The Theosophical Forum – January 1949

THE BIRTH OF ZEN BUDDHISM — Christmas Humphreys

It is said — and what is tradition but truth in the robes of poetry? — that once, when the Buddha was seated with his Bhikkhus on the Mount of Holy Vulture a Brahma-Raja came to him and, offering him a golden flower, asked him to preach the Dharma. The Blessed One received the flower and, holding it aloft, gazed at it in perfect silence. After a while the Venerable Mahakasyapa smiled. Such, it is said, is the origin of Zen Buddhism. But as Dr. Suzuki points out:

This smile is not an ordinary one such as we often exchange on the plane
of distinction; it came out of the deepest recesses of his nature, where he and
Buddha and all the rest of the audience move and have their being. No words
are needed when this is reached. A direct insight across the abyss of human
understanding is indicated.
      — Essence of Buddhism, p. 22

It is further said that the Wisdom which this smile revealed was handed down through the centuries by twenty eight successive Patriarchs, the Buddha himself being the first, and the last, the Indian philosopher Bodhidharma, who arrived in China in the middle of the sixth century a.d. and became the founder of the Zen School of Buddhism. Many of the intervening Patriarchs were mighty men in the world of Indian thought and Asvagosha, Nagarjuna and Vasu-bandhu, to name but three, will be honored as long as Indian wisdom is preserved.

The recorded history of Zen Buddhism is less romantic. Its origin, of course, is the Buddha's Enlightenment, for as the whole of Zen Buddhism exists as a vehicle for this direct Enlightenment, there would without it be no Zen Buddhism and, in this present world of avidya, ignorance, no Zen.

This all but unutterable Wisdom, the fruits of his spiritual experience, the Blessed One taught to his chosen few disciples. Such as they understood they remembered; such as they remembered they handed down. In this state, two hundred years or more after the Passing, the Buddhist Canon began to be written down. But already the Sangha, the followers of the All-Enlightened One, were splitting into manifold sects, the grounds of cleavage being partly doctrinal and partly monastic discipline. Famous pundits are still debating the genesis of these various sects, and the dates at which and the reasons for which the Mahayana or Great Vehicle, as it called itself, began to diverge from the Hinayana, the Small Vehicle as it called the older School, or the Thera Vada, the Teaching of the Elders, as the latter called itself. To students of Zen, however, these niceties of historical research are of little importance, and of none to the man who has once, for a thousandth part of a second, known satori. For the blaze of light which floods the mind from its own eternal inwardness when thoughts of "this" and "that" are for the moment purged away illumines unforgettably one tiny corner of the Real, and history and all that is bound in time has little interest more. It is enough, therefore, that in the course of time the fertile Indian mind began to work on the basic principles of the Ancient Wisdom which the Buddha had once more presented to mankind. The Teaching spread, south to Ceylon, southeast to Burma, Siam, Cambodia, east into China, and thence to Korea and Japan, north into the locked and silent plateau of Tibet.

It seems to have reached China in the first century a. d. In what form it came is by no means clear, but the earliest Buddhist Scriptures to be translated into Chinese were a collection of sayings culled from a number of Sutras, or Discourses, the collection being known is The Sutra of 42 Sections, which may be described as a Hinayana work modified to express the views of Mahayana adherents. This was not Zen. It was, however, a prelude to its birth, for it was the Chinese genius working on the raw material of Indian thought which, with contributions from Confucian and Taoist sources, produced, with Bodhidharma as mid-wife, the essentially Chinese School of Ch'an or, as the Japanese later called it, Zen Buddhism.

Suffice it to say that the two main schools of Buddhism are as the two sides of a coin. All that is relatively stressed in one is discoverable in the other in a less developed form; and the two are one in the sense that men and women are one, two sides of a human being. The Thera Vada, now to be found in Ceylon, Burma, Siam and Cambodia, is certainly the older School. It is more orthodox, clings harder to the wording of its Pali Canon, emphasizes moral philosophy and the prime importance of the individual's working out his own salvation before he attempts to "save" his neighbor or the world. If it is puritan in its cold insistence on character-building, it is yet suffused with the sweetness of a reasonable, unemotional pursuit of a Way which leads — did not the Blessed One prove it abundantly? — to the heart's desire, that peace which comes when the heart is empty of desire, and self is dead.

