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

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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...

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

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

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

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

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

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

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...




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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