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

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

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

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

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

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
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Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

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

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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

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

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

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

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...




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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