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

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

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
[FN#263] A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to ha...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

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

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

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

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated[FN#29] land for the s...

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

True Dhyana

To sit in Meditation is not the only method of practising Zazen. We
practise Dhyana in sitting, in standing, and in walking, says one of
the Japanese Zenists. Lin Tsi (Rin-Zai) also says: To concentrate
one's mind, or to dislike noisy places, and seek only for stillness,
is the characteristic of heterodox Dhyana. It is easy to keep
self-possession in a place of tranquillity, yet it is by no means
easy to keep mind undisturbed amid the bivouac of actual life. It is
true Dhyana that makes our mind sunny while the storms of strife rage
around us. It is true Dhyana that secures the harmony of heart,
while the surges of struggle toss us violently. It is true Dhyana
that makes us bloom and smile, while the winter of life covets us
with frost and snow.

Idle thoughts come and go over unenlightened minds six hundred and
fifty times in a snap of one's fingers, writes an Indian
teacher,[FN#260] and thirteen hundred million times every
twenty-four hours. This might be an exaggeration, yet we cannot but
acknowledge that one idle thought after another ceaselessly bubbles
up in the stream of consciousness. Dhyana is the letting go,
continues the writer--that is to say, the letting go of the thirteen
hundred million of idle thoughts. The very root of these thirteen
hundred million idle thoughts is an illusion about one's self. He is
indeed the poorest creature, even if he be in heaven, who thinks
himself poor. On the contrary, he is an angel who thinks himself
hopeful and happy, even though he be in hell. Pray deliver me,
said a sinner to Sang Tsung (So-san).[FN#261] Who ties you up? was
the reply. You tie yourself up day and night with the fine thread of
idle thoughts, and build a cocoon of environment from which you have
no way of escape. 'There is no rope, yet you imagine yourself
bound.' Who could put fetters on your mind but your mind itself?
Who could chain your will but your own will? Who could blind your
spiritual eyes, unless you yourself shut them up? Who could prevent
you from enjoying moral food, unless you yourself refuse to eat?
There are many, said Sueh Fung (Sep-po) on one occasion, who
starve in spite of their sitting in a large basket full of victuals.
There are many who thirst in spite of seating themselves on the shore
of a sea. Yes, Sir, replied Huen Sha (Gen-sha), there are many
who starve in spite of putting their heads into the basket full of
victuals. There are many who thirst in spite of putting their heads
into the waters of the sea.[FN#262] Who could cheer him up who
abandons himself to self-created misery? Who could save him who
denies his own salvation?

[FN#260] The introduction to Anapana-sutra by Khin San Hwui, who
came to China A.D. 241.

[FN#261] The Third Patriarch.

[FN#262] Hwui Yuen (E-gen).

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