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Buddhism

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, see...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

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

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

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

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

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

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

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

Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

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

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

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

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

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

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




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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