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The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

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

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

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

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

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

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

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

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...




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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