Samurai Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...
Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...
Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...
Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...
The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...
Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...
Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...
Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...
The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...
Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...
The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...
Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...
Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...
Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...
Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...
The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, next we
must awaken our innermost wisdom, pure and divine, called the Mind of
Buddha,[FN#190] or Bodhi,[FN#191] or Prajnya[FN#192] by Zen masters.
It is the divine light, the inner heaven, the key to all moral
treasures, the centre of thought and consciousness, the source of all
influence and power, the seat of kindness, justice, sympathy,
impartial love, humanity, and mercy, the measure of all things. When
this innermost wisdom is fully awakened, we are able to realize that
each and everyone of us is identical in spirit, in essence, in nature
with the universal life or Buddha, that each ever lives face to face
with Buddha, that each is beset by the abundant grace of the Blessed
One, that He arouses his moral nature, that He opens his spiritual
eyes, that He unfolds his new capacity, that He appoints his mission,
and that life is not an ocean of birth, disease, old age, and death,
nor the vale of tears, but the holy temple of Buddha, the Pure
Land,[FN#193] where be can enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.
[FN#190] Zen is often called the Sect of Buddha-mind, as it lays
stress on the awakening of the Mind of Buddha. The words 'the Mind
of Buddha' were taken from a passage in Lankavatara-sutra.
[FN#191] That knowledge by which one becomes enlightened.
[FN#192] Supreme wisdom.
[FN#193] Sukhavati, or the land of bliss.
Then our minds go through an entire revolution. We are no more
troubled by anger and hatred, no more bitten by envy and ambition, no
more stung by sorrow and chagrin, no more overwhelmed by melancholy
and despair. Not that we become passionless or simply intellectual,
but that we have purified passions, which, instead of troubling us,
inspire us with noble aspirations, such as anger and hatred against
injustice, cruelty, and dishonesty, sorrow and lamentation for human
frailty, mirth and joy for the welfare of follow-beings, pity and
sympathy for suffering creatures. The same change purifies our
intellect. Scepticism and sophistry give way to firm conviction;
criticism and hypothesis to right judgment; and inference and
argument to realization.
What we merely observed before we now touch with heart as well. What
we knew in relation of difference before we now understand in
relation of unity as well. How things happen was our chief concern
before, but now we consider as well bow much value they have. What
was outside us before now comes within us. What was dead and
indifferent before grows now alive and lovable to us. What was
insignificant and empty before becomes now important, and has
profound meaning. Wherever we go we find beauty; whomever we meet we
find good; whatever we get we receive with gratitude. This is the
reason why the Zenists not only regarded all their fellow-beings as
their benefactors, but felt gratitude even towards fuel and water.
The present writer knows a contemporary Zenist who would not drink
even a cup of water without first making a salutation to it. Such an
attitude of Zen toward things may well be illustrated by the
following example: Sueh Fung (Sep-po) and Kin Shan (Kin-zan), once
travelling through a mountainous district, saw a leaf of the rape
floating down the stream. Thereon Kin Shan said: Let us go up, dear
brother, along the stream that we may find a sage living up on the
mountain. I hope we shall find a good teacher in him. No,
replied Sueh Fung, for he cannot be a sage who wastes even a leaf of
the rape. He will be no good teacher for us.
Next: Zen Is Not Nihilistic
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