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

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

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

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

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

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

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

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

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

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

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

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




Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma








An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of China by
Bodhidharma's coming over from Southern India to that country in
about A.D. 520.[FN#23] It was the introduction, not of the dead
scriptures, as was repeatedly done before him, but of a living faith,
not of any theoretical doctrine, but of practical Enlightenment, not
of the relies of Buddha, but of the Spirit of Shakya Muni; so that
Bodhidharma's position as a representative of Zen was unique. He
was, however, not a missionary to be favourably received by the
public. He seems to have behaved in a way quite opposite to that in
which a modern pastor treats his flock. We imagine him to have been
a religious teacher entirely different in every point from a popular
Christian missionary of our age. The latter would smile or try to
smile at every face he happens to see and would talk sociably; while
the former would not smile at any face, but would stare at it with
the large glaring eyes that penetrated to the innermost soul. The
latter would keep himself scrupulously clean, shaving, combing,
brushing, polishing, oiling, perfuming, while the former would be
entirely indifferent to his apparel, being always clad in a faded
yellow robe. The latter would compose his sermon with a great care,
making use of rhetorical art, and speak with force and elegance;
while the former would sit as absolutely silent as the bear, and kick
one off, if one should approach him with idle questions.


[FN#23] Buddhist historians differ in opinion respecting the date of
Bodhidharma's appearance in China. Compare Chwen Fah Chan Tsung Lun
(Den bo sho ju ron) and Hwui Yuen (E-gen).






Next: Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu

Previous: Origin Of Zen In India



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