One of our contemporary Zenists wittily observed that 'vegetables are the children of earth, that animals which feed on vegetables are the grand-children of earth, and that men who subsist on animals are the great-grand-children of earth. If there be no life, the same as the animal's life in the vegetables, how could animals sustain their lives feeding on vegetables?
If there be no life similar to ours in animals, how could we sustain our life by subsisting on them? The poet must be in the right, not only in his esthetic, but in his scientific point of view, in saying-. But once a rose within me grew; Its rootlets shot, its flowerets flew; And all rose's sweetness rolled Throughout the texture of my mould; And so it is that I impart Perfume to them, whoever thou art.
As we men live and act, so do our arteries; so does blood; so do corpuscles. As cells and protoplasm live and act, so do elements, molecules, and atoms. As elements and atoms live and act, so do clouds; so does the earth; so does the ocean, the Milky Way, and the Solar System. What is this life which pervades the grandest as well as the minutest works of Nature, and which may fitly be said 'greater than the greatest and smaller than the smallest?
It cannot be subjected to exact analysis. But it is directly experienced and recognized within us, just as the beauty of the rose is to be perceived and enjoyed, but not reduced to exact analysis. At any rate, it is something stirring, moving, acting and reacting continually.
In this slim, enlightening volume, internationally recognized Buddhist teacher Martine Batchelor presents the basic tenets and teachings of the Buddha through a. Editorial Reviews. Review. "As well as making those teachings broadly accessible, Batchelor brings them up to date The Spirit of the Buddha offers entry into.
This something which can be experienced and felt and enjoyed directly by every one of us. This life of living principle in the microcosmos is identical with that of the macrocosmos, and the Universal Life of the macrocosmos is the common source of all lives. Therefore, the Mahaparinirvana-sutra says:. Now be becomes cities, villages, houses, mountains, rivers, and trees; now he has a large body; now he has a small body; now he becomes men, women, boys, and girls. Life and Change.
Pray with sincerity. Please receive the Messiah who has descended in the Completed Testament Age. Such are the individuals gathered together here. Yourself, God, and Another Human Being. Book ratings by Goodreads. Women in Korean Zen Martine Batchelor. Many times I shook my head, trying to deny the new truth that I was hearing.
Nobody can deny the transitoriness of life. One of our friends humorously observed: "Everything in the world may be doubtful to you, but it can never be doubted that you will die.
Every minute its flame dies out and is renewed. Life is like a running stream. Every moment it pushes onward.
If there be anything constant in this world of change, it should be change itself. Is it not just one step from rosy childhood to snowy age? Is it not just one moment from the nuptial song to the funeral-dirge? Who can live the same moment twice? In comparison with an organism, inorganic matter appears to be constant and changeless; but, in fact, it is equally subjected to ceaseless alteration. Every morning, looking into the mirror, you will find your visage reflected in it just as it was on the preceding day; so also every morning, looking at the sun and the earth, you will find them reflected in your retina just as they were on the previous morning; but the sun and the earth are no less changeless than you.
Why do the sun and the earth seem changeless and constant to you? Only because you yourself undergo change more quickly than they.
When you look at the clouds sweeping across the face of the moon, they seem to be at rest, and the moon in rapid motion; but, in fact, the clouds, as well as the moon, incessantly move on. Science might maintain the quantitative constancy of matter, but the so-called matter is mere abstraction. To say matter is changeless is as much as to say 2 is always 2, changeless and constant, because the arithmetical number is not more abstract than the physiological matter. The moon appears standing still when you look at her only a few moments.
In like manner she seems to be free from change when you look at her in your short span of life. Astronomers, nevertheless, can tell you how she saw her better days, and is now in her wrinkles and white hair. Pessimistic View of the Ancient Hindus. Therefore we have no inert matter in the concrete, no unchanging thing in the sphere of experience, no constant organism in the transient universe.
These considerations often led many thinkers, ancient and modern, to the pessimistic view of life. What is the use of your exertion, they would say, in accumulating wealth, which is doomed to melt away in the twinkling of an eye? What is the use of your striving after power, which is more short-lived than a bubble?
What is the use of your endeavour in the reformation of society, which does not endure any longer than the castle in the air? How do kings differ from beggars in the eye of Transience? How do the rich differ from the poor, how the beautiful from the ugly, bow the young from the old, how the good from the evil, how the lucky from the unlucky, how the wise from the unwise, in the court of Death? Vain is ambition. Vain is fame. Vain is pleasure. Vain are struggles and efforts.
All is in vain. An ancient Hindu thinker  says:. What is the use of the enjoyment of pleasures in this body, which is assailed by lust, hatred, greed, delusion, fear, anguish, jealousy, separation from what is loved, union with what is not loved, hunger,. In such a world as this, what is the use of the enjoyment of pleasures, if he who has fed on them is to return to this world again and again?
In this world I am like a frog in a dry well. It is this consideration on the transitoriness of life that led some Taoist in China to prefer death to life, as expressed in Chwang Tsz Su-shi :. Tapping it with his horse-switch, he asked it saying: 'Did you, sir, in your greed of life, fail in the lessons of reason and come to this? Or did you do so, in the service of a perishing state, by the punishment of an axe? Or was it through your evil conduct, reflecting disgrace on your parents and on your wife and children?
Or was it through your hard endurances of cold and hunger? Or was it that you had completed your term of life? At midnight the skull appeared to him in a dream, and said: 'What you said to me was after the fashion of an orator. All your words were about the entanglements of men in their lifetime. There are none of those things after death. Would you like to hear me, sir, tell you about death? There are none of the phenomena of the four seasons.
Tranquil and at ease, our years are those of heaven and earth. No king in his court has greater enjoyment than we have. Hinayanism and its Doctrine. Transience never fails to deprive us of what is dear and near to us. It disappoints us in our expectation and hope. It brings out grief, fear, anguish, and lamentation. It spreads terror and destruction among families, communities, nations, mankind. It threatens with perdition the whole earth, the whole universe.
Therefore it follows that life is full of disappointment, sufferings, and miseries, and that man is like 'a frog in a dry well. Again, when Transcience once gets hold of our imagination, we can easily foresee ruins and disasters in the very midst of prosperity and happiness, and also old age and ugliness in the prime and youth of beauty.