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

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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 The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

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

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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

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

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

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

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

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

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

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

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

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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