Keeping that in mind, i believe that Walden has secured Henry david Thoreaus place as one of the greatest Zen philosophers. And., the little zen Companion. New York: Workman, 1994. And., the wisdom of the zen Masters. New York: New Directions books, 1976. Wood, Ernest, zen Dictionary. In all that we learn, finding peace in all the hurt and happiness, tears and laughter, and ups and downs is not an easy thing. Finding the inspiration to accomplish the things that will make us feel like fulfilled human beings is not an simple task.
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Using Walden as a vessel for his awakened wisdom, Thoreau would like everyone to experience kensho and paperless identify with their own true nature, let every mind his own business, and endeavour to be what he was made (821). In Thoreaus mind, life was not constricted by rules. He boldly states in Walden, here is life, an experiment (732). It almost seems as if Thoreau had based his own life on the teachings of Chinese philosopher tao-te-Ching: In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, dont try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. Yamada roshi, great Zen master declared that The purpose of Zen is the perfection of character.
There are no separations; you are one with everything. Thoreau repeats his point by saying that, The finest qualities of our nature. Can be preserved only by the most delicate handling. Yet we do not treat ourselves nor one another thus tenderly (730). Henry david Thoreau is the master and long i am the student. He truly believed in living his life rather than wasting. I believe that he attained Buddhahood by finding the nature of his own true being.
Thoreau believes that the problem with society is their dependence on conventional habit. Men are machines and are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously coarse labours of life that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them (730). Further into walden, Thoreau comes to the realization that, the life of the civilized people is made an institution, in which the life of the individual is to a great extent absorbed, in order to preserve and perfect that of the race (744). It can be seen that Thoreau thinks that individualism has been lost in civilized man. He concludes that civilization would be better if they had been born in the open pasture and suckled by a wolf, that they might have seen with clearer eyes the field that they were called to labour in (729). This may be related to the thoughts of tao te Ching, who summary said Act without doing; work without effort. Tradition may be broken as well. In Walden, Thoreaus insight is that It is never too late to give up our prejudices (731). Social biases are shunned in Zen Religion.
(739) This curious anecdote brings into mind an ancient Zen Story, wealthy donors invited Master ikkyu to a banquet. The master arrived there dressed in beggars robes. His host, not recognizing him in this garb, hustled him away. The master went home, there changed into his ceremonial robe of purple brocade, and again presented himself at his hosts doorstep. He was received with due respect, and ushered into the banquet room. There he put his stiff robe on the cushion, saying, i expect you invited the robe since you showed me away a little while ago, and left. These were, according to Thoreau, the childish and savage taste of men (741). Walden powerfully displays how deep the routine of tradition and conformity are entrenched into civilized life.
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He writes: I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and I threw them out in disgust (746-747). After all, as Zen master Mumon said, The treasures of the house do not come in by the front door. Thoreau abandoned the objects that did not necessitate the living of his life. Often in life we acquire new things even though objects still possessed could do the desired job. Thoreau was uncomfortable with that quality of man pronouncing that, bare feet are older than shoes, and one can make them do (739). This statement is quite similar in thought to a diogenes" found in The little zen Companion: I threw my cup away when I saw a child drinking from his hands at the trough (133). Thoreau believed that money unnecessary for the lifestyle of his choosing.
He believed that, none can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty (735). This belief is shared with the zen masters. Zen text says: A monk asked Chao-chou, if a poor man comes, what should one give him? He lacks nothing, answered the master. By chatting unnecessary things, you are left, in turn, with fewer things to worry about. Thoreaus own comment about the society around him was that, we worship not the Graces, nor the parcae, but Fashion (740). In Walden, Thoreau spins a tale to illustrate the point, madam Pfeiffer, in her adventurous travels round the world, from east to west, had got resume so near home as Asiatic Russia, she says that she felt the necessity of wearing other than a travelling dress.
This simplicity of survival has been a constant part of Zen life. Master Rinzai, founder of the rinzai sect of Zen, remarked, When hungry, i eat; when tired, i sleep. Fools laugh. Both Thoreau and Zen religion appear to place animals on a higher plane of existence for their intuitive behaviour. In Waldens Economy, (or philosophy of living Thoreau writes, One farmer says to me, you cannot live on vegetable food solely, for it furnishes nothing to make bones with; and so he religiously devotes a part of his day to supplying his system with the. (732) Irmgard Schloegls book, the wisdom of the zen Masters, contains a zen" conveying a similar message on the elevation of animal behaviour in life.
