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.

“Sweet ripen melon,” sweet ripen melon, what is it? Is it all right with water melon? “It means to replace by bitter gourd,” There is the foot note below. Even though we are formed excellent, we don’t know it and live in pain dealing with absurdly, which is the meaning of this word. You take the trouble to replace sweet ripen melon by bitter gourd. It is because you don’t know the true things. If you know the things, you don’t do such a foolish deed. You will eat what is sweet as it is sweet. 
     Then how you change sweet melon by bitter one, you should observe examples in daily life. You were suddenly slapped on the cheek. Just only for that, “What you have done!” you instantly change it like that. This becomes a problem. Actually, it is only this, Pan! (hit his cheek), though, “What! You are!” You instantly change it like that. When a person gets old, he comes to be forgetful and repeats the same word again and again, then the person who heard that replies “Quiet! I know hearing just once.” Which is all this sort of thing. You have changed. Look carefully. At that time, exactly the thing as it is was spoken, there is nothing else but it. “Talking again” or “the same thing” etc., such a thing is not at all. 
     Do you know, all of you? That is the story manipulated in the head. To the real ears, there is no word because a sound is vibration of air. When the vibration of air touches the eardrum, the vibration is merely transmitted. A sound works as such. As you have studied it, you may probably know it. That is why when the vibration stopped, the sound can be heard nowhere. It is always like that.
     However, because human beings have learned language, they change the vibration into words instead of hearing the vibrating sounds. They think that they hear sounds. They say a crow caws, caw, caw, but you should ask a crow, it doesn’t caw, caw, caw. A cat goes meow, meow, it doesn’t go like meow, meow. They are imitative sounds produced by human. We made fixed ideas and they decided such like, in case of cat, they go like meow, meow, a dog barks bow-wow. Then, being asked what is the bark of dog? They answer bow-wow. We think it is the real dog’s barking sound. Listen to it. Listen the real one, it is different. In case of real one, the sound comes out when it vibrates. In the other time it does not sound at all, the real thing.
     That is the same. (There was a sound) But as this (the head) is excellent, you catch it instantly, and say “It sounded such a moment ago,” “It sounds so again.” It is not that you hear. It is the story in the head. This sort of sound is said to change sweet melon by bitter gourd. Even though it is over with it without any problems, it is over just as it is at that time, you live in the way that it will be a matter. I think it is not necessary to write with difficult words like that, but Dogen Zenji is so exceeding that he uses this kind of words. Do we feel as if it is driving us crazy? It can’t be. 
     “This is bitter to the skin, flesh, bones, and marrow.” Once having become such, you suffer as if you are incapable of keeping still. You only misunderstood yourself, but you suffer with every part of your body, In awful case, you will destroy yourself. Such kind of people are increasing in reality. One makes oneself suffer and corner. Whether there seems to be the mind or not, whether you have a religious mind or not, you suffer like that when you suffer. It is thoroughly bitter. “This is one of the divine practices and enlightenment.” As for suffering, for example, when feeling pain exhaustively, there is no room to think the other thing. When just being in pain, we are relieved. Being ill or having operations, those who experienced various things like that, know well. So, is poverty. If we become so poor that we have nothing to throw away, we will be relieved. Using a world phrase, it is said that a cornered rat will bite the cat. A cornered rat bites the cat. It is opposite. Generally, a cat catches a rat, there comes out what is beyond common sense, the power arises. While we feel that we want become amply, we will suffer, but we become poor bottomless, then we have nothing to lose. That is fine. There is such a world. We are relived when coming to be poor bottomless. Being so, we are cornered, when cornered, we go into personal bankruptcy. There is that sort of system in the society. You throw away everything, the personal bankruptcy is to throw away all you have. That is so. Then you are not ill-treated any more like a debt hell. However, you cannot borrow money even if you go to a bank, as your name is on a blacklist. However, you can live on this your body alone. There is such a system. “one of the divine practices and enlightenment” There is such an interesting world.   
     "It is the divine practice which springs out from the calyxes and springs out from the roots." Being bound, connected, inconvenient, there is not such a thing, it is said.  What inconveniences  human beings is entirely one’s way of thinking. Your own way of thinking makes you be discomforted. It binds you. Being tied, unable to cut off, difficult to break off easily, all are such. In reality, there is not such a thing. We live perfectly separated from such things. If you think it is a lie, you simply look at this painting of the Buddha entering nirvana hanged here like this. Then you see the heater, and the wall, while you see them, to say that how you become, you receive the things one by one so that you are completely separated from what you saw before, and you can see what you are facing now. You are formed like that. What you saw before obstructs and you cannot see a thing next, which does not happen at all. But here (in the head), a glimpse of thought “Oh that is,” such kind of thing arises, you cannot see, even though you should see. 
