Buddhism The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters
Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by ...
Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches
Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...
Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...
The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who
Shakya Muni And The Prodigal Son
A great trouble with us is that we do not believe in half the...
The Characteristics Of Do-gen The Founder Of The Japanese So To Sect
In the meantime seekers after a new truth gradually began to ...
Buddha Is Unnamable
Give a definite name to Deity, He would be no more than what ...
The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the
Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...
Life And Change
A peculiar phase of life is change which appears in the form ...
Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...
Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...
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 ...
The Breathing Exercise Of The Yogi
Breathing exercise is one of the practices of Yoga, and somew...
Zen Under The Toku-gana Shogunate
Peace was at last restored by Iye-yasu, the founder of the To...
Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...
Difficulties Are No Match For The Optimist
How can we suppose that we, the children of Buddha, are put a...
Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Objective Reality
But extreme Idealism identifies 'to be' with 'to be known,' a...
The Law Of Balance In Life
It is also the case with human affairs. Social positions hig...
The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an eminent
disciple of the Sixth Patriarch, and completed by Tsing Shan (To-zan).
Although the Rin Zai school was, as mentioned above, established by
Ei-sai, yet he himself was not a pure Zen teacher, being a Ten Dai
scholar as well as an experienced practiser of Mantra. The first
establishment of Zen in its purest form was done by Do-gen, now known
as Jo Yo Dai Shi. Like Ei-sai, he was admitted into the Hi-yei
Monastery at an early age, and devoted himself to the study of the
Canon. As his scriptural knowledge increased, he was troubled by
inexpressible doubts and fears, as is usual with great religious
teachers. Consequently, one day he consulted his uncle, Ko-in, a
distinguished Ten Dai scholar, about his troubles. The latter, being
unable to satisfy him, recommended him Ei-sai, the founder of the new
faith. But as Ei-sai died soon afterwards, he felt that he had no
competent teacher left, and crossed the sea for China, at the age of
twenty-four, in 1223. There he was admitted into the monastery of
Tien Tung Shan (Ten-do-san), and assigned the lowest seat in the
hall, simply because be was a foreigner. Against this affront he
strongly protested. In the Buddhist community, he said, all were
brothers, and there was no difference of nationality. The only way
to rank the brethren was by seniority, and he therefore claimed to
occupy his proper rank. Nobody, however, lent an ear to the poor
new-comer's protest, so he appealed twice to the Chinese Emperor Ning
Tsung (1195-1224), and by the Imperial order he gained his object.
After four years' study and discipline, he was Enlightened and
acknowledged as the successor by his master Ju Tsing (Nyo-jo died in
1228), who belonged to the Tsao Tung (So To) school. He came home in
1227, bringing with him three important Zen books. Some three
years he did what Bodhidharma, the Wall-gazing Brahmin, had done
seven hundred years before him, retiring to a hermitage at Fuka-kusa,
not very far from Kyo-to. Just like Bodhidharma, denouncing all
worldly fame and gain, his attitude toward the world was
diametrically opposed to that of Ei-sai. As we have seen above,
Ei-sai never shunned, but rather sought the society of the powerful
and the rich, and made for his goal by every means. But to the Sage
of Fuka-kusa, as Do-gen was called at that time, pomp and power was
the most disgusting thing in the world. Judging from his poems, be
seems to have spent these years chiefly in meditation; dwelling now
on the transitoriness of life, now on the eternal peace of Nirvana;
now on the vanities and miseries of the world; now listening to the
voices of Nature amongst the hills; now gazing into the brooklet that
was, as he thought, carrying away his image reflected on it into the
(1) Pao King San Mei (Ho-kyo-san-mai, 'Precious Mirror
Samadhi'), a metrical exposition of Zen, by Tung Shan (To-zan,
806-869), one of the founders of the So To school. (2) Wu Wei Hien
Hueh (Go-i-ken-ketsu. 'Explanation of the Five Categories'), by Tung
Shan and his disciple Tsao Shan (So-zan). This book shows us how Zen
was systematically taught by the authors. (3) Pih Yen Tsih
(Heki-gan-shu, 'A Collection and Critical Treatment of Dialogues'),
by Yuen Wu.
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