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The Development Of The Southern And Of The Northern School Of Zen
After the death of the Fifth Patriarch the venerable Shang Si...

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

Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...

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

Retribution In The Past The Present And The Future Life
Then a question suggests itself: If there be no soul that sur...

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

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

Sutras Used By Zen Masters
Ten Dai failed to explain away the discrepancies and contradi...

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

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

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

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

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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

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

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

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

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

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




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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