The nature and status of moral behavior in Zen Buddhist tradition
By Brear, A. D.
Philosophy East & West
V. 24 (1974)
Copyright 1974 by University of Hawaii Press
Author's note: The term 'Zen' is used for convenience, to refer to both 'Ch'an' and 'Zen' traditions together, except in those cases where these two terms are specifically used for the Chinese and Japanese aspects and phases.
In his contribution to a philosophical symposium on Moral Principles of Action, D. T. Suzuki writes: "morality is always conscious of itself; it speaks of decisions and individual responsibilities ... Morality can never be innocent, spontaneous, self-forgetful and divinely or devilishly above all worldly concerns. The saintly man is, therefore, to be distinguished from the moral man."  Such statements have frequently been interpreted as having a purely antinomian or amoral character, with the result that the Zen Buddhist point of view on moral behavior has been widely seen as one of unconcern, an unconcern deriving from the fact that the enlightened man is beyond all dualities, including that of good and evil. It is this which is invoked to explain such oddly brutal acts as the chopping up of the cat by Nan-chuan -- such a course of action was open to him, owing to his enlightened status.  Similarly, the ordinary canons of morality should be transcended by Zen students, who should attain a state in which such canons are seen for the illusions that they are.
Further investigation, however, would seem to lead to a different conclusion; to place Zen in a broader context, to consider its metaphysic and to see what is actually said about behavior is to find a cogent and consistent view of the matter. The contention here is that Zen tradition implies the same basic awareness as does the whole Mahaayaana tradition; that, given this, certain basic patterns of behavior are believed to follow naturally and spontaneously; and that the tradition spells out the content of these patterns, and indicates that enlightenment requires, in fact, certain moral and intellectual preconditions. If this were not so, it would be difficult to explain consistently the actual behavior of Zen Buddhist monks and laymen, who do, in fact, appear to refrain from certain actions and to choose others; furthermore, the presence, within the tradition, of unequivocal injunctions regarding moral behavior would be hard to account for.
The fact that Zen is thoroughly Buddhist, and is not the unique or separate identity which it is sometimes considered to be, has been emphasized and documented by Heinrich Dumoulin.  It may be noted, in addition, however, that this is clearly recognized within the tradition itself: both Chiang Chih-chi and Doogen, for instance, the one in a commentary,  the other in conversations with his monks,  think it necessary explicitly to make this point, whilst the pilgrimages to India of Chinese and Japanese monks are to be seen in this context. 
Three further points may be briefly adduced in this connection: first, before zazen was introduced by Eisai and Doogen as part of Ch'an as such, it was already practiced by various other sects and schools;  second, Hui-neng's "knowledge of at least seven great sutras"  is by no means anomalous -- rather, there is abundant evidence that certain Mahaayaana scriptures were of considerable importance
within the Zen tradition as a whole.  Finally, the similarity of method as between Zen and Maadhyamika is noticeable; in the latter, "each half of the dichotomy is shown to lead to contradiction of an accepted tenet of the opponent,"  a method similar to that attributed to Hui-neng: "If someone suddenly asks you about the Dharma, your answer should be based on a pair of extremes depending upon each other for their existence, until both are wiped out." 
Zen's relation to a tradition is not, however, merely a matter of historical, scriptural, or methodological links and similarities, but rests on a close correlation between the whole Mahaayaana exposition of the Dharma and that of Zen.
The "uninstructed, ordinary man"  is lost in delusion, according to the whole Buddhist tradition. He identifies as his "self" what is merely impermanent, seeing this fiction as an entity which appropriates, owns, acts, initiates acts, knows, sees, and generally unites the various activities of the karmic processes.  "Beings indulge for a long time in I-making and mine-making," and it is "because of I-making and mine-making that beings run and wander about in birth and death."  The illusion of a self is aggravated by that of the real existence of other individuals, other "lasting" persons with whom it is possible to enter into relations. 
The fault which lies at the basis of this ignorance is that of chopping up the raw material of the world into manageable linguistic or conceptual units, in the abstracting of concepts from the immediately given, and the consequent misplaced identification of the abstraction with the original. The result is that the 'uninstructed, ordinary man' sees the world as consisting of 'hard units', united in causal connections.  The certainty that such a view of things -- assuming a self, dharmas with their "own-being" (svabhaava), illusions to be removed -- does not correspond to reality, is shared by Zen: Bodhidharma, speaking of the entrance to the Tao by Reason, explains it as involving the abandonment of false thoughts and of the idea of an aatman, until a state "free from conceptual discrimination" is reached.  Such discrimination includes the distinguishing of those dharmas to be eradicated from those to be cultivated -- to think of oneself as "a form of defilement, darkness and transmigration" and of the Buddha as "a form of purity, light and emancipation" is to be far from enlightenment,  because "Kle`sa is identical with Bodhi; they are neither two (separate) nor different (things). If wisdom is used to illumine and break up Kle`sa, this is the Hiinayaana interpretation.  This illusory character of Kle`sas (that is, greed, hatred, delusion), their being mere "bubbles that appear and vanish"  springs from the fact that all dharmas are empty "in their own being". 
