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The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

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

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anot...

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...

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

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

The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

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

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

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

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

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

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

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

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




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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