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The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

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

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga[FN#250] claims that various supernatural powers can be a...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

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

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

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai

Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, with
unflinching courage. He would never turn back from, but fight till
his last with his enemy. To be called a coward was for him the
dishonour worse than death itself. An incident about Tsu Yuen
(So-gen), who came over to Japan in 1280, being invited by
Toki-mune[FN#86] (Ho-jo), the Regent General, well illustrates how
much Zen monks resembled our Samurais. The event happened when he
was in China, where the invading army of Yuen spread terror all over
the country. Some of the barbarians, who crossed the border of the
State of Wan, broke into the monastery of Tsu Yuen, and threatened to
behead him. Then calmly sitting down, ready to meet his fate, he
composed the following verses

The heaven and earth afford me no shelter at all;
I'm glad, unreal are body and soul.
Welcome thy weapon, O warrior of Yuen! Thy trusty steel,
That flashes lightning, cuts the wind of Spring, I feel.

[FN#86] A bold statesman and soldier, who was the real ruler of
Japan 1264-1283.

This reminds us of Sang Chao[FN#87] (So-jo), who, on the verge of
death by the vagabond's sword, expressed his feelings in the follow

In body there exists no soul.
The mind is not real at all.
Now try on me thy flashing steel,
As if it cuts the wind of Spring, I feel.

[FN#87] The man was not a pure Zen master, being a disciple of
Kumarajiva, the founder of the San Ron Sect. This is a most
remarkable evidence that Zen, especially the Rin Zan school, was
influenced by Kumarajiva and his disciples. For the details of the
anecdote, see E-gen.

The barbarians, moved by this calm resolution and dignified air of
Tsu Yuen, rightly supposed him to be no ordinary personage, and left
the monastery, doing no harm to him.

Next: Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period

Previous: The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai

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