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Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

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

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

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

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

The Parable Of A Drunkard

Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with
Buddha-nature, why have they not come naturally to be Enlightened?
To answer this question, the Indian Mahayanists[FN#171] told the
parable of a drunkard who forgets the precious gems put in his own
pocket by one of his friends. The man is drunk with the poisonous
liquor of selfishness, led astray by the alluring sight of the
sensual objects, and goes mad with anger, lust, and folly. Thus he
is in a state of moral poverty, entirely forgetting the precious gem
of Buddha-nature within him. To be in an honourable position in
society as the owner of that valuable property, he must first get rid
himself of the influence of the liquor of self, and detach himself
from sensual objects, gain control over his passion, restore peace
and sincerity to his mind, and illumine his whole existence by his
inborn divine light. Otherwise he has to remain in the same plight
to all eternity.

[FN#171] Mahaparinirvana-sutra.

Lot us avail ourselves of another figure to explain more clearly the
point at issue. Universal Spirit may fitly be likened to the
universal water, or water circulating through the whole earth. This
universal water exists everywhere. It exists in the tree. It exists
in the grass. It exists in the mountain. It exists in the river.
It exists in the sea. It exists in the air. It exists in the cloud.
Thus man is not only surrounded by water on all sides, but it
penetrates his very body. But be can never appease his thirst
without drinking water. In like manner Universal Spirit exists
everywhere. It exists in the tree. It exists in the grass. It
exists in the ground. It exists in the mountain. It exists in the
river. It exists in the sea. It exists in the bird. It exists in
the beast. Thus man is not merely surrounded by Spirit on all sides,
but it permeates through his whole existence. But he can never be
Enlightened unless he awakens it within him by means of Meditation.
To drink water is to drink the universal water; to awaken
Buddha-nature is to be conscious of Universal Spirit.

Therefore, to get Enlightened we have to believe that all beings are
Buddha-natured--that is, absolutely good-natured in the sense that
transcends the duality of good and bad. One day, to cite an
example, Pan Shan (Ban-zan) happened to pass by a meat-shop. He
heard a customer saying: 'Give me a pound of fresh meat.' To which
the shopkeeper, putting down his knife, replied: Certainly, sir.
Could there be any meat that is not fresh in my shop?' Pan Shan,
hearing these remarks, was Enlightened at once.

Next: Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son

Previous: Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals

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