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.


                                                                               By Kando Inoue rohsi at Entuji Okayama

Shobogenzo The Sixty, 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
kou means public. I t will be clear for you that you cannot live without it, rather than to say that you must adhere it. Which is called the law of universe.
     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 and found there is teaching, you received it and “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.” Thing like that happens. 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. It is likely that saying to be able to understand well or not be able to understand. Like that we become one with things themselves and live to get 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 is called buddhas or Zen adepts.

The Four Abodes of Mindfulness. I
t is also called the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.
The first is the observation that 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” The observation that the body is not pure” is one skin bag observed as a body now is the whole universe in ten direction. Because this is the true body, it is the observation that the body is not pure, springing up on the living road. 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 realize. But the manifestation of realization is already reached, remember it is the attainment 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 that this is precisely the 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 exist four. The four are expressed 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. Like this four are expressed. Without constancy or without self is appears in the three dharma seals like myriad dharmas are without self or myriad things are without constancy. Being so they are words which always appear in the basic teaching of Buddhism.
      “The observation that the body is not pure; It is to observe that body is not pure” is that observing the body now, when you see the body, whole is covered with skin, the whole body. Inside it there is flesh, bones, vessels, entrails and it consists various things, which is the body of human beings. It is 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 direction.” Don’t you think, what? do you? You cannot easily think that this (this body) is all. There are so many various things in this room, who is doing (seeing) 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 we don’t see with our own eyes. We cannot know what it is like 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 is not like that, isn’t it? What I ama 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 living road.” It is active lively state, the living road, isn’t it? 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 that if you are concerned with the previous matter forever, you cannot observe the state of now clearly. Pan! Pan! Pan! (clapped his both hands) When I make sound like this, Pan! you remain the sound before, then you cannot hear sounds. Pan! Pan! If you want to hear a sound really, you should see the state which the sound of now is just sounding like this. Pan! Pan! That sort of thing is said “ But for springing,” You should 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 ‘s 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 realization 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 attainment 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 a r e separated from all. Master Dogen see through such a fine thing as 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 no doing 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 does not become clean, when the cleaning finished. They saw, they should have seen, though, but they didn’t see. They looks like 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 that 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 brush. It is not such cleaning like you wipe as it is unclean, 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 no previous thing remains at all. It is good you make it clean to that extent.
     “Observation on the body is the body’s observation.” To observe the body is to face this one of your own, he says.” It is the body’s observation not the observation of something else.” He also says it is not the other thing. That is right. In order to practice, we do practice borrowing this body and mind from oneself. We don’t practice with things except this body and mind of ourselves.” Observation on the precise moment is that supreme having arrived.” It is really important to see the state of oneself.” supreme having arrived.” It is translated as standing highly or the state surpassing. He says it is very important matter to observe oneself truly. It is enough with it. Because problems happen on this body. Problems happen on this body and mind, each of us. Throughout our life, problems never happen any other place but this body and mind. When a problem happens, it surely happens on this body and mind of one’s own. It never happens on the other person’s body and mind. You already know that. Although you alredy know that, it is pitiful that you cannot think as if a cause is elsewhere separated from you, like he was hard on me. what was thought is all you thought this yourself such a thing.  The other person didn’t think such. “He is foolish that he has done such a thing,” that sort of thing, you thought on what you had seen. Nobody did but you. You arose such a though in yourself and see the person by the wrong way of thinking. Why you don’t realize that you have a wrong way of observing, is that you don’t face to yourself.      It is not body-observation. You observe thing as that of the person’s on the other side. “When body -observation appears, mental observation is all not yet touched and does not appear.” It is really such. When you see things there are so many things in this room, when seeing this side, you don’t see the others. We re formed like that. It is said the body and the mind, when you try to hear something sounding, seeing become negligent. It is all right being such. When talking with many people, you intend to speak to a certain person, you have the ability to catch the person’s words, without concerning the other people’s voice which should have been heard. It is strange. When you are seeing a lot of things, being said that a beautiful flower is blooming, you come to be able just to see it. The other thing does not come into as an issue. We are living on such state day to day. “Thus” being so, “body-observation is diamond-samadhi” We can live and taste as the thing is does not budge an ich. Diamond- samadhi is such. It is not a diamond is sitting. Diamond, solid reliability. It is fixed state that however people try to break down, it cannot be broken down. Or it is called “suramgama- samadhi” “ both of which are the observation that body is not pure.”
     Later, Dogen Zenji explained rightly, is it all right?  Leave it for a while, “In general the principle of observing the bright star in the middle of night is expressed as the observation that the body is not pure.” Such a difficult expression is used. He says it is not the talk comparing being pure or being impure, to say that it is not pure. “It is the observation that body is not pure.” It is written such in the foot note under previous page, the sixth, “sentient beings see the body is not pure and they are separated from wrong thoughts.” When we went to school to learn, how this the observation that the body is not pure was taught is, if there is a tasteful dish, human beings are attached to it when eating, so we should gather dust with a finger from the frame of the shoji screen to eat. We are taught to practice like that is called the observation that the body is not pure. As for human beings, if you fall in love with someone beautiful, what I would say lust, not being attached to it, you should think that her body is full of urine when seeing a beautiful woman. We are learned this observation that the body is not pure. You might probably heard like that in school, what Dogen Zenji says is entirely different. He says that it is not the talk being pure or being not pure. This is the important point here. In general, this observation that the body is not pure is taught that from the beginning, seeing that this body is not pure, we should leave what attracts us various things, like human’s attachment to money or things. It seems easier to understand but it is different here.     
     “The principle of observing the bright star in the middle of night,”
it is written in the middle of night, it is OK with dawn. Shakyamuni saw the morning star. What time is the morning star in the morning? It is before daybreak. The morning star is Venus. As Venus is seen brighter and bigger when seeing with the naked eye, it is conspicuous. When seeing, there is not to see. None who are seeing comes out. Only the Venus is twinkling. There is not awakening too. Such state is called “the observation that body is not pure.” If we read it truly, where is observation that the body is not pure, it is not called into question being pure or being impure. It is true. This is the important point.



