An introduction to zen buddhism pdf


An Introduction to. Zen Buddhism. DAISETZ TEITARO SUZUKI, D. Litt. Professor of Buddhist Philosophy. Otani University, Kyoto. With a Foreword by. Dr. C. G. MANUAL OF ZEN BUDDHISM. DAISETZ TEITARO SUZUKI, Professor of Buddhist Philosophy in the Otani University, Kyoto. []. Set in pdf by M. G. Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy Browse's Introduction to the Symptoms & Signs of Surgical Disease 4th Edition.

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An Introduction To Zen Buddhism Pdf

This book appears to be a reprint of a book of this name by D. T. Suzuki. It contains 3 chapters and 50 content pages. However, there is a book by. Free PDF. Published by Golden Elixir Press (). This well-known book, now in the an anthology of Chinese and Japanese texts of Chan/Zen Buddhism. In The Forward to An Introduction to Zen Buddhism. By Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, D. Litt. Grove Press “Great as is the value of Zen Buddhism for the.

Some other reviewers are saying it's a difficult read. It is, at least to the Western, logic-based mind. Suzuki even says in this book that the book is "a condescension, an apology, a compromise, that this present work has been written.. All teaching is treated as "a finger pointing to the moon is not the moon itself", in other words, all words in the book and in any Zen-related book anywhere are anathema to the realization of Zen, yet they are necessary because language and writing are how we communicate ideas to one another. The book, in the true spirit of Zen, treats even ideas as stumbling blocks on the path to enlightenment, but again, they are necessary as 'moon-pointing fingers'. If you have an interest in Zen or maybe just the deliciously anti-European 'philosophy' for lack of a better word to convey a way that is so clearly anti-philosophical , read this book.

Does Zen Make Sense? It isn't true that Zen makes no sense. Rather, "making sense" of it requires understanding language differently from the way we normally understand it. Zen literature is full of vexatious exchanges, such as Moshan's "Its Peak Cannot Be Seen," that defy literal interpretation. However, these are not random, Dadaist utterings.

Something specific is intended. How do you understand it? Bodhidharma said that Zen is "direct pointing to the mind. Words may be used, but they are used in a presentational rather than a literal way. This mode can be clarified by Susanne Langer's landmark book on symbolic logic called 'Philosophy in a New Key. It is poetical and nonexplanatory—the expression of Zen.

The discursive, by contrast, is prosaic and explanatory The discursive has a place in a Zen discourse like this one, but it tends to dilute direct teaching. After you've practiced awhile, particularly with a teacher, you may catch on—or not. Be skeptical of explanations of koan study that are found on the internet, which are often peppered with academic explanations that are painfully wrong, because the "scholar" analyzed the koan as if it were discursive prose.

Answers will not be found through normal reading and study; they must be lived. If you want to understand Zen, you really must go face the dragon in the cave for yourself. The Dragon in the Cave Wherever Zen has established itself, it has rarely been one of the larger or more popular sects of Buddhism. The truth is, it's a very difficult path, particularly for laypeople. It is not for everybody. On the other hand, for such a small sect, Zen has had a disproportionate impact on the art and culture of Asia, especially in China and Japan.

Beyond kung fu and other martial arts, Zen has influenced painting, poetry, music, flower arranging, and the tea ceremony. This is not easy. I am really warmed by it. This spiritual conviviality, in which Laughlin served as an intermediary, led to an epistolary friendship between Miller and Merton. Perhaps J. Laughlin already told you how much I liked it from the first. I have been getting into it again and like more and more.

All that you say seems to me as obvious as if I had said it myself and you have said it better than I ever could. It needs to be said over and over again. I resound everything you say, Europe, Zen, Thoreau, and your real basic Christian spirit which I wish a few Christians shared!

Merton , p. Ambipali, A whore richer than princes, Before the last Nirvana. As Sam Hamill puts it: Rexroth brings an essentially Catholic attitude to his sacramental practice, but the equation, the realization is fundamentally Buddhist.

The flame without ash is the light of the coming to comprehend the essential emptiness or thusness at the heart of Zen practice Rexroth , p. With some qualification, this might apply to Merton also, particularly in his later life. Both Rexroth and Merton displayed an impressive array of religious knowledge in their poetry.

