Samurai Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
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The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...
Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...
The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
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The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
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The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...
Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
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Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
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The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
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Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...
Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...
The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...
The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
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Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires,
Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
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Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...
The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...
Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
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The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supreme
Enlightenment after the practice of Meditation for one week, some for
one day, some for a score of years, and some for a few months. The
practice of Meditation, however, is not simply a means for
Enlightenment, as is usually supposed, but also it is the enjoyment
of Nirvana, or the beatitude of Zen. It is a matter, of course, that
we have fully to understand the doctrine of Zen, and that we have to
go through the mental training peculiar to Zen in order to be
The first step in the mental training is to become the master of
external things. He who is addicted to worldly pleasures, however
learned or ignorant he may be, however high or low his social
position may be, is a servant to mere things. He cannot adapt the
external world to his own end, but he adapts himself to it. He is
constantly employed, ordered, driven by sensual objects. Instead of
taking possession of wealth, he is possessed by wealth. Instead of
drinking liquors, he is swallowed up by his liquors. Balls and music
bid him to run mad. Games and shows order him not to stay at home.
Houses, furniture, pictures, watches, chains, hats, bonnets, rings,
bracelets, shoes--in short, everything has a word to command him.
How can such a person be the master of things? To Ju (Na-kae) says:
There is a great jail, not a jail for criminals, that contains the
world in it. Fame, gain, pride, and bigotry form its four walls.
Those who are confined in it fall a prey to sorrow and sigh for ever.
To be the ruler of things we have first to shut up all our senses,
and turn the currents of thoughts inward, and see ourselves as the
centre of the world, and meditate that we are the beings of highest
intelligence; that Buddha never puts us at the mercy of natural
forces; that the earth is in our possession; that everything on earth
is to be made use of for our noble ends; that fire, water, air,
grass, trees, rivers, hills, thunder, cloud, stars, the moon, the
sun, are at our command; that we are the law-givers of the natural
phenomena; that we are the makers of the phenomenal world; that it is
we that appoint a mission through life, and determine the fate of man.
Next: The Next Step In The Mental Training
Previous: The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters