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.

カテゴリ: Shobogenzo by Kando

Zazenshin                          Advocated by Kando Inoue Rhoshi
A Needle for Zazen

I will read one page.
While Great Master Yakusan Kodo is sitting, a monk asks him, “What are you thinking in the immovable state?” The Mater says, “Thinking thus the state of not thinking.” The monk says, “How can the state of not thinking be thought?”
 The Master says, “It is non-thinking.”

There are the teaching materials this much and Dogen Zenji is giving various talks on these materials.
“Proving that the Master’s words thus, we should learn and practice the steadfast state. We should transmit rightly the steadfast state. It is the study the steadfast state transmitted in the Buddha Way. Although the thoughts of the steadfast state is not only one kind, the words of Yakusan is one example of it. The so -called “Thinking thus the state of not thinking. There are thinking of skin, flesh, bone, and marrow, and not thinking of skin, flesh, bones, and marrow. 

The monk says, “How can the state of not thinking be thought?” Truly, although the state of not thinking is old, this is still “How can be thought about?” In the steadfast state how could it be impossible for thinking to exist? And why does it not go through the ascendancy of the steadfast state? If we are not the fool of vulgar recent time, we would have the power to ask the steadfast state and would have the thinking. The Master says, “It is non-thinking.”

Though so-called the use of non-thinking is serene, we inevitably use the non-thinking whenever we think of not thinking. Who is in non-thinking? Who has me? Even though the steadfast immovable state is me, it is not only thinking and it is holding up the steadfast immovable state. 

Thirty seven items of Bodhi was advocated at Entuji in Krashiki city Okayama in 2016. Kando Inoue roshi has advocated Dogen’s Shobogenzo through his entire life in Japan.
Thirty-seven items of Bodhi are considered as the methods to get enlightened in Hinayana Buddhism. However, Master Dogen did not discriminate the two Buddhist schools, Mahayana and Hinayana. He explained that there existed only the Buddhism that the Buddha taught. Dogen Zenji advocates this Thirty-seven items of Bodhi to explain the true way of practice. What he preaches unfolds differently from that of Hinayana school. It is not the practice to improve ourselves by observing ourselves as object but it is the way to clarify our true nature provided originally by learning ourselves. 
Kando Inoue roshi succeeded Master Dogen’s teaching and makes us practice the basic of Zen; to observe birth and death rightly, pure-sitting. He preaches us that the practice is to be in the state here and now as it is, as the working of six organs without inserting our thoughts, the way thinking, and views. 
The Four abodes of mindfulness are the first of the Thirty-seven items of Bodhi. In his writings, Master Dogen speak from the perspective of enlightenment, and Master Kando also speaks from that perspective.That is "We are already the body and mind of our original Dharma nature, so we do not need to practice now to make ourselves splendid.”
Master Dogen says “the observation that the body is not pure” is the Buddha’s seeing the morning star. It is not we clean ourselves up because we are dirty. As the Buddha experienced, we should realize that we are in the state of enlightenment. 
What the Buddha realized is that the working of body and mind is carried on before we recognize it. When he saw the morning star, he realized the reality for the first time. There is the difference between the reality and what we perceive. That is why we need zazen practice as the Buddha did. We need zazen practice of non-thinking, the only way to get enlightened. 
Kando Roshi shows us how to be free from discretion. He insists that the practice is not just during zazen, but all the time you should be away from thoughts, no matter what we are doing.
Once we realized, we will know we are inborn nature just like the Buddha. Then there will be nothing that bothers us and we can live freely.
You can appreciate the depth and accuracy of Kando Roshi's knowledge of words and phrases.
I am truly grateful for Knado roshi’s kind guidance.
                                                   Shizuka Tatsuta
                                                     2021 Feb.

