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

Decline Of Zen
The blooming prosperity of Zen was over towards the end of th...

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

Do Thy Best And Leave The Rest To Providence
There is another point of view which enables us to enjoy life...

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

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

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

Man Is Good-natured According To Mencius
Oriental scholars, especially the Chinese men of letters, see...

The Resemblance Of The Zen Monk To The Samurai
Let us point out in brief the similarities between Zen and Ja...

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

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

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

Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...

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

Buddha Dwelling In The Individual Mind
Enlightened Consciousness in the individual mind acquires for...

Missionary Activity Of The Sixth Patriarch
As we have seen above, the Sixth Patriarch was a great genius...

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

Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...

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




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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