     In case of listening to people, it is the same. You wander “What is he saying?” You try to understand the content of what you hear, and hear doing various things to understand, you cannot hear. If you truly hear the talk, you should be without condition. You don’t need to grope for what the other says. You just stay on being it heard and you can understand what is talked. I am positive that it is so. Because all of you think that you cannot understand on that way and you hear racking your brain what he is saying, you cannot catch up with what the other is talking. You take what is said here (a certain point) as an issue and keep it ever since, I proceed to talk at a good space, you call it in question what you took it up there. When finished talking, and asked how it was, you don’t know what I talked. The context of the talk is disconnected. It is always the same on daily conversation. As I am making such an effort to speak, you stay silent as you are, you are formed that all are audible to ears. If you put your thoughts and thinking, or various things to it, it will become topsy-turvily. It is different from what the other is saying. You change it to the way of receiving in your way, or the way of understanding in your way, it is to change sweet fruit by bitter fruit which is mentioned a little while ago. In such way, people suffer, being bound by their own thoughts. We can be more unrestricted. 
     They say “Do not pass in front of others,” it is OK to pass through turning away. You say that it is common sense when crossing in front of people or we should not cross in front of others, it is not so. You are bound by common sense. In case of a child why you let him go across bustling with smile. When an adult goes across, it won’t be that easy. There are sweets and a child comes to eat a bit, you let him have his own way. When a grown-up does, you say that how he has been brought up, or you want to see the face of parents who raised him, you say that much. It is interesting. 
     All these people have seated like this, it probably come to be a question where we sit. When we are invited on other occasion like wedding party, there are tables and if we can sit where we like, it becomes awful if we sit an unproper seat. Actually, there is no rule. Someone has the rule and the rule made in his head makes us restricted. Once you are free from such kind of thing, you will have a fun. It is the divine power that human beings have. Everyone has it. It is not a special thing. Nowadays it will be a question if you give medical treatment without the qualification of doctor. Old times the medicine did not developed, if anything happened to a child, parents did their utmost to save the child. Even if the life of the child was lost. There are various matters. 
     Nowadays, a lot of rules have been established, by which we are restricted, even in various facilities. I have heard that it is serious in nursing care facilities. When a user asks a staff to buy some food that she wants to eat, it is impossible. The staff could do it. She could go to buy it. But she says “I could do it, but there is a rule. If I did it and went back to report to the office, I would be scalded why I did it. So, I cannot do.” It becomes inconvenient world. They cannot do cleaning of a room. When a user asks that as the room is dirty, please clean it, the staff answers that it is not contracted. While the staff is staying for one hour, the user can receive whatever she wants as she pays wage. But the staff doesn’t do what is uncontracted. It is funny. On such case, those who have the divine power, free from such a rule, will do what the other seem to be pleased. They have such power. That is the true divine power, it is not the matter flying over Mt. Fuji from here. 
      “This has been said that sentient beings suffer, and more, there are suffering sentient beings.” Do we read like this? Sentient beings are all living things. We are all among them. If we don’t know the way well, in such lives, we come to suffer from a very trifle matter. “Sentient beings are not self and they are not the others.” The person next has no relation with you, which is not so. We already live together like this. It is the state of your own blood and flesh, this is. Each of you look carefully. But here (pointing his head) this brain understands that only this is me, and the others is entirely different things. When we see once more, we find that here are people this much, who is doing such? To use more simple language, your eyes now see things this much. This is not the affair of the other’s eyes. It is the content which you live now, this state. It is the state of your eyes’ acting that you can see people here this much. Your own eyes are vividly acting. It is not the other’s matter. Being so, it is not what is not concerned. This is all what we are. We should study from this. It is really a wonder. If someone fell over there, when touched it, this one is made to come to respond it. We don’t know where we have learned it. We cannot go by nonchalantly. 
