BESIDE a stricken field I stood; On the torn turf, on grass and wood, Hung heavily the dew of blood. Still in their fresh mounds lay the slain, But all the air was quick with pain And gusty sighs and tearful rain. Two angels, each with d... Read more of The Watchers at Martin Luther King.caInformational Site Network Informational
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Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

The World Is In The Making
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Epicureanism And Life
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The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
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Decline Of Zen
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Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
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Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
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Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
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The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
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Nature And Her Lesson
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Life Consists In Conflict
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Real Self
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Origin Of Zen In India
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Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
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The Five Ranks Of Merit
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Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

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

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

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




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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