Donei Eio (曇英恵応)

Donei Eio (1424 - 1504) was a priest of the Soto sect in the Muromachi period. His secular surname was Fujiwara. His posthumous name was Eio. His dogo (a pseudonym as a priest) was Donei. He was from Kyoto.

After studying Zen Buddhism of the Rinzai sect at temples including Engaku-ji Temple and Shokoku-ji Temple, he switched to the Soto sect and succeeded to the teachings of Isshu Shoi. These days the Soto sect is known for its Mokusho Zen (a method of zazen, a state of thinking nothing) teachings, however Donei Eio practiced Kanwa Zen (meditation supplemented with Koan [small presentations of the nature of ultimate reality, usually presented as a paradox]) and is recognized as its originator.

He held prominent positions at famous temples including Sorin-ji Temple and Saijo-ji Temple and established Rinsen-ji Temple and Chonen-ji Temple. He was appointed Chief Priest of Eihei-ji Temple at the recommendation of Taian Sueki and Iso Chushin. At the time Eihei-ji Temple was in decline and there were expectations that Donei Eio would be able to revitalize it, and he worked hard at doing so however his term was short-lived. Therefore, he is not officially counted among the Chief Priests of Eihei-ji Temple.

[Original Japanese]