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Buddhism

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

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

The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches Bud...

Zazen And The Forgetting Of Self
Zazen is a most effectual means of destroying selfishness, th...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

Life Consists In Conflict
Life consists in conflict. So long as man remains a social a...

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

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

The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...

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

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

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




The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai








Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, with
unflinching courage. He would never turn back from, but fight till
his last with his enemy. To be called a coward was for him the
dishonour worse than death itself. An incident about Tsu Yuen
(So-gen), who came over to Japan in 1280, being invited by
Toki-mune (Ho-jo), the Regent General, well illustrates how
much Zen monks resembled our Samurais. The event happened when he
was in China, where the invading army of Yuen spread terror all over
the country. Some of the barbarians, who crossed the border of the
State of Wan, broke into the monastery of Tsu Yuen, and threatened to
behead him. Then calmly sitting down, ready to meet his fate, he
composed the following verses

"The heaven and earth afford me no shelter at all;
I'm glad, unreal are body and soul.
Welcome thy weapon, O warrior of Yuen! Thy trusty steel,
That flashes lightning, cuts the wind of Spring, I feel."


A bold statesman and soldier, who was the real ruler of
Japan 1264-1283.


This reminds us of Sang Chao (So-jo), who, on the verge of
death by the vagabond's sword, expressed his feelings in the follow
lines:

"In body there exists no soul.
The mind is not real at all.
Now try on me thy flashing steel,
As if it cuts the wind of Spring, I feel."


The man was not a pure Zen master, being a disciple of
Kumarajiva, the founder of the San Ron Sect. This is a most
remarkable evidence that Zen, especially the Rin Zan school, was
influenced by Kumarajiva and his disciples. For the details of the
anecdote, see E-gen.


The barbarians, moved by this calm resolution and dignified air of
Tsu Yuen, rightly supposed him to be no ordinary personage, and left
the monastery, doing no harm to him.






Next: Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period

Previous: The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai



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