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The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

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

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

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

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law[fn#31]
[FN#31] For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, b...

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

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

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

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

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung (tai-so)
The Third[FN#40] Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin)...

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...

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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