Author Topic: Zengetsu's Letter To His Students  (Read 1436 times)

Offline Quiet Heart

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Zengetsu's Letter To His Students
« on: December 03, 2009, 12:13:27 pm »

Zengetsu was a Chinese Zen Buddhist teacher that lived in the Tang dynasty. He taught many students and is supposed to have set many on the path to enlightenment. When he was geting old, he could no longer teach due to his poor health. He is then supposed to have written to his students the following letter:
Living in the world, yet not forming attachment to the dust of that world, that is the true path of a student of Zen

When you see the good action of another, encourage yourself to follow that example. When you hear of the mistaken action of another, advise yourself not to follow that path.

Even though alone, in a dark room, conduct yourself as if you were facing a noble guest. Express your feelings, but never speak other than your true nature.

Poverty is your greatest treasure. Do not exchange it for an easy life.

A person may appear to be a fool and yet not be one. He may be only guarding his wisdom carefully.

Virtues are the fruit of self-discipline, They do not drop from heaven like rain or snow.

Modesty is the foundation of all virtues,let your neighbors discover you before you make yourself known to them.

A noble heart never forces itself forward. Its words are like rare gems, seldom displayed and of geat value

To a sincere student every day is a fortunate day. Neither glory or censure can move him.

Censure youeself, never another. Do not discuss right and wrong.Some things now considered right were thought to be wrong for generations. Since the value of an idea may not be recognised for centuries, do not seek an immediate appreciation.

Live simply, with quiet purpose, and leave results to the great law of the universe. Pass each day in peaceful comtemplation.


Offline Shi Hong Yang

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Re: Zengetsu's Letter To His Students
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2010, 05:37:22 pm »
How beautiful! This master of course must have been well versed in Vinaya.  I see echoes in this letter.  Lovely...
Chinese Buddhism is the oldest form of Buddhism in the USA, in 2013 it is 161 years old.  The first Buddhist temples were built in California in 1952 & 1854. Second oldest is Korean in 1900 and Japanese in 1902 both in Hawaii.


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