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Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

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

The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...

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

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

Enlightenment Is Beyond Description And Analysis
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Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

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...

Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...

The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

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

The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
Some philosophical pessimists undervalue life simply because ...

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

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

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

Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires, ...




The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters








Thus far we have described the doctrine of Zen inculcated by both
Chinese and Japanese masters, and in this chapter we propose to
sketch the practice of mental training and the method of practising
Dhyana or Meditation. Zen teachers never instruct their pupils by
means of explanation or argument, but urge them to solve by
themselves through the practice of Meditation such problems as--'What
is Buddha?' What is self?' 'What is the spirit of Bodhidharma?'
'What is life and death?' 'What is the real nature of mind?' and so
on. Ten Shwai (To-sotsu), for instance, was wont to put three
questions to the following effect: (1) Your study and
discipline aim at the understanding of the real nature of mind.
Where does the real nature of mind exist? (2) When you understand
the real nature of mind, you are free from birth and death. How can
you be saved when you are at the verge of death? (3) When you are
free from birth and death, you know where you go after death. Where
do you go when your body is reduced to elements? The pupils are not
requested to express their solution of these problems in the form of
a theory or an argument, but to show how they have grasped the
profound meaning implied in these problems, how they have established
their conviction, and how they can carry out what they grasped in
their daily life.


The famous three difficult questions, known as the Three
Gates of Teu Shwai (To Sotsu San Kwan), who died in 1091. See Mu Mon
Kwan, xlvii.


A Chinese Zen master tells us that the method of instruction
adopted by Zen may aptly be compared with that of an old burglar who
taught his son the art of burglary. The burglar one evening said to
his little son, whom he desired to instruct in the secret of his
trade: "Would you not, my dear boy, be a great burglar like myself?"
"Yes, father," replied the promising young man." "Come with me,
then. I will teach you the art." So saying, the man went out,
followed by his son. Finding a rich mansion in a certain village,
the veteran burglar made a hole in the wall that surrounded it.
Through that hole they crept into the yard, and opening a window with
complete ease broke into the house, where they found a huge box
firmly locked up as if its contents were very valuable articles. The
old man clapped his hands at the lock, which, strange to tell,
unfastened itself. Then he removed the cover and told his son to get
into it and pick up treasures as fast as he could. No sooner had the
boy entered the box than the father replaced the cover and locked it
up. He then exclaimed at the top of his voice: "Thief! thief! thief!
thief!" Thus, having aroused the inmates, he went out without taking
anything. All the house was in utter confusion for a while; but
finding nothing stolen, they went to bed again. The boy sat holding
his breath a short while; but making up his mind to get out of his
narrow prison, began to scratch the bottom of the box with his
finger-nails. The servant of the house, listening to the noise,
supposed it to be a mouse gnawing at the inside of the box; so she
came out, lamp in hand, and unlocked it. On removing the cover, she
was greatly surprised to find the boy instead of a little mouse, and
gave alarm. In the meantime the boy got out of the box and went down
into the yard, hotly pursued by the people. He ran as fast as
possible toward the well, picked up a large stone, threw it down into
it, and hid himself among the bushes. The pursuers, thinking the
thief fell into the well, assembled around it, and were looking into
it, while the boy crept out unnoticed through the hole and went home
in safety. Thus the burglar taught his son how to rid himself of
overwhelming difficulties by his own efforts; so also Zen teachers
teach their pupils how to overcome difficulties that beset them on
all sides and work out salvation by themselves.


Wu Tsu (Go So), the teacher of Yuen Wu (En Go).






Next: The First Step In The Mental Training

Previous: Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence



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