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

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

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

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...

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

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

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...




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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