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

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

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

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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

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

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

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

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

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

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

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

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

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

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...




Life Change And Hope








The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimistic view
of life. On the contrary, it gives us an inexhaustible source of
pleasure and hope. Let us ask you: Are you satisfied with the
present state of things? Do you not sympathize with poverty-stricken
millions living side by side with millionaires saturated with wealth?
Do you not shed tears over those hunger-bitten children who cower in
the dark lanes of a great city? Do you not wish to put down the
stupendous oppressor--Might-is-right? Do you not want to do away
with the so-called armoured peace among nations? Do you not need to
mitigate the struggle for existence more sanguine than the war of
weapons?

Life changes and is changeable; consequently, has its future. Hope
is therefore possible. Individual development, social betterment,
international peace, reformation of mankind in general, can be hoped.
Our ideal, however unpractical it may seem at the first sight, can
be realized. Moreover, the world itself, too, is changing and
changeable. It reveals new phases from time to time, and can be
moulded to subserve our purpose. We must not take life or the world
as completed and doomed as it is now. No fact verifies the belief
that the world was ever created by some other power and predestined
to be as it is now. It lives, acts, and changes. It is transforming
itself continually, just as we are changing and becoming. Thus the
doctrine of Transience supplies us with an inexhaustible source of
hope and comfort, leads us into the living universe, and introduces
us to the presence of Universal Life or Buddha.

The reader may easily understand how Zen conceives Buddha as the
living principle from the following dialogues: Is it true, sir,
asked a monk of Teu tsz (To-shi), that all the voices of Nature are
those of Buddha? Yes, certainly, replied Teu tsz. What is,
reverend sir, asked a man of Chao Cheu (Jo-shu), the holy temple
(of Buddha)? An innocent girl, replied the teacher. Who is the
master of the temple? asked the other again. A baby in her womb,
was the answer. What is, sir, asked a monk to Yen Kwan (Yen-kan),
the original body of Buddha Vairocana?[FN#147] Fetch me a pitcher
with water, said the teacher. The monk did as he was ordered. Put
it back in its place, said Yen Kwan again.[FN#148]


[FN#147] Literally, All Illuminating Buddha, the highest of the
Trikayas. See Eitel, p. 192.

[FN#148] Zen-rin-rui-shu.






Next: Everything Is Living According To Zen

Previous: Life And Change



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