shobogenzokandoのblog

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.

The Four Abodes of Mindfulness.
It is also called the four abodes of mindfulness. 

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. 
     To say that ”the observation that the body is not pure,” is that one skin bag observed as a body now is the whole universe in ten directions. Because this is the true body, it is the observation that the body is not pure, springing up on the road of liveliness. But for springing up, it would be impossible to observe, it would be without body. It would be impossible to practice, it would be impossible to preach, it would be impossible to attain. But the manifestation of attainment is already reached, remember it is the realization of springing up. The so-called realization is everyday activity of living, sweeping the ground and sweeping the floor. Because we sweep the ground, upon what number moon it is, and sweep the ground and sweep the floor upon what this is precisely second moon, it is suchness of the whole earth.

And the first is the big item as “The Four Abodes of Mindfulness.” It says the four mindfulness, so there are four. The four come out there. To observe that body is not pure. To observe feeling is suffering. To observe that mind is without constancy. To observe Dharma is without self. The four are expressed like this. “Without constancy” or “without self” come out in what is said three dharma seals, like myriad dharmas are without self or myriad things are without constancy. Being so they are words that always appear in the basic teaching of Buddhism. 
     “The observation that the body is not pure.”
is that observing the body now, when you see the body, whole is covered with skin, all over. Inside it, there are flesh, bones, vessels, entrails, what is completed with various things is the body of human beings. It is also called the stinking skin body. Inside this one, full of ill smelling things are contained. That is the body of human beings, it is expressed like that. 
     Well,
“one skin bag is the whole universe in ten directions.” Don’t you think, what? You cannot easily think that this (this body) is all. There are so many various things in this room, who is doing such? Does the other person do it? This body called a skin bag has been always sensing like this. Opening the window, we can see the direction of the vast sea. I heard the story of the rising sun on the New Years’ Day, toward the sea, all the field of vision widens, the night sky is endless, the whole universe in ten direction, all is the state of yourself. There is nothing as the state of others. Saying every conceivable kind of sounds, you are enjoying, though, you cannot absolutely hear the sound without this (pointing his body and mind). Depending on this (pointing his body and mind), the sound comes out, we can say that. 
     To that extent, this skin bag is the whole universe in ten direction. However, in general, we haven’t learned like that. This (pointing his body) is only this much, divide just this, we are taught that only this is the self and the rest is out of yourself. We cannot know what is happening, if we don’t see with our own eyes. We cannot know how it is, if You don’t hear with your own ears. We know nothing at all, if we don’t depend on this (the body and mind). We understand all depending on this. That is why we learn what we ourselves are, being said Kojikyumei; to know oneself. We can know everything if we study this one. 
     “Because this is the true body,” your body and mind isn’t like that, is it? What I am saying is unbelievable? Is there anyone who has a doubt? Anyone who is against it? That can’t be. “it is the observation that the body is not pure, springing up on the road of liveliness.” It is the active lively state, the road of liveliness is. What is called life is written being lively and being active. How great it is. 
     “But for springing up, it would be impossible to observe,” If it were not for springing up, it would be impossible to see. Its meaning is if you are concerned with the previous matter forever, you cannot observe the state of now clearly. Clap! Clap!(clapped his both hands) When I make sound like this,  Clap!If you call the previous sound in question, you cannot hear the sound.  Clap!If you want really to hear a sound, you should observe the state where the sound of now is just sounding like this. Clap! Clap! That sort of thing is said but for springing, it is said that you must spring up. While you are likely to deal with the previous issue, you cannot touch the real sound. 

     It is the same as things. When you see this side like this, if you take up what you saw before, you cannot see this correctly. We can say same thing on everyday affairs in the living. You may possibly live such, you live on the state that you cannot see the truth. That is why you take up things of the past and grumble in disregard of that the vivid lively living is unfolding now. 
     It would be without body, “it would be without body.” “It would be impossible to practice, it would be impossible to preach,” You cannot obtain and preach. You cannot practice and you cannot observe. What ‘s more, seeing such a thing, there remains no sign of “I ". It is wondrous that various things are taken up. But you don’t have to worry, “But the manifestation of attainment is already reached,” is the way to be relieved for you. It says that everybody has already accomplished. It has been done, because the manifestation has reached. It has already been accomplished as such now. 
     “remember it is the realization of springing up.” There is none who are doing what happened before. Holding a pencil like this, there is none who is doing the previous event when writing. What do you think? When writing this, you cannot do the previous matter. There only exists the state you are writing now. That much you are separated from all things. Master Dogen sees through such a fine thing like this.
 
     “The so-called realization is everyday activity of living, sweeping the ground and sweeping the floor.” So called observation is everyday living, acting, the life. Tomorrow you are going to do cleaning, though, it is that you sweep the front, sweep the ground, and dusting the alcove. It is the everyday occurrence. It says that things of that kind have already been acted practically. When sweeping ground, you are not doing the previous event. You always do what you are doing now like this. But human beings, even though it is like that, are concerned with what they did before rather than what you are doing now. Therefore, it doesn’t become clean when cleaning finished. They saw, they should have seen, though, but they didn’t see. They seem to have touched, but they have not touch the thing of now. All the time their mind has gone somewhere. You should be careful. On this point, it can be said. 
     “Because we sweep the ground, upon what number moon it is, and sweep the ground and sweep the floor upon what this is precisely the second moon, it is suchness of the whole earth.” In this part, it is only said that we don’t do what was in the past. You should really look carefully. What you are doing now just exists as it is. The content is the supreme state which you seek for. There is no dust to brush. It is not such cleaning like you wipe as it is dirty, or you sweep as it is dirty. It is the Buddhist priest’s work, the work which is done in a temple. General cleaning is the degree that you make it clean because it is dirty or unclean. The Buddhist work in a temple is not so. When doing like this, the body and mind become purified depending on it. There is entirely no previous thing left. It is good you make it clean to that extent.