As Rexroth explained in the preface to The Signature of All Things: The point of view is, as in all my work, a religious anarchism which I hope I have made sufficiently, where necessary, explicit or implicit, as the case may be. Lawrence, Boehme, D. There is room here for many other songs besides those of birds. Of Vallejo, for instance. Or the dry, disconcerting voice of Nicanor Parra, the poet of the sneeze. Here also is Chuang Tzu, whose climate is perhaps most the climate of this silent corner of woods.

A climate in which there is no need for explanation. An Hui Neng. And Chao-Chu. And the drawings of Sengai. And a big graceful scroll from Suzuki , p. Wu, a Catholic jurist and author of The Golden Age of Zen , for which Merton wrote an introduction that later became part of his dialogue with D. Suzuki, Zen and the Birds of Appetite Merton was sceptical of uncritically adopting Zen practice and neglecting its traditional discipline; he thought any Christian exploration of Eastern spiritual practice ought to be grounded within the Christian tradition.

However, in the second edition, he deleted this passage, after studying Buddhism and cultivating Catholic contemplative prayer in the intervening years. Merton first encountered Buddhist ideas through youthful readings in the s, but it was not until his journey to Asia that his intellectual investigation was actualized in experience. His three-day meeting with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and first-hand observation of Buddhist traditional popular culture in practice enriched his understanding of Buddhism.

All problems are resolved and everything is clear, simply because what matters is clear. If we are not on the alert we fail to catch them; a mere winking and we miss the mark forever.

They justly compare Zen to lightning. The rapidity, however, does not constitute Zen; its naturalness, its freedom from artificialities, its being expressive of life itself, its originality -- these are the essential characteristics of Zen. Therefore, we have always to be on guard not to be carried away by outward signs when we really desire to get into the core of Zen. How difficult and misleading it would be to try and understand Zen literally and logically, depending on those statements which have been given above as answers to the question "What is Buddha?

Danger always lurks where the intellect slyly creeps in and takes the index for the moon itself. Yet there are philosophers who, taking some of the above utterances in their literary and logical sense, try to see something of pantheism in them. For instance, when the master says, "Three pounds of flax", or "A dirt-scraper", by this is apparently meant, they would insist, to convey the pantheistic idea. That is to say that those Zen masters consider the Buddha to be manifesting himself in everything: in the flax, in the piece of wood, in the running stream, in the towering mountains, or in works of art.

Manual of Zen Buddhism

Mahayana Buddhism, especially Zen, seems to indicate something of the spirit of pantheism, but nothing is in fact farther from Zen than this representation. The masters from the beginning have foreseen this dangerous tendency, and that is why they make those apparently incoherent statements.

Their inclination is to set the minds of their disciples or of scholars free from being oppressed by any fixed opinion or prejudices or so-called logical interpretations.

When Tozan answered, "Three pounds of flax", to the question, "What is the Buddha? His answer simply was, "Three pounds of flax". He did not imply anything metaphysical in this plain matter-of-fact utterance. These words came out of his inmost consciousness as the water flows out of the spring, or as the bud bursts forth in the sun. There was no premeditation or philosophy on his part. Therefore, if we want to grasp the meaning of "Three pounds of flax", we first have to penetrate into the inmost recess of Tozan's consciousness and not to try to follow up his mouth.

At another time he may give an entirely different answer, which might directly contradict the one already given. Logicians will naturally be nonplussed; they may declare him altogether out of mind. But the students of Zen will say, "It is raining so gently, see how flesh and green the grass is,'" and they know well that their answer is in full accord with Tozan's "Three pounds of flax".

The following will perhaps show further that Zen is not a form of pantheism, if we understand by this any philosophy that identifies the visible universe with the highest reality, called God, or Mind, or otherwise, and states that God cannot exist independent of his manifestations.

In fact, Zen is something more than this. In Zen there is no place for time-wasting philosophical discussion. But philosophy is also a manifestation of life-activity, and therefore Zen does not necessarily shun it.

When a philosopher comes to be Enlightened, the Zen master is never loath to meet him on his own ground. The earlier Zen masters were comparatively tolerant toward the so-called philosophers and not so impatient as in the case of Rinzai died or Tokusan , whose dealings with them were swift and most direct. What follows is taken from a treatise by Daiju on some principles of Zen compiled in the eighth or ninth century, when Zen had begun to flourish in all its brilliance and with all its uniqueness.

