Buddhism Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...
The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...
The Law Of Balance
Nature governs the world with her law of balance. She puts t...
The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...
Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...
Zazen Or The Sitting In Meditation
Habit comes out of practice, and forms character by degrees, ...
Hinayanism And Its Doctrine
The doctrine of Transience was the first entrance gate of Hin...
Enlightened Consciousness Is Not An Intellectual Insight
Enlightened Consciousness is not a bare intellectual insight,...
The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch
Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...
Zen And The Regent Generals Of The Ho-jo Period
No wonder, then, that the representatives of the Samurai clas...
Man Is Both Good-natured And Bad-natured According To Yan Hiung Yo-yu
According to Yang Hiung and his followers, good is no less re...
Poetical Intuition And Zen
Since Universal Life or Spirit permeates the universe, the po...
Man Is Neither Good-natured Nor Bad-natured According To Su Shi
The difficulty may be avoided by a theory given ...
The Manliness Of The Zen Monk And Of The Samurai
Thirdly, both the Zen monk and the Samurai were distinguished...
Man Is Bad-natured According To Siun Tsz Jun-shi
The weaknesses of Mencius's theory are fully exposed by anoth...
Buddha The Universal Life
Zen conceives Buddha as a Being, who moves, stirs, inspires,
Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...
The Application Of The Law Of Causation To Morals
Although it may be needless to state here the law of causatio...
Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred years after
the Sixth Patriarch, we should know that there are three important
elements in Zen. The first of these is technically called the Zen
Number--the method of practising Meditation by sitting cross-legged,
of which we shall treat later. This method is fully developed
by Indian teachers before Bodhidharma's introduction of Zen into
China, therefore it underwent little change during this period. The
second is the Zen Doctrine, which mainly consists of Idealistic and
Pantheistic ideas of Mahayana Buddhism, but which undoubtedly
embraces some tenets of Taoism. Therefore, Zen is not a pure Indian
faith, but rather of Chinese origin. The third is the Zen Activity,
or the mode of expression of Zen in action, which is entirely absent
in any other faith.
See Chapter VII.
It was for the sake of this Zen Activity that Hwang Pah gave a slap
three times to the Emperor Suen Tsung; that Lin Tsi so often burst
out into a loud outcry of Hoh (Katsu); that Nan Tsuen killed a cat at
a single stroke of his knife in the presence of his disciples; and
that Teh Shan so frequently struck questioners with his staff.
The Zen Activity was displayed by the Chinese teachers making use of
diverse things such as the staff, the brush of long hair, the
mirror, the rosary, the cup, the pitcher, the flag, the moon, the
sickle, the plough, the bow and arrow, the ball, the bell, the drum,
the cat, the dog, the duck, the earthworm--in short, any and
everything that was fit for the occasion and convenient for the
purpose. Thus Zen Activity was of pure Chinese origin, and it was
developed after the Sixth Patriarch. For this reason the
period previous to the Sixth Patriarch may be called the Age of the
Zen Doctrine, while that posterior to the same master, the Age of the
A long official staff (Shu-jo) like the crosier carried by
the abbot of the monastery.
An ornamental brush (Hos-su) often carried by Zen teachers.
The giving of a slap was first tried by the Sixth Patriarch,
who struck one of his disciples, known as Ho Tseh (Ka-taku), and it
was very frequently resorted to by the later masters. The lifting up
of the brush was first tried by Tsing Yuen in an interview with his
eldest disciple, Shih Ten, and it became a fashion among other
teachers. The loud outcry of Hoh was first made use of by Ma Tsu,
the successor of Nan Yoh. In this way the origin of the Zen Activity
can easily be traced to the Sixth Patriarch and his direct disciples.
After the Sung dynasty Chinese Zen masters seem to have given undue
weight to the Activity, and neglected the serious study of the
doctrine. This brought out the degeneration severely reproached by
some of the Japanese Zen teachers.
Next: Decline Of Zen
Previous: The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch