Nangaku says, “If when a person is riding in a cart, the cart does not move, is ti right to prod the cart, or
is it right to prod the ox?”
Just a moment, to say that the cart does not move, what is cart moving? And what is cart not moving, For example, is water flowing cart moving? Is water not flowing cart moving?1） We could say flowing is water not moving. It should be water moving is not flowing.2） If so, we practically study the words, “if it does not move,” we should practice as there is not moving, and we should practice as there is no not moving, because it must be the Time. 3）
The saying “if it does not move” has not solely expressed only not moving. “Is it right to prod the cart, is it right to prod the ox?”4） is said, can there be prodding the cart and can there also be prodding the ox? Must prodding the cart and prodding the ox be equal, or must they be not equal?5） In the secular world there is no way of prodding the cart. Though the ordinary man has no way of prodding the cart, we have known that there is the way of prodding the cart in Buddhism, it is the essence of practice.6）
Although we learn that there is the way of prodding the cart, it cannot be the same as prodding the ox. We should work out in detail.7） Even though there is the way prodding the ox in the secular world, we should study further and practice the prodding ox in Buddhism.8）
Is it the prodding of a castrated water buffalo? Is it the prodding of an iron ox? Is it the prodding of a mud ox? Should it be the prodding with a whip? Should it be the prodding of the whole Universe? Should it be the prodding of the whole mind? Should it be the beating of the marrow altogether? Should it be the beating with a fist?9） There should be fist beating fist. There should be ox beating ox. 10）
“Daijaku makes no response,” this is the state we should not vainly overlook.11） There is throwing away a tile and pulling in a jewel, there is turning the head and changing the face. Nothing can deprive of this state of no response.12）
1)When you say that water is flowing, because you see it moving in the other direction, do you take that as the car moving? Or do you take water not flowing as the way of t car when it is running? When you look at one of them, it seems like the other of them is not moving.
2)It is easy to see a waterfall flowing all the time, but it is not the same water flowing all the time, itlooks like a waterfall flowing by having completely different water flowing.
3)Both are the state of time. Time never overlaps with either, staying or moving. Neither has it ever stayed. There is no way to have it stay. It's the time of the moment. When it goes, it goes; when it doesn’t go, it doesn’t go.
4)If we take up from the text this Zazenshin, it is better to read “prodding the cart” as "becoming buddhas" and “prodding the ox” as "polishing to make a mirror.
5) There are many things, but Dogen Zenji asks if they are different or the same. If said different, it's different. If said the same, it's the same. It seems to be just the way things are now, but it also seems to be a lot. If you really look closely, you can see that the way things are now is just unfolding. Depending on which one of these is unfolding, we become aware of how we really are. That's why we use the expression "prodding the cart" or "prodding the ox" here.
6)When you touch things on a chance, you become aware of the truth. Ordinary people touch things, but they don't notice it. We experience the same thing, though, it is a question of whether or not we have the power to touch where there is truly unshakable certainty. It's not like that you leave what you're doing now to practice something else or get enlightened. Ordinary people think that there is no use for what they are doing now, that there is a more important way of life that will make them truly aware of themselves, and so they begin to search for it. There is no eye for practice.
7) When you teach people that they are all the same, it is easy to change their perspective that they are all the same. This is understanding. The reality is that holding a teacup is not the same as holding a cup. Both are the way things are now. Both are the same, but when you hold a teacup and when you hold a cup, they are not the same.
8）Dogen Zenji says "What does it mean to hit a cow in Buddhism? “The monk Zuigan asked to himself, "Zuigan, are you okay? He himself replied, "Yes.” Zuigan Osho is the master. While he was sitting, he called out to himself, "Zuigan, are you all right?” There is a way to prod an ox like this. It is not the talk of the person over there. It is your own matter.
10）There is a time when the thing really strikes the thing itself. There is a way of transmitting the state of a thing by that thing, without really doing anything about it, without using perception, without using awareness.
11）In the silence of Daijaku, in the silence, Dogen Zenji sees
the unmovable and inexplicably wonderful state of Daijaku. The fact that he can
be silent is because there is no one (thing) left to disturb.
12）On the surface, it seems as if he is throwing away what he has and attracting something new and wonderful, but Dogen Zenji feels that this silence of Daijaku was as if he was throwing away something trivial and taking in something wonderful. When you abandon yourself, the universe becomes yours for free. It is untouched, and you can buy it without any money. It's a complete change in quality from what you are used to. The way Daijaku’s this state of being quiet and silent is not something that can be taken away.