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The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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

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

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

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

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

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

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

The Third Step In The Mental Training
To be the lord of mind is more essential to Enlightenment, wh...

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

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

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

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

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

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

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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

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




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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