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Buddhism

Zen Is Iconoclastic
For the followers of Bodhidharma, however, this conception of...

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

The Irrationality Of The Belief Of Immortality
Occidental minds believe in a mysterious entity under the nam...

Buddha-nature Is The Common Source Of Morals
Furthermore, Buddha-nature or real self, being the seat of lo...

There Is No Mortal Who Is Non-moral Or Purely Immoral
The same is the case with the third and the fourth class of p...

No Need Of The Scriptural Authority For Zen
Some Occidental scholars erroneously identify Buddhism with t...

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

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

Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...

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

A Sutra Equal In Size To The Whole World
The holy writ that Zen masters admire is not one of parchment...

Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period, and after the downfall o...

The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
The Lin Tsi school was started by Nan Yoh, a prominent d...

Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...

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

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

The Examination Of The Notion Of Self
The belief in immortality is based on the strong instinct of ...

The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
The Third Patriarch was succeeded by Tao Sin (Do-shin), who ...

Epicureanism And Life
There are a good many people always buoyant in spirit and mir...

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




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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