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

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

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

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

The Four Alternatives And The Five Categories
There are, according to Zen, the four classes of religious an...

The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...

An Illusion Concerning Appearance And Reality
To get Enlightened we must next dispel an illusion respecting...

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

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

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

Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...

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

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

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

Zen And Supernatural Power
Yoga claims that various supernatural powers can be acquired ...

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

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

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

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

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




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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