This blog presents Kando Inoue roshi's activities, mainly his dharma talks of shobogenzo in English. Kando is the top advocate of shobogenzo by Zen Master Dogen.

     “Shakyamuni Buddha says “All buddhas and bodhisattvas rest in this dharma forever as it is a sacred womb (a sacred body of the buddha).” Go on living like this. Nothing is more comfortable than this. What’s more, it is a sacred womb. Can we say it the sacred body of the buddha? There might be a long word ‘Seitai choyo, a sacred womb and long rest.’ “So all buddhas and bodhisattvas have regarded these four abodes of mindfulness as a sacred womb, a sacred body of buddha, you should know that they are the sacred womb of balanced realization. And the sacred womb of subtle realization.” There was a person who expressed the content of realization as the stage of fifty-two ranks such like balanced realization or subtle realization. Among such studying there are this sort of expression though, in a word, it means whichever condition you are in. Whoever he is, he is really in the state of his own and see though the thing of this sort like this. The first is the observation that the body is not pure, the second is the observation that feeling is suffering, the third is the observation that mind is without constancy, the fourth is the observation that Dharma is without self. This is the practice that the Buddha did. Therefore, in Buddhism, Dharma Seals is firstly expressed, namely, all things are impermanent, all dharmas are selflessness, Enlightenment leads serenity, which are Three Dharma Seals. It is expressed such as the truth of things. 
      “It has already spoken of all buddhas and bodhisattvas, and so buddhas are not the subtle realization, also regard it as the sacred womb. Bodhisattvas who have sprung out being prior to balanced realization or beyond subtle realization also regard these four abodes of mindfulness as a sacred womb.” Not only the realized people but also people on the way of practice go on practicing on this way. The way like this is said, “Truly, the skin, fresh, bones, and marrow of the buddhas and the patriarchs” which says that the fine realized people’s life is such in content. What are they doing? Although they live in the same way and live together, the place they are touching is different. Whether they are only idling the days every day or receiving the content correctly, it is entirely different. If you don’t know things, even though you live the same life, it is entirely different. And the way of life comes to change completely. You don’t know what they are doing as it is the matter of the other, you might not know, but I can know well that there are many people around me whom I have known dozens of years. Such people have come to change. Their life has come to change utterly. When saying what they are doing, they don’t especially live differently from that of until now. They do the same thing every day. 
     Therefore, firstly the four abodes of mindfulness, the four ways to touch things are. For the present I would like to finish here. Itemized like this and entitled, you are easy to study.


And one more, “The observation that Dharma is without self.” Dharma is things, it can be expressed as the rule. The formation of all things, the regulation, the way of activity, the rule. There are big one and small one, when I show them here, human beings can see them such, which is a rule. This one is this and this one (showing a different one) is this, you can see such. Nobody decides it, but you can exactly see like that. This one cannot be seen like that one (being replaced,) It is a rule. It is the way that nobody can violate. Bang! (hitting the desk) when I hit here, Bang! (hitting the other part of the desk) and I hit this part, we are formed to be able to hear differently. Nobody decided it. A big sound, even as for sound, this sound and this sound (making a sound newly) can never been heard the same. Absolutely not. Bang! This sound is this sound, Bang! this sound is this sound, it is set up to be able to hear such. This is the rule. It is not that human beings decided. We call it the law, or dharma, true Law, or the true way of things. It is the rule. 
     It is said that there is no regulation for that. “without self.” Nothing exists as what becomes the core. Generally speaking, selflessness means not to insist on one’s own view. You don’t say “I am.” Saying “I am” is that you have ego. I am, I am, I see, I hear, I am doing, which is said you have ego. Then it is troublesome. Conflicts inevitably arise with people. If we keep ego, we hold on our principles and opinion, when we go through it, we will surely clash. However, because there is no ego in the rule of things like these eyes, whatever will become as it is. There is no self in the ears so that they become inevitably as it is when a sound happened. Tap! Tap! Tap! (hitting the desk) Such a thing is preached. When sitting, we sit. When we stand, we became the state of standing. Although we don’t know how we leave from sitting when standing, when we stand, the state of sitting is settled to come to disappear completely. We call it stood. When we sit, the state of standing has entirely vanished. When being done such, we say “Oh, he is sitting.” This is the rule. it is so concrete. In the situation, nothing exists as regulation. Even though there is no rule, it is so perfect. There is no principle and opinion at all, but the concrete rule exists without a deviation. It is wonderful.  
