“When we attempt to exercise power or control over someone else, we cannot avoid giving that person the very same power or control over us.”
According to convention, I am not simply what I am doing now. I am also what I have done, and my conventionally edited version of my past is made to seem almost more the real “me” than what I am at this moment. For what I am seems so fleeting and intangible, but what I was is fixed and final. It is the firm basis for predictions of what I will be in the future, and so it comes about that I am more closely identified with what no longer exists than with what actually is!Highlighted by 48 Kindle customers
To be free from convention is not to spurn it but not to be deceived by it. It is to be able to use it as an instrument instead of being used by it.Highlighted by 41 Kindle customers
Taoism concerns itself with unconventional knowledge, with the understanding of life directly, instead of in the abstract, linear terms of representational thinking.Highlighted by 41 Kindle customers
The idea is not to reduce the human mind to a moronic vacuity, but to bring into play its innate and spontaneous intelligence by using it without forcing it.Highlighted by 33 Kindle customers
wu-hsin,q literally “no-mind,” which is to say un-self-consciousness. It is a state of wholeness in which the mind functions freely and easily, without the sensation of a second mind or ego standing over it with a club.Highlighted by 33 Kindle customers
Reasonable–that is, human–men will always be capable of compromise, but men who have dehumanized themselves by becoming the blind worshipers of an idea or an ideal are fanatics whose devotion to abstractions makes them the enemies of life.Highlighted by 32 Kindle customers
In English the differences between things and actions are clearly, if not always logically, distinguished, but a great number of Chinese words do duty for both nouns and verbs–so that one who thinks in Chinese has little difficulty in seeing that objects are also events, that our world is a collection of processes rather than entities.Highlighted by 31 Kindle customers
It is fundamental to every school of Buddhism that there is no ego, no enduring entity which is the constant subject of our changing experiences. For the ego exists in an abstract sense alone, being an abstraction from memory, somewhat like the illusory circle of fire made by a whirling torch.Highlighted by 30 Kindle customers
The anitya doctrine is, again, not quite the simple assertion that the world is impermanent, but rather that the more one grasps at the world, the more it changes.Highlighted by 28 Kindle customers
But in Zen, and in other schools of the Mahayana, it is often taken in a more figurative way, as that the process of rebirth is from moment to moment, so that one is being reborn so long as one identifies himself with a continuing ego which reincarnates itself afresh at each moment of time.Highlighted by 23 Kindle customers
List of Illustrations
The Pronunciation of Chinese Words
I. Part One: Background and History
1. The Philosophy of the Tao
2. The Origins of Buddhism
3. Mahayana Buddhism
4. The Rise and Development of Zen
II. Part Two: Principles and Practice
1. "Empty and Marvelous"
2. "Sitting Quietly, Doing Nothing"
3. Za-zen and the Koan
4. Zen in the Arts
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