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Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...

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

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

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

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

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




Change As Seen By Zen








Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transience, but
it has come to a view diametrically opposite to that of the Hindus.
Transience for Zen simply means change. It is a form in which life
manifests itself. Where there is life there is change or Transience.
Where there is more change there is more vital activity. Suppose an
absolutely changeless body: it must be absolutely lifeless. An
eternally changeless life is equivalent to an eternally changeless
death. Why do we value the morning glory, which fades in a few
hours, more than an artificial glass flower, which endures hundreds
of years? Why do we prefer an animal life, which passes away in a
few scores of years, to a vegetable life, which can exist thousands
of years? Why do we prize changing organism more than inorganic
matter, unchanging and constant? If there be no change in the bright
hues of a flower, it is as worthless as a stone. If there be no
change in the song of a bird, it is as valueless as a whistling wind.
If there be no change in trees and grass, they are utterly
unsuitable to be planted in a garden. Now, then, what is the use of
our life, if it stand still? As the water of a running stream is
always fresh and wholesome because it does not stop for a moment, so
life is ever fresh and new because it does not stand still, but
rapidly moves on from parents to children, from children to
grandchildren, from grandchildren to great-grandchildren, and flows
on through generation after generation, renewing itself ceaselessly.

We can never deny the existence of old age and death--nay, death is
of capital importance for a continuation of life, because death
carries away all the decaying organism in the way of life. But for
it life would be choked up with organic rubbish. The only way of
life's pushing itself onward or its renewing itself is its producing
of the young and getting rid of the old. If there be no old age nor
death, life is not life, but death.






Next: Life And Change

Previous: Hinayanism And Its Doctrine



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