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

The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...

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

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

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

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 ...

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

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

Bodhidharma And His Successor The Second Patriarch
China was not, however, an uncultivated land for the seed of ...

Real Self
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...

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

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...

Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...

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

Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

Enlightened Consciousness
In addition to these considerations, which mainly depend on i...

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

The Second And The Third Patriarchs
After the death of the First Patriarch, in A.D. 528, Hwui Ko ...




The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai








Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of both
the Zen monk and the Samurai. To get rich by an ignoble means is
against the rules of Japanese chivalry or Bushido. The Samurai would
rather starve than to live by some expedient unworthy of his dignity.
There are many instances, in the Japanese history, of Samurais who
were really starved to death in spite of their having a hundred
pieces of gold carefully preserved to meet the expenses at the time
of an emergency; hence the proverb: "The falcon would not feed on the
ear of corn, even if he should starve." Similarly, we know of no
case of Zen monks, ancient and modern, who got rich by any ignoble
means. They would rather face poverty with gladness of heart.
Fu-gai, one of the most distinguished Zen masters just before the
Restoration, supported many student monks in his monastery. They
were often too numerous to be supported by his scant means. This
troubled his disciple much whose duty it was to look after the
food-supply, as there was no other means to meet the increased demand
than to supply with worse stuff. Accordingly, one day the disciple
advised Fu-gai not to admit new students any more into the monastery.
Then the master, making no reply, lolled out his tongue and said:
"Now look into my mouth, and tell if there be any tongue in it." The
perplexed disciple answered affirmatively. "Then don't bother
yourself about it. If there be any tongue, I can taste any sort of
food." Honest poverty may, without exaggeration, be called one of
the characteristics of the Samurais and of the Zen monks; hence a
proverb: "The Zen monk has no money, moneyed Monto knows
nothing."


The priest belonging to Shin Shu, who are generally rich.






Next: The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai

Previous: The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai



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