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

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

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

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

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

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

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

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

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

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...




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).






Next: Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts

Previous: Zen And Supernatural Power



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