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Buddhism

The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

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

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

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

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

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

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

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

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

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...

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




Enlightened Consciousness








In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on indirect
experience, we can have direct experience of life within us. In the
first place, we experience that our life is not a bare mechanical
motion or change, but is a spiritual, purposive, and self-directing
force. In the second place, we directly experience that it knows,
feels, and wills. In the third place, we experience that there
exists some power unifying the intellectual, emotional, and
volitional activities so as to make life uniform and rational.
Lastly, we experience that there lies deeply rooted within us
Enlightened Consciousness, which neither psychologists treat of nor
philosophers believe in, but which Zen teachers expound with strong
conviction. Enlightened Consciousness is, according to Zen, the
centre of spiritual life. It is the mind of minds, and the
consciousness of consciousness. It is the Universal Spirit awakened
in the human mind. It is not the mind that feels joy or sorrow; nor
is it the mind that reasons and infers; nor is it the mind that
fancies and dreams; nor is it the mind that hopes and fears; nor is
it the mind that distinguishes good from evil. It is Enlightened
Consciousness that holds communion with Universal Spirit or Buddha,
and realizes that individual lives are inseparably united, and of one
and the same nature with Universal Life. It is always bright as a
burnished mirror, and cannot be dimmed by doubt and ignorance. It is
ever pure as a lotus flower, and cannot be polluted by the mud of
evil and folly. Although all sentient beings are endowed with this
Enlightened Consciousness, they are not aware of its existence,
excepting men who can discover it by the practice of Meditation.
Enlightened consciousness is often called Buddha-nature, as it is the
real nature of Universal Spirit. Zen teachers compare it with a
precious stone ever fresh and pure, even if it be buried in the heaps
of dust. Its divine light can never be extinguished by doubt or
fear, just as the sunlight cannot be destroyed by mist and cloud.
Let us quote a Chinese Zen poet to see how Zen treats of it:

"I have an image of Buddha,
The worldly people know it not.
It is not made of clay or cloth,
Nor is it carved out of wood,
Nor is it moulded of earth nor of ashes.
No artist can paint it;
No robber can steal it.
There it exists from dawn of time.
It's clean, although not swept and wiped.
Although it is but one,
Divides itself to a hundred thousand million forms."


See Zen-gaku-ho-ten.






Next: Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind

Previous: Poetical Intuition And Zen



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