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Buddhism

Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

The Errors Of Philosophical Pessimists And Religious Optimists
Philosophical pessimists maintain that there are on earth ma...

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

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

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

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

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

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

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...

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

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

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

The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or ...

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

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




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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