Samurai Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...
The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...
The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...
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 ...
Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...
The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...
Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...
The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...
Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...
Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...
The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...
The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...
The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...
The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...
Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...
No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with the
primitive faith of Hinayanism, and are inclined to call Mahayanism, a
later developed faith, a degenerated one. If the primitive faith be
called the genuine, as these scholars think, and the later developed
faith be the degenerated one, then the child should be called the
genuine man and the grown-up people be the degenerated ones;
similarly, the primitive society must be the genuine and the modern
civilization be the degenerated one. So also the earliest writings
of the Old Testament should be genuine and the four Gospels be
degenerated. Beyond all doubt Zen belongs to Mahayanism, yet this
does not imply that it depends on the scriptural authority of that
school, because it does not trouble itself about the Canon whether it
be Hinayana or Mahayana, or whether it was directly spoken by Shakya
Muni or written by some later Buddhists. Zen is completely free from
the fetters of old dogmas, dead creeds, and conventions of
stereotyped past, that check the development of a religious faith and
prevent the discovery of a new truth. Zen needs no Inquisition. It
never compelled nor will compel the compromise of a Galileo or a
Descartes. No excommunication of a Spinoza or the burning of a Bruno
is possible for Zen.
On a certain occasion Yoh Shan (Yaku-san) did not preach the doctrine
for a long while, and was requested to give a sermon by his assistant
teacher, saying: Would your reverence preach the Dharma to your
pupils, who long thirst after your merciful instruction? Then ring
the bell, replied Yoh Shan. The bell rang, and all the monks
assembled in the Hall eager to bear the sermon. Yoh Shan went up to
the pulpit and descended immediately without saying a word. You,
reverend sir, asked the assistant, promised to deliver a sermon a
little while ago. Why do you not preach? Sutras are taught by the
Sutra teachers, said the master; Castras are taught by the Castra
teachers. No wonder that I say nothing.[FN#110] This little
episode will show you that Zen is no fixed doctrine embodied in a
Sutra or a Castra, but a conviction or realization within us.
[FN#110] Zen-rin-rui-shu and E-gen.
To quote another example, an officer offered to Tung Shan (To-zan)
plenty of alms, and requested him to recite the sacred Canon. Tung
Shan, rising from his chair, made a bow respectfully to the officer,
who did the same to the teacher. Then Tung Shan went round the
chair, taking the officer with him, and making a bow again to the
officer, asked: Do you see what I mean? No, sir, replied the
other. I have been reciting the sacred Canon, why do you not
see?[FN#111] Thus Zen does not regard Scriptures in black and white
as its Canon, for it takes to-days and tomorrows of this actual life
as its inspired pages.
[FN#111] Zen-rin-rui-sha and To-zan-roku.
Next: The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
Previous: Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper