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Buddhism

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who ...

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

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

Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

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

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

The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

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

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

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

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

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

Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

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

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




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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