The Mahayana adopted all of this, but added upon these broad and, some say, all sufficient premises a vast erection of emotion-thought which flowered in time in the intuitive white light of Zen. The Indian mind was never satisfied with the teachings, moral and philosophical, of Thera Vada Buddhism; and soon the Precepts of right living were developed into principles of cosmic truth. The Buddha, from a man who attained Enlightenment, came to be viewed as the Principle of Enlightenment which dwells in all. As such his forms were multiplied, and fast on the heels of iconography came ritual; a moral philosophy became a religion. The metaphysical heights of Indian thought were climbed, equaled, and finally surpassed. The Bodhisattva, he who dedicates his life and the fruits of life to his fellow men, replaced the Arhat, he who strives for his perfection before he presumes to lead his brother on the Way. Compassion was raised to equality with Wisdom; the depth of the Thera Vada was turned to an expansion of interest which embraced all living things.

These changes are, so it seems to me, as inevitable as they are right if a system of thought is to claim, as Buddhism claims, to be all embracing, and to supply all human spiritual needs. In the vast field of present Buddhism there is to be found religion, philosophy, metaphysics, mysticism, psychology, and much of the science which is claimed as a western discovery of the last few years. There is also room for the poetry, the love of nature and beauty and the sense of fun which is native to the Chinese character; and behind it all is a vast tradition of spiritual truth only part of which is ever recorded arid little of which has ever appeared in a western tongue. In a general way, and one must generalize in the broadest terms, the Schools are as complementary as the night and day. The austerity of the Southern School is offset by the religious fervor of some of the northern sects, and the intensive-expansive, practical-mystical, developing-preserving, tendencies of the respective points of view are neither good nor bad, pure or impure Buddhism, but parts of an inseverable whole. If in the exuberance of spiritual thought some later teachers of the Mahayana developed methods and technique which seem to run counter to the Teaching of the Buddha as early recorded in the Pali Canon, the tolerant Buddhist mind would at least admit that extremist doctrines, such as those of the Pure Land School, may possibly be true, while reserving the right to hold, as I do hold, that it is difficult to see how they can fairly be labeled Buddhism. Yet the common ground of most of the Schools of Buddhism, North or South, is far, far larger than all their differences, and beyond all complementary emphasis on this or that particular doctrine is the direct, supreme, and to us ineffable Experience of the All-Enlightened One.

When Bodhidharma (Tamo to the Japanese) arrived in China, the Mahayana was still only partly developed, but the initial hostility to Buddhism, so notable on its first arrival, seems to have died down. The Chinese are a practical people and disliked both the celibacy and the begging habits of the Buddhist monks. A man should work for his living, they said, and part of his duty is to provide for the memory of his father and to raise up sons to care for his own. Moreover, they deeply distrusted the metaphysics of Indian thought as displayed in the Sutras already translated, and although some of these Sutras, later found to be closely akin to Zen, such as the Vimalakirti, had already been translated by the famous Indian Buddhist, Kumarajiva, the Chinese needed a transference of Indian thought, itself into the Chinese idiom before Buddhism could be assimilated into their national life. In the result, it was left to the individual Chinese thinker to choose from the wealth of material such Sutras as seemed to him of value; and about such thinkers and their Commentaries upon some favored Sutra sprang up the manifold schools or sects which together in time amounted to Chinese Buddhism. Thus, for example, were the Tendai and the Kegon Schools developed respectively from the Madhyamika and Yogacharya Schools of Indian Buddhism, and thus about the Avatamsaka Sutra, introduced to the Chinese mind in the 5th century by Buddhabhadra, was built up the School which later developed into Zen.

But the Chinese mind, essentially rationalist and humanist, though with its mystical feeling developed in Taoism, produced an immense change in the form of Buddha Dharma. From the luminous heights of Indian thought was developed an emphasis on inner values which at the same time had to express itself and be expressed in action and hard work. Wisdom to the Chinese thinker is never an escape from worldly life. As shown in the famous Cow-herding pictures, when the pilgrim has so controlled his lower self that he has reached the final goal, he does not linger there.

To return to the Origin, to be back at the Source —
     already a false step this!
Far better it is to stay home,
. . . he comes out into the market-place;
Daubed with mud and ashes, how broadly he smiles!
There is no need for the miraculous power of the gods,
For he touches, and lo! the dead trees come into full bloom.
      — Essays in Zen Buddhism, I, 365-6

Hence the exciting statement in that famous Chinese classic, The Secret of the Golden Flower,

The holy science takes as a beginning the knowledge of where to stop, and
as an end, stopping at the highest good. Its beginning is beyond polarity and
it empties again beyond polarity. — p. 66

The concentration upon inner values and processes was soon to pervade all Schools of the Mahayana. As the sixth Chinese Patriarch of Zen in the 7th century taught

Our mind should stand aloof from circumstances and on no account should we allow them to influence the function of our mind.