We are here led into the central complex of Mahaayaana terms. To see things in wisdom (praj~naa) is to see that all is empty (`suunya), is to see both our self-nature (which, Shen-hui agrees, is "void and still")  and the world as a whole just as they are in themselves (yathaabhuutam)  in their suchness (tathataa). This is not, however, an objective sort of seeing of knowing, for "in reality, Mind alone is. You cannot pursue it by setting up another mind";  on the contrary, knowing here is being, 
and to realize one's nondifference from the Buddha-nature is to become one with it: there is an identity between realization and becoming. Zen tradition can be quite clear on this matter,  and, with Doogen, there is an explicit rejection of any conception of the Buddha-nature as a thing possessed (as might be inferred, for example, from the image of the Tathaagatagarbha as a jewel within us ), in favor of a thoroughgoing assertion that all beings are the Buddha-nature. 
To realize this is, of course, enlightenment, nirvaa.na beyond illusory dualisms, and it is concurrence with traditional teaching on this, as well as on such related terms as `suunyataa, aalayavij~naana, tathataa and dharmakaaya which gives validation to the ethical standpoint of Zen. Thus, the bald statements which recur in the Zen tradition that, as Rinzai puts it, "the truly religious man has nothing to do but to go on with his life as he finds it,"  take their significance from the rigorous identification-and-transcendence which characterizes Mahaayaana. 
This element of dialectical paradox finds place, too, in the complex doctrine of the bodhisattva  and is reflected particularly in the creative tension between wisdom (the practice of the paaramitaas without any cognition, for example, of a giver, a gift, or a recipient ) and compassion for the sufferings of others.  They pity other deluded beings, yet "if these Bodhisattvas should have a perception of either a dharma, or a no-dharma, they would thereby seize on a self, on a being, on a soul, on a person."  In this creative tension, praj~naa destroys egoistic thoughts and dissolves any vulgar affective attachments, whilst compassion (karunaa) nourishes altruistic thoughts and eliminates attachment to the intellect. "Whilst Buddhism starts ... and ends with enlightenment, the connecting passage must be paved with love and compassion." 
Having shown that there is abundant indication that Zen takes its place squarely in Mahaayaana tradition, the task now falls to analyze Zen's ethical standpoint and to present evidence for the contention that, in spite of assertions that moral distinctions lose their relevance, there is a definite approach on moral behavior. The first point to note is the presence of straightforward moral injunctions, perhaps to a greater extent in Sootoo than in Rinzai.  Thus Doogen's conversations, as recorded in the Shooboogenzoo Zuimonki, are replete with simple moral instruction, and with phrases such as "you should secretly do good when no-one is watching, and, if you do wrong, you should confess and repent," and he reminds his hearers that "all the other enlightened Masters and Patriarchs who attained the way observed the Precepts and the proprieties and esteemed highly even the slightest good."  A little later in the tradition we find Kei-zan (1268-1325) writing "each of us should try to be master of his own mind and body, to govern his environment peacefully, to lead a pure and unselfish life, and to be kind and helpful to all fellow-beings." 
Moreover, there is a definite emphasis upon the importance of ethical behavior in modern Zen teachings. "A Zen that would appeal to the modern temper must combine right practice with profound creative thought."  Again, "Zen ... has much to offer in developing an enlightened morality in Japan ... [and] it can
contribute significantly to the problem of morality elsewhere in the world."  "Deliverance is not to be attained by prayer, belief in creeds, nor initiation into secret orders or mysteries, but by leading an upright, worthy life... To respect life is to practise the ordinary virtues, to be honest ... to be just and kind, to respect others and to live in peace with them and to strive against ignorance."  Suzuki, himself, in fact, makes the same point: "from the ethical point of view ... Zen may be considered as a discipline aiming at the reconstruction of character." 
In a real sense, then, the question of the status of right and wrong behavior is not an irrelevant one, except for the enlightened, although the interpretation of it by the enlightened requires careful study. When asked about his enlightenment by the young Shen-hui, Hui-neng, after replying, asked in turn, "Why, instead of knowing and perceiving it yourself, do you ask me if I perceive it nor not?"  A Zen response to the individual who argues about moral distinctions would probably be an injunction to follow the laws of the Buddhadharma, and the problem will then fall into perspective, for "the Buddhist ... has clear precedents and teachings to follow."  In other words, the exact nature of actions becomes clear only after the obtaining of the praj~naa-eye, after satori. 
Satori is, in some way, an overwhelming and total illumination, as a result of which all dualities of thought are transcended and life is lived with a full spontaneity. The enlightened individual becomes "one who is unhinderedly free, released from all chains, one who recognizes himself truly, being no longer attached to the forms of matter and spirit, one who faces the present world of existence and non-existence, life and death, good and evil, pro and con."  Obviously this is cognate with the general Mahaayaana element of praj~naa, and, equally obviously, it is a matter of religious experience, not of philosophizing.  Since it is to be seen in this context, it involves seeing nirvaa.na as nondifferent from sa^msaara, and it is this which explains the Zen emphasis on the interrelation of enlightenment and practical conduct. "Satori has to permeate daily life. To realize itself, it has to contribute to social betterment."  "The truly religious man ... when he wants to walk, walks, and when he wants to sit, sits."  Enlightenment is by no means calm and meditative inaction, but rather "acting, moving, performing deeds." 