A monk asked Daiju: Q. Are words the Mind? No, words are external conditions; they are not the Mind. Apart from external conditions, where is the Mind to be sought? There is no Mind independent of words.

If there is no Mind independent of words, what is the Mind? The Mind is formless and imageless. The truth is, it is neither independent of nor dependent upon words.

An Introduction to Zen Buddhism

It is eternally serene and free in its activity. Says the Patriarch, 'When you realize that the Mind is no Mind, you understand the Mind amd its workings. By the so-called Dharma in meant the Mind of all beings.

When the Mind is stirred up, all things are stirred up. When the Mind is not stirred up, there is no stirring and there is no name. The confused do not understand that the Dharmakaya, in itself formless, assumes individual forms according to conditions. The confused take the green bamboo for Dharmakaya itself, the yellow blooming tree for Prajna itself. But if the tree were Prajna, Prajna would be identical with non-sentient.

If the bamboo were Dharmakaya, Dharmakaya would be identical with a plant. But Dharmakaya exists, Prajna exists, even when there is no blooming tree, no green bamboo. Otherwise, when one eats a bamboo-shoot, this would be eating up Dharmakaya itself.

Such views as this are really not worth talking about". Zen ought, therefore, be presented also from its easy, familiar and approachable side. Life is the basis of all things; apart from it nothing can stand. With all our philosophy, with all our grand and enhancing ideas, we cannot escape life as we live it. Star-gazers are still walking on the solid earth.

What is Zen, then, when made accessible to everybody? Joshu once asked a new monk: "Have you ever been here before? Thereupon the master said, "Have a cup of tea". Later on another monk came and he asked him the same question, "Have you ever been here? The old master, however, answered just as before, "Have a cup of tea". Afterwards the Inju the managing monk of the monastery asked the master, "Haw is it that you make the same offering of the cup of tea no matter what a monk's reply is?

Whereupon Joshu said, "Have a cup of tea". Joshu was one of the most astute Zen masters during the T'ang dynasty, and the development of Zen in China owes much to him. He died in his one hundred and twentieth year.

Whatever utterances he made were like jewels that sparkled brightly. It was said of him, "His Zen shined upon his lips". A monk who was still a novice came to him and asked to be instructed in Zen. Joshu said, "Have you had your breakfast yet? This remark by the old master opened the novice's eye to the truth of Zen. One day Joshu was sweeping the ground when a monk asked him, "You are such a wise and holy master; tell me how it is that dust ever accumulates in your yard".

Said the master, "It comes from outside". Another time he was asked, "Why does this holy place attracts dust? A stranger monk inquired of him, "I have for some time heard of your famous stone bridge, but I see no such thing here, only a plank". Said Joshu, "You see a plank and do not see a stone bridge". At another time when Joshu was asked about this same stone bridge, his answer was, "Horses pass it, people pass it, everybody passes it".

In these dialogues do we only see trivial talks about ordinary things of life and nature? Is there nothing spiritual, conductive to the enlightenment of the religious soul? Is Zen, then, too practical, too commonplace? Is it too abrupt a descent from the height of transcendentalism to everyday things? Well, it all depends on how you look at it. A stick of incense is burning on my desk. Is this a trivial affair?

An earthquake shakes the earth and the Mt. Fuji topples over. Is this a great event? Yes, so long as the conception of space remains.

But are we really living confined within the enclosure called space? Within the Joshu's cup of tea the mermaids are dancing". So long as one is conscious of space and time, Zen will keep the respectable distance from you; your holiday is ill-spent; your sleep is disturbed, and your whole life is a failure. Read the following dialogue between Yisan and Kyozan.

At the end of his summer's sojourn Kyozan paid a visit to Yisan, who said, "I have not seen you this whole summer coming up this way; what have you been doing down there? Yisan said, "Then you have not wasted your summer". It was now Kyozan's turn to ask Yisan as to his doings during the last summer, and he asked, "How did you pass your summer? This brought out Kyozan comment, "Then you have not wasted your summer".

A Confucian scholar writes, "They seek the truth too far away from themselves, while it is right near them". The same thing may be said of Zen. We look for its secrets where they are most unlikely to be found, that is, in verbal abstractions and metaphysical subtleties, whereas the truth of Zen really lies in the concrete things of our daily life. A monk asked the master: "It is some time since I came to you to be instructed in the holy path of Buddha, but you have never given me even an inkling of it.