     I think most of you drive a car, for instance, here was a pedestrian crossing. And an old woman was standing here. We drove along the road. We drove passing unconcernedly, we could see the crossing and the woman standing. While we were driving, I talked with the driver, he said that he was not able to know whether the woman would cross the crossing or not. He was driving. When driving, he was very concerned about, he said. He said, “If she could express her intention to cross if she cross, or not to cross if she won’t. I cannot know. Because I cannot know so that I am nervous and scared.” At that time, I said to him, “You know well. You are clear about it as such. You know clearly that the old woman is hesitating to cross, but your own thought is so strong that you say she has not given a signal properly. If you hit her, you would say something of that sort. No, it is not so. You who are on this side know how the situation is. When you know it is dangerous, you should drive carefully, but you say how the other side is."
     For example, here is a fence. You have seen that there was a shadow moving behind it. You have known it. However, you will say you didn’t know clearly. It is odd. You didn’t know who was there or what it was, but you knew clearly that something moved. But you will say that you are not clear about it. Or you say that you don’t know. Being so, you say that he ran out suddenly. No, it is not so. You know. It is tremendous ability. However, as you insist on your own views, serious matters sometimes happen. 
     The car running in front of you stopped. Something must have happened as the car in front of you stopped. As it stopped, when you were going to pass through thinking to be able to go through the right side, you might crush into a person walking or a bicycle. You knew it, you knew that the car in front of you stopped. If the car stopped like this, even if it did not come into your eyes, the situation before the car did not come into your eyes, as the first thing, it was clear for you that the car stopped. You say it stopped suddenly. Of course, it stopped suddenly. Things rarely work out as you expect. But we are formed, with this body, to be able to know all the things that do not work out as you expect. 
     We are doing various works and while there is a person facing you, when you touch his movement like this, you can know all about it. Although you can know all, you feel you don’t want to follow the movement honestly when the movement differs from what you think. There are many people who feel like that. It is the matter of that sort. Such a thing is expressed here. “Sentient beings are not self and they are not the others” “Furthermore, there are suffering sentient beings.” or  "Thus it has been said that sentient beings suffer, and furthermore, there are suffering sentient beings."
     After that it is said, “ultimately it is impossible to deceive others.” This is what I said now. We are not deceived by others. Whatever it is, it is perfectly well. To say that you dislike what he said is that you can judge like that because you have heard correctly ahead what he said. When you hear correctly, you do not hear thinking that you don’t want to hear, you can hear correctly. After you heard, you try to treat with your thought, various problems happen. It is said that ultimately it is impossible to deceive others, isn’t it? It means not to be deceived. Clap! (he claps his hands) When I have you hear a sound, Clap! If I ask you heard it, and there is a person saying this or that, the sound which you hear now with your ears such is not deceived by others. It is tremendously clear. Without anybody’s help, it is settled. Someone may ask, What? Did you hear such? Or does it sound like that? People might say variously, but when you hear like that, Clap! you are not deceived by others at all. We are formed like that. We are formed that it can be heard perfectly as it is. This is the point which we should see on practice. 
     The Four Abodes of Mindfulness is four thoughts. Within them it is the second now. We are studying the part, “It is the observation that feeling is suffering.” What is sweet is totally sweet and what is bitter is totally bitter, that is the next part. But “suffering should not be easily groped.” All of you, when you are having various things like distress or suffering in your daily life, how it is truly like or what is the problem, you should study them as teaching material on practice. “We should ask ourselves,” he says that you should ask yourself. The other said something like this, Clap! (he claps his hand) when the other said that, it could be heard as it was. Which is the first. From there, if I say what kind of thing is developed, is that your thought, thinking and various thing arise, on which you deal with to make you suffer. What the other said, Clap! this thing does not bother you. What do you think? As I said earlier, the ears can hear while the vibration exists. Who is taking it up an inaudible thing as a question? After you heard, who keeps it to be a trouble? When hit like this, it might be painful, but it is formed that the pain has gone naturally after. However, the memory being hit remains and when meeting the person who hit, you feel that you want say a word like he did nasty thing. Then when asked now, if there is the pain being hit at that time exists in this body, it remains nowhere. What do you take up as a problem? Which is the way it is. You should ask yourself. 
     “We should ask ourselves,” He says what on earth the suffering is. “what is suffering?” One says that he suffers, what is it all about? While we are suffering, if we stop all the thinking and we continue to live, we have nothing to lose. If we don’t think a certain thing, the life become chaotic and we lose many things, which never happen at all. You feel easy when you don’t think what is unnecessary. Is it more pleasant when you are ever holding torment? Is it a worth living when you face torment? Do you spend long time for it? Do you fix what is already part of the past as you like by working on? We don’t say it is practice.