The activity of the Zen master, then, is as that of the bodhisattva -- it involves the same apprehension of the nonduality of sa^msaara and nirvaa.na (hence its highly practical nature), the apprehension of which is praj~naa. Any statements made by such a one about behavior are uttered, therefore, from the other side, with the benefit of the eye of wisdom. Statements, for instance, on the relativity of moral canons are true from the absolute plane but may not be interpreted as guides to behavior on the relative plane. Before enlightenment, behavior is seen as good or bad, interpreted absolutely; after enlightenment, behavior is seen to be neither good nor bad absolutely, but still so relatively. "Good" actions, rather than "bad" continue to be performed, but their nature is truly seen -- they are merely "actions," without qualities of goodness or badness.
'From the other side', therefore, the very distinction between good and evil, passions and qualities is seen to be invalid. "Although you see ... evil and good ... you must not throw them aside, nor must you cling to them, nor must you be stained by them, but you must regard them as being just like the empty sky."  In view of this, "the wise man neither endeavours to avoid idle thoughts, nor seeks after the truth; (for he knows that) ignorance in reality is the Buddha-nature."  There is, indeed, no enlightenment which can be an aim to be achieved, and Doogen emphasizes that the practice of Buddhism should be undertaken merely for its own sake, without hope of material gain or public recognition,  whilst, according to Hui-neng, "the clinging to a thought about awakening is no better than the delusion of the past." 
Because of this, ordinary life is to be carried on, but with a new degree of non-attachment. From what has been said, it is clear why ordinary activity continues, but the question remains as to the spirit in which the activity is undertaken. In the same way that the bodhisattva, in the world yet not of it, lives in the world without being polluted by it, so the Zen adept is "no longer attached to the forms of matter and spirit;"  he has put all his deepest attachments, including, as indicated, those to the sense of an ego and personal relations, into perspective, he has seen them for what they are, no matter how cherished or sacred they may be ("if on your way you meet the Buddha, kill him" ). Among these attachments is that to good-and-evil, but not only on a conceptual and meditational level but also on a practical level; in other words, "good and bad men are viewed with neither attachment nor repulsion,"  and "students should ... devote themselves to the good of others, without distinguishing between high and low." 
Every tendency to choose and like, to reject and dislike is equally based on error, whatever the choosing may be,  and to be emancipated, according to Doogen, is to be "free from attachment ... even attachment to satori."  To be in this state is to avoid any imposition of prejudice or conceptualization upon the data; on a relative level, weather may be good or bad, inappropriate or appropriate, but, absolutely, it is only "weather." "Meet a disaster willingly when you meet with it, die willingly when you die -- this is the secret of escaping a disaster" -- relatively there may be a disaster, there will be death; but, absolutely, each will be merely an occurrence, and concepts such as "disaster" are inappropriate -- if they are not imposed, there can be no disaster.  In the Zen life, therefore, there is much activity, but no "business," there is absolute passivity in a dynamic way. Doogen gives us a homely example of what is meant here: "Monks should not concern themselves with what they have to eat. Just take what is there. If it is good, enjoy it; if it is bad, eat it without distaste. This means that you are not to pass judgment on the food on the basis of how it tastes." 
The continuation of ordinary activity and the spirit of that activity can be seen to be consistently related to the insights of Zen, but what is still not clear is the nature of the criteria by which the Zen student acts. Does he "accept" what-
ever courses of action present themselves, whether good or evil? Surely not, in view of the presence of moral injunctions; yet should not unattached acceptance be the rule? Moreover, why should it be that, in spite of being 'beyond good and evil', the Zen master still avoids evil actions? The answer cannot be in terms of his continuing his ordinary life, since there is no absolute in ordinary life to justify avoiding evil.
The problem is not only Zen's, but arises with Mahaayaana as a whole. If good and evil are illusory distinctions, are not all actions, whether good, evil, or morally neutral, reduced to the same level? In Candrakiirti's words, "when a man has thoroughly realized the pluralistic illusion of all separate entities, there is for him no Moral Law. How can there be any virtuous actions for him, or any phenomenal life?"  The antinomian implications of this arise, too, from the following, cited by Suzuki: "the monk who has committed the grave offences is not destined for the hells; he who has faithfully observed the rules of morality is not born in the heavens ... because in the real Dharmadhaatu the principle of sameness obtains and no discrimination is made between violation and observance ... both Bodhi and the five offences are nonexistent and their real nature is not to be comprehended."  Finally, to emphasize the explicit relevance of this to Zen, the words of the Cheng-tao Ke may be referred to: "The minute you attain Buddha's Zen, the six noble deeds and ten thousand good actions are already complete within you." 
