Taigu Ryokan

(1758-1831 / Japan)

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Ryōkan was born in the village of Izumozaki in Echigo Province (now Niigata Prefecture) in Japan to the village headman. He renounced the world at an early age to train at nearby Sōtō Zen temple Kōshōji, refusing to meet with or accept charity from his family. Once the Zen master Kokusen visited the temple, and Ryōkan was deeply impressed with his demeanor. He ... more »

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Comments about Taigu Ryokan

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  • Fabrizio Frosini Fabrizio Frosini (11/25/2016 5:26:00 AM)

    '' Teishin [the young nun who cared for him, in his last years of life] records that Ryōkan, seated in meditation posture, died 'just as if he were falling asleep' ''

  • Carol Pranschke (12/5/2013 1:24:00 AM)

    His poetry is sublime. He is the Great Fool. He fell in love when he was in his 70's. Now that's cool.

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Best Poem of Taigu Ryokan

Too Lazy To Be Ambitious

Too lazy to be ambitious,
I let the world take care of itself.
Ten days' worth of rice in my bag;
a bundle of twigs by the fireplace.
Why chatter about delusion and enlightenment?
Listening to the night rain on my roof,
I sit comfortably, with both legs stretched out.

Read the full of Too Lazy To Be Ambitious

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