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The Disciples Under The Sixth Patriarch
Some time after this the Sixth Patriarch settled himself down...

Everything Is Living According To Zen
Everything alive has a strong innate tendency to preserve its...

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

The Sermon Of The Inanimate
The Scripture of Zen is written with facts simple and familia...

The Buddha Of Mercy
Milton says: "Virtue may be assailed, but never hurt; Sur...

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

The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen), an emine...

Personalism Of B P Bowne
B. P. Bowne says: They (phenomena) are not phantoms or illus...

How To Worship Buddha
The author of Vimalakirtti-nirdeca-sutra well explains our at...

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

Scripture Is No More Than Waste Paper
Zen is not based on any particular sutra, either of Mahaya...

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

The Mystery Of Life
Thus far we have pointed out the inevitable conflictions in l...

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

Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...

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

The Betterment Of Life
Again, people nowadays seem to feel keenly the wound of the ...

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

Bodhidharma's Disciples And The Transmission Of The Law
For details, see Chwen Tang Luh and Den Ka Roku, by Kei Z...

Idealism Is A Potent Medicine For Self-created Mental Disease
In so far as Buddhist idealism refers to the world of sense, ...

Zen And Idealism

Next Zen makes use of Idealism as explained by the Dharmalaksana
School of Mahayana Buddhism. For instance, the Fourth
Patriarch says: "Hundreds and thousands of laws originate with mind.
Innumerable mysterious virtues proceed from the mental source." Niu
Teu (Go-zu) also says: "When mind arises, various things arise; when
mind ceases to exist, various things cease to exist." Tsao Shan
(So-zan) carried the point so far that he cried out, on hearing the
bell: "It hurts, it pains." Then an attendant of his asked "What is
the matter?" "It is my mind," said he, that is struck."

Appendix, chap. ii., 'The Mahayana Doctrine of


We acknowledge the truth of the following considerations: There
exists no colour, nor sound, nor odour in the objective world, but
there are the vibrations of ether, or the undulations of the air, or
the stimuli of the sensory nerves of smell. Colour is nothing but
the translation of the stimuli into sensation by the optical nerves,
so also sounds by the auditory, and odours by the smelling.
Therefore nothing exists objectively exactly as it is perceived by
the senses, but all are subjective. Take electricity, for example,
it appears as light when perceived through the eye; it appears as
sound when perceived through the ear; it appears as taste when
perceived through the tongue; but electricity in reality is not
light, nor sound, nor taste. Similarly, the mountain is not high nor
low; the river is not deep nor shallow; the house is not large nor
small; the day is not long nor short; but they seem so through
comparison. It is not objective reality that displays the phenomenal
universe before us, but it is our mind that plays an important part.
Suppose that we have but one sense organ, the eye, then the whole
universe should consist of colours and of colours only. If we
suppose we were endowed with the sixth sense, which entirely
contradicts our five senses, then the whole world would be otherwise.
Besides, it is our reason that finds the law of cause and effect in
the objective world, that discovered the law of uniformity in Nature,
and that discloses scientific laws in the universe so as to form a
cosmos. Some scholars maintain that we cannot think of non-existence
of space, even if we can leave out all objects in it; nor can we
doubt the existence of time, for the existence of mind itself
presupposes time. Their very argument, however, proves the
subjectivity of time and space, because, if they were objective, we
should be able to think them non-existent, as we do with other
external objects. Even space and time, therefore are no more than

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