It would appear that the charge of antinomianism may be laid against Mahaayaana as a whole, and not only against Zen, yet there is a fallacy involved in such a charge, the fallacy of mistaking absolute statements as relative intellectual positions. The real aim and result of the Zen life is precisely to be in a position to use morality as an instrument of free and creative living, and hence Zen masters continue to act in a way which is, relatively, moral, although without motivation or constraint by relative issues. Their statements 'from the other side' are only antinomian if they are interpreted as being purely relative guides, rather than as absolute insights into the true nature of the relative, and, as such, totally inappropriate bases on which to build more, merely relative, courses of action. It is to miss the point, that they are intended to transcend relative standpoints, if they are taken as being yet more indications as to how one should organize one's life (as being, that is, exhortations to amoral behavior).
This fallacy, of interpreting 'absolute' statements as merely relative descriptions, is found more generally in the matter of the so-called four essentials of Zen, two of which are 'a special transmission outside Scripture' and 'no dependence on words and letters'. The picture of the monk tearing up the Scriptures is often interpreted to mean an advocacy of total rejection of scriptural matters on the day-to-day level, just as the assertion that moral behavior is irrelevant is frequently interpreted to be a species of factual description -- in reality, both are statements from within praj~naapaaramitaa.
In contrast, however, there appears to be evidence that both intellectual and moral preconditions may be necessary before enlightenment can supervene (quite apart from physical requirements).  Merely, first of all, as a matter of historical development, "the absolute aspect of Zen, by which it transcends all the intricacies of learning and intellection [has] received more emphasis than it actually needed."  But, quite apart form this purely historical point, it is evident that, in spite of Seng-Ts'an's "away with intellection and wordiness,"  a marked degree of intellectual comprehension is needed for an awareness, for instance, of impermanence, the attainment of which Doogen urges on his monks.  To understand dharma -- theory requires no mean acumen, and it is interesting that Eliot gives as his opinion that "as a rule Enlightenment is represented as the result of instruction."  Finally, it is worth recalling that the attainments of a bodhisattva are sometimes listed in terms which imply a marked degree either of miraculous knowledge or of highly trained intellect. 
There would appear, then, to be a certain set of intellectual preliminaries which is considered to be required in the Zen life.  In Buddhism, however, life is a unity, mere abstract intellection is valueless, "doctrines ... clearly aim at producing a certain type of person."  In this matter of more detailed ethical teaching, we must rely on hints: "The discourses frequently begin by saying, in a rather brief and off-hand fashion, that these teachings are for those who are well-trained in the Buddhist virtues. But this could mean no more than that they are for mature people who have mastered the ordinary social and moral conventions."  In Buddhist terms, the content of the Zen life consists of a radically empirical application of the paaramitaas -- "That the wise practice the ... virtues of perfection (paaramitaas) is to get rid of confused thoughts, and yet there is no specific consciousness on their part that they are engaged in any meritorious deeds."  There is, then, little explicit comment on the detailed practice of the ideal Mahaayaana virtues as a whole, but there are clear statements on the centrality of compassion and charity. Bodhidharma is reputed to have said that "as there is in the essence of the Dharma no desire to possess, the wise are ever ready to practise charity with their body, life, property,"  whilst Doogen's master Nyoojoo is said to have practiced Zen with the greatest austerity, yet to have included insects in his compassion. 
The conclusion arising from this evidence is that the Zen life consists of the practice of the usual Mahaayaana virtues, that this practice is consistently enjoined within the tradition, and that it is not affected by the absolute statements on the irrelevance of good and evil; rather, the two ostensibly contradictory positions complement each other. If the question should still be asked, why should paaramitaa-behavior be chosen rather than any other, the answer is consistent with what has already been said. To act so is to be in accordance with the nature of things, for, in Doogen's phrase, "Benevolence is the universal law."  To act compassionately is to act in accordance with the suchness of the cosmos, for the cosmos is "radiant with infinite compassion."  Although compassion is given as a central aspect of
the Buddha's behavior in the Paali texts,  Mahaayaana examined his decision to stay and teach rather than to enter nirvaa.na, and came to emphasize his great compassion (mahaakaru.naa), so that "Great compassion and a great pitying heart is called Buddha-nature. Compassion is Tathaagata; Tathaagata is Compassion."  The answer to the problem of why paaramitaa-behavior is practiced is, therefore, because compassion is, as it were, the way things are, and compassionate actions are the natural expression of Tathataa, as Doogen realized, to act in an evil way is, ex hypothesi, to be in a state of duality with the Dharmakaaya.  The enlightened one not only sees the nature of things, but lives spontaneously in accordance with the truth he sees: to see in this way involves the twin germination of great wisdom and great compassion. The theoretical problem of why the enlightened one should behave in a particular way, practicing what, on any relative interpretation, would be good deeds, now dissolves away -- "he who realizes ... fully becomes one with the Buddha. In realizing the full truth he comes to self-realization; he becomes what he is. The knowing of Reality and the being of It are one." 
This examination took its starting point from certain ostensible inconsistencies in the available evidence pertaining to the status of ethics within Zen Buddhism; these inconsistencies raise at least three main difficulties, and it is hoped that some light may have been thrown on these. They are, first, the matter of the nature and implications of statements asserting the illusory nature of good-evil distinctions; second, that of the actual behavior of those within the tradition, apparently contradicting the theoretical position; and third, the character of the moral injunctions, which seem, at first sight to sit so uncomfortably.
