They call him Layman Pang.
He lived in the 700s in China.
He is considered a model for householder Buddhists. He was a government worker who started practicing Zen after he had a wife and two children.
His children ended up practicing Zen with him. As someone who teaches meditation to kids, his philosophy really resonates with me.
His philosophy was that one can practice the Dharma in ordinary life, that going away and separating from the world was not necessary.
Here are some great quotes from Pang:
“When the mind is at peace, the world too is at peace. Nothing real, nothing absent. Not holding on to reality, not getting stuck in the void, you are neither holy nor wise, just an ordinary person who has completed their work.”
“The past is already past—don’t try to regain it. The present does not stay, don’t try to touch it from moment to moment. The future is not come, don’t think about it beforehand.”
“How miraculous and wondrous, hauling water and carrying firewood!”
“The whole world is the same single community; each and everyone learns there’s nothing to do. This is the very place to select a buddha!”
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