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The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

Everything Is Living According To Zen
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Life Change And Hope
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The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
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Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
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Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
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Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

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

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shih
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given by Su Shih ...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
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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.






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