Yoshizen's Blog

Hot or Cold

Posted in Buddhism, Enlightenment, Subconsciousness, Zen by yoshizen on December 15, 2009

” Hinayana  vs  Mahayana “

There are two completely contradicting Buddhist proverb and the words of a Zen Master in Japan.

One is an old proverb which says ” When you emancipate your head and the heart, even a fire feel cold”

( Shinto wo mekkyaku sure-ba Hi mo mata suzushi ).

And the another.  When a Master of Zen was asked ” What is the (best) way to stand under a summer heat ”

( Ika-naruka, shyo-ka hou ? “)  The Master answered ” Get sweat under the heat, and shiver in winter chill ”

( Atsu-sa no Natsu wa ase wo kaki, samu-sa no Fuyu wa chijimi-agaru ).   – – – – – 😀

They are the old says and I have no idea who said it in the first place, yet still interestingly, the former is

a typical Hinayana expression and the later is the typical Mahayana – Zen expression.


The former, denies the head and heart, in another word the Self and the emotion.

But the Mahayana extended the logic further, as to deny even the idea of emancipation of the self,

(though, it must be noted that the Self in the Mahayana is, the Self once denied Self = Selfless Self ) therefore,

the Mahayana doesn’t deny the emotion (but in certain extent / in the limit of middle way ) so, if it’s hot its Hot.

So, undeniably I feel (especially since yesterday)  Oh ! its a winter. Its cold. (I wouldn’t kill my head and heart)

Everybody, Take care, keep warm —— (save some of you in the southern hemisphere )  🙂


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