And again, as illustrating this absolute idealism:

You should know that so far as Buddha-nature is concerned, there is no difference between an enlightened man and an ignorant one. What makes the difference is that one realizes it, while the other is ignorant of it.

A better illustration still, perhaps, is the famous story of the flag.

It happened one day, when a pennant was blown about by the wind, two Bhikkhus entered into dispute as to what it was that was in motion, the wind or the pennant. As they could not settle their difference I submitted to them that it was neither, and that actually what moved was their own mind.
      — Sutra of Wei Lang, pp. 49, 27, and 24

It was easy, therefore, for the Chinese mind to adopt with enthusiasm the first verse of the Dhammapada, perhaps the most popular Scripture of all the Pali Canon. "All that we are is the result of what we have thought, it is made up of our thoughts. . . ." Man is indeed the product of his own past thought and actions, and it follows that his thoughts and actions today decide his condition tomorrow, and in the larger tomorrows of his later lives on earth.

The Chinese are concerned with processes, rather than with results. Things have their value, but all things are in a state of flux. Contentment of mind, therefore, is to be found in the flow of life itself, not in the buildings, either of hands or thoughts, which house that life for the space of a butterfly day or the brief span of the clay's mortality. Zen, therefore, with its insistence on direct experience, unmindful of the forms of wisdom from which the life too swiftly ebbs away, was extremely acceptable to the Chinese mind, and if this suitability has been emphasized it is because the Chinese are in a way the British of the East, and most of the attributes above described might as well be applied to the average Englishman.

This Mahayana development was, of course, of gradual growth, and it was in the midst of the process that Bodhidharma, "the bearded barbarian," arrived from India, and into the cross-currents of the stream of Chinese thought threw the hand-grenade of Zen. His four propositions which, even if the formula was produced later, summarized his purpose and technique, were as follows:

A special transmission outside the Scriptures;
No dependence upon words and letters;
Direct pointing to the soul of man;
Seeing into one's own nature.

In brief, a direct transmission of the Wisdom without depending on words, and the direct seeing into one's own nature.

At a time when some of the best brains of the country were translating and writing commentaries on the metaphysical scriptures of Indian Buddhism, this brutal frontal attack on the citadel of truth must have caused an enormous sensation. Hence Dr. Suzuki's phrase that Zen was the Chinese revolt against Buddhism. Yet it was not until the time of Hui-neng, a hundred and fifty years later, that Zen became a genuinely Chinese form of Buddhism, to have immense effect on the Chinese art of the T'ang Dynasty. It is to be observed, however, that none of this apparent extension of the original teachings was regarded as moving away from them. Bodhidharma claimed to be returning to the spirit of the Buddha's teaching and if — and this is the very foundation stone of Zen — Buddhism is a record of Buddha's Enlightenment, he was right. It was those who petrified the flow of truth in the written word of the Scriptures who were slaying the Dharma, and Zen, from this point of view, was the dredging of a stream made foul with ritual and worship, with the niceties of logic and rational philosophy, and the debris of all manner of conceptual thought.

Our knowledge of Bodhidharma is largely derived from The Records of the Transmission of the Lamp, a book which, though written in 1004 a.d., is based on contemporary records now destroyed. Our second authority is Biographies of the High Priests by Tao-hsuan, compiled in 645 a.d. The records differ in detail, but the outline is clear. Bodhidharma will live forever in the annals of Zen Buddhism for introducing into it the element of satori, the immediate experience of truth as distinct from understanding about it. Nor did he merely offer this original contribution to Chinese Buddhism; he lived it. He was born in south India — tradition says in Big Conjeeveram — and studied Buddhism under his teacher, Prajnatara, for forty years. From Prajnatara he acquired by merit the patriarchate of the Dhyana or Zen School, thus becoming the 28th Indian, as he was to become the 1st Chinese, Patriarch. On the death of his Teacher he sailed for China, arriving in 520 a.d. The Emperor Wu at once invited him to his capital, the modern Nanking. On his arrival the Emperor, a most devout Buddhist, began to boast of his good works. "I have built many temples and monasteries," he said. "I have copied the sacred books of the Buddha. I have converted Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis, now what is my merit?" To which this silent, ferocious-looking Indian Buddhist replied, "None whatever, your Majesty!"

