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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

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

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

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

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

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

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

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

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

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




Great Men And Nature








All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religious men
or philosophers, are not mere readers of books, but the perusers of
Nature. Men of erudition are often lexicons in flesh and blood, but
men of genius read between the lines in the pages of life. Kant, a
man of no great erudition, could accomplish in the theory of
knowledge what Copernicus did in astronomy. Newton found the law of
gravitation not in a written page, but in a falling apple.
Unlettered Jesus realized truth beyond the comprehension of many
learned doctors. Charles Darwin, whose theory changed the whole
current of the world's thought, was not a great reader of books, but
a careful observer of facts. Shakespeare, the greatest of poets, was
the greatest reader of Nature and life. He could hear the music even
of heavenly bodies, and said:

There's not the smallest orb which thou beholdest,
But in his motion like an angel sings.

Chwang Tsz (So-shi), the greatest of Chinese philosophers, says:
Thou knowest the music of men, but not the music of the earth. Thou
knowest the music of the earth, but not the music of the
heaven.[FN#132] Goethe, perceiving a profound meaning in Nature,
says: Flowers are the beautiful hieroglyphics of Nature with which
she indicates how much she loves us.


[FN#132] Chwang Tsz, vol. i., p. 10.


Son-toku[FN#133] (Ninomiya), a great economist, who, overcoming all
difficulties and hardships by which he was beset from his childhood,
educated himself, says: The earth and the heaven utter no word, but
they ceaselessly repeat the holy book unwritten.

[FN#133] One of the greatest self-made men in Japan, who lived
1787-1856.






Next: The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction

Previous: A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World



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