When all dharmas are the Buddha-Dharma, there is delusion and enlightenment, there ispractice, there is birth, there is death, there are Buddhas, there are sentient beings.When myriad dharmas are all not the self, there is no delusion, no enlightenment, no Buddhas, no sentient beings, no birth, no death. Because the Buddha Way is originally transcendent over abundance and scarcity, there is birth and death, there is delusion and enlightenment, there are sentient beings and Buddhas. And yet, this is the way it is, flowers fall in our longing, and weeds grow in our loathing.
      Driving oneself to practice and enlighten myriad dharmas is delusion. The myriad dharmas advance towards oneself to practice and enlighten is enlightenment. Those who greatly realize delusion are buddhas. Those who are greatly deluded about realization are sentient beings. Moreover, there are those who are enlightened upon enlightenment, and there are those who are deluded in the midst of delusion. When buddhas are indeed buddhas, there is no need for them to perceive that they are buddhas. Nevertheless, they are realized buddhas and they go on being buddhas realizing.
      In seeing forms with the whole body-mind, hearing sounds with the whole body-mind, though one intimately realizes, it is not like reflecting images in a mirror, and not like the moon and water. When enlightening one side, the other side is dark.
      To learn the Buddha Way is to learn oneself. To learn oneself is to forget oneself. To forget oneself is to be enlightened by myriad dharmas. To be enlightened by myriad dharmas is to let one’s own body and mind, and the body and mind of others fall away. There is ceasing of enlightenment, which causes one to leave continuously the traces of enlightenment forever.
      When people first seek the Dharma, they are far from the borders of Dharma. When the Dharma has already been rightly transmitted in oneself, just then one is the original oneself.
      When a man rides in a boat and he moves his eyes to the shore, he misapprehend the shore is moving. When he closely keeps his eyes fixed on the boat, he knows that the boat is moving forward. Similarly, when one discerns the myriad things with the confused body and mind, one mistakenly thinks that one's own mind and nature are permanent. If one is intimately engaged in the activity of living and returns to the real state being now, it will be clear the myriad things are not self.
     Firewood becomes ash, and does not become firewood again. However, we should not see the ash after and the firewood as before. Know that firewood abides in the Dharma state of firewood and it has a before and after. Though it has a before and after, the realm of before and after is cut off. Ash in the Dharma state of ash, has before and after. Just as firewood, after having become ash, does not again become firewood, so after dying a person does not become alive again. This being the case, not to say that life becomes death is an established custom in the Buddha- Dharma. Therefore, it is called unborn. That death does not become life, which is the Buddha preaching established in the turning of the Dharma-Wheel. Therefore it is said imperishable. Life is a temporal state, death is a temporal state. It is like winter and spring. We don't think winter becomes spring, we don't say spring becomes summer.
     People's attaining enlightenment is like the moon reflected in water. The moon does not get wet, the water isn't broken. Though it is a vast expansive light, it is rests in an inch of water, the whole moon and the whole sky rest even in a dewdrop on the grass, rest even in a single droplet of water. That enlightenment does not shatter people is like the moon not piercing the water. People's not hindering enlightenment is like the drop of dew not hindering the sky and moon. The depth is proportionate to the height. As for the length and brevity of time, examining the great and small bodies of water, you should discern the breadth and narrowness of the sky and moon.
     When Dharma has not completely filled one's body and mind, one feels it is already sufficient. If the Dharma fills one's body and mind, in one respect, one feels insufficiency. For example, when one rides a boat out to the middle of ocean where no mountains are in sight and looks four directions, the ocean appears round and no other characteristics are visible.  However, this ocean is neither round nor square; the remaining virtue of the ocean is inexhaustible. It is like a palace, it is like ornaments. Yet as for as one’s eyes can see, it only seems to be round. As it is for the ocean, it is for myriad dharma. In dust and out of the frame (in the secular world and the Buddhist world), there are numerous situations, but we see and comprehend only as for as our insight on learning in practice are able to reach. If we inquire into the family traditions of myriad dharmas, we should know that, besides seeming square and round, the remaining virtue of the oceans and mountains are endlessly numerous and that there are worlds in four directions. It is not like thus only around us; we should realize that even right beneath our feet and a single drop of water are also thus.
     As a fish moves through water, there is no bound to the water no matter how far it goes.  When a bird flies through the sky, there is no bound to the sky no matter how far it flies. While this is so, the fish and birds have never left the water and the sky since the beginning. It is just that when the need is large the use is large, and when the need is small the use is small. In this way, though none ever fails to extent itself to the full, and nowhere does any fail to move and turn freely, the bird would instantly die if it left the sky, and the fish would instantly die if it left the water. Know that water is life, know that the sky is life. There is bird being life, there is fish being life. Life must be birds, life must be fish. Beside this we could proceed further. That there is practice and enlightenment and there are long and short lives of people is just like this.     
     However, if there were birds or fish that tried to go further in the water or sky after having found the limit of the water or sky, they wouldn't find a path or a place in the water or the sky. When one finds this Way, this activity of living now is the Realized Law of the Universe. This way, this place is not large or small, not self or other, not existing from the beginning, not appearing right now ―therefore it is just what it is.
     Similarly, when someone practices and realizes the Buddha Way, to get one dharma is to penetrate the one dharma, to meet one practice is to practice the one practice. In this state there is the place, where the way has been accomplished, hence being unable to know the boundary to be known is that this knowing is born together and practiced together with the thorough realization of Buddha Dharma. Do not learn that attainment necessarily becomes one's own knowledge, that it would be recognized by one's intellect. Although ultimate realization manifests immediately, the reality imperceptible is not necessarily actualized, why is there necessarily a manifestation?
     Zen master Hotetsu of Mt. Mayoku was using a fan. A monk came and asked "The nature of wind is constancy and there is no place it does not reach. Why then do you use a fan? "The master said "You only know the nature of wind is constancy but do not know the principle that there is no place it does not reach. "The monk said " What is the principle that there is no place it does not reach?" The master just fanned. The monk bowed.
     The experience-realization of the Buddha-Dharma, the living road of right transmission, is like this. To say that since the nature of wind is constancy one should not use a fan, and one should feel the wind even when one is not using a fan, is not knowing both constancy and nature of wind. Because the nature of wind is constancy, the wind of Buddhism makes the earth manifest being gold and ripen the long river into sweet creamy milk.  (Translated by S.Tatsuta.)

