Samurai Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...
Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...
Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...
The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...
The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...
The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...
Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...
The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...
Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...
Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...
Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...
The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of
Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...
Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...
Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...
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
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.
Next: Everything Is Living According To Zen
Previous: Life And Change