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Samurai

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

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

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

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

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

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

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

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

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

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

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

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

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

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

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...




Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis








In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to refer to
the central problem of Zen or Enlightenment, whose content it is
futile to attempt to explain or analyze. We must not explain or
analyze it, because by doing so we cannot but mislead the reader. We
can as well represent Enlightenment by means of explanation or
analysis as we do personality by snapshots or by anatomical
operations. As our inner life, directly experienced within us, is
anything but the shape of the head, or the features of the face, or
the posture of the body, so Enlightenment experienced by Zenists at
the moment of their highest Samadhi[FN#178] is anything but the
psychological analysis of mental process, or the epistemological
explanation of cognition, or the philosophical generalization of
concepts. Enlightenment can be realized only by the Enlightened, and
baffles every attempt to describe it, even by the Enlightened
themselves. The effort of the confused to guess at Enlightenment is
often likened by the Zenists to the effort of the blind who feel an
elephant to know what it looks like. Some of them who happen to feel
the trunk would declare it is like a rope, but those who happen to
feel the belly would declare it is like a huge drum; while those who
happen to feel the feet would declare it is like the trunk of a tree.
But none of these conjectures can approach the living elephant.


[FN#178] Abstract Contemplation, which the Zenists distinguish from
Samadhi, practised by the Brahmins. The author of 'An Outline of
Buddhist Sects' points out the distinction, saying: Contemplation of
outside religionists is practised with the heterodox view that the
lower worlds (the worlds for men, beasts, etc.) are disgusting, but
the upper worlds (the worlds for Devas) are desirable; Contemplation
of common people (ordinary lay believers of Buddhism) is practised
with the belief in the law of Karma, and also with disgust (for the
lower worlds) and desire (for the upper worlds); Contemplation of
Hinayana is practised with an insight into the truth of Anatman
(non-soul); Contemplation of Mahayana is practised with an insight of
Unreality of Atman (soul) as well as of Dharma (thing); Contemplation
of the highest perfection is practised with the view that Mind is
pure in its nature, it is endowed with unpolluted wisdom, free from
passion, and it is no other than Buddha himself.






Next: Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self

Previous: The Buddha Of Mercy



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