 “Shakyamuni Buddha says “All buddhas and bodhisattvas rest in this Dharma forever as it is a sacred womb (a sacred body of the buddha).” Go on living like this. Nothing is more comfortable than this. What’s more, it is a sacred womb. Can we call it the sacred body of the buddha? There might be a long word ‘Seitai choyo, a sacred womb and long rest.’ “So all buddhas and bodhisattvas have regarded these Four Abodes of Mindfulness as a sacred womb, a sacred body of buddha, you should know that they are the sacred womb of balanced realization. And the sacred womb of subtle realization.” There was a person who expressed the content of realization as the stage of fifty-two ranks such like balanced realization or subtle realization. Among such studying there are this sort of expression though, in a word, it means whichever condition you are in. Whoever he is, he is really in the state of his own and see though the thing of this sort like this. The first is the observation that the body is not pure, the second is the observation that feeling is suffering, the third is the observation that mind is without constancy, the fourth is the observation that Dharma is without self. This is the practice that the Buddha did. Therefore, in Buddhism, Dharma Seals is firstly expressed, namely, all things are impermanent, all dharmas are selflessness, Enlightenment leads serenity, which are Three Dharma Seals. That is how it is called as the truth of things.

 “It has already spoken of all buddhas and bodhisattvas, and so buddhas are not the subtle realization, also regard it as the sacred womb. Bodhisattvas who have sprung out being prior to balanced realization or beyond subtle realization also regard these Four Abodes of Mindfulness as a sacred womb.” Not only the realized people but also people on the way of practice go on practicing on this way. The way like this is said, “Truly, the skin, fresh, bones, and marrow of the buddhas and the patriarchs” which says that the fine realized people’s life is such in content. What are they doing? Although they live in the same way and live together, the place they are touching is different. There is big difference between just being there randomly or being able to receive the content correctly. If you don’t know things truly, you live the same life, it is entirely different. And the way of life comes to change completely. You don’t know what they are doing as it is the matter of the other, you might not know, but I can know well that there are many people around me whom I have known dozens of years. Such people have come to change. Their life has come to change utterly. If I say what they are doing, they don’t especially live differently than before. They do the same thing every day.

Therefore, firstly the four abodes of mindfulness, the four ways to touch things are. For the present I would like to finish here. Itemized like this and entitled, you are easy to study. (The end)

And one more thing, “The observation that Dharma is without self.” Dharma is things, it can be expressed as the rules. The formation of all things, the regulation, the way of activity, the rules. There are big ones and small ones, when I show them to you like this, what we humans see like this are the rules. This one is this and this one (showing a different one) is this, you can see such. Nobody decides it, but you can exactly see like that. This one cannot be seen like that one (being replaced,) It is a rule. It is the way that nobody can violate. BANG! (hitting the desk) when I hit here, BANG! (hitting the other part of the desk) and I hit this part, we are formed to be able to hear differently. Nobody decided it. A big sound, even as for sound, this sound and this sound (making a sound newly) can never been heard the same. Absolutely not. BANG! This sound is this sound, BANG! this sound is this sound, it is set up to be able to hear such. This is the rule. It is not that human beings decided. We call it the law, or Dharma, True Law, or the true way of things. It is the rule. 
It is said that there is no regulation for that. “without self.” Nothing exists as what becomes the core. Generally speaking, selflessness means you don't stand up for yourself. (you do not insist on one’s own view.) You don’t say “I am.” Saying “I am” is that you have the self. I am, I am, I see, I hear, I am doing, which is said you have the self. Then it is troublesome. Conflicts inevitably arise with people. If we keep the self, we hold on our principles and opinion, when we go through it, we will always clash. But, since there is no self in the rules of things, just as there is no self in my eyes, everything will be as it is. There is no self in the ears so that they become inevitably as it is when a sound happened. TAP! TAP! TAP! (hitting the desk) This is what is taught. When sitting, we sit. When we stand, we became the state of standing. Although we don’t know how we leave sitting when we stand up, when we stand up, the state of sitting is settled to come to disappear completely. We call it standing. When we sit, the state of standing has entirely vanished. When being done such, we say “Oh, he is sitting.” This is the rule. It is so concrete. In the situation, nothing exists as regulation. Even though there is no rule, it is so perfect. There are no principles or arguments, but there are rules without any deviation. It is a wonder. 
Well let’s see, “The long has a long Dharma-body, and the short has a short Dharma- body.” It only says that the long one is long, the short one is short. That is reasonable. In this case, a teacher brought the disciple who asked how he should practice to a bamboo grove. When practicing, how should he practice? The teacher said, “Look at bamboo over there, look at bamboo over here.” Then the disciple answered, “The bamboo over there is long, the bamboo over here is short.” And the teacher said “That is fine.”
“Because they are the realized state of your activity now, they are without self.” The realized state of your activity now means that the state right in the midst of your living now is how it is. When facing the shoji screen, you inevitably become the state seeing the shoji screen, even if you don’t say you are seeing it. When you face to the fusuma like this, you certainly become like seeing the fusuma. You don’ say “I do” and you don’t know who became such. Having become like fusuma, or like shoji, you don’t know who has become such. Only you became such. It's how it is. This is what is said.
“A dog is without the Buddha-nature,” Well, maybe it's best not to touch this stuff too much. It becomes so troublesome in the head and it cannot be helped. A person who has studied Buddhism comes across the talk whether there is the Buddha-nature or not, he will awfully undergo hardship. Why he undergoes hardship, because he doesn’t know what the word of Buddha-nature or the letter signify and yet he studies. Even though nobody teaches, as soon as he read it, he grasps something immediately in himself what is said Buddha-nature. It is strange. He imagines something like a buddha. Then have they seen a buddha? Although they have never seen a living buddha, they all imagine a buddha which might be probably like this. Being so, they walk in the street with what they imagined, they think if it is not the one, or if this is not, they immediately get attached to it when encountering something close what they imagined. That is a selfish inference, and speaking badly, it is unreliable.
Therefore, not having such concept is really important to practice. At any rate, they all have conception in that way. So, when sitting, you say that you cannot readily become mindless. You say that you are unable to become mindless, but you don’t know what is mindlessness, then even if you can become mindless, you don’t think it being mindless. Oh! Even if you can do it yourself, you don't know what mindlessness is, so if you don't think it's mindless, you say you cannot do it. While you are having it, you don’t know it’s there. It is strange. 

