Samurai 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...
Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...
The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...
The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...
The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...
The Buddha Of Mercy
Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt;
The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...
Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...
The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or
Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...
Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...
Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...
Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...
Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...
The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch
Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...
The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...
Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of
self-preservation that calls forth an insatiable longing for
longevity. It is another form of egoism, one of the relics of our
brute forefathers. We must bear in mind that this illusion of the
individual Self is the foundation on which every form of immorality
has its being. I challenge my readers to find in the whole history
of mankind any crime not based on egoism. Evil-doers have been as a
rule pleasure-hunters, money-seekers, seekers after self-interests,
characterized by lust, folly, and cruelty. Has there been anyone who
committed theft that he might further the interests of his villagers?
Has there been any paramour who disgraced himself that lie might
help his neighbours? Has there been any traitor who performed the
ignoble conduct to promote the welfare of his own country or society
To get Enlightened, therefore, we have to correct, first of all, our
notions concerning Self. Individual body and mind are not the only
important constituents of Self. There are many other indispensable
elements in the notion of Self. For instance, I have come into
existence as another form of my parents. I am theirs, and may justly
be called the reincarnation of them. And again, my father is another
form of his parents; my mother of hers; his and her parents of
theirs; and ad infinitum. In brief, all my forefathers live and have
their being in me. I cannot help, therefore, thinking that my
physical state is the result of the sum total of my good and bad
actions in the past lives I led in the persons of my forefathers, and
of the influence I received therein;[FN#186] and that my psychical
state is the result of that which I received, felt, imagined,
conceived, experienced, and thought in my past existences in the
persons of my ancestors.
[FN#186] This is the law of Karma.
Besides this, my brothers, my sisters, my neighbours--nay, all my
follow-men and fellow-women are no other than the reincarnation of
their parents and forefathers, who are also mine. The same blood
invigorated the king as well as the beggar; the same nerve energized
the white as well as the black men; the same consciousness vitalized
the wise as well as the unwise. Impossible it is to conceive myself
independent of my fellow-men and fellow-women, for they are mine and
I am theirs--that is, I live and move in them, and they live and move
It is bare nonsense to say that I go to school, not to be educated as
a member of society, but simply to gratify my individual desire for
knowledge; or that I make a fortune, not to lead the life of a
well-to-do in society, but to satisfy my individual money-loving
instinct; or that I seek after truth, neither to do good to my
contemporaries nor to the future generations, but only for my
individual curiosity or that I live neither to live with my family
nor with my friends nor with anyone else, but to live my individual
life. It is as gross absurdity to say that I am an individual
absolutely independent of society as to say I am a husband with no
wife, or I am a son to no parents. Whatever I do directly or
indirectly I contribute to the common fortune of man; whatever anyone
else does directly or indirectly determines my fate. Therefore we
must realize that our Selves necessarily include other members of the
community, while other members' Selves necessarily comprehend us.
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