I pray you be more sympathetic". To this the following answer was given: "What do you mean, my son? Every morning you salute me, and do I not return it? When you bring me a cup of tea, do I not accept it and enjoy drinking it? Besides this, what more instructions do you desire from me? Is this the kind of life-experience Zen wants us to have? A Zen poet sings: How wondrously strange, and how miraculous this!

I draw water, I carry fuel. When Zen is said to be illogical and irrational, timid readers are frightened and may wish to have nothing to do with it, but I am confident that the present chapter devoted to practical Zen will mitigate whatever harshness and uncouthness there may have been in it when it was intellectually treated.

In so far as the truth of Zen is on its practical side and not in its irrationality, we must not put too much emphasis on its irrationality. This may tend only to make Zen more inaccessible to ordinary intellects, but in order to show further what a simple and matter-of-fact business Zen is, and at the same time to emphasize the practical side of Zen, I will cite some more of so-called "cases" is which appeal is made to the most naive experience one may have in life.

Naive they are, indeed, in the sense of being free from conceptual demonstration or from intellectual analysis. You see a stick raised, or you are asked to pass a piece of household furniture, or are simply addressed by your name. Such as these are the simplest incidents of life occurring every day and being passed without any particular notice, and yet Zen is there -- the Zen that is supposed to be so full of irrationalities, or, if you like to put it so, so full of the highest speculations that are possible to the human understanding.

The following are some more of these instances, simple, direct, and practical, and yet pregnant with meaning. Sekkyo asked one of his accomplished monks, "Can you take hold of empty space? The monk stretched out his arm and clutched at empty space.

Sekkyo said: "Is that the way? But after all you have not got anything".

You are hurting me terribly! When Yenkwan, on of Ma-tsu's disciples, was asked by a monk who the real Vairocana Buddha was, he told the monk to pass over a water-pitcher which was nearby.

The monk brought it to him as requested, but Yenkwan now ordered it to be taken back to its former place. After obediently following the order, the monk again asked the master who the real Vairocana Buddha was.

Concerning this incident another Zen master comments, "Yes, the venerable old Buddha has long been here". If these incidents are regarded as not entirely free from intellectual complications, what would you think of the following case of Chu died , the national teacher of Nan-yang, who used to call his attendant three times a day, saying, "O my attendant, my attendant!

An Introduction to Zen Buddhism by D.T. Suzuki

Finally the master remarked, "I thought I was in the wrong with you, but it is you that is in the wrong with me". Is this not simple enough? Chu's last comment may not be so very intelligible from an ordinary logical point of view, but one calling and other responding is one of the commonest and most practical affairs of life. Zen declares that the truth is precisely there, so we can see what a matter-of-fact thing Zen is.

There is no mystery in it, the fact is open to all: I hail you, and you call back; one "Hallo! If I had not come to you I should have been miserably led astray all my life by the sutras and shastras". Later on Ryosui said to some of his fellow-monks who had been spending their time in the mastery of Buddhist philosophy, "All that you know, I know; but what I know, none of you know".

Is it not wonderful that Ryosui could make such an utterance just by understanding the significance of his master's call? Do these examples make the subject in hand any clearer or more intelligible than before? I can multiply such instances indefinitely, but those so far cited may suffice to show that Zen is after all not a very complicated affair, or a study requiring the highest faculty of abstraction and speculation.

The truth and power of Zen consists in its very simplicity, directness, and utmost practicalness. When a hungry monk at work heard the dinner-gong he immediately dropped his work and showed himself in the dining-room. The master, seeing him, laughed heartily, for the monk had been acting Zen to its fullest extent.

Nothing could be more natural; the one thing needful is just to open one's eye to the significance of it all. But here is a dangerous loophole which the students of Zen ought to be especially careful to avoid. Zen must never be confused with naturalism or libertinism, which means to follow one's natural bent without questioning its origin and value. There is a great difference between human action and that of the animals, which are lacking in moral intuition and religious consciousness.

The animals do not know anything about exerting themselves in order to improve their conditions or to progress in the way to higher virtues. Sekkyo was one day working in the kitchen when Baso, his Zen teacher, came in and asked what he was doing.

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