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

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Surp...

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
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The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

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...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

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

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

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

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

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...




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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