To say that the observation that feeling is suffering is that suffering is feeling. It is neither one’s own feeling nor the other’s feeling, it is not existent feeling, neither is it nonexistent feeling. It is the feeling of the living body, it is the suffering of the living body. It is to replace sweet ripen melon by bitter gourd, which is bitter to the skin, flesh, bones, and marrow. It is evenly bitter to the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. This observation is one of the divine practices and enlightenment. It is the divine practice and enlightenment which springs out from the calyxes and springs out from the roots. Thus, it has been said that sentient beings suffer, and furthermore, there are suffering sentient beings. Sentient beings are not self and they are not the others. Furthermore, there are suffering sentient beings, ultimately it is impossible to deceive others. Although sweet melons are evenly sweet to their calyxes, and bitter gourds are totally bitter to the roots, suffering should not be easily groped. We should ask ourselves, what is suffering?
     The observation that mind is impermanent: The old Buddha Sokei says “Non constancy is the Buddha-nature.” Therefore, non-constancy understood by various things is also the Buddha nature. Great Master Yoka Shinkaku says, “All things are impermanent, all is empty. Just this is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization.” The present observation that mind is non-constancy is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization, and it is the great and perfect realized Tathagata. 
     Mind, even if it intends not to observe, it follows the others, therefore, if there is mind, there is also observation. On the whole, reaching the Supreme Truth of Bodhi, the Supreme Right realization is, namely, non-constancy and the observation of the mind. The 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, so, fences, walls, tiles, pebbles, and stones large and small, these are the mind, and are non-constancy, and are precisely observation. 
     The observation that Dharma is without self. The long has a long Dharma-body, and the short has a short Dharma-body. Because it is the realized state of activity now, it is without self. A dog is without Buddha-nature, and a dog is with the Buddha nature. All sentient beings are without 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 Buddha-nature, all sentient beings are without sentient beings. Because it is like this, we learn that all Dharma being without all Dharma as the observation that Dharma is without self. You should know that it is to spring out with the whole body of being self-entanglement.  
     Shakyamuni Buddha says “All buddhas and bodhisattvas rest in this Dharma forever, which is a sacred womb.” Being so, all buddhas and bodhisattvas have regarded these four abodes of mindfulness as a sacred womb. You should know that they are the sacred womb of balanced realization and the sacred womb of subtle realization. It has already spoken of all buddhas and bodhisattvas, so buddhas who are not the subtle realization also regard this as 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. Truly, the skin, fresh, bones, and marrow of the buddhas and the patriarchs are just the four abodes of mindfulness.  