     Well let’s read. “The long has a long Dharma-body, and the short has a short Dharma-body.” It only says that the long one is long, the short one is short. That is reasonable. In this case, a teacher brought the disciple who asked how he should practice to a bamboo grove. When practicing, how should he practice? The teacher said, “Look at bamboo over there, look at bamboo here.” Then the disciple answered, “The bamboo over there is long, the bamboo here is short.” And the teacher said “That is right.”
     “Because it is the realized state of your activity now, it is without self.” The realized state of your activity now means the state right in the midst of your living now is such. When facing the shoji screen, you inevitably become the state seeing the shoji screen, if you don’t say you see it. When you face to the fusuma like this, you certainly become like seeing the fusuma. You don’ say “I do” and don’t know who became such. Having become like fusuma, or like shoji, you don’t know who has become such. You only become such. The thing of this sort is said.
     “A dog is without Buddha-nature,” Well you had better not to touch what is like this. It becomes so troublesome in the head and it cannot be helped. A person who has studied Buddhism comes across the talk whether there is the Buddha-nature or not, he will awfully undergo hardship. Why he undergoes hardship, because he doesn’t know what the word of Buddha-nature or the letter signify and yet he studies. Even though nobody teaches, in the instance he read it, he grasps something immediately himself, as what is said Buddha-nature. It is strange. He imagines something like a buddha. Then have they seen a buddha? Although they have never seen a living buddha, they all imagine a buddha which might be like this. Being so, they walk in the street with what they imagined, they think if it is not the one, or if this is not, they soon follow it when encountering something close what they have imagined. That is a selfish inference, and speaking badly, it is unreliable. Therefore, not having such concept is really important to practice. At any rate, they all have conception in that way. So, when sitting, you say that you cannot readily become mindless. You say that you are unable to become mindless, but you don’t know what is mindlessness, then even if you can become mindless, you don’t think it being mindless. Oh! You could become mindless, as you don’t know what is mindless and you don’t think it being mindless, you say that you can’t do it. While you are having it, you don’t notice it. It is strange. 
         “A dog is without the Buddha-nature, and a dog is with the Buddha-nature.” Though It is the story that a dog is with the Buddha-nature and without the Buddha-nature, to be or not to be is so strange for human beings. When being said ‘Mu (無)’, you will read it ‘not exist(ない)’ If I give a familiar example, even though there is the sound ‘Mu’, when said ‘Mu’, you will say ‘Nai; not exist.’ You say as if you didn’t hear. Oh! when said ‘Mu’, nevertheless you heard it, you say ‘Nai; not exist.’ Having seen the letter, being said ‘Mu’, you say ‘Nai; not exist’, though it is written there. You are doing such a funny thing. If the letter of being or the letter of without being is written, such a thing is only taking place. That is the state of the mind. When we face the letter ‘Aru; being,’ it is ‘Aru; being,’ when we face the letter ‘Mu; not being,’ it is  ‘Mu; not being,’ we human beings are settled to receive correctly suchlike thing as it is. That is the working of so called the mind. Without knowing, even if you don’ know the letter, even a child becomes as such. That is why you can learn. It is not that you cannot write it if you don’t understand the letter ‘Mu; not being.’ When being said, “Write like this.” or “Write as it is.” One can write as it is, because he sees it. It is all right he doesn’t know what it means. When he comes to write as it is, it is useful. Say “Ah”, by being uttered a voice, you have come to able pronounce the Japanese. You didn’t know what it was at all. 
        “All sentient beings are without the Buddha-nature. All Buddha-nature are without sentient beings. All Buddhas are without sentient beings, all buddhas are without buddhas. All Buddha-nature are without the Buddha-nature, all sentient beings are without sentient beings.” Well a lot of things are written variously. Why Master Dogen writes similar things a lot like this, human beings don’t easily become honest as they have habits. Go touching as they are written like this one by one. You exactly change along as they are written. But as soon as you start to think “What? Many things form in line, what’s all about, then?”, you are doing a totally different thing from studying what is written here. You are treating what you imagine in your head and not taking up what is written in this sentence. You know that. 
