in Spain and the Mahgreb, where he spent some time before a vision compelled him to go to the East. In 1201-02 he travelled to Cairo, Jerusalem, and finally to Mecca, where he was welcomed into the home of an eminent Persian sheikh and his sister.

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al-Ghazali

The Alchemist of Happiness

Algazel, better known as al-Ghazali, was born Abu Hamid Ibn Muhammad Ibn Muhammad al-Tusi al-Shafi’i al-Ghazali in 1058 A.D. in Khorasan, Irandad, in the west of what is now called Iran. He was an Islamic theologian, philosopher, and mystic. He is considered one of the greatest theologians in Islam. Al-Ghazali made a significant philosophical contribution at a time which was important for the continuing legitimate existence of the sufi component of Islam.

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