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Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

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

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

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

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...

Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...

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

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

The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...

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

The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen
Now we have to observe the condition of the country when Zen ...

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

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

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

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

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

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

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

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




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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