      How do we spend time when sitting? As the state of sitting, what becomes a problem is prudence and discretion, various things come up to mind or occur, or there is the case that we intentionally think from this side; the side of self. In general, those are thoughts. While being in zazen, you should not deal with such sort of thing. Concerning thoughts coming up, you should not discern. To say that do not judge goods or wrongs. This is good, this is wrong, or this is right, this is mistaken, you should not do like that.
      To be more specific, when various things come out on sitting, for the human beings there are thigs which weigh on their mind. Being so usually they try to solve the matters concerned about and start to plan various things in the head. Anyway, you should not to do this. Therefore, whatever entered into your mind, if there are things weigh on your mind among what you recalled or you thought, you don’t deal with them, do not spend time touching them. And you do not make them not to appear at all. You sit without manipulating from this side to reconstruct at all. This is the way to practice so called effort (kufuu) when sitting.
      When we are sitting like this, the sound of cars is coming. Without intension to hear, when the sound of cars comes, it sounds “buzz” ”buzz” You don’t try to hear. You don’t do not to hear. When you stay not to do anything, when sounding, you are formed to be the state as it is. That is expressed “Give up the operation of Shinisiki(sensation, discrimination and recognition)  “Stop measuring with Nensokan (consciousness, thoughts, views) In short you don’t take on or deal with what comes out by our thoughts. In the same way, we learn by the way of non-thinking; the state that is not thinking. (Generally, to learn something is to understand object using thinking, but here as mentioned above, it is indicated that when sounding “buzz” “buzz”, there are “buzz” “buzz.”) In other words, we stay without using various things that we have acquired after birth. As the state we are born with. Then we can touch the essence of human beings. Zazen is such kind of practice. Those are the important way to spend time in zazen.
      Why is it difficult when being recommended this? Because it is the thing which weighs on one’s mind and it is the thing to become problem, and yet is it all right to leave it without picking up? One is half in doubt. Usually they pick up things which weigh on their mind or things to become problems and try to solve them. However, if one acts such, it cannot be zazen.
      Why should we leave it off? The great reason is to see through the reality, how the way of things. When touching things, if we insert human thoughts and views, even a little, the reality is distorted. It is the first reason. That is why we should not treat with views or thoughts at all. When being such, the truth and facts are transmitted as they are. I would like you to do it anyhow.
     And one more thing, is that what human beings annoy and suffer is the phenomena happening on the thoughts. Being so I want you experience what has become of you when you don’t use thoughts. In fact, we can go on living and have no problem when we don’t use it. However, once something which weighs on your mind appears, you believe that it cannot be settled without dealing with it somehow. Well, what I have said is, I would say, the theoretical explanation. 
     Then how we are if we don’t pick up such things at all, when it occurs, it moves, it functions. You never be thinking it continuously. Thoughts cease instantly when they appear. Without touching yourself, it is formed to disappear. If you do it, you will see. 
     And What to be aware in the beginning is not to fall into sleep. In order not to sleep, ”Eyes should always remain open” Sit with eyes open. When you come to close your eyes, without fail, you are dragged around with thoughts; what come out. By the way when closing eyes, if you can see something there, it is the trick of your imagination and you are dealing with what you think in the head. From the beginning it cannot become zazen. So your eyes should remain open. When opening eyes, the state in front of you remains as it is. Because you can clarify the difference between the state in front of you and what you think in the head, you should not treat what you think in the head. I want you stay to be only the state in front of you.
     Then there are various functions of body like ears, they are all as they are. Sitting like this, as each of them is functioning, without doing anything yourself, they are functioning variously touching on conditions. Stay only as it is.
     Well please do as such carefully. Please put into practice. In addition to that, if you have questions, there is time of Dokusan; private consultation, please ask what you think without reserve.


                                                                               By Kando Inoue rohsi at Entuji Okayama

Shobogenzo The Four Abodes of Mindfulness
Sanjushichi-Bon-Bodai-Bunpo Thirty-seven Items of Bodhi 

There is the law of universe of old buddhas, it is, namely, the teaching, practice and realization of the thirty -seven items of bodhi. The entanglement of ascending and descending classes, is still the fundamental law of the entanglement. We call it the buddhas and we call it the patriarchs.

     There is “the law of universe of old buddhas,” to say that koan; the law of universe is what everyone faces in public. The letter 公kou means public. I t will be clear for you to say that you cannot live without it than you must adhere it. What is called such is the law of universe. 
     The thirty -seven items are briefly mentioned. We are going to see through them from now. As it is teaching, practice, and enlightenment, there is teaching and we practically experience it, then it will become clear for us how the content of experience is. Which is the proof. It is the proof as getting enlightened. 
     From that, it comes first that it will not do just to understand reading what was written. Teaching. If you listened, or if there is teaching, you receives it and think, “Oh is that so? Well then how it is like, what this is, I will try to so, I will act.” That sorts of things will be done. When being done, there always comes out the result of the action. Accordingly depending on it, “I see. It is true like what I have been taught at first.” Things like that happen. Teaching, practice, and realization. 
     There is the phrase, “The entanglement of ascending and descending classes, is still the fundamental law of the entanglement.” I would say it ups and downs, ascending and descending. There might be things you understand well or you don’t understand. Like that we become one with things themselves and live getting at the truth of the things. That way, we go on the way to the end of the earth. The representatives of those who lived in that way are called buddhas or Zen adepts.


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