    “To say that the observation that feeling is suffering.” Do we read like this? I would like to speak with simple example, to observe that the feeling is suffering. Problems happen because you hear someone talking, which you are usually doing. If other’s talk doesn’t come to your ears on this body, even if whatever he says, it does not become a problem. Having heard others talk, problems arise. It is the same with things. When you touch what other person does, when you see what he does, a problem arises. When you put something into your mouth and taste it, you take an issue on the taste. When you touched something, the thing that you touched becomes a problem. When smelled, what you smelled becomes a problem. That sort of thing is “the observation that the feeling is suffering,” which is said here. You all know it well. You are doing such in everyday life. Why does a problem arise? Why do you become distressed? In the truth, we are not formed that we suffer with what we received, of which we should learn.
     The talk might deviate from the topic a little. You see things like this that there exist things in such way, though, smart people have known what they are. To explain to be seen, when watching TV, you see that there are people and there are things, it looks like various things are really exist in the screen. However, it is only an image reflexed on a plate like glass really. Nothing exists inside. There is nothing like human beings or things you can touch. When the image that someone is eating tastefully or the image holding things, it is not that there is a rice bowl. When you see the image which a house is built, it is not that there is a box like a house. They are just images. This is the same content with that you see things now. You are looking at like that. Things can be seen as you see on TV. I am not a scientist and I didn’t study enough to know the details, light is reflected off all things, i.e. what is not absorbed is reflected. They are light waves. The wave of light. There are long waves and short waves. The long wave is red and the short wave is violet. When you see a rainbow, you know how it looks, the color. When pass through human eyes, when lights come into human eyes, they are refracted and divide by the difference between the long and the short, which we have learned. And they attach to the retinas, if there are a plenty of red and round waves it looks like round. If they become being square, it looks like square. It is this sort of thing. So, we recognize that things exist. In reality, they are only acting like that, eyes are. What? You think so.
     Being so, in Buddhism, regarding that sort of thing, it is said that the real figure of things has no form. The real state of things is formless, the real figure is without form, which is said. You cannot believe it. Hence, to see things facing from this side does not exist at all. That things can be seen is to come into from the other side. The reflected light which the other side emits has just come to do to this side. It is useless however we do something from this side. But human beings do not think so and they think to be able to see when facing like this. They think that they can see when they face from this side. The reflected light always emitted from the other side such, we only come across it as it is. The mechanism is formed like this. Therefore, even if a paper is put in front of eyes, the image will instantly vanish. This is because the light wave does not reach to the eyes. Because what has been reached till now is shuttered by this, the image is vanishes. If I say what kind of image comes out instead, as the light that is emitted by this (paper) put here, we can see only this one. It is like that. You may think how this is related to Buddhism though, the teaching of the Buddha is the teaching which see through how we ourselves really are in that way. If you are not aware this, you surely think that there remains what you have seen. Observation means to see how it is.
     “Feeling is suffering, suffering is feeling.” I will read. Suffering is just feeling. We are formed that we always act coming together with things. Even if you like or dislike, when you go there, you come to live together with the things at the place where you went. Viewed from one side, it might be troublesome, but looking at the opposite side, that is why we can live. When facing things like this, if there is a person who can see what he likes and cannot see what he dislikes, it is awful. Regardless of whether we like or dislike, we can surely accept it as it is like this, we are formed such. 
     Seeing the content, “It is neither one’s own feeling nor the other’s feeling, it is neither existent feeling nor nonexistent feeling.” Which is explained. It is not to accept the thing of the other side to this side or to put things of the other side into this side, or it is not one’s own possession, which is all written here. To exist or not to exist. To say it plainly, it is not to be the composition of accepting from the beginning. It is not the composition that things exist on the other side and the person on this side see them. What do you see? Can you follow?
     When you see things, before you notice that there are things, you notice because there is the fact that things are seen. It is not that they are seen after you noticed it. Oh, which do you think is the first? Because you notice that they exist, do things come out there or are they seen? No, it is not. We only notice things existing. When we noticed that things had existed, we think they were seen. The truth is different. In truth, before we do such a thing, it has already been such as it is. Seen like this, when I do this suddenly, everything has been already existed. To be seen like this, everything had already been there when we instantly did open eyes such. In short, to be is to be seen. Without intension to see, when you open your eyes like this, all come out at once. And among what can be seen, how many people are, that person is, this person is, the new comer is, you start to do such, which is explained here. 
     Fundamentally it is not the way that you think. In plain words, it is that from the beginning, (without knowing) all are provided (it is the state of being now.) It is so complete and perfect that nothing lacks at the beginning. If you can understand that, you will gain ease immediately. We think that we cannot be real one without doing something or somehow, we are lacking something, or we don’t have enough, because we think such, we set out touching it to form ourselves as our ideal figure. However, if looking closely, it is different. Without dealing, we are perfectly formed with it. 
       “It is the feeling of the living body,” When we read it “namami”, living body, it will be easy to understand. To receive with namami, living body. It is the state of now, the living body of you each. In this room, you can see things this much, even these people gather, what you are doing is to be the way of you each now. The notion that the other person is watching comes into nowhere. It is the acting state of your living body. But there are various ways of thinking, you wonder how the person sitting next sees, how that person is looking at, you have the strength to think like that, you care for other people. When you care for other people, you have nothing to do with what you really see or touch now. It is silly. You don’t observe what you are doing and live only caring what other people are doing, which is foolish. “it is the suffering of the living body.” It is read as such.
     In suffering, what is mentioned first is birth, illness, aging, and death, which is called four sufferings. The first is to be born, which comes first. What? Is being born suffering? Yes, it is. Since we are born, we will die. Since we are born, we get old. The suffering of aging. Because we were born, we get sick or get injured, we experience variously. In other words, because we were born, in order to live, you feverishly live through suffering, lead life, and suffer to live. Being only yourself is OK, but in case of having a family, that sort of thing would rather take place. In general people suffer like that. Being so we should learn how to enjoy. 

