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

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

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

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

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

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

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...

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

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

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

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




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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