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The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

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

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

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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

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

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

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

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

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

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

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

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

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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