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A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

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

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

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

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

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

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

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

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

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

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...

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

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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