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SOTOZEN.COM > Archivio > Glossario (Inglese) > Tiantong Mountain

Glossario (Inglese)


Tiantong Mountain (Tendōzan, C. Tiantongshan 天童山)

Popular mountain name (sangō 山號) for the Keitoku Monastery (Keitokuji, C. Jingdesi 景徳寺) in Zhejiang province, where Dōgen trained intermittently while in China from 1223 to 1227. The official name of the monastery at the time was Tiantong Jingde Chan Monastery on Taibai Mountain (Taihakusan tendō keitoku zenji太白山天童景徳禪寺). Tiantong Mountain was designated by the imperial court as a "monastery of the ten directions" (jippōsetsu 十方刹), or public monastery. As such, it was open to all Buddhist monks, regardless of their ordination or dharma lineages, and a retiring abbot could not be succeeded in that position by his own dharma heir. Tiantong Mountain was called a Zen monastery because the abbacy was restricted by the court to monks in one or another branch of the Zen lineage. When Dōgen first visited in 1223, the abbot was Musai (C. Wuji 無際, d. 1224), a dharma heir in the Rinzai lineage. When Dōgen returned in 1225, Wuji had been succeeded by Nyojō (C. Rujing 如淨, 1163-1228), a dharma heir in the Soto lineage, who gave him dharma transmission before his return to Japan.