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

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

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

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

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

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

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

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

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

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...

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 ...

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 Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

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

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

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




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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