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

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

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

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

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

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

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

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

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

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

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

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...




Poetical Intuition And Zen








Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the poetical
intuition of man never fails to find it, and to delight in everything
typical of that Spirit. The leaves of the plantain, says a Zen
poet, unfold themselves, hearing the voice of thunder. The flowers
of the hollyhock turn towards the sun, looking at it all day long.
Jesus could see in the lily the Unseen Being who clothed it so
lovely. Wordsworth found the most profound thing in all the world to
be the universal spiritual life, which manifests itself most directly
in nature, clothed in its own proper dignity and peace. Through
every star, says Carlyle, through every grass blade, most through
every soul, the glory of present God still beams.

It is not only grandeur and sublimity that indicate Universal Life,
but smallness and commonplace do the same. A sage of old awakened to
the faith[FN#151] when he heard a bell ring; another, when he looked
at the peach blossom; another, when he heard the frogs croaking; and
another, when he saw his own form reflected in a river. The minutest
particles of dust form a world. The meanest grain of sand under our
foot proclaims a divine law. Therefore Teu Tsz Jo-shi), pointing to
a stone in front of his temple, said: All the Buddhas of the past,
the present, and the future are living therein.[FN#152]


[FN#151] Both the Chinese and the Japanese history of Zen are full
of such incidents.

[FN#152] Zen-rin-rui-shu and To-shi-go-roku.






Next: Enlightened Consciousness

Previous: Universal Life Is Universal Spirit



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