Saying for example, “it is like the way of washing a robe.” It is the way of washing, to wash these clothes. “Water is dirtied by the robe and the robe is permeated by the water.” That is natural. It becomes like this when we soak what we wear into water. You will know if you do it. If you put what you wear into clean water, the water is naturally polluted with it, and the clothes are soaked as a matter of course. 

     And next prat, it is written to wash using this water. “Although we use this water to wash the robe completely,” Changing water, it will be such with washing machine. How many minutes for washing, how many minutes for rinsing, it renews the water. It is not to wash to the end with the water poured at the beginning. It serves clean water newly and carries on washing. It is such a thing. “we still use this water and carry on washing.” “The first washing, the second washing,” When you wash once and twice, you come to feel that they became clean. “If it does not seem to be clean,” But, when you find that there remains dirt, “do not liger on taking a break.” He says that you should not stop there. That is so. You will wash it until it becomes clean. This is the least doubtful sentence. 

     “We used up water and use the other water to wash.” We change water and wash moreover. “The robe becomes clean, we still carry on washing the robe.” Doing such, we wash many times. “We use many kinds of water, which is suitable for washing robes.” is written. Do you know that it becomes clean, if you wash something with muddy water? When you wash your feet, the mud is removed washing in muddy water. You think it will not be removed by washing with what is dirty, it is not so. That kind of thing is. Many kinds of water are written, there are rainwater, tap water, river water, and there are people who wash using water left in the bath tub, because it is wasteful to drain using only once. Anyhow we use each of them, it is good for washing. 

     “We should study thoroughly the truth that when water is not pure, we know that there may be fish.” To say that the water is muddy means that there is fish. To say that the water is not pure is that there is a dirt in the clothes. When rinsing, you stop only when the water of rising becomes pure. Recently you leave washing to others and you don’t know. It cannot be known if you don’t do it. “As for robes many sorts of robes are completely washed.” We wash kesa, clothes, inner clothing, and various things. On the way of washing there are methods but leave it alone. “Taking suchlike effort,” making effort like this, “the law of washing robes is realized.” By washing clothes, we learn the truth of things, what is written here is like this. What should we really do by doing washing now? Following this, thing like this is written, OK? 

     “All the same we see what purity is.” You have problems in yourself and whether they have been truly cleared off or not, which is practice. You have come to be at ease without restraint from the bottom of your heart. Whether there are some problems that worry you anywhere or not, things like that are said here. If you ignore it, your practice will not work, he says such. It is the same as washing. That is why “we see what purity is.” Looking at yourself, you see through by checking whether the content of your own is all right in every way or not, and that you have become such.

     In case of spilt-toe socks, you turn them inside out and wash. You should not approve of washing only outside as you take them off. As for pocket, before washing you turn it inside out and see if there is dust or not and brush dust to wash. You wash it using washing machine. If you don’t do it, dust piles up in the bag for dust, even though there is a bag to remove dust in the washing machine. It is not that it is OK that dust will be piled up. It is better to wash removing them beforehand. 

     “This principle is that permeate the robe with water is not necessarily the true meaning and to dirty water with the robe is not the true meaning,” What is really at issue? “in using dirty water to wash the robe, the truth exists.” There is the true meaning to wash the robe with dirty water, which is the point we should see. We use a cleaning rag when cleaning, we wash the rag in water while doing so. Naturally the dirt of the rag is removed and the water is dirtied. In the dirtied water, we slosh the rag. And the rag become clean rapidly even though it is dirtied water, which can be happened. We should wipe with the rag washed in the cleaned water, otherwise it is useless. You already know it. In temple, there are important place where Buddhas abide like a dais for a Buddhist image, floors a hexagonal building. We treat with care each of them. So, we use the rag called jhokin; a clean rag, if the rag is not clean, it is useless to wipe with dirty one. “There are also ways of washing robes and washing things, by using fire, wind, soil, water, and space.” Well there will be methods by which to make clean. “And there are ways of washing and clearing earth, water, fire, wind, and space by using earth, water, fire, wind, and space.” They will exist too. You are doing in everyday life, so you should see. 

