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

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

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

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

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

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

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...

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

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

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

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...




Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence








There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life. It is
simply this, that everything is placed in the condition best for
itself, as it is the sum total of the consequences of its actions and
reactions since the dawn of time. Take, for instance, the minutest
grains of dirt that are regarded by us the worst, lifeless,
valueless, mindless, inert matter. They are placed in their best
condition, no matter how poor and worthless they may seem. They can
never become a thing higher nor lower than they. To be the grains of
dirt is best for them. But for these minute microcosms, which,
flying in the air, reflect the sunbeams, we could have no azure sky.
It is they that scatter the sun's rays in mid-air and send them into
our rooms. It is also these grains of dirt that form the nuclei of
raindrops and bring seasonable rain. Thus they are not things
worthless and good for nothing, but have a hidden import and purpose
in their existence. Had they mind to think, heart to feel, they
should be contented and happy with their present condition.

Take, for another example, the flowers of the morning glory. They
bloom and smile every morning, fade and die in a few hours. How
fleeting and ephemeral their lives are! But it is that short life
itself that makes them frail, delicate, and lovely. They come forth
all at once as bright and beautiful as a rainbow or as the Northern
light, and disappear like dreams. This is the best condition for
them, because, if they last for days together, the morning glory
shall no longer be the morning glory. It is so with the cherry-tree
that puts forth the loveliest flowers and bears bitter fruits. It is
so with the apple-tree, which bears the sweetest of fruits and has
ugly blossoms. It is so with animals and men. Each of them is
placed in the condition best for his appointed mission.

The newly-born baby sucks, sleeps, and cries. It can do no more nor
less. Is it not best for it to do so? When it attained to its
boyhood, he goes to school and is admitted to the first-year class.
He cannot be put in a higher nor lower class. It is best for him to
be the first-year class student. When his school education is over,
he may get a position in society according to his abilities, or may
lead a miserable life owing to his failure of some sort or other. In
any case he is in a position best for his special mission ordained by
Providence or the Hum-total of the fruits of his actions and
reactions since all eternity. He should be contented and happy, and
do what is right with might and main. Discontent and vexation only
make him more worthy of his ruin Therefore our positions, no matter,
how high or low, no matter how favourable or unfavourable our
environment, we are to be cheerful. Do thy best and leave the rest
to Providence, says a Chinese adage. Longfellow also says:

Do thy best; that is best.
Leave unto thy Lord the rest.






Next: The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters

Previous: Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist



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