Way Of The Warrior -XV-

“The Third Step in the Mental Training”
(The Training Of The Mind & Practice of Meditation)
~ by Kaiten Yukarita

To be the Lord of Mind
is more essential to Enlightenment,
which, in a sense, is
the clearing away of illusions,
the putting out of mean desires and passions,
and the awakening of the innermost wisdom.

He alone can attain to real happiness
who has perfect control over
his passions tending to disturb
the equilibrium of his mind.

Such passions as
anger,
hatred,
jealousy,
sorrow,
worry,
grudge,
and fear
always untune one’s mood
and break the harmony
of one’s Mind.

They poison one’s Body,
not in a figurative, but
in a literal sense of the word.

Obnoxious passions
once aroused
never fail to bring about
the physiological changes
in the nerves,
in the organs,
and eventually
in the whole constitution
and leaving/depositing there
those injurious impressions
that make one more liable
to passions of similar nature.

We do not mean,
however,
that we ought to be
cold and passionless,
as the most ancient Hinayanists were used to be.
Such an attitude has been blamed by Zen masters.

If you want to secure Dhyana,
let go
of your anxieties
and your failures
in the past.
Let bygones
be bygones.
Cast aside enmity,
cas aside shame,
Cast aside trouble.
Never admit them into your brain.
Let pass
the imagination
and anticipation
of future hardships
and future sufferings;
let go
of all
your annoyances,
your vexations,
your doubts,
your melancholies
that impede your speed
in the race of the struggle for existence.

As the miser sets his heart
on worthless dross and accumulates it,
so an unenlightened person
clings to worthless mental dross
and spiritual rubbish,
and makes his mind a dust-heap.

Some people constantly dwell
on the minute details
of their unfortunate circumstances,
to make themselves
more unfortunate
than they really are.

Some go over
and over again
the symptoms of their disease
to think themselves into serious illness;
and some actually bring evils on them
by having them constantly in view,
and waiting for them.

A man asked Poh Chang (Hyaku-jo):
“How shall I learn the Law?”

“Eat when you are hungry,”
replied the teacher;
“Sleep when you are tired.
People do not simply eat at table,
but think of hundreds of things;
they do not simply sleep in bed,
but think of thousands of things.”

A ridiculous thing it is, in fact,
that man or woman,
endowed with the same nature as Buddha’s,
born the lord of all material objects,
is ever upset by petty cares,
haunted by the fearful phantoms
of his or her own creation
,
and burning up his or her energy in a fit of passion,
wasting his or her vitality
for the sake of foolish
or insignificant things.

It is a man/woman
who can keep
the balance of his/her mind
under any circumstances,
who can be calm and serene in the hottest strife of life,
that is worthy of success,
reward,
respect,
and reputation,
for he is the master of men.

It was at the age of forty-seven
that Wang Yang Ming
won a splendid victory over the rebel army
which threatened the throne of the Ming dynasty.
During that warfare,
Wang was giving a course of lectures
to a number of students
at the headquarters of the army,
of which he was the Commander-in-chief.

At the very outset of the battle,
a messenger
brought him the news
of defeat of the foremost ranks.
All the students were terror-stricken,
and grew pale at the unfortunate tidings.
But The Teacher
was not a whit disturbed by it. Some time after
another messenger
brought in the news
of the complete rout of the enemy.
All the students, enraptured,
stood up and cheered.
but The Teacher
was as cool and calm as before,
and did not break off lecturing.

Thus:
the practiser of Zen
has so perfect control
over his heart
that he can keep
presence of mind
under an impending danger,
even in the presence
of Death itself.

And another:

It was at the age of twenty-three
that Haku-in
got on board a boat
bound for the Eastern Provinces,
which met with a tempest
and was almost wrecked.
All of the passengers
were laid low with fear and fatigue,
but Haku-in
enjoyed a quiet sleep during the storm,
as if he were lying on a comfortable bed.

And another:

It was in the fifth of Mei-ji era
that Doku-on
lived for some time in the city of Tokyo,
whom some Christian zealots
attempted to murder.
One day
Doku-on met with
a few young men
equipped with swords
at the gate of his temple.
“We want to see Doku-on;
go and tell him,” said they to the priest.
“I am Doku-on,” Doku-on replied calmly,
“Whom you are wanting to see.
Gentlemen:
What can I do for you?”
“We have come,” they replied,
“to ask you a favour.
We are Christians;
we want your hoary head.”

And so, saying
they were ready
to attack him,
Doku-on replied
smiling:
“All right, gentlemen.
Behead me forthwith, then,
if you please.”

Surprised by this
unexpected boldness
on the part of the priest,
they turned back
without harming
even a hair
of the old Buddhist.

These teachers
could ~ through long practice ~
constantly keep their minds:
buoyant…
casting aside useless encumbrances
of idle thoughts;
bright….driving off the dark cloud of melancholy; tranquil, putting down turbulent waves of passion; pure, cleaning away the dust and ashes of illusion; and serene, brushing off the cobwebs of doubt and fear. The only means of securing all this is to realize the conscious union with the Universal Life through the Enlightened Consciousness, which can be awakened by dint of Dhyana.

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