With regard to the first, such statements are made from wisdom, from beyond dualistic discrimination. They are not relative truths about the world, they cannot be taken as injunctions to amoral behavior, as watchwords for action. The Zen master, in reality, has no "position" on the subject of moral behavior, because he sees through it, recognizes it as fruitless, as far as chasing certain 'good' goals, and avoiding certain 'evil' courses of action are concerned -- there are no goals, no character to make better or worse. It is in this sense that morality is irrelevant and meaningless, in this sense that it must not be clung to in any hope that it will bring about some improvement.
Second, it is not that the paaramitaas are 'good', for, in a real sense, 'good' only means something when it comprises actions and values which require that they be chosen, as compared with 'evil', actions and values which require rejection. The Zen master's "good" actions are not so chosen, balanced, calculated, but spring naturally from the way things are, from tathataa. To realize dharma`suunyataa, to practice the perfection of wisdom is, inevitably and spontaneously, to act compassionately. The Zen master's charitable behavior, then, is consistent and justifiable without the contradiction which at first appears.
Finally, the paaramitaas, as stated, are, to the master, not 'good' behavior, but the only possible 'behavior-in-wisdom', rooted in tathataa. To the student who is
lost in discrimination, the master teaches them as traditional Buddhist virtues,  whilst emphasizing that the student should try neither to see them as (good) alternatives to evil, nor to see them as, in any way, purifying him, bringing him closer to enlightenment. The understanding of `suunyataa is not easy, and it is for this reason that good actions from the wrong motives and according to ignorant assumptions are allowed in the early stages, as they are for the bodhisattva, according to the texts. When vision has come, the behavior which earlier was enjoined will come naturally; in a way, loving ignorant action can be transmuted into the compassion of tathataa, whereas unloving ignorant action can, it appears, only remain such.
Zen Buddhism is sometimes seen as taking no sides on morals, as allowing the performances of any and every action, from the chopping-up of cats to the beating of the innocent, as having, by definition, nothing relevant to say on the matter. It has been suggested, in what has gone before, that the Zen Buddhist tradition does, in fact, have something to say on the matter of moral behavior, that, indeed, there is evidence that enlightenment requires certain moral (and intellectual) preconditions, and that what it does have to say is cogent, consistent, and, not least, Buddhist.
1. Daisetz T. Suzuki, "Ethics and Zen Buddhism," Moral Principles of Action, ed. Ruth Nanda Anshen (London: Harper and Bros., 1952), 606-607. Cf" "the essence of Buddhism really has nothing to do with morality." R. H. Blyth, Zen and Zen Classics, 5 vols. (Tokyo: Hokuseido Press, 1960), 1:104.
2. Wu-men kuan, 14, in Paul Reps, comp., Zen Flesh, Zen Bones (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1971), p. 105-106.
3. A History of Zen Buddhism, trans. Paul Peachey (London: Faber and Faber, 1963), pp. 33, 1-66 passim; hereafter cited as Dumoulin, A History.
4. Commenting on the La^nkaavataara Suutra, he writes: "in my view, Zen is the outcome of the Buddha's teaching, and the mystical issues from the letters," in Daisetz T. Suzuki, Studies in the La^nkaavataara Suutra (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1968), p. 58; hereafter cited as Suzuki, Studies.
5. Doogen emphasizes that monks are, above all, Buddhist monks, and he frequently encourages them to "know the way in which the Buddhas and the Patriarchs conducted themselves." Reihoo Masunaga, A Primer of Sootoo Zen: A Translation of Doogen's Shooboogenzoo Zuimonki (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1972), p. 41 passim; hereafter cited as Masunaga, Primer.
6. "There appears to have been one ideal running through all the Japanese priests who attempted to travel to India and learn Sanskrit. They desired to know the nature of Buddhist truth and tried to practice it.... They deeply aspired to seek out the more fundamental shape of Buddhism." Watanabe Shoko, Japanese Buddhism: A Critical Appraisal (Tokyo: Kokusai Bunka Shinkokai, 1968), p. 25.
7. Joseph M. Kitagawa, Religion in Japanese History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1966), p. 122-123; cf" the way in which nembutsu practice was a part of Tendai and Shingon before it became an exclusive matter with Hoonen.
8. Dumoulin, A History, p. 89.
9. For a general treatment, see ibid., chap. 3. For the La^nkaavataara, see Suzuki, Studies, pp. 44ff.; for the Vajracchedikaa, ibid., pp. 59ff., and Daisetz T. Suzuki, The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind, 2d ed. (London: Rider and Co., 1969), pp. 37-38. For the Praj~naapaaramitaahrdaya, idem, Essays in Zen Buddhism, 3 vols. (London: Rider & Co., 1970), 3, chap. 5; hereafter cited as Suzuki, Essays.
10. Richard H. Robinson, Early Maadhyamika in India and China (Madison, Wisc.: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967), p. 42.
