Zen and the World


While reading “Zen Antics” I came across a poem written by Zen Master Gisan in 1866. He recited these poems in response to being given an honorary title  by the emperor of Japan. These three poems are as applicable today as they were in 1866.

Humanity and Law
Self-Help and helping others:
this trance of mine
is dutiful at home, loyal in public,
never obscured in daily affairs.

The Benefit of Buddhism for Nations
Do not kill, and life will be sufficient;
do not steal, and goods will be plenty.
How excellent the moral teaching:
they enrich nations and stabilize families.

Protecting the Nation
Whatever is bad, do not do;
whatever is good, carry it out:
then above and below will harmonize,
the good and the bad won’t compete.

About fiercebuddhist

Welcome. I am happy that our paths have crossed. Here you will find various poems, articles and photography. I hope that you enjoy them and visit often. I am currently working on writing “A Haiku A Day” so that I can, perhaps, have enough good ones for publication. If you are wondering what a “Fierce Buddhist” the following declaration should clarify. The “Fierce” in FierceBuddhist I define as “an obligation to do what I can to benefit all sentient beings, not just those close to me or those I agree with. If I see something or someone that is hurting others I must step forward and do what I can to assist them.” In the Army and in the dojo I learned how to defend myself, family and country but that does not mean I endorse the use of force. Two nonviolent examples of Fierce Buddhists that come to mind are Thich Nhat Hanh and the Dalai Lama. While I do not claim be even close to them I can strive and so can you. Furthermore, my Buddhist name, given to me by Sensei Kubose, is Seiyo. His interpretation of my communication and interaction with him led him to this name. He told me Seiyo means “Fierce Sun.” The sun shines on everyone without prejudices without giving preferential treatment to anyone. This is tough to live up to, as you can imagine, but it sure sets the tone for my life. In Buddhism this is called a Fierce Bodhisattva. I am only on the path to Enlightenment and can only say to be a Fierce Buddhist.

One response »

  1. Hi William, the quotes above are beautifully true! 🙂

    This is my favorite part: “Do not kill, and life will be sufficient;
    do not steal, and goods will be plenty.
    How excellent the moral teaching:
    they enrich nations and stabilize families.” So true!!

    Thank you for sharing! 🙂

    Please visit my blog: http://www.subhanzein.wordpress.com and see what’s in store. My newest post, “She Surrendered to the Transcend” may be of interest to you..

    Warm regards from Down Under,

    Subhan Zein

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