“A dog is without the Buddha-nature, and a dog is with the Buddha-nature.” Though It is the story that a dog is with the Buddha-nature and without Buddha-nature, to be or not to be is so strange for human beings. When being said ‘Mu (無)’, you will read it ‘not exist(ない)’ If I give a familiar example, even though there is the sound ‘Mu’, when said ‘Mu’, you will say ‘Nai; not exist.’ You say as if you didn’t hear. Oh! when said ‘Mu’, nevertheless you heard it, you say ‘Nai; not exist.’ Having seen the letter, being written ‘Mu’, you say ‘Nai; not exist’, though it is written there. You are doing such a funny thing. If the letter of being or the letter of without being is written, such a thing is only taking place. That is the state of the mind. When we face the letter ‘Aru; being,’ it is ‘Aru; being,’ when we face the letter ‘Mu; not being,’ it is ‘Mu; not being,’ we human beings are settled to receive correctly suchlike thing as it is. That is the working of so called the mind. Without knowing, even if you don’ know the letter, even a child becomes as such. That is why you can learn. It is not that you cannot write it if you don’t understand the letter ‘Mu; not being.’ When being said, “Write like this.” or “Write as it is.” One can write as it is, because he sees it. It is all right he doesn’t know what it means. When he comes to write as it is, it is useful. Say “Ah”, by being uttered a voice, you have come to able pronounce the Japanese. You don't know what it is, you don't know anything about it.
“All sentient beings are without are without the Buddha-nature. All Buddha-nature are without sentient beings. All buddhas are without sentient beings, all buddhas are without buddhas. All Buddha-nature are without the Buddha-nature, all sentient beings are without sentient beings.” Well, a lot of things are written variously. The reason why so many similar things are written is because we have our own habits and we don't easily become honest. Proceed touching them one by one as they are written like this. You exactly change along as it is written. But as soon as you start to think “What? "What the heck are all these similar things? what’s all about, then?”, you are doing a totally different thing from studying what is written here. You are treating what you imagine in your head and not taking up what is written in this sentence. You know that. 
In various daily life, phenomena happen. When you touched various things, when touched various phenomena, when touched the reality called phenomena, we should really value the reality though, the moment when you touch the reality, you begin to handle wondering what it is, human beings do. If you begin to handle what it is, the fact is no longer there. You're only dealing with is what you perceive in your thinking. If you deal with what you caught by thoughts, you will not be able to solve the problem. It's because you're thinking without facts. When you really want to solve something, you can't do it without facts, no matter what. The fact that a problem happened generates in the present reality. It is not that the problem is out of the fact. 
I sometimes use this example, for instance, when this stove went out, you wanted to know why this stove went out, if there are several stoves, some people open other stoves variously, leaving the stove which the fire went out and check wondering what happened, or why the fire went out. But because this stove didn’t go out, even if they study this stove, the truth why the fire went out only exists in this stove that the fire went out. Even if there are similar stoves, when the fire really went out, the cause that the fire went out is inside this one. In that way they should study, the smart people should study like that in the general public. Such things are, placing a lot of similar things in this way, we can truly learn with the thing itself one by one. We bring in other things right away. 
“Because it is like this, we learn all Dharmas being without all Dharmas as the observation that Dharmas is without self.” All Dharma is not among all Dharma. What it means is that the thing is only the thing itself. At the precise moment, there only exists the state of being that moment. When you want to hear this sound, CLAP! (he claps his both hands) you cannot help but hearing it at this moment, even though how many decades you have lived. This sound, CLAP! you want to hear this sound, you could not but touching this now. If you ask me to do it again, I will do it CLAP! but you cannot hear the earlier sound. You see, it becomes such. Being so, now, CLAP! when I made a sound like this, if you come to be able to hear the sound at one try, that you have been wondering how to hear is all solved. “You should know that springing out on the whole body from the self-entanglement.” Truly there is no way but we study the state of this one being called each person's own body and mind, when we study things. Such way of studying has been left as writings a lot by the people who had experienced and there are many writings written how we should do to understand. That is why you read books. But the thing written in books is, what to say after all, you don't need to read them. If you have the ability to observe this state of yourself and learn, that's enough. Whatever splendid it is, what is written there is that the author wrote and left what he experienced through his or her own body. That's all there is to it, isn't it?