      In various daily life, phenomena happen. When you touched various things, when touched various phenomena, when touched the reality called phenomena, we should really value the reality though, the moment when you touched the reality, you begin to handle wondering what it is, human beings do. If you begin to handle what?! the fact is omitted. You are dealing with only what you caught by thoughts. If you deal with what you caught by thoughts, it is not readily settled. It is because you think leaving out facts. When you truly solve things, it is impossible to solve when leave out facts, as for anything. The fact that a problem happened generates in the present reality. There is not a problem other than the fact. 
     I sometimes use this example, for instance, in case this stove went out, why this stove went out, when there are several stoves, some people open other stoves variously, leaving the stove which the fire went out and check wondering what happened, or why the fire went out. However, because stoves which the fire has not gone out are  the fire did not go out, if they study stoves, the truth why the fire went out only exists in this stove which the fire went out. Even if there are similar stoves, when the fire really went out, the cause that the fire went out is in this. In that way they should study, the smart people should study like that in the general public. Such a thing is, placing a lot of similar things in this way, we can truly learn with the thing itself. We bring up other things immediately. 
     “Because it is like this, we learn all Dharma being without all Dharma as the observation that Dharma is without self.” All Dharma is not among all Dharma. What it means is that the thing is only the thing itself. At the precise moment, there only exists the state of being that moment. When you want to hear this sound, Clap! (he claps his both hands) you cannot help but hearing it at this moment, even though how many decades you have lived. This sound, Clap! you want to hear this sound, you could not but touching this now. If you ask me to do it again, I will do it Clap! but you cannot hear the earlier sound. You see, it becomes such. Being so, now, Clap! when I made a sound like this, if you come to be able to hear the sound at one try, that you have been wondering how to hear is all solved.
     “You should know that springing out on the whole body from the self-entanglement.”
Truly there is no way but we each study the state of this being called body of oneself, when we study things. Such way of studying has been left as writings a lot by the people who had experienced and there are many writings written how we should do to understand. So, you read books. But the thing written in books is, what to say after all, it is unnecessary to read books. If you have the power to learn observing this state of yourself, that is enough. Whatever splendid it is, what is written there is that the author wrote and left what he had experienced through his own body. That is all, isn’t that? 


“The observation that mind is without constancy.” To observe the mind is without constancy. Although the letter of mind is used here, it is not the character of such an implication that you consider the mind thinking simething in common sense. The mind refers to all the things. It is the pronoun that indicates myriad things. You know well about impermanence, without constancy. If you see the life itself, it is all clear. There is none who is doing what existed a moment ago. When seeing every part of body, there is none who is doing what existed a moment ago. We are formed to be like that. 
     I wonder on what you feel obsessive, where you are caught and troubled. There is nothing to suffer, nothing remains to suffer. Nothing is to be taken up as a problem. Which is the state of impermanence. All of you, you haven’t observed impermanence like that. Being without constancy, it is trivial with that level. Look truly. To put it in a beautiful word, it is that people do only what they have never experienced before, which means to live. Now we see like this (he looks around the room,) it is for the first time to see this. It is different from what we saw a moment ago. What we saw a moment ago is what we did a moment ago. What we do now is the first time. We never have done once until now. But here this brain takes it ‘again,’ ‘again and again,’ it is working like that. We do not see on such a way. There is not anything which existed a moment ago on this occasion. It is the same on whole body. As it is mentioned here ‘the mind,’ not only the body but all myriad things are acting such, which is said to observe that the mind is without constancy. As a way of studying, you practice to this degree, you will definitely become clear.
