Buddha: The first person that realized our full potential of oneness with everything and experienced unlimited awareness. Apart from all philosophical studies and driven by setbacks these studies brought up, Shakyamuni Gotama found the one and utmost method for connecting with reality – sitting down, shutting up!
A notion to do so manifested intuitively in his childhood days and was remembered by him at the banks of River Ganges, where he finally sat down to finish all delusion.
Bodhidharma: A great reformer he was; coming to China, finding artificial structures of rituals, concepts and hierarchy, presented as Buddhas Way. He dismissed all of this and reduced the practice to the original format – sitting down, shutting up!
Dogen: Being an orphan at the age of 7, he was ordained as a monk at the age of 12. He deeply resonated with the teachings on Buddha nature but couldn’t understand why so much outer effort should be necessary to realize what we already have. It took him 13 years and a journey to China, where he met Tendō Nyojō, a great Chan master, to find his way to realization – sitting down, shutting up!
Later on he composed a huge collection of teachings, known as Shobogenzo – The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye. Consisting of about 95 chapters it sheds light on all important topics of Buddhas Way and opens new angles to understand the example Shakyamuni left for us to practice. The lineage in which Dogen taught is called Soto Zen.
Nishijima Roshi: Being a student of Kodo Sawaki Roshi, he established the Dogen Sangha Tokyo and published a translation of the Shobogenzo. His view on Zen Buddhism has a global component, offering a way to harmonize the differing opinions on our planet, focusing on a system of values with broad acceptance.
His interpretation of Shobogenzo present us a system of four categories to experience life’s reality. A new and authentic interpretation of Buddhas most essential insights arises from them.
Brad Warner: Starting out as bass player in a Punk rock band he continued his life in Japan, working at Tsuburaya Productions, developing monster movie concepts. There he met Nishijima Roshi and deepened his practice and study of Zen Buddhism that had already started at High School in the USA. Having realized his true nature he received Dharma Transmission and returned to America. Located in Los Angeles he is founder of the Angel City Zen Center and author of several books, giving talks and guiding retreats worldwide, producing helpful youtube-videos on a regular basis.