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The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, se...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Surp...

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

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

True Dhyana
To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zaz...

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists[FN#214] maintain that there are on e...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

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

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

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

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

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...




The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman








The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and a
stupid woman in a Japanese parable which runs as follows: One
evening a monk (who was used to have his head shaved clean), getting
drunk against the moral precepts, visited a woman, known as a
blockhead, at her house. No sooner had he got into her room than the
female fell asleep so soundly that the monk could not wake her nap.
Thereupon he made up his mind to use every possible means to arouse
her, and searched and searched all over the room for some instrument
that would help him in his task of arousing her from death-like
slumber. Fortunately, he found a razor in one of the drawers of her
mirror stand. With it he gave a stroke to her hair, but she did not
stir a whit. Then came another stroke, and she snored like thunder.
The third and fourth strokes came, but with no better result. And at
last her head was shaven clean, yet still she slept on. The next
morning when she awoke, she could not find her visitor, the monk, as
he had left the house in the previous night. 'Where is my visitor,
where my dear monk?' she called aloud, and waking in a state of
somnambulation looked for him in vain, repeating the outcry. When at
length her hand accidentally touched her shaven head, she mistook it
for that of her visitor, and exclaimed: 'Here you are, my dear, where
am I myself gone then? A great trouble with the confused is their
forgetting of real self or Buddha-nature, and not knowing 'where it
is gone.' Duke Ngai, of the State of Lu, once said to Confucius:
One of my subjects, Sir, is so much forgetful that he forgot to take
his wife when be changed his residence. That is not much, my
lord, said the sage, the Emperors Kieh[FN#173] and Cheu[FN#174]
forgot their own selves.[FN#175]


[FN#173] The last Emperor of the Ha dynasty, notorious for his
vices. His reign was 1818-1767 B.C.

[FN#174] The last Emperor of the Yin dynasty, one of the worst
despots. His reign was 1154-1122 B.C.

[FN#175] Ko-shi-ke-go.






Next: Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer

Previous: Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son



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