“The principle of this observation that the body is not pure is also like this. Depending on this, whole of body, whole of observation and whole of being not pure are just Kasaya to which a mother gives birth.” Kasaya to which a mother gives birth, human beings come into being wearing a kimono which is called the seamless heavenly garment. A robe of feathers, a celestial robe, we come into being wearing a seamless kimono, it could be said. Everybody received this Kasaya which a mother gives birth. Earlier it is written a skin bag. It is written taihi; the skin of body. When it is said taihi, it may sound like compost. A skin bag, a seamless kesa, namely, it is skin. It covers the body, covers observation, and covers sentient beings. “whole of body, whole of observation and whole of being not pure” 

     It is a wonder that when this one (pointing his body) comes into the world, everything comes out together. Before this one comes out, it is not known that it exists. This one does not know there is the world. He cannot know. When this one (the body) came out, all things suddenly came out together. It is not that only this one (the body) came out. What it says is that all things appear on this one (the body), all do. It is usually said being seen or being heard. All of them are what appeared on this body. Being so this letter 蓋;gai is used. Covering all up. It is strange that if this (the body) does not appear, such a thing does not happen. When this one is finally going to disappear, it will end instantly and splendidly without problem. So, it has never happened that a dead person has done something even once. Do you know that a dead person causes evil things on people? No there is not such a thing. Nowhere it is. What we care is that people who live think of the dead person and care for. What they think makes them suffer. “I should have done that for him,” “I didn’t do what he asked me to do.” You have various matters in yourself. Which becomes a problem for you and a dead person has never made you suffer at all. I would like you to know it. 

     “If a Kasaya is not this Kasaya to which a mother gives a birth, Buddhas patriarch never use it. How could Sanavasa be only one?" When coming out, the kasaya has stuck to this body to come out. It is different from kesa like this. (pointing the kesa he wears) It is the essential one. Everybody has it. It is the only one kesa unsurpassed by anything in the world. Being so, what is it? Is there the phrase ‘not to do injury to’ in the Imperial Rescript on Education? Like not treating the body roughly and not injuring, there is the phrase that living like that is devotion to your parents. Anyway, leaving it aside for the time being, buddhas are using such a thing. It is not only Sanavasa. “We should carefully keep it in mind and study perfectly to go thoroughly.” Well, you go ahead with it. There is the principle like this. There is the state of washing. Here “the observation that body is not pure” ends. Shall I stop here? 

    In any event, we are likely to know well, on reading like this, that how Dogen Zenji is working on from day to day. On what he is doing now, in case of washing, on washing, he sees thoroughly with care what he is on it. When we wash, putting things in the machine, because it is automatic, when the time pasts, we see that they are clean and we take them out and dry. Nowadays it is like that. 

     People nowadays don’t wear clothes caked with dirt as they used to wear in old days. They wash clothes almost every day. It is awful sense of cleanliness. In a sense, that is how things are now. Therefore, it will be almost clean if you wash without detergent, I think. We wash clothes using detergent every day and we dirty water when draining, which may be a problem. I would be the same as taking a bath. If we take a bath every day, I think we don’t need to wash the body with soap and shampoo. By doing such, even though we have things to protect the body, we wash out and live like hurting the skin. It is not an advertisement of cosmetic, but we do it. It is said like that. Because we don’t know the thing essential, we tend to do the thing preposterous which is unnecessary to do. That sort of thing is here “observation that the body is not pure.” It is written that it is important to see through the body of your own. 

     “Observation on the body is the body’s observation.” When observing that the body is not pure, to observe the body is to learn by the state of this body and it is not the other thing. “Observation on the precise moment” By doing such, being in the true state of your own now like this is especially important practice, which is written. But we don’t probably do such. Rather than the body, what we observe is, we take it up as issue the thought that comes out in ourselves which is disagreeable and concerned. We don’t observe the body. Don’t you think so? You haven’t observed the body. If thoughts come to appear and various things become problems in the thoughts, you are treating them. If so, it will not do as practice, it is written. 

     On that occasion, when various things come out to be problems, you should learn from the activity of the thought itself. It is that you should turn your eyes to the state of your body now. This is the pivotal role in the first “Observation that the body is not pure.” Please try to do it. As Dogen Zenji teaches us like this, you should be engaged in real things. It is not the matter on thoughts, but on reality. This reality that you are living now, how the real thing of now is living? You should see thoroughly it, he says.

     Even if someone says that he can think of nothing, when I point at like this, if he cannot see because he cannot think, it is not so. He can see them as they are. Even if someone says that I cannot stand listening to others talking, when he is asked “There is a tasty cake, Will you have one?” He answers “Yes.” He eats it and it tastes correctly. By doing such, you should observe the body. You observe the body not thoughts. Then without adjusting, you realize that the living state of your own correctly. I will finish.