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Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

True Dhyana
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The Beatitude Of Zen
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Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...

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

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

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




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
nothing.


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






Next: The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai

Previous: The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai



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