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

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne[FN#204] says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms o...

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

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

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 Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai

Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of both
the Zen monk and the Samurai. To get rich by an ignoble means is
against the rules of Japanese chivalry or Bushido. The Samurai would
rather starve than to live by some expedient unworthy of his dignity.
There are many instances, in the Japanese history, of Samurais who
were really starved to death in spite of their having a hundred
pieces of gold carefully preserved to meet the expenses at the time
of an emergency; hence the proverb: The falcon would not feed on the
ear of corn, even if he should starve. Similarly, we know of no
case of Zen monks, ancient and modern, who got rich by any ignoble
means. They would rather face poverty with gladness of heart.
Fu-gai, one of the most distinguished Zen masters just before the
Restoration, supported many student monks in his monastery. They
were often too numerous to be supported by his scant means. This
troubled his disciple much whose duty it was to look after the
food-supply, as there was no other means to meet the increased demand
than to supply with worse stuff. Accordingly, one day the disciple
advised Fu-gai not to admit new students any more into the monastery.
Then the master, making no reply, lolled out his tongue and said:
Now look into my mouth, and tell if there be any tongue in it. The
perplexed disciple answered affirmatively. Then don't bother
yourself about it. If there be any tongue, I can taste any sort of
food. Honest poverty may, without exaggeration, be called one of
the characteristics of the Samurais and of the Zen monks; hence a
proverb: The Zen monk has no money, moneyed Monto[FN#82] knows

[FN#82] The priest belonging to Shin Shu, who are generally rich.

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