 “the observation that mind is without constancy” To observe the mind is without constancy. Although the letter of mind is used here, it is not the character of such an implication that you consider the mind thinking about something in common sense. The mind refers to all the things. It is the synonym that indicates myriad things. You know well about impermanence, without constancy. If you see the life itself, it is obvious. There is none who is doing what existed a moment ago. When seeing every part of the body, there is none who is doing what existed a moment ago. That's how it's made.
 What do you feel obsessive? Where do we get caught up and worry? There's nothing to worry about, there's nothing left. Nothing is left to take up as a problem. Which is the state of impermanence. All of you, you don’t observe impermanence like that. Being without constancy, it is trivial with that level. Look truly. To put it in a beautiful word, it is that people do only what they have never experienced before, that's what it means to be alive. Now we see like this (he looks around the room,) it is for the first time to see this. It is different from what we saw a moment ago. What we saw a moment ago is what we did a moment ago. What we do now is the first time. We never have done once until now. But here this brain takes it ‘again,’ ‘again and again,’ it is working like that. We do not see in that way. There is not anything which existed a moment ago at this moment. It is the whole body. As it is mentioned here ‘the mind,’ not only the body but all myriad things are acting such, which is said to observe that the mind is without constancy. As a way of studying, if you have made it this far, you will definitely feel refreshed.

“The old Buddha Sokei says “Non constancy is the Buddha-nature.” Because there is such a thing, when we truly understand the state of this impermanent, we can know exactly what the Buddha really realized, which is said. “Therefore, non-constancy understood by various things is also the Buddha-nature.” Every possible thing is said to be without constancy, though, the content is formed like this. It is so simple as this much, but human beings think that things a while ago or many years ago appear. You think like I am speaking. It's not that it's really happening, but you only think so, such things, like that, in the way of thinking. In the reality, there is not such a thing. To that extent, whether or not you can see what is called the mind, whether or not you can see the true state of things. That is what this practice is all about. “the observation that mind is without constancy” of four abodes of mindfulness is.

