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

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

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

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

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

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Surp...

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




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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