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Buddhism

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

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

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

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

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...

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

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

Pessimistic View Of The Ancient Hindus
In addition to this, the new theory of matter has entirely ov...

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of Mahaya...

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that sur...

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

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

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

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




Change As Seen By Zen








Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transience, but
it has come to a view diametrically opposite to that of the Hindus.
Transience for Zen simply means change. It is a form in which life
manifests itself. Where there is life there is change or Transience.
Where there is more change there is more vital activity. Suppose an
absolutely changeless body: it must be absolutely lifeless. An
eternally changeless life is equivalent to an eternally changeless
death. Why do we value the morning glory, which fades in a few
hours, more than an artificial glass flower, which endures hundreds
of years? Why do we prefer an animal life, which passes away in a
few scores of years, to a vegetable life, which can exist thousands
of years? Why do we prize changing organism more than inorganic
matter, unchanging and constant? If there be no change in the bright
hues of a flower, it is as worthless as a stone. If there be no
change in the song of a bird, it is as valueless as a whistling wind.
If there be no change in trees and grass, they are utterly
unsuitable to be planted in a garden. Now, then, what is the use of
our life, if it stand still? As the water of a running stream is
always fresh and wholesome because it does not stop for a moment, so
life is ever fresh and new because it does not stand still, but
rapidly moves on from parents to children, from children to
grandchildren, from grandchildren to great-grandchildren, and flows
on through generation after generation, renewing itself ceaselessly.

We can never deny the existence of old age and death--nay, death is
of capital importance for a continuation of life, because death
carries away all the decaying organism in the way of life. But for
it life would be choked up with organic rubbish. The only way of
life's pushing itself onward or its renewing itself is its producing
of the young and getting rid of the old. If there be no old age nor
death, life is not life, but death.






Next: Life And Change

Previous: Hinayanism And Its Doctrine



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