11. The Platform Suutra of the Sixth Patriarch [Lu-tsu T'an-ching], trans. (as The Alter Suutra of the Sixth Patriarch) in Lu K'uan Yu (Charles Luk), Ch'an and Zen teaching, 3 vols. (London: Rider & Co., 1962), 3:90; hereafter the Scripture is cited as Platform Suutra; the book as Lu, Ch'an and Zen.
12. Majjhima Nikaaya, 1.239 passim. The Middle Length Sayings, trans. I. B. Horner, Pali Text Society, 3 vols., (London: Luzac & Co., 1967), 1:293.
13. Edward Conze, Buddhist Thought in India (London: Alien and Unwin, 1962), pp. 103-104.
14. `Satasaahasrikaa praj~naapaaramitaa, XLV, f. 119, trans. and ed. Edward Conze, Buddhist Texts through the Ages (Oxford: Bruno Cassirer, 1954), p. 153; hereafter cited as Conze, Buddhist Texts.
15. Candrakiirti sees these twin misconceptions as giving rise to the totality of assumptions which constitute ignorance. For his exposition of this, see chap. 24 of his Prassannapadaa Madhyamakav.rtti, trans. Jacques May, Collection Jean Przyluski (Paris: Adrien Maisonneuve-Librairie d'Amerique et d'Orient, 1959), 2:248ff.
16. Such a view (sa-svabhaava-vaada) is decisively rejected by Candrakiirti -- there is absolutely no relationless thing-in-itself. See his Prassannapadaa Madhyamakav.rtti 1.40, in Theodore Stcherbatsky, The Conception of Buddhist Nirvaa.na, rev. ed. (Varanasi, India: n.d.), p. 233.
17. Daisetz T. Suzuki, Manual of Zen Buddhism (Kyoto, Japan: The Eastern Buddhist Society, 1935), p. 87; hereafter cited as Suzuki, Manual. Suzuki, quoting from a suutra, says that it is our "confused subjectivity" which binders the apprehension of the nondifference of nirvaa.na and sa.msaara. Outlines of Mahaayaana Buddhism (London: Luzac & Co., 1907), p. 353. In his The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind, p. 115, he quotes a conversation between a student who, afraid of hell, wishes to confess his sins, and a master. The latter asks him where this "I" is, and what it looks like, and, on the student's admitting his ignorance, goes on: "if you do not know where your 'I' is, who is it that falls into hell? ... Just because of this illusion there is hell for you."
18. Huang-po, Treatise on the Essentials of the Transmission of Mind [Ch'uan Hsin Fa Yao], in Suzuki, Manual, p. 134.
19. Platform Suutra, chap. 9, in Lu, Ch'an and Zen, 3:88.
20. Song of the Realisation of the Way [Cheng-tao Ke], in Ch'an and Zen, p. 116.
21. Praj~naapaaramitaah.rdaya, trans. and ed. Edward Conze, Buddhist Wisdom Books (London: Allen and Unwin, 1958), p. 78.
22. Conversations of Shen-hui, trans. Arthur Waley, in Conze, Buddhist Texts, p. 299.
23. For the meaning and implications of this term, see Suzuki, Studies, p. 114-121 and Glossary.
24. Huang-po, Treatise on the Essentials of the Transmission of Mind, in Suzuki, Manual, p. 139.
25. Bodhidharma ("The Twofold Entrance to the Tao," in Suzuki, Manual, p. 89) says that to believe in the selflessness of emptiness is to have a life in accord with the Dharma.
26. Thus, both Huang-po (Treatise on the Essentials of the Transmission of Mind, in Suzuki, Manual), and Rinzai (Daisetz T. Suzuki, "Rinzai on Zen," in Chicago Review, 12, no. 2 (Summer, 1958): 13, state unequivocally that "you are ... the Buddha himself and no other."
27. La^nkaavataara Suutra, sec. 77, Daisetz T. Suzuki, trans., The La^nkaavataara Suutra (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1932), p. 68.
28. For this, see Abe Masao, "Doogen on Buddha-nature," The Eastern Buddhist (New Series) 4, no. 1 (May, 1971).
29. From a quotation given "after the sense" in Suzuki, Essays, 2:260-261.
30. Cf. "In this dialectic of opposites we recognize the favourite theme of the Maadhyamikas, in general, of the Maahaayanist philosophers." Mircea Eliade, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom 2d ed. (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969), p. 269. See T. R. V. Murti, The Central Philosophy of Buddhism (London: George Allen and Unwin, 1955).
31. This doctrine is of great importance for an understanding of the Zen tradition. For a full treatment, see Har Dayal, The Bodhisattva Doctrine in Buddhist Sanskrit Literature (London: Kegan
Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1932) (hereafter cited as Dayal, Bodhisattva Doctrine), and Louis de la Vallee Poussin, "Bodhisattva," in ed. J. Hastings, Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (H.E.R.E.), 12 vols. (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1909), vol. 2 (hereafter cited as de la Vallee Poussin, "Bodhisattva," H.E.R.E.). The life of this "being of wisdom" flows inevitably from the insights that he has made his own, and if, as has been argued, Zen shares the insights, it is not surprising to find that the tenor or of life within Zen should accord closely with that of the bodhisattva; thus, for example, "every Bodhisattva or Zen student loves all beings..." N. Senzaki and R. S. McCandless, Buddhism and Zen (New York: Philosophical Library, 1953), p. 47-48. The distinctively Zen element is the degree of practicality and active immediacy, a point made by Chen-chi Chang, "The Nature of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism," Philosophy East and West (6, no. 4 (Jan., 1957): 345.
