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Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...

Idealistic Scepticism Concerning Religion And Morality
Similarly, it is the case with religion and morality. If we ...

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

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

Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch ...

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

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

Life In The Concrete
Life in the concrete, which we are living, greatly differs fr...

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

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

The Beatitude Of Zen
We are far from denying, as already shown in the foregoing ch...

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

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

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

Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
(So-shoku). The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...

Zen After The Restoration
After the Restoration of the Mei-ji (1867) the popularity of ...

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




The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai








Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Japanese
chivalry. First, both the Samurai and the Zen monk have to undergo a
strict discipline and endure privation without complaint. Even such
a prominent teacher as Ei-sai, for example, lived contentedly in such
needy circumstances that on one occasion he and his disciples
had nothing to eat for several days. Fortunately, they were
requested by a believer to recite the Scriptures, and presented with
two rolls of silk. The hungry young monks, whose mouths watered
already at the expectation of a long-looked-for dinner, were
disappointed when that silk was given to a poor man, who called on
Ei-sai to obtain some help. Fast continued for a whole week, when
another poor follow came in and asked Ei-sai to give something. At
this time, having nothing to show his substantial mark of sympathy
towards the poor, Ei-sai tore off the gilt glory of the image of
Buddha Bhecajya and gave it. The young monks, bitten both by hunger
and by anger at this outrageous act to the object of worship,
questioned Ei-sai by way of reproach: "Is it, sir, right for us
Buddhists to demolish the image of a Buddha?" "Well," replied Ei-sai
promptly, "Buddha would give even his own life for the sake of
suffering people. How could he be reluctant to give his halo?" This
anecdote clearly shows us self-sacrifice is of first importance in
the Zen discipline.

The incident is told by Do-gen in his Zui-mon-ki.






Next: The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai

Previous: The Social State Of Japan When Zen Was Established By Ei-sai And Do-gen



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