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True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...

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

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

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

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

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

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

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

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

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

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

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




Life In The Concrete








Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs from life
in the abstract, which exists only in the class-room. It is not
eternal; it is fleeting; it is full of anxieties, pains, struggles,
brutalities, disappointments, and calamities. We love life, however,
-not only for its smoothness, but for its roughness; not only for its
pleasure, but for its pain; not only for its hope, but for its fear;
not only for its flowers, but for its frost and snow. As
Issai[FN#224] (Sato) has aptly put it: Prosperity is like spring, in
which we have green leaves and flowers wherever we go; while
adversity is like winter, in which we have snow and ice. Spring, of
course, pleases us; winter, too, displeases us not. Adversity is
salt to our lives, as it keeps them from corruption, no matter how
bitter to taste it way be. It is the best stimulus to body and mind,
since it brings forth latent energy that may remain dormant but for
it. Most people hunt after pleasure, look for good luck, hunger
after success, and complain of pain, ill-luck, and failure. It does
not occur to them that 'they who make good luck a god are all unlucky
men,' as George Eliot has wisely observed. Pleasure ceases to be
pleasure when we attain to it; another sort of pleasure displays
itself to tempt us. It is a mirage, it beckons to us to lead us
astray. When an overwhelming misfortune looks us in the face, our
latent power is sure to be aroused to grapple with it. Even delicate
girls exert the power of giants at the time of emergency; even
robbers or murderers are found to be kind and generous when we are
thrown into a common disaster. Troubles and difficulties call forth
our divine force, which lies deeper than the ordinary faculties, and
which we never before dreamed we possessed.


[FN#224] A noted scholar (1772-1859) and author, who belonged to the
Wang School of Confucianism. See Gen-shi-roku.






Next: Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist

Previous: The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg



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