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Buddhism

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

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period, and after the downfall o...

Life And Change
Transformation and change are the essential features of life;...

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

Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung Yo-yu
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...

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

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

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

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

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

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

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

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

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

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

Calmness Of Mind
The Yogi breathing above mentioned is fit rather for physical...

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




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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