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

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

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Parable Of The Monk And The Stupid Woman
The confused or unenlightened may be compared with a monk and...

The Theory Of Buddha-nature Adequately Explains The Ethical States Of Man
This theory of Buddha-nature enables us to get an insight int...

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

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

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

There Is No Mortal Who Is Purely Moral
By nature man should be either good or bad; or he should be g...

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

Nature Is The Mother Of All Things
Furthermore, man has come into existence out of Nature. He i...

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

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen

Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with the
primitive faith of Hinayanism, and are inclined to call Mahayanism, a
later developed faith, a degenerated one. If the primitive faith be
called the genuine, as these scholars think, and the later developed
faith be the degenerated one, then the child should be called the
genuine man and the grown-up people be the degenerated ones;
similarly, the primitive society must be the genuine and the modern
civilization be the degenerated one. So also the earliest writings
of the Old Testament should be genuine and the four Gospels be
degenerated. Beyond all doubt Zen belongs to Mahayanism, yet this
does not imply that it depends on the scriptural authority of that
school, because it does not trouble itself about the Canon whether it
be Hinayana or Mahayana, or whether it was directly spoken by Shakya
Muni or written by some later Buddhists. Zen is completely free from
the fetters of old dogmas, dead creeds, and conventions of
stereotyped past, that check the development of a religious faith and
prevent the discovery of a new truth. Zen needs no Inquisition. It
never compelled nor will compel the compromise of a Galileo or a
Descartes. No excommunication of a Spinoza or the burning of a Bruno
is possible for Zen.

On a certain occasion Yoh Shan (Yaku-san) did not preach the doctrine
for a long while, and was requested to give a sermon by his assistant
teacher, saying: "Would your reverence preach the Dharma to your
pupils, who long thirst after your merciful instruction?" "Then ring
the bell," replied Yoh Shan. The bell rang, and all the monks
assembled in the Hall eager to bear the sermon. Yoh Shan went up to
the pulpit and descended immediately without saying a word. "You,
reverend sir," asked the assistant, "promised to deliver a sermon a
little while ago. Why do you not preach?" "Sutras are taught by the
Sutra teachers," said the master; "Castras are taught by the Castra
teachers. No wonder that I say nothing." This little
episode will show you that Zen is no fixed doctrine embodied in a
Sutra or a Castra, but a conviction or realization within us.

Zen-rin-rui-shu and E-gen.

To quote another example, an officer offered to Tung Shan (To-zan)
plenty of alms, and requested him to recite the sacred Canon. Tung
Shan, rising from his chair, made a bow respectfully to the officer,
who did the same to the teacher. Then Tung Shan went round the
chair, taking the officer with him, and making a bow again to the
officer, asked: "Do you see what I mean?" "No, sir," replied the
other. "I have been reciting the sacred Canon, why do you not
see?" Thus Zen does not regard Scriptures in black and white
as its Canon, for it takes to-days and tomorrows of this actual life
as its inspired pages.

Zen-rin-rui-sha and To-zan-roku.

Next: The Usual Explanation Of The Canon

Previous: Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper

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