Great Master Yoka Shinkaku was in China, and among the words left by him, there is this, “ All things are impermanent, all is empty.” Every activity, every action, is really just the way we are acting right now. There is no trace of it anywhere after or before. Even though we acted, the thing does not remain anywhere, he says. Emptiness. “Just this is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization.” This is the content that the Buddha got enlighten“The present observation that mind is non-constancy is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization,” When we realize that this is really just the way things are unfolding right now, we can always be saved. It is impossible to touch the state of being now to fix. OK? CLAP! (he claps his hands) You cannot hear this sound again. CLAP! It is over now. CLAP! Without doing anything. CLAP! It is fine that you can hear it as it is. There is not that you can only hear half of it. You can get all of it as it is. As it is said Great and Perfect realization, there is no deficiency. It is like that. Such a thing is clarified. 覚 “Kaku; realization” is to realize. It is self-awareness. There is no need to deal with. It is formed without necessity of fixing. Suppose if you noticed a mistake and corrected it, how would it be? If there is a person who has excellent ability to correct and he finds here something wrong and corrects it immediately, how will it be? If he corrects it as soon as he sees it, no one can find the mistake.

This is the matter of the body. If you feel pain and make it painless, if there is a person who make his body unpainful when he has a pain, he cannot notice his illness. It looks good, it looks good not to feel pain when being in pain, but when being in pain, it is really painful. It will become unknown if you touch it and fix. When you see a doctor, you change the part of the body painful from here to there, even if you complain that you have pain here, the doctor will say no problem and let you go home. In reality it hurts here. But human beings are such animals. When there is something wrong, they try to rectify it. That is not true. To clarify that what is wrong is a wrong is the only way to correct a thing. To know that what is a mistake is a mistake is the saga. An ordinary person cheats an error. That is an ordinary person. The thing of the sort comes out here. 
 “Mind, even if it intends not to observe,” Not to see, you try not to see things of the kind. But “it follows the others,” is said. Because we always live with every movement together like this, it is impossible that only you are here. Look around. Look the way you are here. You live having all things be as your content. You don’t live without tatami mats, you don’t live without this room. You don’t live having removed all the air, do you? It is so. Truly, like not knowing from which part to which part is the state of our own, it is “it follows the others.” There is no boundary that being up to here is the state of my own. This part is so clear that the part seen as your own body are yourself and the rest is other’s matter, which is not so. 
You have eyes and if there weren’t things like those as circumstances, your eyes would not grow up. Those things are all the nutrition for eyes. Eyes eat those things to live. What can be seen like this raises eyes. When you are in the dead darkness, your eyes come to unable to see things. The functioning has been lost. If you make a person stay in a completely soundless room for many years, his will lose his hearing. Keeping someone in bedridden, he will come to unable to walk. All of them due to “it follows the others,” What surround you entirely become your nutrition. They are not different things. “if there is mind, there is also observation.” Probably there is not a person who has the body and without the mind. There is not a person who has the body and without the function of mind at all. Even if it is said commonly that being kept in a vegetative state or in a dead brain state, the body responds as it is touched when being touched. He may not have recognized. We are formed such.
“On the whole to reach the Supreme Truth of Bodhi, the Supreme Right realization is non-constancy” Well, the supreme state is said, though, to say what is the content is that it is just the truth of this reality. The truth called non-constancy is just maintained with the state of being now that is neither before nor after. We can recall what was yesterday, but we cannot do it today what was yesterday. We tend to think what will be tomorrow but we cannot do it now what will be tomorrow. Truly what we are doing now just exists now at where we are doing. This is the supreme state. You have nothing to say with that. Do you want anything more? Is it not enough? When living like that, people who have various jobs can manage to live. If you spend exactly being such way as it is on every occupation, on every spot, on every instance, you all can do better job. Which is really to observe the mind. The observation of the mind. 
 “Mind is not necessarily constant,” If there is always something like mind, there is not such a thing. The working without suchlike mind is called the mind for the present. To say what it is, when facing a red rose, we can see it red, when facing a white rose, we can see it white, which working exists. There is no fixed matter that we should see like this. Without any fixed matter, it comes to turn into the color as it is by what we touch. Turned into the color, then if it remains somewhere sticking, when touching next thing like this, we all completely separate to live from the former one  from one thing to another. Which is called “Mind is not necessarily constant,” It is wonderful, he said so.

