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True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...

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

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

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

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

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

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

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

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

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

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

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

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...




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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