Samurai Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...
The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...
The Buddha Of Mercy
Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt;
Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...
Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...
The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...
The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...
Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...
The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...
The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...
The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...
The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...
Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...
The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or
Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...
Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...
The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an eminent
disciple of the Sixth Patriarch, and completed by Tsing Shan (To-zan).
Although the Rin Zai school was, as mentioned above, established by
Ei-sai, yet he himself was not a pure Zen teacher, being a Ten Dai
scholar as well as an experienced practiser of Mantra. The first
establishment of Zen in its purest form was done by Do-gen, now known
as Jo Yo Dai Shi. Like Ei-sai, he was admitted into the Hi-yei
Monastery at an early age, and devoted himself to the study of the
Canon. As his scriptural knowledge increased, he was troubled by
inexpressible doubts and fears, as is usual with great religious
teachers. Consequently, one day he consulted his uncle, Ko-in, a
distinguished Ten Dai scholar, about his troubles. The latter, being
unable to satisfy him, recommended him Ei-sai, the founder of the new
faith. But as Ei-sai died soon afterwards, he felt that he had no
competent teacher left, and crossed the sea for China, at the age of
twenty-four, in 1223. There he was admitted into the monastery of
Tien Tung Shan (Ten-do-san), and assigned the lowest seat in the
hall, simply because be was a foreigner. Against this affront he
strongly protested. In the Buddhist community, he said, all were
brothers, and there was no difference of nationality. The only way
to rank the brethren was by seniority, and he therefore claimed to
occupy his proper rank. Nobody, however, lent an ear to the poor
new-comer's protest, so he appealed twice to the Chinese Emperor Ning
Tsung (1195-1224), and by the Imperial order he gained his object.
After four years' study and discipline, he was Enlightened and
acknowledged as the successor by his master Ju Tsing (Nyo-jo died in
1228), who belonged to the Tsao Tung (So To) school. He came home in
1227, bringing with him three important Zen books.[FN#76] Some three
years he did what Bodhidharma, the Wall-gazing Brahmin, had done
seven hundred years before him, retiring to a hermitage at Fuka-kusa,
not very far from Kyo-to. Just like Bodhidharma, denouncing all
worldly fame and gain, his attitude toward the world was
diametrically opposed to that of Ei-sai. As we have seen above,
Ei-sai never shunned, but rather sought the society of the powerful
and the rich, and made for his goal by every means. But to the Sage
of Fuka-kusa, as Do-gen was called at that time, pomp and power was
the most disgusting thing in the world. Judging from his poems, be
seems to have spent these years chiefly in meditation; dwelling now
on the transitoriness of life, now on the eternal peace of Nirvana;
now on the vanities and miseries of the world; now listening to the
voices of Nature amongst the hills; now gazing into the brooklet that
was, as he thought, carrying away his image reflected on it into the
[FN#76] (1) Pao King San Mei (Ho-kyo-san-mai, 'Precious Mirror
Samadhi'), a metrical exposition of Zen, by Tung Shan (To-zan,
806-869), one of the founders of the So To school. (2) Wu Wei Hien
Hueh (Go-i-ken-ketsu. 'Explanation of the Five Categories'), by Tung
Shan and his disciple Tsao Shan (So-zan). This book shows us how Zen
was systematically taught by the authors. (3) Pih Yen Tsih
(Heki-gan-shu, 'A Collection and Critical Treatment of Dialogues'),
by Yuen Wu.
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