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.


“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 of oneself. We don’t practice with the thing other than 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” is translated as standing highly or the state surpassing. He says that 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 of our own each. 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, throughout the life. You already know that. Although you already know that, it is pitiful that you cannot think of anything but a cause is elsewhere separated from you, like he was hard on me. What was thought is that you yourself thought all like that. 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 arise such a thought yourself and see the person by the wrong way of thinking. The reason why you don’t realize is that you have a wrong way of observing and you don’t face to yourself. It is not body-observation. It is unknown for you because you observe it as a thing of the person on the other side. 
     “When body-observation appears, mental observation does not all arrive yet and does not appear.” It is really such. When you see that there are so many things in this room, when you see this side, you don’t see the others. Though it is said the body and mind, we are formed like that. 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 must have been heard. It is strange. When you see 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 as the thing is does not budge an ich. Diamond-samadhi is such a thing. It is not a diamond is sitting. Diamond, solid reliability. It is the 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? “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. Leave it for a while, let's move to the following. You can know well. He says that being not pure is not the talk of comparing being pure or being impure. 
     “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 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 by teachers was, "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 shoji screen and eat." We were taught that such practice to separate from attachment to things was 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 have to think that her body is full of urine when you see a beautiful woman. Then you will come not to be attached to." We learned that  this observation that the body is not pure in that way. 
     You might probably have heard like that in school, but 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 clings to 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, down is just as good. 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, seen with the naked eye, it is the conspicuous star. When we see, there is not to see. None who sees comes out. Only the Venus is twinkling. Being without awareness. Such state is called “the observation that body is not pure.” If we read it truly, where is to see that the body is not pure, it is not called into question being pure or being impure, indeed. This is the important point. 
     “It is not the critical comparison of purity and impurity.” The observation that the body is not pure is not the matter of relative point of view which is generally considered that being pure or being impure. We call the lavatory Gofujho, a place being not pure. That is the purist place. It is not being impure, Otearai. Gofujho. Is it originated from here? Don’t you hear Gofujho? It is the lavatory. It is written that it is not pure, so is it impure? No, it is not. It is not being pure, it is not the matter of being pure or not pure. 
     “This existing body is not pure. The real body is not pure.” This one (the body mind of self) changes as touched when it touched things. This one doesn’t have anything like shape or so, when it touched the shape of a pine tree, it becomes the state as it touched the shape of a pine tree. When touching an orchid, it becomes as touched an orchid. Because this one has the body. What is said is this. “This existing body is not pure.” When a sound arises Tap! (he hit the table) it became such. Tap! It became as sounded. This body (the body and mind) did. There is none who doesn’t change. Tap! This sound was done, before it sounds and after it sounded, one surely changed. “studying like this,” The way of studying like this, if bringing up a little different one, “when demons become buddha, they twirl the demon to defeat the demon and to become buddha. When buddhas become buddha, they twirl buddha to make buddha and to become buddha. When human beings become buddha they twirl human being to regulate the human being and to become buddha.” To put  this in ordinary words, whatever the material is, you study on what you are doing now. There is no other thing.
     When cleaning, what does it mean when you do cleaning and it becomes clean? Is it enough if you make clean just one part of it? When planning a wooden board with a Japanese-style plane, what does it mean to become clean? Is it that only this side of the board become clean? If you use such a way, you cannot plane a clean board. You should ask to know a carpenter. When planning a clean board, it is not like that. Surely as it is, with doing it, it is settled that you can establish yourself what you are. You don’t utilize the other thing. 
     Those who do calligraphy establish their life when they are writing like this, the way of their life. If they cannot do that, it is not calligraphy. It is doodling. For a person who plays a piano, producing sounds itself is all of one’s life, and he is assessed with it, not only the performance. The sound itself assesses the person, the appearing sound itself does. He plays like that. Being so, you should see the person who plays perfectly. You will be moved.
     In case of a violin, only this part (showing the shape holding a violin) is not the violin. The whole body becomes one violin and the sounds are produced. It is like this. Each of every deed, whatever will do. After this, the act of washing is written. It may be easier for you to understand. Dogen Zenji does washing his own wearing clothes. “We should study thoroughly that there is surly the way of things through in the spot of twirling.” What is said here is that you bring up what you are doing now and learn that there is the true way of studying in it, he says like that. 

      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 

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

 is the law of universe of old buddhas, it is, namely, the teaching, practice, and enlightenment 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. It will be clear for you to say that you cannot live without it rather than you have to keep 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 is impossible to do it only by understanding reading what is written. Teaching. If you listened, or if there is teaching, you receive it and think, “Oh is that so? Well then how it is like, what this is like, I will try to do so, I will act.” That sort of thing 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 was taught at first.” Things like that happen. Teaching, practice, and enlightenment.
     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. In that way, we become one with things and live getting at thoroughly the truth of the things to the bottom. We go on like that to the end of the earth. The representatives of those who lived in that way are called buddhas or Zen adepts. 

Kando Inoue 
Born in Shizuoka in 1944. The youngest son of Gien Inoue(1894-1981).He practiced at Hosshin-ji , Soji-ji temple in Yokohama, and other temples. He realized the truth in his teens and later received the transmission of Dharma from his father Gien Inoue. He served as the Yakuryou (the head priest who teaches monks ) at Kasuisai temple of Soto school in Shizuoka. He has been teaching Zen to monks and laypeople, Tokyo, Shizuoka, Kyoto, Kobe, Okayama and Kochi.  He is now todo (the retired head priest resides at the eastern hall) at Shorinji Temple in Shizuoka. 

Paper book(Japanese)
History of Shorinji Temple 
Gennibi- Genjokoan, Shobogenzo 
Truth, Satori, and Zen Practice 
Sanjushichi-bon-bodai-bunpo   37bonbodaibunpo order form

e-book ( Japanese edition)
Jisgo-zanma  Shobogenzo Amazon Jisho-zanmai
Shobogenzo     Amazon Dai-shugyo
Shobogenzo            Amazon Baika 

Sanjushichi-bon-bodai-bunpo Shobogenzo  Amazon 37bon bodai-bunpo