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.

2020年03月

 When seeking the way, it is originally perfect and all-pervading. How could it be contingent on practice and enlightenment? The Dharma-vehicle is free and untrammeled. What need is there for concentrated effort? Indeed, the whole body is far beyond the world's dust. Who could believe in a means to brush it clean?
      It is never apart from this very place. What the use of traveling around to practice? And yet, if there is a hairsbreadth deviation, it is like the gap between heaven and earth. If the least like or dislike arises, the mind is lost in confusion.
     Suppose you gain pride of understanding and inhale your own enlightenment, gaining the wisdom that knows at a glance, attaining the Way, clarifying the mind, arousing an aspiration to reach for the heavens. You are playing in the entranceway, but you are still short of the vital path of emancipation.
      Consider the Buddha who was possessed of inborn knowledge. The traces of his six years of upright sitting can still be seen. Or Bodhidharma's transmission of the mind-seal, his nine years of facing a wall is celebrated still. If the ancient sages were like this, how can we today dispense with wholehearted practice?
     Therefore, put aside the intellectual practice of investigating words and chasing phrases, learn to take the backward step that turns the light and shines it inward. Body and mind of themselves will drop away, and your original face will manifest. If you want to realize suchness, get to work on suchness right now. 
      For practicing Zen, a quiet room is suitable. Eat and drink moderately. Put aside all involvements and suspend all affairs. Do not think good or bad. Do not judge true or false. Give up the operation of mind; sensation, discrimination, cognition. Stop measuring with Nensokan; consciousness, thoughts and views. Have no designs on becoming a Buddha. How could that be limited to sitting or lying down?
      At your sitting place, spread out a thick mat and put a cushion on it. Sit either in the full-lotus or half-lotus position. In the full-lotus position, first place your right foot on your left thigh, then your left foot on your right thigh. In the half-lotus, simply place your left foot on your right thigh. Put your robe loosely and arrange them neatly. Then place your right hand, palm up, on your left leg and your left palm on your right palm, thumb-tips lightly touching. Straighten your body and sit upright, leaning neither left nor right, neither forward nor backward. Align your ears with your shoulders and your nose with your navel. Rest the tip of your tongue against the front of the roof of your mouth, with teeth together and lips shut. Always keep your eyes open, and breath softly through your nose. Once you have adjusted your posture, take a breath and exhale fully, rock your body right and left, and settle into steady, immovable sitting. Think of not thinking. Not thinking, how do you think of not thinking? Non-thinking. This is the essential art of Zazen.
     The zazen I speak of is not learning Zen. It is simply the dharma-gate of repose and bliss, the practice-realization of totally culminated enlightenment. It is the manifestation of ultimate reality.  Traps and snares can never reach it. Once its heart is grasped, you are like a dragon gaining water, like a tiger taking to the mountains. For you must know that the true Dharma is manifesting itself, so that from the first dullness and distraction are struck aside.
     When you arise from sitting, move slowly and quietly, calmly and deliberately. Do not rise suddenly or abruptly. In surveying the past, we find that transcendence of both mundane and sacred and dying while either sitting or standing have all depended entirely on the power of zazen. In addition, triggering awakening with finger, a banner, a needle, or a mallet, and effecting realization with a whisk, a fist, a staff, or a shout cannot be understood by discriminative thinking; much less can it be known through the practice of supernatural power. 
     It must be deportment beyond hearing and seeing
is it not a principle prior to knowledge or perception? This being the case, intelligence or lack of it is not an issue; make no distinction between the dull and the sharp-witted. If you concentrate your effort single-mindedly, that in itself is wholeheartedly engaging the way. Practice-realization is naturally undefiled. Going forward in practice is, after all, the matter of everydayness. 
     In general, in our world and others, in both India and China, all equally hold the buddha-seal and each lineage expresses its own style. They are all simply devoted to siting, totally engaged in resolute stability. Although they say that there are ten thousand distinctions and a thousand variations, they just wholeheartedly engage the way in Zazen. 
     Why leave behind the seat in your own home to wander in vain through the dusty realm of other land? If you make one misstep, you stumble past what is directly in front of you. You have gained the pivotal opportunity of human form and function. Do not pass your days and nights in vain. You are maintaining the essential working of the Buddha way. Who would take wasteful delight in the spark from a flintstone? Besides, form and substance are like the dew on the grass, destiny like the dart of lightning-emptied in an instant, vanished in a flash.
     Please, honored followers of Zen, long accustomed to groping for the elephant, do not doubt the true dragon. Devote your energies to the way of direct indication of the absolute. Revere the one who has gone beyond learning and is free from effort. Accord with the enlightenment of all the buddhas; succeed to the samadhi of all the ancestors. Continue to live being such, and you will be suchness.The treasure store will open of itself, and you may enjoy it freely.

(13C. Japanese Zen Master;Dogen, Fukan Zazengi)


The Four Abodes of Mindfulness. It 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.

 

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