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Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

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

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
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All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
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Zen And Idealism
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Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
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Life And Change
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The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
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The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followi...

The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
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The Buddha Of Mercy
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The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

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

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

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

The Progress And Hope Of Life
How many myriads of years have passed since the germs of life...

Zen In The Dark Age

The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms and
bloodshed. Every day the sun shone on the glittering armour of
marching soldiers. Every wind sighed over the lifeless remains of
the brave. Everywhere the din of battle resounded. Out of these
fighting feudal lords stood two champions. Each of them
distinguished himself as a veteran soldier and tactician. Each of
them was known as an experienced practiser of Zen. One was
Haru-nobu[FN#95] (Take-da, died in 1573), better known by his
Buddhist name, Shin-gen. The other was Teru-tora[FN#96] (Uye-sugi,
died in 1578), better known by his Buddhist name, Ken-shin. The
character of Shin-gen can be imagined from the fact that he never
built any castle or citadel or fortress to guard himself against his
enemy, but relied on his faithful vassals and people; while that of
Ken-shin, from the fact that he provided his enemy, Shin-gen, with
salt when the latter suffered from want of it, owing to the cowardly
stratagem of a rival lord. The heroic battles waged by these two
great generals against each other are the flowers of the Japanese
war-history. Tradition has it that when Shin-gen's army was put to
rout by the furious attacks of Ken-shin's troops, and a single
warrior mounted on a huge charger rode swiftly as a sweeping wind
into Shin-gen's head-quarters, down came a blow of the heavy sword
aimed at Shin-gen's forehead, with a question expressed in the
technical terms of Zen: What shalt thou do in such a state at such a
moment? Having no time to draw his sword, Shin-gen parried it with
his war-fan, answering simultaneously in Zen words: A flake of snow
on the red-hot furnace! Had not his attendants come to the rescue
Shin-gen's life might have gone as 'a flake of snow on the red-hot
furnace.' Afterwards the horseman was known to have been Ken-shin
himself. This tradition shows us how Zen was practically lived by
the Samurais of the Dark Age.

[FN#95] Shin-gen practised Zen under the instruction of Kwai-sen,
who was burned to death by Nobu-naga (O-da) in 1582. See

[FN#96] Ken-shin learned Zen under Shu-ken, a So Ta master. See

Although the priests of other Buddhist sects had their share in these
bloody affairs, as was natural at such a time, yet Zen monks stood
aloof and simply cultivated their literature. Consequently, when all
the people grew entirely ignorant at the end of the Dark Age, the Zen
monks were the only men of letters. None can deny this merit of
their having preserved learning and prepared for its revival in the
following period.[FN#97]

[FN#97] After the introduction of Zen into Japan many important
books were written, and the following are chief doctrinal works:
Ko-zen-go-koku-ron, by Ei-sai; Sho bo-gen-zo; Gaku-do-yo-zin-shu;
Fu-kwan-za-zen-gi; Ei-hei-ko-roku, by Do-gen; Za-zen-yo-zin-ki; and
Den-ko-roku, by Kei-zan.

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