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.


When all dharmas are the Buddha-Dharma, there is delusion and enlightenment, there is practice, there is birth, there is death, there are Buddhas, there are sentient beings. 1) 

When myriad dharmas are all not the self, there is no delusion, no enlightenment, no buddhas, no sentient beings, no birth, no death.2) 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.3) 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.4) Nevertheless, they are realized buddhas and they go on being buddhas realizing.5)

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.6) 

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.7) To be enlightened by myriad dharmas is to let one’s own body and mind, and the body and mind of others fall away.8) There is ceasing of enlightenment, which causes one to leave continuously the traces of enlightenment forever.9) 

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.10) 

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, 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.11) 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. 12)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 our 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 eyesight of learning in practice can 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 beneath our feet and a single drop of water are also thus. 

When a bird flies through the sky, there is no bound to the sky no matter how far it flies.13) 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.14)

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.15)
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.16) 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.17) 
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?18)

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."19) 
The monk said " What is the principle that there is no place it does not reach?" 
The master just fanned. 
The monk bowed. 

The realization-evidence 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 causes the earth manifest being gold and ripen the long river into sweet creamy milk.

Shobogenzo Genjo-koan The First This was written in mid-autumn in the 1st year ofTenpuku, and was presented to the lay disciple Yo Koshu of Chinzei. Edited in the 4th year of Kencho

Reference; ‘Genni-bi’ by Kando Inoue Roshi (Japasese)

Notes are mostly summaries from ‘Geni-bi’ The number of pages is that of 'Gennibi'.

1)When all dharmas are the Buddha Dharma, we can accept everything as it is. P13
2) If we don’t experience the moment all dharmas are all not the self, it cannot be that there is no delusion, not enlightenment, no buddhas, no sentient beings, no birth, no death. P14
3) The difference between a person seeing the law; delusion, and the law seeing a person; enlightenment.
4) when being indiscretion or being non-thinking, there is no need to there is no need for them to perceive that they are buddhas. P54
5) We must have experienced it ourselves.
6) Dark means the other side is assimilated and non-existence.
7) We should see through in our lives that there is no separation between self and others. To forget oneself is to be proven by myriad things. P86
8) When there is a sound, we instantly become like that, it is the body is casted off. P90
9) Having enlightened, one has nothing to worry about. No sign of bragging. One is free to do anything one wants with the content of the enlightenment. P91
10) One seeks dharma over there, so one is separated from the first. When one truly realized that the Dharma and one are not separated, he is fulfilled. P114
11) We cognize the state of ahead, we cognize the stat of now, but the before and after is cut off. the only fact is the state of now. This body is changing from time to time, and the bigger change is life and death. We see that what was alive is now dead. P134
12) Enlightenment is that what's happening is on you just as it does, it works like that, and then it just goes away, and you have no idea where it went, and you don't even know it, and it's all gone, and you're doing all kinds of things all day long, one after the other. While one is doing many things all day long, one after another, there is no self as “I”. To enlighten is that one is oneself aware of it, touching one’s working when one is not aware of self. P154
13) You will do many things in your lifetime, but it will never be as if you have nothing left to do and can do nothing. It's only in your mind that you think such. P160
14) The fish, the bird, the water, and the sky, all seem to be different things, but they are really one thing, not separate things. P187
15) It's not about me, others, or how they are. Here's like this. Large or small, good or wrong, You should leave the way you look at things in comparison.There are activities where there are no thoughts of self or others, no thoughts of present or absent. P199
16) You can only know the thing by the thing itself. You practice in such way. P210
17) It is nothing more than what you are living now. The fact that there is nothing else we can do but it. P211
18) Whether you understand it or not, it's made to be understood immediately. It is formed to help you understand, but it can't be promised that it will help you truly understand. However, it is natural that you will eventually come to understand it, since it was originally presented to you. P212-213
19) You know the reason, but you don't know the liberty, the great work, the Master said. P214


The Four Abodes of Mindfulness 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.

It is also called the four abodes of mindfulness. 
The first is the observation that the body is not pure. 
The second is the observation that feeling is suffering. 
The third is the observation that mind is without constancy. 
The fourth is the observation that Dharma is without self. 

