Samurai Each Smile A Hymn Each Kindly Word A Prayer
The glorious sun of Buddha-nature shines in the zenith of Enl...
Great Men And Nature
All great men, whether they be poets or scientists or religio...
Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...
Where Does The Root Of The Illusion Lie?
Now let us examine where illusion lies hidden from the view o...
The Introduction Of The So-to School Of Zen
[FN#75] This school was started by Tsing-Yuen (Sei-gen)...
Zen Is Not Nihilistic
Zen judged from ancient Zen masters' aphorisms may seem, at t...
Nature Favours Nothing In Particular
There is another point of view of life, which gave the presen...
Bodhidharma And The Emperor Wu
No sooner had Bodhidharma landed at Kwang Cheu in Southern Ch...
The Fifth And The Sixth Patriarchs
Tao Sin transmitted the Law to Hung Jan (Ko-nin), who being e...
Man Is Not Good-natured Nor Bad-natured But Buddha-natured
We have had already occasion to observe that Zen teaches
Origin Of Zen In India
To-day Zen as a living faith can be found in its pure form on...
The Ancient Buddhist Pantheon
The ancient Buddhist pantheon was full of deities or Buddhas,...
The Honest Poverty Of The Zen Monk And The Samurai
Secondly, the so-called honest poverty is a characteristic of...
The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, nex...
Wang Yang Ming (o-yo-mei) And A Thief
One evening when Wang was giving a lecture to a number of stu...
The Spiritual Attainment Of The Sixth Patriarch
Some time before his death (in 675 A.D.) the Fifth Patriarch
The Creative Force Of Nature And Humanity
The innate tendency of self-preservation, which manifests its...
Zen After The Downfall Of The Ho-jo Regency
Towards the end of the Ho-Jo period,[FN#90] and after the dow...
Zen In The Dark Age
The latter half of the Ashikaga period was the age of arms an...
If there be no individual soul either in mind or body, where ...
The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom
Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, next we
must awaken our innermost wisdom, pure and divine, called the Mind of
Buddha,[FN#190] or Bodhi,[FN#191] or Prajnya[FN#192] by Zen masters.
It is the divine light, the inner heaven, the key to all moral
treasures, the centre of thought and consciousness, the source of all
influence and power, the seat of kindness, justice, sympathy,
impartial love, humanity, and mercy, the measure of all things. When
this innermost wisdom is fully awakened, we are able to realize that
each and everyone of us is identical in spirit, in essence, in nature
with the universal life or Buddha, that each ever lives face to face
with Buddha, that each is beset by the abundant grace of the Blessed
One, that He arouses his moral nature, that He opens his spiritual
eyes, that He unfolds his new capacity, that He appoints his mission,
and that life is not an ocean of birth, disease, old age, and death,
nor the vale of tears, but the holy temple of Buddha, the Pure
Land,[FN#193] where be can enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.
[FN#190] Zen is often called the Sect of Buddha-mind, as it lays
stress on the awakening of the Mind of Buddha. The words 'the Mind
of Buddha' were taken from a passage in Lankavatara-sutra.
[FN#191] That knowledge by which one becomes enlightened.
[FN#192] Supreme wisdom.
[FN#193] Sukhavati, or the land of bliss.
Then our minds go through an entire revolution. We are no more
troubled by anger and hatred, no more bitten by envy and ambition, no
more stung by sorrow and chagrin, no more overwhelmed by melancholy
and despair. Not that we become passionless or simply intellectual,
but that we have purified passions, which, instead of troubling us,
inspire us with noble aspirations, such as anger and hatred against
injustice, cruelty, and dishonesty, sorrow and lamentation for human
frailty, mirth and joy for the welfare of follow-beings, pity and
sympathy for suffering creatures. The same change purifies our
intellect. Scepticism and sophistry give way to firm conviction;
criticism and hypothesis to right judgment; and inference and
argument to realization.
What we merely observed before we now touch with heart as well. What
we knew in relation of difference before we now understand in
relation of unity as well. How things happen was our chief concern
before, but now we consider as well bow much value they have. What
was outside us before now comes within us. What was dead and
indifferent before grows now alive and lovable to us. What was
insignificant and empty before becomes now important, and has
profound meaning. Wherever we go we find beauty; whomever we meet we
find good; whatever we get we receive with gratitude. This is the
reason why the Zenists not only regarded all their fellow-beings as
their benefactors, but felt gratitude even towards fuel and water.
The present writer knows a contemporary Zenist who would not drink
even a cup of water without first making a salutation to it. Such an
attitude of Zen toward things may well be illustrated by the
following example: Sueh Fung (Sep-po) and Kin Shan (Kin-zan), once
travelling through a mountainous district, saw a leaf of the rape
floating down the stream. Thereon Kin Shan said: Let us go up, dear
brother, along the stream that we may find a sage living up on the
mountain. I hope we shall find a good teacher in him. No,
replied Sueh Fung, for he cannot be a sage who wastes even a leaf of
the rape. He will be no good teacher for us.
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