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Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

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

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

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

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

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

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

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

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...




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.






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