The Awakening Of The Innermost Wisdom


Having set ourselves free from the misconception of Self, next we

must awaken our innermost wisdom, pure and divine, called the Mind of

Buddha,[FN#190] or Bodhi,[FN#191] or Prajnya[FN#192] by Zen masters.

It is the divine light, the inner heaven, the key to all moral

treasures, the centre of thought and consciousness, the source of all

influence and power, the seat of kindness, justice, sympathy,

impartial love, humani
y, and mercy, the measure of all things. When

this innermost wisdom is fully awakened, we are able to realize that

each and everyone of us is identical in spirit, in essence, in nature

with the universal life or Buddha, that each ever lives face to face

with Buddha, that each is beset by the abundant grace of the Blessed

One, that He arouses his moral nature, that He opens his spiritual

eyes, that He unfolds his new capacity, that He appoints his mission,

and that life is not an ocean of birth, disease, old age, and death,

nor the vale of tears, but the holy temple of Buddha, the Pure

Land,[FN#193] where be can enjoy the bliss of Nirvana.

[FN#190] Zen is often called the Sect of Buddha-mind, as it lays

stress on the awakening of the Mind of Buddha. The words 'the Mind

of Buddha' were taken from a passage in Lankavatara-sutra.

[FN#191] That knowledge by which one becomes enlightened.

[FN#192] Supreme wisdom.

[FN#193] Sukhavati, or the land of bliss.

Then our minds go through an entire revolution. We are no more

troubled by anger and hatred, no more bitten by envy and ambition, no

more stung by sorrow and chagrin, no more overwhelmed by melancholy

and despair. Not that we become passionless or simply intellectual,

but that we have purified passions, which, instead of troubling us,

inspire us with noble aspirations, such as anger and hatred against

injustice, cruelty, and dishonesty, sorrow and lamentation for human

frailty, mirth and joy for the welfare of follow-beings, pity and

sympathy for suffering creatures. The same change purifies our

intellect. Scepticism and sophistry give way to firm conviction;

criticism and hypothesis to right judgment; and inference and

argument to realization.

What we merely observed before we now touch with heart as well. What

we knew in relation of difference before we now understand in

relation of unity as well. How things happen was our chief concern

before, but now we consider as well bow much value they have. What

was outside us before now comes within us. What was dead and

indifferent before grows now alive and lovable to us. What was

insignificant and empty before becomes now important, and has

profound meaning. Wherever we go we find beauty; whomever we meet we

find good; whatever we get we receive with gratitude. This is the

reason why the Zenists not only regarded all their fellow-beings as

their benefactors, but felt gratitude even towards fuel and water.

The present writer knows a contemporary Zenist who would not drink

even a cup of water without first making a salutation to it. Such an

attitude of Zen toward things may well be illustrated by the

following example: Sueh Fung (Sep-po) and Kin Shan (Kin-zan), once

travelling through a mountainous district, saw a leaf of the rape

floating down the stream. Thereon Kin Shan said: Let us go up, dear

brother, along the stream that we may find a sage living up on the

mountain. I hope we shall find a good teacher in him. No,

replied Sueh Fung, for he cannot be a sage who wastes even a leaf of

the rape. He will be no good teacher for us.