Samurai Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...
Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...
Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...
Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...
Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...
The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...
A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...
Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...
Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...
Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...
Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...
The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...
Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...
The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...
Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...
Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that su...
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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