32. For the paaramitaas, see, for example, Dayal, Bodhisattva Doctrine, chap. 5; cf. Pa~ncavim`satisaahasrikaa, 263-264, in Conze, Buddhist Texts, p. 136-137.
33. Dayal, Bodhisattva Doctrine, pp. 178ff.; cf. `Sik.sasamuccaya, 280, in Conze, Buddhist Texts, p. 131.
34. Vajracchedikaa Praj~naapaaramitaa, in Conze, Buddhist Wisdom Books, p. 34.
35. Suzuki, Essays, 2, caption to frontispiece.
36. Sir Charles Eliot, Japanese Buddhism (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1935), p. 68.
37. Masunaga, Primer, pp. 20, 56.
38. Senzaki and McCandless, Buddhism and Zen, pp. 23-24. Cf. Hui-neng's "if you do not get rid of the ten evils, which Buddha will come and receive you?" Platform Suutra, chap. 3; Lu, Ch'an and Zen, 3:41.
39. Reihoo Masunaga, Zen beyond Zen, Tenth Internationaler Kongress fur Religionsgeschichte (Marburg, Germany: N. G. Elwert Verlag, 1961), p. 114.
40. Masunaga, "Three Essays on Zen," Indogaku Bukkyoogaku Kenkyuu [Journal of Indian and Buddhist studies] 14, no. 1 (Dec., 1965): 18, hereafter cited as I.B.K.
41. Senzaki and McCandless, Buddhism and Zen, p. 20.
42. Suzuki, Essays, 1:27. For the opinion that this aspect is not generally emphasized by Suzuki, see George Rupp, "The Relationship between Nirvaa.na and Sa.msaara: An Essay on the Evolution of Buddhist Ethics," Philosophy East and West 21, no. 1 (Jan., 1971): 62.
43. Platform Suutra, chap. 8, in Lu, Ch'an and Zen, 3:85; cf. the translation by Philip B. Yampolsky, The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, Records of Civilization, Studies and Sources, no. 76 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1967), p. 169.
44. Masunaga, Primer, p. 45.
45. Suzuki deals at length and frequently with satori. But cf. "the closer one gets to Zen Buddhism and Zen Buddhists and the further from books about them the less one hears such terms as satori and enlightenment." Paul Wienpahl, Zen Diary (New York: Harper & Row, 1970), p. 74.
46. Shinichi Hisamatsu (Hoseki), "Zen and the Various Acts" trans. Hyung Woong Pak, Chicago Review 12, no. 2 (Summer, 1958): 27. For Hakuin's description of his experience, see Eliot, Japanese Buddhism, pp. 404-405.
47. See Suzuki, Studies, pp. 101ff.
48. Masunaga, The Zen Outlook on Life, I.B.K. 12, no. 1 (Jan., 1964): 48.
49. Rinzai, in Suzuki, Essays, 2:260-261.
50. Suzuki, The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind, p. 50. Cf., Bendowa, "the view that training and enlightenment are not one is heretical. In Buddhism they are the same." See Masunaga, Three Essays on Zen, pp. 16-17 for the full quotation.
51. Yampolsky, The Platform Suutra of the Sixth Patriarch, pp. 146-147.
52. Song of the Realisation of the Way [Cheng-tao Ke], in Suzuki, Manual, p. 106.
53. Masunaga, Primer, pp. 13, 29.
54. Platform Suutra, chap. 7 in Lu, Ch'an and Zen, 3:67.
55. Hisamatsu, Zen and the Various Acts, p. 27.
56. Masunaga, The Zen Outlook on Life, p. 51.
57. Platform Suutra, chap. 2., in Lu, Ch'an and Zen, 3:31.
58. Masunaga, Primer, p. 53. Doogen also cautions against distinguishing between monks who are worthy of donations and those who are not so; ibid., p. 21.
59. "The struggle between 'for' and 'against' is the mind's worst disease." Hsin-hsin Ming, trans. Arthur Waley, in Conze, Buddhist Texts, p. 296.
60. Genjokoan, cited in Masunaga, Three Essays on Zen, p. 14.
61. The quotation is from Ryookan (1757-1831), in Hakugen Ichikawa, "Preliminary Conception of Zen Social Ethics," I.B.K. 13, no. 2 (Mar., 1965): 15.
62. Masunaga, Primer, p. 43.
63. Prasannapadaa Maadhyamakav.rtti 1.32, in Theodore Stcherbatsky, The Conception of Buddhists Nirvaa.na, p. 191.
64. `Sapta`satikaa Praj~naapaaramitaa, in Suzuki, Essays, 2:251-252n.
