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Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

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...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
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Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
[FN#67] The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a pr...

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

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

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

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

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
[FN#107] Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
[FN#275] The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a...

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...




The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai








Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Japanese
chivalry. First, both the Samurai and the Zen monk have to undergo a
strict discipline and endure privation without complaint. Even such
a prominent teacher as Ei-sai, for example, lived contentedly in such
needy circumstances that on one occasion[FN#81] he and his disciples
had nothing to eat for several days. Fortunately, they were
requested by a believer to recite the Scriptures, and presented with
two rolls of silk. The hungry young monks, whose mouths watered
already at the expectation of a long-looked-for dinner, were
disappointed when that silk was given to a poor man, who called on
Ei-sai to obtain some help. Fast continued for a whole week, when
another poor follow came in and asked Ei-sai to give something. At
this time, having nothing to show his substantial mark of sympathy
towards the poor, Ei-sai tore off the gilt glory of the image of
Buddha Bhecajya and gave it. The young monks, bitten both by hunger
and by anger at this outrageous act to the object of worship,
questioned Ei-sai by way of reproach: Is it, sir, right for us
Buddhists to demolish the image of a Buddha? Well, replied Ei-sai
promptly, Buddha would give even his own life for the sake of
suffering people. How could he be reluctant to give his halo? This
anecdote clearly shows us self-sacrifice is of first importance in
the Zen discipline.

[FN#81] The incident is told by Do-gen in his Zui-mon-ki.






Next: The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai

Previous: The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen



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