The"tion is as follows, master Nansen, asked by a monk, where does he go who knows what is what? Replied: he becomes an ox of the monastery supporter down the hill, to requite him for his help. When the monk thanked him for his teaching, the master added: At midnight yesterday, the moon shone in at the window. (69) Thoreau was known to have said, our life is frittered away by detail. However, this regard of simplicity seemed to conflict with the opinions of society. If one were to follow the advice that Walden gives us for living, as Thoreau puts it, god will see that you do not want society (823). In The norton Anthology of American Literature, hershel Parker, of the University of Delaware comments that, Thoreau's life became a refusal to live by the materialistic values of his neighbours (709). Henry david Thoreau had no desire for material possessions.
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While living on the shores of Walden, Thoreaus simple lifestyle can almost be summed up with the zen saying Chop wood, carry water. Thoreau earned his living by the labour of his own hands and considered his lifestyle, very natural and pertinent (728). Thoreau achieved tranquillity by means similar to those found in Zen scripture. He writes, so many autumn, ay, and winter days, spent outside the town, the trying to hear what was in the wind (736). This is, to me, reminiscent of the zen koan What is the colour of wind? Throughout the pages of Walden, Thoreau seems to praise the simplicity of the animal world that is lacking in humankind. Commenting on survival, Thoreau states that, none of the brute creation requires more than food and Shelter. For not til we have secured these are we prepared to entertain the true problems of life with freedom and a prospect of success (733-734).
The problem that lies in the way of reaching this energy is that most people have suppressed it due to personal and society driven ignorance. When this barrier is overcome, we are in tune with the significance and knowledge of life. In his thoughts and in his words, Thoreau has seemed to utilize that energy in Walden, opening his third eye to the world around him, zen teacher Choa-chou said that, zen is your everyday thought and Walden is a collection of the everyday thoughts. Walden is a factual record of Thoreaus life experiences living alone in a house that he built with his own hands, on autobiography the shore of Walden Pond in Concord Massachusetts. Zen suggests that to solve lifes problems, one must directly implore the elements of personal experience as opposed to book-knowledge. This approach is known as Jiriki. Jiriki refers to a persons own attempt to attain enlightenment through his or her own efforts. In Walden, Thoreau offers the outcomes of his experience to the reader in hopes that they too will gain freedom from them.
its essence is the art of seeing into the nature of ones own being, and it points the way from bondage into freedom (3). In the theory of Zen, our bodies contain a spiritual form of energy. When this energy is consciously tapped, we will be aware of all the underlying impulses and desires of our heart. This freedom will cause us to experience. Kensho, (seeing into ones own nature thus becoming happier and more loving to those around. To reach the buddhist goal of becoming one with everything, a person has to embrace nothing. What is meant in the embracing of nothing is that one must abandon his or her own ego and explore beyond the limits of social conformity.
Even then, the insight within his own personal writings would irrefutably make him master of his own temple. The wisdom found within. Thoreaus Walden can be clarified through Zen Buddhist beliefs and ideas as the two seem to typically compliment each other. Where, you might ask, does religion fit into the travelling adventures of Henry. Religion has been a part of the literary tradition from the very start. Some of the first books ever produced were handwritten copies of the bible. Pamphlets, poems, odes, and epics throughout the centuries have continued to reflect religious content. I have also read insightful essays about the hidden Christian Symbolism. Well, why not the presence of Zen Buddhism presentation within the teachings of Thoreaus Walden?
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Zen essays by christxpk - issuu. This is It Spiritual Experience has 1,656 ratings and 61 reviews. Sanjay said: to understand music, you must listen. Zen taoism Essays 3 - breathing - meditation. The word Zen is derived from the year japanese pronunciation of the middle Chinese word Essays in Zen Buddhism, first Series (1927 second Series (1933 Shobogenzo:Zen Essays by dogen - amazoncom. Zen and the Art of Archery essays The book zen and the Art of Archery, by eugen Herrigel, discusses the spirituality connected with the art form in the sport of archery). Research Paper, if I were asked who my favourite western Zen philosopher was, without any hesitation, i would declare it to be henry david Thoreau. Although he knew in translation the religious writings of the hindus, it may be unlikely that Henry david Thoreau ever studied the teachings of the zen Masters.