Buddhism Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches
The Great Person And Small Person
For these reasons Zen proposes to call man Buddha-natured or
The Parable Of The Robber Kih
Chwang Tsz (So-shi) remarks in a humorous way to the followin...
Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
In the foregoing chapters we have had several occasions to re...
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 Ten Pictures Of The Cowherd
The pictures were drawn by Kwoh Ngan (Kaku-an), a Chinese...
Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired
The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...
Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...
Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...
Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
Flight Of The Sixth Patriarch
On the following morning the news of what had happened during...
Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of
Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...
Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...
Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...
The Courage And The Composure Of Mind Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Fourthly, our Samurai encountered death, as is well known, wi...
Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...
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
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