THE TRANSLATIONS IN THIS TEXT ILLUSTRATE THREE PHASES of Zen in Japan: Warrior Zen of crisis, when Japan faced and repulsed Kublai Khan's naval attacks in the thirteenth century; feudal Zen for officials in the 250 largely peaceful years up to the Western naval attacks in the mid-eighteenth century; and twentieth-century Zen, before, through, and after World War II.
The three parts are concerned mainly with laymen's Zen. Mahayana Buddhism has always had a close connection with the world. It is indeed possible that it began with groups of laymen in India. In the first text, the warriors remained in fact laymen, taught mostly by monks. It is to be noted that some of them were women. There was no prejudice in Zen, as there sometimes was in other branches of Buddhism. But there were no concessions either.
The second part is an essay written for a samurai official by abbot Torei. Zen had fallen into decay and was being dramatically revived by Hakuin. It had to contend with government-sponsored Confucianism. That code,
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Publication information: Book title: Three Ages of Zen:Samurai, Feudal and Modern. Contributors: Trevor Leggett - Author. Publisher: Tuttle Publishing. Place of publication: Rutland, VT. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 7.
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