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Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

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

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

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

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...




Calmness Of Mind








The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical
exercise than for mental balance, and it will be beneficial if you
take that exercise before or after Meditation. Japanese masters
mostly bold it very important to push forward. The lowest part of
the abdomen during Zazen, and they are right so far as the present
writer's personal experiences go.

'If you feel your mind distracted, look at the tip of the nose; never
lose sight of it for some time, or look at your own palm, and let not
your mind go out of it, or gaze at one spot before you.' This will
greatly help you in restoring the equilibrium of your mind. Chwang
Tsz[FN#248] thought that calmness of mind is essential to sages, and
said: The stillness of the sages does not belong to them as a
consequence of their skilful ability; all things are not able to
disturb their minds; it is on this account that they are still. When
water is still, its clearness shows the beard and eyebrows (of him
who looks into it). It is a perfect level, and the greatest
artificer takes his rule from it. Such is the clearness of still
water, and how much greater is that of the human spirit? The still
mind of the sage is the mirror of heaven and earth, the glass of all
things.

Forget all worldly concerns, expel all cares and anxieties, let go of
passions and desires, give up ideas and thoughts, set your mind at
liberty absolutely, and make it as clear as a burnished mirror. Thus
let flow your inexhaustible fountain of purity, let open your
inestimable treasure of virtue, bring forth your inner hidden nature
of goodness, disclose your innermost divine wisdom, and waken your
Enlightened Consciousness to see Universal Life within you. Zazen
enables the practiser, says Kei-zan,[FN#249] to open up his mind,
to see his own nature, to become conscious of mysteriously pure and
bright spirit, or eternal light within him.


[FN#248] Chwang Tsz, vol. v., p. 5.

[FN#249] Za-zen-yo-jin-ki.


Once become conscious of Divine Life within you, yon can see it in
your brethren, no matter how different they may be in circumstances,
in abilities, in characters, in nationalities, in language, in
religion, and in race. You can see it in animals, vegetables, and
minerals, no matter how diverse they may be in form, no matter how
wild and ferocious some may seem in nature, no matter how unfeeling
in heart some may seem, no matter how devoid of intelligence some may
appear, no matter how insignificant some may be, no matter how simple
in construction some may be, no matter how lifeless some may seem.
You can see that the whole universe is Enlightened and penetrated by
Divine Life.






Next: Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self

Previous: The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi



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