Samurai Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...
Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...
The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...
The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...
The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...
Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...
The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...
Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...
Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...
The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...
Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...
Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...
The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...
Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...
Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...
The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or
Good-natured in a sense transcendental to the duality of good and
bad. It conveys no sense to call some individuals good in case there
is no bad individual. For the sake of convenience, however, Zen
calls man good, as is exemplified by Shakya Muni, who was wont to
address his hearers as 'good men and women,' and by the Sixth
Patriarch in China, who called everybody 'a good and wise one.' This
does not imply in the least that all human beings are virtuous,
sinless, and saintly-nay, the world is full of vices and crimes. It
is an undeniable fact that life is the warfare of good against evil,
and many a valiant hero has fallen in the foremost ranks. It is
curious, however, to notice that the champions on the both sides are
fighting for the same cause. There can be no single individual in
the world who is fighting against his own cause or interest, and the
only possible difference between one party and the other consists in
the extent of interests which they fight for. So-called bad persons,
who are properly designated as 'small persons' by Chinese and
Japanese scholars, express their Buddha-nature to a small extent
mostly within their own doors, while so-called good persons, or
'great persons' as the Oriental scholars call them, actualize their
Buddha-nature to a large extent in the whole sphere of a country, or
of the whole earth.
Enlightened Consciousness, or Buddha-nature, as we have seen in the
previous chapter, is the mind of mind and the consciousness of
consciousness, Universal Spirit awakened in individual minds, which
realizes the universal brotherhood of all beings and the unity of
individual lives. It is the real self, the guiding principle, the
Original Physiognomy[FN#169] (nature), as it is called by Zen, of
man. This real self lies dormant under the threshold of
consciousness in the minds of the confused; consequently, each of
them is inclined to regard petty individual as his self, and to exert
himself to further the interests of the individual self even at the
cost of those of the others. He is 'the smallest person' in the
world, for his self is reduced to the smallest extent possible. Some
of the less confused identify their selves with their families, and
feel happy or unhappy in proportion as their families are happy or
unhappy, for the sake of which they sacrifice the interests of other
families. On the other hand, some of the more enlightened unite
their selves through love and compassion with their whole tribe or
countrymen, and consider the rise or fall of the tribe or of the
country as their own, and willingly sacrifice their own lives, if
need be, for the cause of the tribe or the country. When they are
fully enlightened, they can realize the unity of all sentient lives,
and be ever merciful and helpful towards all creatures. They are
'the greatest persons' on earth, because their selves are enlarged to
the greatest extent possible.
[FN#169] The expression first occurs in Ho-bo-dan-kyo of the Sixth
Patriarch, and is frequently used by later Zenists.
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