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

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

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

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

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

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

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

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 ...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

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

Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...

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

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

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

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...




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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