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

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

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...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

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

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

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

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

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

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

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...




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
Enlightened.

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



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