Fenggan | Sweeping Zen


Fenggan (Feng-gan, Feng-kan) (Jap. Bukan) was an eccentric T’ang Dynasty Chan monk known for his poetry. Fenggan was a master at Guoqing Temple and was the teacher of Hanshan (Jap. Kanzan) and Shide (Jap. Jitoku), two other legendary poets. The three are often depicted together in artwork asleep with a tame tiger that is said to have accompanied Fenggan. We know very little of Fenggan outside of the works of Hanshan and Shide, with very few of his poems surviving into the modern day. All three poets have become known as the so-called Tientai Trio.

In Zen literature, Hanshan and Shide are representations of enlightened lay practitioners. The two are understood to have had no worldy attachments and are viewed as enlightened Bodhisattvas. Fenggan has been mythologized by various stories in which he performs miracles, such as curing a government official of their headache.

via Fenggan | Sweeping Zen.


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