65. Song of the Realisation of the Way, in Senzaki and McCandless, Buddhism and Zen, p. 35.
66. C. Baumann, "A Few Psychological Aspects of Ch'an Buddhism," Artibus Asiae 8, fasc. 2, 3, 4 (1945): 222, comments that "it takes a strong and healthy character to stand the strain." Cf. "the stern austerity ... attracted only a few serious seekers." Kitagawa, Religion in Japanese History, p. 126.
67. Suzuki, Studies, p. 62. Before the sixth patriarch, scholarly study and practical discipline went hand in hand (ibid., 54). For the importance of suutras, cf., note 9, herein.
68. Edward Conze, Buddhist Scriptures (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1959), p.172.
69. Masunaga, Primer, p. 51.
70. Eliot, Japanese Buddhism, p. 405 (ambiguous, but taken to refer, in context, to Zen). Cf., Chiang Chin-chi, who says that one will grasp the truth quickly "if one is endowed with superior talents and an unusual sharpness of mind," in Suzuki, Studies, p. 57; "the yogin must be philosophically trained with all his experience and intuitions to have a clear, logical and penetrating understanding of the Essence," Surangama Suutra, Suzuki, Manual, 82-83.
71. For the Bodhisattva-bhuumi on this, see Dayal, Bodhisattva Doctrine, p. 218.
72. Here precisely the same problem arises as with the matter of moral behavior, and the answer has implicitly been given in what has already been said. If there be such evidence on the importance of intellectual training, what are we to make of the frequent denunciations of the intellect? Again, the point is that it is not the mind's functions as such which are criticized, but the clinging to intellection. For a preliminary treatment of this aspect, see Chen-chi Chang, "The Nature of Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism," Philosophy East and West 6, no. 4 (Jan., 1957): 333-355.
73. Conze. Buddhist Thought in India, p. 211.
74. Alan W. Watts, The Way of Zen (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books, 1962), p. 130. The lectures given by the Ch'an master Hsu Yun are attended by those who are "virtuous laymen." Lu, Ch'an and Zen 1:74.
75. Bodhidharma, On the Twofold Entrance to the Tao, in Suzuki, Manual, p. 90. The relation between this and the life of the bodhisattva is clear -- the practice of virtues in the opening stages of, and throughout, his career is a prime necessity, as it is for the Zen student. For this, see the works referred to in note 31, herein.
76. Ibid., p. 89. This is, in fact, daana-paaramitaa.
77. Norimoto Iino, "Doogen's Zen View of Interdependence," Philosophy East and West 12, no. 1 (Apr., 1962): 51. Cf., K.semendra's "I cannot endure the pain even of an ant," in Dayal, Bodhisattva Doctrine, pp. 199-200; and cf. note 29, herein.
78. Masunaga, Three Essays on Zen, p. 17.
79. Norimoto, "Doogen's Zen View of Interdependence," p. 52.
80. Samyutta Nikaaya, IV.314, trans. F. L. Woodward, The Book of the Kindred Sayings, Part IV, Pali Text Society (London: Luzac & Co., 1927), p. 221.
81. Nirvaa.na-Suutra, in Beatrice Lane Suzuki, Mahaayaana Buddhism (London: David Marlowe, 1948), p. 117.
82. See Douglas A. Fox, "Zen and Ethics, Doogen's Synthesis," Philosophy East and West 21, no. 1 (Jan., 1971): 33-41; and cf. Norimoto, "Doogen's Zen View of Interdependence."
83. James Bissett Pratt, The Pilgrimage of Buddhism (New York: The Macmillan Co., 1928), p. 614. In view of this, the matter of the notorious cruelty of certain Zen masters has occasioned confusion. See, for example, the views expressed by M. B. Byles, "Violent Rishis, Roshis and Gurus," The Middle Way 43, no. 2 (Aug., 1968): 71-73. The matter requires detailed treatment, but at least
three considerations are relevant. First, there is the historical point that it seems to have been Chinese masters, from Ma-tsu onward, who specialized in such violent behavior (cf.. Watts, The Way of Zen, p. 117). Second, the distinction between the substance of a thing and its function (for example, Yampolsky, The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, sec. 15, p. 137) allows us to interpret such behavior consistently as being a fitting response, in the sense that it points to the sheer givenness of that about which the question is being asked, free from artificial verbal distancing. Third, the motive of the master is to bring about enlightenment, by a crisis, if necessary, in the conviction that enlightenment is the absolutely justifiable end; the means used are not universally suitable, but are, rather, consistent with the perfection of skill in means (upaaya-kau`salya-paaramitaa) which is central to the life of a bodhisattva. It is this paaramitaa, incidentally, which allows the breaking of the laws of morality in the interests of compassion -- for this important point, see Dayal, Bodhisattva Doctrine, pp. 207-208; and de la Vallee Poussin, "Bodhisattva," p. 751a.
84. "How much more attuned will the mind of the student become if he can govern his body in accordance with the conduct of the Buddhas and Patriarchs, while maintaining the precepts and living in purity." Masunaga, Primer, p. 101. Cf., notes 5 and 44 herein.