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

Observation on the body is the body’s observation. It is the body’s observation not the observation of something else. Observation on the precise moment is that supreme having arrived. When body-observation appears, mental observation all does not arrive yet and does not appear. Thus body-observation is diamond-samadhi and suramgama-samadhi, both of which are the observation that body is not pure. 

In general, the principle of observing the bright star at midnight is expressed as the observation that the body is not pure. It is not the critical comparison of purity and impurity. This existing body is not pure. The real body is not pure. In studying like this, 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, regulate the human being and to become buddha. We should study thoroughly that there is surely the way of things through in the spot of twirling up. For example, it is like the way of washing a robe. Water is dirtied do not liger on a rest. We used up water and use the other water to wash. The robe becomes clean and we still carry on washing the robe. We use many kinds of water, which is suitable for washing robes. We should study thoroughly the truth that when water is not pure, we know that there may be fish. As for robes many sorts of robes are completely washed. Taking suchlike effort, the law of washing robes is realized. All the same, we see what purity is. This principle is that permeate the robe with water is not necessarily the true meaning and to dirty water with the robe is not the true meaning, in using dirty water to wash the robe, the truth exists. There are also ways of washing robes and washing things, by using fire, wind, soil, water, and space. And there are ways washing earth, water, fire, wind, and space by using earth, water, fire, wind and space. 

The principle of this observation that the body is not pure is also like this. Depending on this, whole of body, whole of observation and whole of being not pure are just Kasaya to which a mother gives birth. If a Kasaya is not this Kasaya to which a mother gives a birth, Buddhas patriarch never use it. How could Sanavasa be only one? We should carefully keep it in mind and study perfectly to go thoroughly. 

To say that the observation that feeling is suffering is that suffering is feeling. It is neither one’s own feeling nor the other’s feeling, it is neither existent feeling nor nonexistent feeling. It is the feeling of the living body, it is the suffering of the living body. It is to replace sweet ripen melon by bitter gourd, which is bitter to the skin, flesh, bones, and marrow. It is evenly bitter to the conscious mind and the unconscious mind. This observation is one of the divine practices and enlightenment. It is the divine practice and enlightenment which springs out from the calyxes and springs out there are suffering sentient beings, ultimately it is impossible to deceive others. Although sweet melons are evenly sweet to their calyxes, and bitter gourds are totally bitter to the roots, suffering should not be easily groped. We should ask ourselves, what is suffering? 

The observation that mind is impermanent. The old Buddha Sokei says “Non constancy is the Buddha- nature.” Therefore, non-constancy understood by various things is also the Buddha nature. Great Master Yoka Shinkaku says, “All things are impermanent, all is empty. Just this is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization.” The present observation that mind is non-constancy is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization, and it is the great and perfect realized Tathagata. Mind, even if it intends not to observe, it follows the others, therefore, if there is mind, there is also observation. On the whole, reaching the Supreme Truth of Bodhi, the Supreme Right realization is, namely, non-constancy and the observation of the mind. The mind is not necessarily constant, because it separates the four corners; tetralemma, existence, nonexistence, both existence and nonexistence, neither existence nor nonexistence, and surpasses the hundred negations, so, fences, walls, tiles, pebbles, and stones, large and small, these are the mind, and are non-constancy, and are precisely observation. 

The observation that Dharma is without self. The long has a long Dharma-body, and the short has a short Dharma- body. Because it is the realized state of activity now, it is without self. A dog is without the Buddha-nature, and a dog is with the Buddha-nature. All sentient beings 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. Because it is like this, we learn that all Dharma being without buddhas, all Dharma as the observation that Dharma is without self. You should know that it is to spring out with the whole body of being self-entanglement.

Shakyamuni Buddha says “All buddhas and bodhisattvas rest in this dharma forever, which is a sacred womb.” 

Being so, all buddhas and bodhisattvas have regarded these four abodes of mindfulness as a sacred womb. You should know that they are the sacred womb of balanced realization and the sacred womb of subtle realization. It has already spoken of all buddhas and bodhisattvas, so buddhas who are not the subtle realization also regard this as 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. Truly, the skin, fresh, bones, and marrow of the buddhas and the patriarchs are just the four abodes of mindfulness.

Reference [‘The four Abodes of Mindfulness’ Advocated by Kando Inoue Roshi]
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