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Buddhism

Let Go Of Your Idle Thoughts
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The Establishment Of The Rin Zai School Of Zen In Japan
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The Beatitude Of Zen
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Decline Of Zen
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Zen Is Iconoclastic
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The Usual Explanation Of The Canon
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The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
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Buddha Is Unnamable
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The Sermon Of The Inanimate
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Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
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Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
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The Eternal Life As Taught By Professor Munsterberg
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Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
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The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
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The Fourth Patriarch And The Emperor Tai Tsung Tai-so
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Buddha The Universal Life
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Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
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Zen And Idealism
Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaks...

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




Wang Yang Ming O-yo-mei And A Thief








One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of students on
his famous doctrine that all human beings are endowed with
Conscience, a thief broke into the house and hid himself in
the darkest corner. Then Wang declared aloud that every human being
is born with Conscience, and that even the thief who had got into the
house had Conscience just as the sages of old. The burglar,
overhearing these remarks, came out to ask the forgiveness of the
master; since there was no way of escape for him, and he was
half-naked, he crouched behind the students. Wang's willing
forgiveness and cordial treatment encouraged the man to ask the
question how the teacher could know such a poor wretch as he was
endowed with Conscience as the sages of old. Wang replied: "It is
your Conscience that makes you ashamed of your nakedness. You
yourself are a sage, if you abstain from everything that will put
shame on you." We firmly believe that Wang is perfectly right in
telling the thief that he was not different in nature from the sages
of old. It is no exaggeration. It is a saving truth. It is also a
most effective way of saving men out of darkness of sin. Any thief
ceases to be a thief the moment he believes in his own Conscience, or
Buddha-nature. You can never correct criminals by your severe
reproach or punishment. You can save them only through your sympathy
and love, by which you call forth their inborn Buddha-nature.
Nothing can produce more pernicious effects on criminals than to
treat them as if they were a different sort of people and confirm
them in their conviction that they are bad-natured. We greatly
regret that even in a civilized society authorities neglecting this
saving truth are driving to perdition those criminals under their
care, whom it is their duty to save.

It is not conscience in the ordinary sense of the term. It
is 'moral' principle, according to Wang, pervading through the
Universe. 'It expresses itself as Providence in Heaven, as moral
nature in man, and as mechanical laws in things.' The reader will
notice that Wang's Conscience is the nearest approach to
Buddha-nature.






Next: The Bad Are The Good In The Egg

Previous: The Parable Of The Robber Kih



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