“Because it separates the four corners; tetralemma, existence, nonexistence, both existence and nonexistence, neither existence nor nonexistence, and surpasses the hundred negations,” Four corners mean being or not being. (four corners; tetralemma, existence, nonexistence, both existence and nonexistence, neither existence nor nonexistence, and surpasses the hundred negations,)That is being or that is not being, which is typically said. The hundred negations mean a lot of things are brought up as follows; it is not so, it is not so, it is not so. Because we have the habit of seeing things from a fixed point of view. This is so strange. I can know well when I talk to people. Even as for the person who seems not to have such fixed point of views, he has unnoticeably his own way of thinking, which appears on various occasion. That is probably it means. That something is weighing on your mind is probably that sort of thing. While you are living daily, if you are bothered with something when touched it, you always have something inside of you that you think it should be like this without knowing. That's why you react to it when you touch it like this. Why is he suchlike? Why has he done such a thing? Why did he say like that? You feel uneasy about that sort of thing, you have inside of you like what is to be like this, what should be like this. You should know that such sort of thing is making you dull. 
 Sometimes it is said, “I came for the first time, zazen is to become nothingness, it is to become no-mindedness, isn’t it?” Where did you learn? How is it like? How do you know what it means to become no-mindedness? When I say such, everyone certainly has something this or that in his head. That is why they don’t accept honestly however much I talk to them. When I talk about what is different viewpoint from what they have learned, they say that he is strange, why he says such a thing, I haven’t come to study such a thing, and they don’t accept it. That's how grasping something inside yourself can cause strange situations. But when you truly become honest and you have nothing in this (pointing himself), what people are saying enters inside of yourself and you know well. The people who take a long time to practice have always a lot of such things (possessions) in themselves. Without knowing, they have piled them up in themselves.
The state which are all separated from or cut off that sort of things is said “it separates the four corners and surpasses the hundred negations.” Then as shown here, when you touch things called fences, walls, tiles, pebbles that exist around there, that is, pebbles, walls, broken fences which you don’t value, you come to realize at that moment. If you have possessions, you look at it “Who cares about?” You think that they are different what you are seeking for. Having seen a stone, you think “Is this the study of the Buddhist Way, the study of Buddhism?” Being said to look the pebble, you hardly think it the study of Buddhism. There is a fence over there, go and see, What? What is it all about? It will become such. It cannot be learning.

Here is another one. “stones large and small,” Stone head is written the head of stone. When we go to Sekitozan (石頭山), stone mountains, there are stones, big stones or small stones a lot of stones. There is a tale and that is why it is mentioned. That is the way you can study. In a more general sense, there is the way observing thing “as it is” that you use. Truly it is the strength to receive a thing as it is. If you practice it, you will come to be different. 
     In our way of looking at things, there are things like likes and dislikes, good and bad, right and wrong, and, roughly speaking, these things always happen the moment we see them. We hold nothing but such kinds of views. There are few people who see things as they are. When we see a thing, we don’t see it comparing to the other thing. When you are said, “Look at this” and see it, you don’t see it comparing to the other. And yet, even if you look at just this one thing, it's big, it's small, it's beautiful, what is it that comes up? You are comparing it with something. You do it without knowing. You don’t see it truly as it is. You are not aware, are you? It is so simple thing, though. There is really a wonderful word “as it is,” but I wonder you can do seeing a thing as it is, I wonder you are doing it. Being so, it is said here “fences, walls, tiles, pebbles, and these are the mind, and are non-constancy, and are precisely observation.”
It's not that there is something special about practicing. You do it with what you are doing now, with what you are touching. Although you practice with what it is, if you are not cautious about this matter at that time, you won't be able to do this kind of thing. Well, what makes you say difficult might be this point. This is the end of “the observation that mind is without constancy.”