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There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

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

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

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

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

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

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

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

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

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 Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

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

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




Universal Life Is Universal Spirit








These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal Life is
not a blind vital force, but Creative Spirit, or Mind, or
Consciousness, which unfolds itself in myriads of ways. Everything
in the universe, according to Zen, lives and acts, and at the same
time discloses its spirit. To be alive is identically the same as to
be spiritual. As the poet has his song, so does the nightingale, so
does the cricket, so does the rivulet. As we are pleased or
offended, so are horses, so are dogs, so are sparrows, ants,
earthworms, and mushrooms. Simpler the body, simpler its spirit;
more complicated the body, more complicated its spirit. 'Mind
slumbers in the pebble, dreams in the plant, gathers energy in the
animal, and awakens to self-conscious discovery in the soul of man.'

It is this Creative, Universal Spirit that sends forth Aurora to
illuminate the sky, that makes Diana shed her benign rays and Ĉolus
play on his harp, wreathes spring with flowers, that clothes autumn
with gold, that induces plants to put forth blossoms, that incites
animals to be energetic, and that awakens consciousness in man. The
author of Mahavaipulya-purnabuddha-sutra expressly states our idea
when he says: Mountains, rivers, skies, the earth: all these are
embraced in the True Spirit, enlightened and mysterious. Rin-zai
also says: Spirit is formless, but it penetrates through the world
in the ten directions.[FN#149] The Sixth Patriarch expresses the
same idea more explicitly: What creates the phenomena is Mind; what
transcends all the phenomena is Buddha.[FN#150]


[FN#149] Rin-zai-roku.

[FN#150] Roku-so-dan-kyo.






Next: Poetical Intuition And Zen

Previous: The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity



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