     “The old Buddha Sokei says 'Non constancy is the Buddha-nature.'” Because there is such a thing, when we have really realized the state of this impermanent, we will know exactly what the Buddha realized, which is said. “Therefore, non-constancy understood by various things is also the Buddha-nature.” Every possible thing is said to be without constancy, though, the content is formed like this. It is so simple as this much, but human beings think that things a while ago or many years ago appear. You think like I am speaking. It is not such a thing really exists, but you think so. You only think so, such a thing, like that, with the way of thinking. In reality, there is not such a thing. To that extent, whether you can see what is called the mind, you can see the true state of things or not. It is that kind of practice, “the observation that mind is without constancy” in four abodes of mindfulness is.
     Great Master Yoka Shinkaku was in China, and among the words left by him, there is this, “All things are impermanent, all is empty.” All the activities, all things, what we are acting now only exists. It remains nowhere before or since. Even though we acted, the thing does not remain anywhere, he says. Emptiness. “Just this is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization.” This is the content that the Buddha got enlightened. It is wonderful, he said so.
     “The present observation that mind is non-constancy is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization, ” If the people become truly aware that the state of being now is only unfolding now, they are certainly saved. It is impossible to touch the state of being now to adjust. Are you all right? Clap! (he claps his hands) You cannot hear again this sound. Clap! It is over now. Clap! Without doing anything. Clap! It is good that you can hear it as it is. There is not the thing you only hear half of it. You can get all of it as it is. As it is said Great and Perfect realization, there is no deficiency. It is like that. Such a thing is clarified. 覚 “Kaku; realization” is to realize. It is self-awareness. There is no need to deal with. It is formed without necessity of improvement. Suppose if you notice a mistake and correct it, how will it be? If there is a person who has excellent ability to correct and he finds here what is mistaken and corrects it immediately, how will it be? If he corrects it as soon as he sees it, no one can find the mistake. 
     This is the matter of the body. If you feel pain and make it painless, if there is a person who make his body unpainful when he has a pain, he cannot notice his illness. It looks good, it looks good not to feel pain when being in pain, when being in pain it is really painful. It will become unknown if you touch it to correct. When you see a doctor, you change the part of the body painful from here to there, even if you complain that you have pain here, the doctor will say no problem and let you go home. In reality it hurts here. However, human beings are such animals. When there is something wrong, they try to rectify it. That is not so. To clarify that what is wrong is a wrong thing is the only way to correct a thing. To know that what is a mistake is a mistake is the saga. An ordinary person cheats an error. That is an ordinary person. The thing of the sort comes out here. 
     “Mind, even if it intends not to observe,” Not to see, you try not to see things of the kind. But “it follows the others,” is said. Because we always live with every movement together like this, it is impossible that only you are here. Look around. Look the way you are here. You live having all things be as your content. You don’t live without tatami mats, you don’t live without this room. You don’t live having removed all the air, do you? It is so. Truly, not knowing from which part to which part is the state of our own, it is “it follows the others.” There is no boundary that being up to here is the state of my own. This part is so clear that the parts seen as your own body are yourself and the rest is other’s matter, which is not so. You have eyes and if there weren’t things like those as circumstances, your eyes would not grow up. Those things are all the nutrition for eyes. Eyes eat those things to live. What can be seen like this raises eyes. When you were in the dead darkness, your eyes came to unable to see things. The functioning would be lost. If you made a person stay in a completely soundless room for many years, his would lose his hearing. Keeping someone in bedridden, he would come to unable to walk. All of them due to “it follows the others,” What surround you entirely become your nutrition. They are not different things. “if there is mind, there is also observation.” Probably there is not a person who has the body and without the mind. There is not a person who has the body and without the function of mind at all. Even if it is said commonly that being kept in a vegetative state or in a dead brain state, the body responds as it is touched when being touched. He may not have recognized. We are formed such. 
     “On the whole to reach the Supreme Truth of Bodhi, the Supreme Right realization is non-constancy” Well, the supreme state is said,though, to say what is the content is that it is just this reality. The truth called non-constancy is just maintained with the state of being now that is neither before nor after. We can recall what was yesterday, but we cannot do what was yesterday today. We tend to think what will be tomorrow but we cannot do now what will be tomorrow. Truly what we are doing now just exists now at where we are doing. This is the supreme state. You have nothing to say with that. Do you want anything more? Is it not enough? When living like that, People who have various jobs can manage to live. If you spend exactly being such way as it is on every occupation, on every spot, on every instance, you all can do better job. Which is really to observe the mind. The observation of the mind. 
