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How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

Introduction Of Zen Into China By Bodhidharma
An epoch-making event took place in the Buddhist history of C...

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

Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

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

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followin...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...

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

Zen And Nirvana
The beatitude of Zen is Nirvana, not in the Hinayanistic sens...

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

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

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




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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