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Buddhism

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

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

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

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...

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

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

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

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

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

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

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

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

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

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

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

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

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




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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