The Emperor, taken aback at this brutal answer, tried again. "What is to be considered as the First Principle of the Dharma?" he asked. "Vast Emptiness, and nothing holy therein," replied the Patriarch. "Who, then," asked the Emperor, not unreasonably, "now confronts me?" "I have no idea," said Bodhidharma. Thus, in a brief but historic interview, was laid the foundation of a School which became the dominant sect of China, and is one of the two main schools of Japanese Buddhism, having enormously influenced both countries in their character, culture, art and philosophy.

Bodhidharma, having introduced in his own inimitable style the teaching and technique of Zen, retired to the country, and in the Shao Lin monastery meditated in silence for nine years. Finally there came to him a former Confucian scholar, by name Shen Kuang, who asked to be instructed in the Dharma. The Master took no notice. For seven days and nights the petitioner waited in the snow and finally, to prove to the obdurate teacher the life and death sincerity of his demand, he cut off his arm, and sent it in. The Master saw him. "Pray," said the exhausted student, "pacify my mind." "Let me see your mind," said the Master, "and I will pacify it." "I cannot produce this mind which troubles me so much," said the would-be pupil. "Then I have pacified your mind," said Bodhidharma, and the pupil was at last enlightened.

The truth of the story is immaterial, but as a most dramatic account of the birth in China of Zen principles it is of highest value. And that is nearly all that we know of the founder of Zen Buddhism, whose fierce, aggressive, bearded head has been the theme of a thousand artists from that day to this. Even his end is a matter of mystery, but it is in the true tradition of Zen to believe that he was last seen at a tremendous age returning through the Western Gates of China with one of his sandals on his head. This may be comic; it may have been symbolic; from such a man it was most certainly Zen.

The Confucian monk whose soul had been so swiftly pacified became the 2nd Chinese Patriarch under the name of Hui-ke. To him the Master handed the Lankavatara Sutra as containing an epitome of the secret of Zen; hence the popularity of this Sutra with students of Zen today. It would seem that he was the first Zen martyr, for he was put to death in a.d. 593 for teaching a false doctrine. He spent his life in preaching Zen to the lowest strata of society, and the popularity of this beggar in rags aroused opposition from the forces of well-fed orthodoxy. Before he died, however, he passed on the robe which had come to be the insignia of the Patriarchate to Seng-ts'an, who survives in history as the author of the Hsin Hsin Ming, a metrical rendering of the principles of Zen. A translation of the poem appears in Dr. Suzuki's Essays in Zen Buddhism, I, 182-7. Here in print is the way to dissolve the Opposites.

The fourth Patriarch was Tao-hsin. He had asked the previous Master, "Pray show me the way to deliverance." Said the Master, "Who has put you under restraint?" When the enquirer answered, "No one," the Master enquired in turn, "Then why do you seek deliverance?"

Under Tao-hsin (580-651) Zen Buddhism was divided into two. One part did not survive the passing of its founder. The other branch was headed by Hung-jen, later the fifth Patriarch, who lives today in the famous Sutra of Wei-Lang (Hui-neng), the sixth Patriarch.

Like a famous character in a later religion than Buddhism, Hung-jen prepared the way for another greater than himself. This was Hui-neng whose name, according to a southern dialect, may be pronounced Wei-lang and is better known in the West as such by reason of the late Mr. Wong Mou-lam's translation of his famous "Platform-Sutra." Under the fifth Patriarch, Hung-jen, Zen rose from a small retiring sect of earnest students to a position where it was ready to support a full proclamation of Zen. This was Hui-neng's destiny, and he became the second founder of Zen Buddhism, the mind responsible for developing Zen into a purely Chinese form of Buddhism, both in its teaching and means of expression. He was poorly educated, and was never a scholar in the usual sense of the word. His story is told in his own Sutra, which ranks as one of the classics of eastern literature. In it the close affinities with Taoism are clearly shown, and indeed the words Tao and Dharma are at times with some of the later Masters used synonymously. No student of Zen can fail to study this diamond mine of Zen, or indeed the Commentary upon it which Dr. Suzuki has written under the title of The Zen Doctrine of No-Mind. Here it is sufficient to point out that the failure of Hui-neng's rival, Shen-hsiu, to receive the robe from the fifth Patriarch caused him to secede from the latter's following, and to set up a northern school of his own. This Shen-hsiu was an ex-Confucian, and with his school of "gradual" enlightenment, was given Imperial protection and encouragement, but within a hundred years of the founder's death it had utterly disappeared. The "Sudden" School of Hui-neng prospered mightily. As Dr. Suzuki says,

The latent energy that had been stored up during the time of naturalization suddenly broke out in active work, and Zen had almost a triumphal march through the whole land of Cathay.

