Samurai Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...
The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...
Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...
Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...
Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...
Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...
Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...
Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...
The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the
A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...
Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...
Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...
The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...
Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...
Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...
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.
Next: The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
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