Chao-chou Ts'ung-shen (778?–897?)
Zhaozhou Congshen known as Chao-chou Ts'ung-shen was one of the renowned Chan (Zen) masters of ancient China.
Zhaozhou took his monastic name from the name of the small town near Beijing where he lived. He is said to have been born in 778 and to have died in 897, giving him an alleged life span of 119 years. According to the same sources, he only entered monastery life at the ripe age of 61 (or 80), but under the tutelage of Nanquan Puyuan (Nansen Fugan) he learned rapidly and eventually became abbot, a position he held for 40 years. He was known for his asceticism but also his kindness, favouring verbal debate to striking his students.
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