Soon after the passing of Hui-neng, who appointed no successor, the Master Hyakujo founded the system, still in use, of the Meditation Hall. In all other schools of Buddhism, and in most other religions, an image of the Founder is the central feature of a temple or a monastery. Only in Zen is the Meditation Hall of paramount importance, and when by the tenth century the koan (for an explanation of which please wait for the chapter on Zen Technique) had come to be the recognized means or "device" for attaining satori, Enlightenment, all the main features of Zen Buddhism were in being, and have hardly varied in the thousand years which separate that period from today. It was in Japan, however, that the tradition was best carried on, for by the 13 th century Zen Buddhism in China had begun to lose its initial impulse. As early as the 7th century Zen had reached Japan, but it was not until the 12th century that a Tendai monk called Eisai crossed into China to study Zen, and returned to found a Zen monastery in Kyoto. But Kyoto was the headquarters of Shingon and Tendai Buddhism, and it was in Kama-kura, under the powerful wing of the Hojo family, that Zen took root in Japan. Eisai founded the Japanese branch of Rinzai Zen. Soto Zen arrived a few years later, in the hands of his pupil, Dogen, while the third of the three sects of Zen, the Obaku, was introduced by Ingen in the 17th century, and is now but a part of Rinzai Zen. The difference between the schools is chiefly the importance given to the koan exercises. In the Rinzai Sect this is still the basis of spiritual development; in the Soto sect it is far less used. Zen was seized by the military class and made its own. The Tendai and Kegon sects of Buddhism, both in a way synthetic philosophies made up from diverse material, were too philosophic for the Japanese knights of the Middle Ages, who were yet most cultured men. Jodo, on the other hand, and its later extremist derivative, the Pure Land School of Shin, needing no learning, and demanding but a constant invocation to the spirit of Buddhahood, were more acceptable to the people. Shingon Buddhism, with its emphasis on ritual, was extremely popular at Court. Zen was a warrior creed. It called for action, for the most rigorous self-discipline, for self-reliance, for contempt of death. So did the iron cult of Bushido, the Way of the Knightly Virtue. The warrior owned but his swords, and his swords were his honor and his life. By the larger he lived: by the smaller he would, at his Lord's behest or when his honor was injured, die by his own hand. This was a man's life, and it needed a man's religion. Zen is "poor," for the heart must be emptied of all else if the light is to enter. It calls for that loneliness of heart which woos the Absolute, for adaptability to outward circumstance, for contempt of the accidents of changing form, and yet, being as Dr. Suzuki calls it, radical empiricism, it is utterly practical and "lives in facts" to the utter exclusion of ideas. Nought must come between a man and his loyalty to his Lord; nought must intervene between a man and the mind's experience. To think, when the enemy's sword is descending, is death; to act, and to act rightly as the result of years of training, here is life, and the flow of life, with no intermediate.

At a later stage we shall see how this virile, stern yet laughing philosophy of life produced in Japan great art, great warriors and a culture second to none. Cradled by a warrior class, it is not surprising that Zen in Japan is violent in the means employed. But are we not all warriors? As the Buddha is given as saying in the Canon of the Southern School,

We wage war, O Bhikkhus; therefore are we called warriors. . . . For lofty Virtue, for high endeavor, for sublime Wisdom, for those do we wage war. Therefore are we called warriors.

We must take the Kingdom of Heaven by storm; only then shall we find that we have never left it.

Buddhism recognizes no authority for a spiritual truth; hence its tolerance. But the transmission of the doctrine is regarded as of great importance. Each Zen Master must be sanctioned by his Master, and he who teaches without such sanction is regarded as heterodox. Thus, through all the changes of Japanese national life, from the feudal system which extended into the 19th century to a modernism based on American patterns, still the tradition is kept high, and if the means of arousing understanding are today less violent, the Roshi or Zen Master is a man of tremendous spiritual development, and claims to be in the direct line of the Buddha's direct experience. The power of the light within must vary with the individual; the lighting of the lamp is the purpose of Zen Buddhism, and the light is Zen.

