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Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

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

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

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

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

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

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

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

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

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

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

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

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

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

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




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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