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

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

The Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...

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

Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...

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

The Next Step In The Mental Training
In the next place we have to strive to be the master of our b...

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

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

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

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

Enlightenment Implies An Insight Into The Nature Of Self
We cannot pass over, however, this weighty problem without sa...

Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...

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

Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...

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

The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
A famous Zenist, Mu-go-koku-shi, is said to have replied ...




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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