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The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

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

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

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

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

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

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Surp...

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

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

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

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

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

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




Enlightened Consciousness








In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on indirect
experience, we can have direct experience of life within us. In the
first place, we experience that our life is not a bare mechanical
motion or change, but is a spiritual, purposive, and self-directing
force. In the second place, we directly experience that it knows,
feels, and wills. In the third place, we experience that there
exists some power unifying the intellectual, emotional, and
volitional activities so as to make life uniform and rational.
Lastly, we experience that there lies deeply rooted within us
Enlightened Consciousness, which neither psychologists treat of nor
philosophers believe in, but which Zen teachers expound with strong
conviction. Enlightened Consciousness is, according to Zen, the
centre of spiritual life. It is the mind of minds, and the
consciousness of consciousness. It is the Universal Spirit awakened
in the human mind. It is not the mind that feels joy or sorrow; nor
is it the mind that reasons and infers; nor is it the mind that
fancies and dreams; nor is it the mind that hopes and fears; nor is
it the mind that distinguishes good from evil. It is Enlightened
Consciousness that holds communion with Universal Spirit or Buddha,
and realizes that individual lives are inseparably united, and of one
and the same nature with Universal Life. It is always bright as a
burnished mirror, and cannot be dimmed by doubt and ignorance. It is
ever pure as a lotus flower, and cannot be polluted by the mud of
evil and folly. Although all sentient beings are endowed with this
Enlightened Consciousness, they are not aware of its existence,
excepting men who can discover it by the practice of Meditation.
Enlightened consciousness is often called Buddha-nature, as it is the
real nature of Universal Spirit. Zen teachers compare it with a
precious stone ever fresh and pure, even if it be buried in the heaps
of dust. Its divine light can never be extinguished by doubt or
fear, just as the sunlight cannot be destroyed by mist and cloud.
Let us quote a Chinese Zen poet to see how Zen treats of it:[FN#153]

I have an image of Buddha,
The worldly people know it not.
It is not made of clay or cloth,
Nor is it carved out of wood,
Nor is it moulded of earth nor of ashes.
No artist can paint it;
No robber can steal it.
There it exists from dawn of time.
It's clean, although not swept and wiped.
Although it is but one,
Divides itself to a hundred thousand million forms.


[FN#153] See Zen-gaku-ho-ten.






Next: Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind

Previous: Poetical Intuition And Zen



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