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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...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

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

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
(So-shoku). The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...

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

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

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

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

Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...

Where Then Does The Error Lie?
Where, then, does the error lie in the four possible proposit...

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

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent d...

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

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

Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...

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

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

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

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...




The First Step In The Mental Training








Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supreme
Enlightenment after the practice of Meditation for one week, some for
one day, some for a score of years, and some for a few months. The
practice of Meditation, however, is not simply a means for
Enlightenment, as is usually supposed, but also it is the enjoyment
of Nirvana, or the beatitude of Zen. It is a matter, of course, that
we have fully to understand the doctrine of Zen, and that we have to
go through the mental training peculiar to Zen in order to be
Enlightened.

The first step in the mental training is to become the master of
external things. He who is addicted to worldly pleasures, however
learned or ignorant he may be, however high or low his social
position may be, is a servant to mere things. He cannot adapt the
external world to his own end, but he adapts himself to it. He is
constantly employed, ordered, driven by sensual objects. Instead of
taking possession of wealth, he is possessed by wealth. Instead of
drinking liquors, he is swallowed up by his liquors. Balls and music
bid him to run mad. Games and shows order him not to stay at home.
Houses, furniture, pictures, watches, chains, hats, bonnets, rings,
bracelets, shoes--in short, everything has a word to command him.
How can such a person be the master of things? To Ju (Na-kae) says:
"There is a great jail, not a jail for criminals, that contains the
world in it. Fame, gain, pride, and bigotry form its four walls.
Those who are confined in it fall a prey to sorrow and sigh for ever."

To be the ruler of things we have first to shut up all our senses,
and turn the currents of thoughts inward, and see ourselves as the
centre of the world, and meditate that we are the beings of highest
intelligence; that Buddha never puts us at the mercy of natural
forces; that the earth is in our possession; that everything on earth
is to be made use of for our noble ends; that fire, water, air,
grass, trees, rivers, hills, thunder, cloud, stars, the moon, the
sun, are at our command; that we are the law-givers of the natural
phenomena; that we are the makers of the phenomenal world; that it is
we that appoint a mission through life, and determine the fate of man.






Next: The Next Step In The Mental Training

Previous: The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters



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