After word

On translation “Shobogenzo Genjo Koan; The realized Law of the Universe” into English
This is an experiment. This translation does not directly relate to Kando Inoue roshi. I have learned Zen with roshis who got enlightened, received Dharma from Gien Inoue roshi. They show us how to practice not using human thoughts and view.
     Master Dogen preaches on the state that he got enlightened as “We inherently possess the Buddha Nature.” In order to express his intention, it is supposed to be translated with enlightenment or realization as its core.
     I tried not to translate with my interpretation and not to use the words which express thoughts, thinking and views. In Zen we sometimes encounter illogical unfolding of a plot.
      As for practice and enlightenment, Master Dogen expresses “Oneness of practice and enlightenment.” In English it is expressed separately as practice and Enlightenment or realization. When using it as a verb, it is rather difficult to translate. Can we say “A thing realizes us or enlightens us?”
     In Genjo Koan there is the  phrase “When enlightening one side, the other side is dark.” Most people translate this phrase “When we see one side, the other side is dark” or “When one side is realized, the other side is blind.” However, Gien Inoue roshi said “Being dark means being assimilated.” Kando Inoue roshi says” When assimilated, the other vanishes. The definite state is that there only scenery exists. There is no person who sees it. This side does not exist. As for hearing, the voice of the other is just sounding. It is not only on oneself. We say this being dark.” No one can preach like this but roshi who has gone thoroughly the Way. If English dharma talks by those roshi are published, the truth of Master Dogen will be recognized in the English- speaking world.

     This is a clumsy piece of writing. I tried it as the result of my study of Zen and English. Any comments will be appreciated.