Dosen (道セン)

Dosen (702 - May 7, 760) was a Buddhist monk who lived during the Tang Dynasty in China.

He lived in Daifukusen-ji Temple in Luoyang so as to have himself enlightened on Vinaya (Buddhist precepts) by Johin, and on Chan (Chinese Zen Buddhism) and Huayan Doctrine (teachings of Chinese Kegon Buddhism) by Fujaku, who was the 7th patriarch of a sect of the Northern school (Beizong) of Chan.

Japanese monks called Yoei and Fusho, who had visited Tang, invited Dosen to Japan so as to have him bring Vinaya to Japan prior to Ganjin, and Dosen thus came to Japan in 736 (equivalent of Kaigen 24 in Tang China, Tenpyo 8 in Japan), accompanied by Bodaisenna (Bodhisena) from India and Buttetsu from Vietnam.

In Japan, Dosen attempted to spread the teachings of the Northern school of Chan (Zen) by building a 'Zen-in' Temple at Daian-ji Temple and edited "Bonmokyo-sho" (Exegesis on Fanwan Jing [Bonmokyo]) for teaching the Vinaya precepts. He also had a thorough knowledge of the Tendaishu sect.

After the Daian-ji Temple, he entered Hisosan-ji Temple in Yoshino, where he applied himself to Zen training, thereby supposedly influencing Sangaku-shugenja (mountaineering ascetics) a great deal.

His disciples included Gyohyo (722-797). In addition, Gyohyo was later to teach Saicho (also known as Dengyo Daishi). Saicho's idea of "Shishu Sosho" (literally, four types of inheritance of Buddhism: Tendai, Esoteric Buddhism, Zen and Daijo-kai [Mahayana precepts]) was allegedly influenced by the teachings of Gyokusen Tendai (the Tiantai [Tendai] group at the Gyokusen-ji Temple in Jingzhou) that Dosen had introduced.