Effect: There are four islands in an ocean. Each has a king, queen, a son named Jack (the Jack will be used,) and a dog named Ace (the Ace will be used.) One day, a hurricane storms through the ocean, creating complete chaos and wiping everything on ... Read more of Four Islands at Card Trick.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World

The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment nor of
palm-leaves, nor in black and white, but one written in heart and
mind. On one occasion a King of Eastern India invited the venerable
Prajnyatara, the teacher of Bodhidharma, and his disciples to dinner
at his own palace.

Finding all the monks reciting the sacred sutras with the single
exception of the master, the Ring questioned Prajnyatara: Why do you
not, reverend sir, recite the Scriptures as others do? My poor
self, your majesty, replied he, does not go out to the objects of
sense in my expiration nor is it confined within body and mind in my
inspiration. Thus I constantly recite hundreds, thousands, and
millions of sacred sutras. In like manner the Emperor Wu, of the
Liang dynasty, once requested Chwen Hih (Fu Dai-shi) to give a
lecture on the Scriptures. Chwen went upon the platform, struck the
desk with a block of wood, and came down. Pao Chi (Ho-shi), a
Buddhist tutor to the Emperor, asked the perplexed monarch: Does
your Lordship understand him? No, answered His Majesty. The
lecture of the Great Teacher is over. As it is clear to you from
these examples, Zen holds that the faith must be based not on the
dead Scriptures, but on living facts, that one must turn over not the
gilt pages of the holy writ, but read between the lines in the holy
pages of daily life, that Buddha must be prayed not by word of mouth,
but by actual deed and work, and that one must split open, as the
author of Avatamsaka-sutra allegorically tells us, the smallest grain
of dirt to find therein a sutra equal in size to the whole world.
The so-called sutra, says Do-gen, covers the whole universe. It
transcends time and space. It is written with the characters of
heaven, of man, of beasts, of Asuras,[FN#13l] of hundreds of grass,
and of thousands of trees. There are characters, some long, some
short, some round, some square, some blue, some red, some yellow, and
some white-in short, all the phenomena in the universe are the
characters with which the sutra is written. Shakya Muni read that
sutra through the bright star illuminating the broad expanse of the
morning skies, when he sat in meditation under the Bodhi Tree.

[FN#13l] The name of a demon.

Ling Yun (Rei-un) read it through the lovely flowers of a peach-tree
in spring after some twenty years of his research for Light, and said:

A score of years I looked for Light:
There came and went many a spring and fall.
E'er since the peach blossoms came in my sight,
I never doubt anything at all.

Hian Yen (Kyo-gen) read it through the noise of bamboo, at which he
threw pebbles. Su Shih (So-shoku) read it through a waterfall, one
evening, and said:

The brook speaks forth the Tathagata's words divine,
The hills reveal His glorious forms that shine.

Next: Great Men And Nature

Previous: Sutras Used By Zen Masters

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