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Our Conception Of Buddha Is Not Final
Has, then, the divine nature of Universal Spirit been complet...

Change As Seen By Zen
Zen, like Hinayanism, does not deny the doctrine of Transienc...

The Absolute And Reality Are But An Abstraction
A grain of sand you, trample upon has a deeper significance t...

The Parable Of A Drunkard
Now the question arises, If all human beings are endowed with...

Nature And Her Lesson
Nature offers us nectar and ambrosia every day, and everywher...

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

The Bad Are The Good In The Egg
This is not only the case with a robber or a murderer, but al...

All The Worlds In Ten Directions Are Buddha's Holy Land
We are to resume this problem in the following chapter. Suff...

The Five Ranks Of Merit
Thus far we have stated how to train our body and mind accord...

The World Is In The Making
Our assertion is far from assuming that life is now complete,...

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

Life Change And Hope
The doctrine of Transcience never drives us to the pessimisti...

Three Important Elements Of Zen
To understand how Zen developed during some four hundred year...

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

The First Step In The Mental Training
Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supr...

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

Thing-in-itself Means Thing-knowerless
How, then, did philosophers come to consider reality to be un...

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

Universal Life Is Universal Spirit
These considerations naturally lead us to see that Universal ...

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

The First Step In The Mental Training

Some of the old Zen masters are said to have attained to supreme
Enlightenment after the practice of Meditation for one week, some for
one day, some for a score of years, and some for a few months. The
practice of Meditation, however, is not simply a means for
Enlightenment, as is usually supposed, but also it is the enjoyment
of Nirvana, or the beatitude of Zen. It is a matter, of course, that
we have fully to understand the doctrine of Zen, and that we have to
go through the mental training peculiar to Zen in order to be

The first step in the mental training is to become the master of
external things. He who is addicted to worldly pleasures, however
learned or ignorant he may be, however high or low his social
position may be, is a servant to mere things. He cannot adapt the
external world to his own end, but he adapts himself to it. He is
constantly employed, ordered, driven by sensual objects. Instead of
taking possession of wealth, he is possessed by wealth. Instead of
drinking liquors, he is swallowed up by his liquors. Balls and music
bid him to run mad. Games and shows order him not to stay at home.
Houses, furniture, pictures, watches, chains, hats, bonnets, rings,
bracelets, shoes--in short, everything has a word to command him.
How can such a person be the master of things? To Ju (Na-kae) says:
"There is a great jail, not a jail for criminals, that contains the
world in it. Fame, gain, pride, and bigotry form its four walls.
Those who are confined in it fall a prey to sorrow and sigh for ever."

To be the ruler of things we have first to shut up all our senses,
and turn the currents of thoughts inward, and see ourselves as the
centre of the world, and meditate that we are the beings of highest
intelligence; that Buddha never puts us at the mercy of natural
forces; that the earth is in our possession; that everything on earth
is to be made use of for our noble ends; that fire, water, air,
grass, trees, rivers, hills, thunder, cloud, stars, the moon, the
sun, are at our command; that we are the law-givers of the natural
phenomena; that we are the makers of the phenomenal world; that it is
we that appoint a mission through life, and determine the fate of man.

Next: The Next Step In The Mental Training

Previous: The Method Of Instruction Adopted By Zen Masters

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