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Buddhism

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

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

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

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

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...

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

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

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

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

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

The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
An eminent Chinese Buddhist scholar, well known as Ten Dai Da...

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

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

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

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

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

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




Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis








In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to refer to
the central problem of Zen or Enlightenment, whose content it is
futile to attempt to explain or analyze. We must not explain or
analyze it, because by doing so we cannot but mislead the reader. We
can as well represent Enlightenment by means of explanation or
analysis as we do personality by snapshots or by anatomical
operations. As our inner life, directly experienced within us, is
anything but the shape of the head, or the features of the face, or
the posture of the body, so Enlightenment experienced by Zenists at
the moment of their highest Samadhi is anything but the
psychological analysis of mental process, or the epistemological
explanation of cognition, or the philosophical generalization of
concepts. Enlightenment can be realized only by the Enlightened, and
baffles every attempt to describe it, even by the Enlightened
themselves. The effort of the confused to guess at Enlightenment is
often likened by the Zenists to the effort of the blind who feel an
elephant to know what it looks like. Some of them who happen to feel
the trunk would declare it is like a rope, but those who happen to
feel the belly would declare it is like a huge drum; while those who
happen to feel the feet would declare it is like the trunk of a tree.
But none of these conjectures can approach the living elephant.


Abstract Contemplation, which the Zenists distinguish from
Samadhi, practised by the Brahmins. The author of 'An Outline of
Buddhist Sects' points out the distinction, saying: "Contemplation of
outside religionists is practised with the heterodox view that the
lower worlds (the worlds for men, beasts, etc.) are disgusting, but
the upper worlds (the worlds for Devas) are desirable; Contemplation
of common people (ordinary lay believers of Buddhism) is practised
with the belief in the law of Karma, and also with disgust (for the
lower worlds) and desire (for the upper worlds); Contemplation of
Hinayana is practised with an insight into the truth of Anatman
(non-soul); Contemplation of Mahayana is practised with an insight of
Unreality of Atman (soul) as well as of Dharma (thing); Contemplation
of the highest perfection is practised with the view that Mind is
pure in its nature, it is endowed with unpolluted wisdom, free from
passion, and it is no other than Buddha himself."






Next: Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self

Previous: The Buddha Of Mercy



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