     “Mind is not necessarily constant,” If there is always something like mind, there is not such a thing. The working without suchlike mind is called the mind for the present. To say what it is, when facing a red rose, we can see it red, when facing a white rose, we can see it white, which working exists. There is no fixed matter that we should see like this. Without any fixed matter, it comes to turn into the color as it is by what we touch. Turned into the color, then if it remains somewhere sticking, when touching next thing like this, we all separate to live from it completely from one thing to another. Which is called “Mind is not necessarily constant,”
     “Because it separates the four corners; tetralemma, existence, nonexistence, both existence and nonexistence, neither existence nor nonexistence, and surpasses the hundred negations,” Four corners mean being or not being. That is being or that is not being, which is typically said. The hundred negations mean a lot of things are brought up such as it is not so, it is not so, it is not so. Because concerning our views, we have the habit of seeing things with the fixed idea. This is so strange. I can know well when talking with people. Even as for the person who is likely think himself that he has not such a fixed way of observation, he has unnoticeably his own way of thinking, which appears on various occasions. It is suchlike thing. Weighing on your mind is probably that sort of thing. While you live, if you are concerned when touching something, you always have yourself without knowing something which you think should be like this. Being so, you respond it when you touched. Why is he suchlike? Why has he done such a thing? Why did he say like that? You feel uneasy about that sort of thing, you have yourself like what is to be like this, what should be like this. You should know that such sort of thing make you dull. 
     Sometimes it is said, “I came for the first time, zazen is to become nothingness, it is to become no-mindedness, isn’t it?” Where have you studied? How is it like? Do you know what is to become no-mindedness? When I say such, everyone certainly had something this or that in his head. That is why they don’t accept honestly however much I talk to them. When I talk about what is different viewpoint from what they have learned, they say that he is strange, why he says such a thing, I haven’t come to study such a thing, and they don’t accept it. To that degree, you grasp things yourself, you are in strange situation. However, when you become honest and you have nothing in this (pointing himself), what was told enters yourself and know well. The people who take a long time to practice have always such things (possessions) a lot themselves. Without knowing, they have piled them up in themselves.
     The state which are all separated from or cut off that sort of things is said “it separates the four corners and surpasses the hundred negations.” Then as written here, you will realize when you touch things called fences, walls, tiles, pebbles that exist around there, that is, pebbles, walls, broken fences which you don’t value. If you have possessions, you look at it “Who cares about?” You think that they are different what you are seeking for. Having seen a stone, you think “Is this the study of the Buddhist Way, the study of Buddhism?” Being said to look the pebble, you hardly think it the study of Buddhism. There is a fence over there, go and see, What? What is it all about? It will become such. It cannot be learning.
     Here it is. “stones large and small,” Stone head is written the head of stone. When we go to Sekitozan, stone mountains, there are stones, big stones or small stones a lot of stones, which is in a tale and brought up. You can study on such way. In common parlance, there is the way observing things “as it is” that you use. Truly it is the strength to receive a thing as it is. If you practice it, you will have come to be different. 
     In the way that we see things, firstly like and dislike, rights and wrongs, roughly speaking, thing of that sort always appears at the moment we see things. We hold nothing but such kinds of views. There is few people who see a thing as it is. When we see a thing, we don’t see it comparing to the other thing. When you are said, “Look at this” and see it, you don’t see it comparing to the other. However, you see only this one quickly, feeling large or small, beautiful, suchlike thing appears. What is it? You are comparing it with something. You do it without knowing. You don’t see it truly as it is. You are not aware, are you? It is so simple thing, though. There is really a wonderful word “as it is,” but I wonder you can do seeing a thing as it is, you are doing it. Being so, it is said here “fences, walls, tiles, pebbles, and these are the mind, and are non-constancy, and are precisely observation.” To practice, there is nothing special. You do practice on what you are doing, with what you are touching. Although you practice with what it is, if you are not cautious about this matter, it cannot be done. Well, what makes you say difficult might be this point. This is the end of “the observation that mind is without constancy.”