If only for the sake of tidiness, I must finish this chapter with a brief description of the coming of Zen to Europe.

In 1906 the Open Court Publishing Company of Chicago published Sermons of a Buddhist Abbot by Soyen Shaku, then the Lord-Abbot of Engaku-Ji at Kamakura, the monastery where Dr. Suzuki, his pupil, is living and writing today. These reported sermons, together with a translation by Dr. Suzuki of the Sutra of 42 Sections, were the first information for the West on the subject of Zen. In the following year Dr. Suzuki wrote a paper for the Journal of the Pali Text Society of London which, so far as I know, was the first presentation to England of the meaning as distinct from the mere existence of Zen Buddhism. In 1913, Luzac and Co. of London published The Religion of the Samurai by Kaiten Nukariya, an admirable textbook about Zen, though purely on the plane of the intellect. E. J. Harrison's The Fighting Spirit of Japan, published in London in the same year, has a chapter on Zen, but the subject is treated without understanding.

In 1921 Dr. Suzuki founded and edited The Eastern Buddhist, for which he wrote between that date and its final issue in 1939 a great many articles on Zen, many of which were used as the basis for his later books. The circulation in England, however, was never large, and the same presumably applied to a 30-page booklet written by Arthur Waley in 1922 on Zen Buddhism and its Relation to Art. To all intents and purposes, therefore, the general public had only The Religion of the Samurai for their study of Zen until Dr. Suzuki began, in 1927, the publication of his long series of works on Zen which the Buddhist Society, London, are now in the process of re-publishing in England.

The first volume of Essays in Zen Buddhism opened a new world of vision for the many thousands who read it, and the following two volumes, and the later works as listed in the Bibliography at the end of this volume, have now made Zen available, to the extent that it can ever be conveyed in print, to the English-speaking world. It is right to add that Dr. J. B. Pratt, who in 1928 produced his monumental work The Pilgrimage of Buddhism, seems to have acquired his knowledge of Zen without reference to these Essays of Dr. Suzuki's though as he adds the latter's name to those who had helped him, it is probable that he had read the volumes of The Eastern Buddhist from which the Essays were more or less compiled. By 1932, the three main Sutras used in Zen were available in English. William Gemmell had translated The Diamond Sutra in 1912. The Sutra of Wei Lang reached England in 1930, and Dr. Suzuki's Studies in the Lankavatara Sutra and the text, The Lankavatara Sutra appeared in 1930 and 1932 respectively. To these must be added the Huang Po Doctrine of Universal Mind (trans. Chu Ch'an), and other Zen Sutras now being published as fast as members in China can send them in competent translation.

From 1930 onwards books and articles on Zen began to increase in quantity, yet all of them were influenced by, if not entirely based upon the works of Dr. Suzuki. A section in my What is Buddhism? (1928), Mrs. Adams Beck's very lovely work, The Garden of Vision (1929), Dwight Goddard's The Buddha's Golden Path (1930), these and the steady output of Dr. Suzuki made Zen increasingly known. Then came the war, but after it, when I found the Professor, hale and hearty at 76, in his house in Engaku-ji at Kamakura, he told me of eighteen further volumes on Buddhism which he had written during the war, and which were waiting to be translated into English as soon as he or some other competent translator could find the time. Some of these will be published in England in the next few years; his famous "Address to the Emperor of Japan" has already passed into a second edition under the title of The Essence of Buddhism.

 And now new writers are beginning to appear. Mr. R. H. Blyth, who is writing the Professor's life, has himself after sixteen years in a Korean Zen monastery written, as a teacher of English in Japan, a rich compendious work, Zen in English Literature and Oriental Classics. The Buddhist Society, London, are publishing the collected works, slim though as yet they are, of W. G. Gabb, the author of Beyond the Intellect, and Tales of Tokuzan. I have written a little of Zen in my Studies in the Middle Way, and a brief exordium which I have called Walk On! Material for study is, therefore, available now in western lands, for books have appeared in German, notably Zen, der lebendige Buddhismus in Japan, by Ohasama and Faust, and Dr. Suzuki's Essays have appeared in French. Yet words are but marks on paper, or noises in the air; in the end it is work, hard work in the practice of direct, immediate living which alone produces the direct, immediate experience of Zen.

(To be continued)


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