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The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

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

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

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

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

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

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




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
lines:

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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