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.


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.
8Dogen 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.

9There are many ways to prod. Prodding with a whip, there is a sign that you acknowledge an object and raise the whip to strike it. The prodding of the whole Universe, whether it is that only the places that have been struck have the appearance of having been struck, or it is that everything has been changed into a beaten appearance. Does it strike the universe itself, or does it strike the entire Dharma world at once? It is said that the beating of the whole heart strikes the whole heart. Does it strike the heart of each person itself? Do we strike the very marrow of the human body or do we strike with our fists?
10There 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.

11In 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.
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.

Nangaku then picks up a tile and start to polish it on a stone. Daijyaku eventually askes, “ Mater, what are you doing?” Really who could fail to see that he is polishing a tile?1) Who can see this polishing a tile? 2)For all that, the polishing of a tile has been questioned like this, “What are you doing?”3) Being of what you are doing is inevitably polishing a tile.4) Although they are different in this world and in the other worlds, there should be importance to polishing a stone that has never ceased.5) It is not simply a matter that you do not decide your opinions as your opinions, 6)it is perfectly fixed that there is importance to be known in practice in the myriad kinds of work.7) You should know just as even when you see buddha you don’t know buddha and understand buddha, you don’t know seeing water, and you don’t know seeing mountains. 8)The Dharma in front of your eyes, if you form a hast conclusion that there no passageway to it, that is not the study of Buddhism.

Nangaku says “polishing to make a mirror.”9) We should clarify these words. The principle of polishing a mirror is always present and it is the realization of Universe. It is not a groundless pretense. Though a tile is a tile and a mirror is a mirror, we should know that there are limitless model features when we are truly working on the principle of polishing.10) It should be that the old mirror and a clear mirror are becoming mirror by polishing.11) If we don’t know that mirrors are derived from polishing a tile, we are without the Buddhist patriarchs’ sayings, we have not met the Buddhist patriarchs’ mouth opening, we don’t see and hear the Buddhist patriarchs’ exhalations. 12)
Daijaku says, “How can polishing a tile make a mirror?”13) Truly, polishing a tile, as an iron man, not from any other power, is not making a mirror.14) Though making a mirror is nothing other than itself, it should be immediate.
Nangaku says, “How can you become a buddha in Zazen?”15) Clearly, there is the principle that Zazen does not await becoming buddha.16) The principle is not concealed that to become buddha is irrelevant to Zazen.17)
Daijaku says, “What is right, here and now?” This saying looks like a question only about this place, but it is also asking about thus ness here and now at other place.18) We should know that, for example, when a best friend meets a best friend, his being my best friend is my being his best friend.19) “What is right, here and now?” is instant appearance at the same time.20)

1) Where is the person who sees the master polishing a tile on the stone and does not see it as such? No matter who sees it, even a baby, even if they don't know the name or material, they see it as it is. They look at it as it is, but they have no business looking at it, and the question of what they are doing becomes central.

2)Who decides that it is as it is, when I do this (showing a fan)? No one decides, but when I'm doing this, you see the way you all inevitably touch(become) the state like this, only as the way I am just doing this.

3)When you see the master doing this, you should be able to see exactly what he's doing, but you think what he is doing. He says that there will come out such a question. It has been asked what it means Polishing a tile.
4)He says that the answer to that question must be what one is doing. You ask him what he is doing, but the answer must be what he is doing. The way of great working, to accomplishing things one after another is expressed like that. This is what polishing a tile is all about, and what Zazen is all about, he shows the real form.appear
5)No matter where you go, no matter where you come from, no matter how old, young, male, female, rich, poor, or low you are, if something is shown your eyes like this, it will exactly turn out just like this. This is what is called the Buddha Dharma. It is an unquestionable fact. That is why it is accepted all over the world. All manifests by polishing a tile, the way of polishing a tile is the eternity for all of you.
6)One of the first things is that what you do is not clear to you. The things you say to yourself cause you to doubt yourself. No matter what time or what you touch, you are just doing that thing at that time. When you do this, this thing is just doing this thing. You 've never tried to do anything else at the same time. It's nothing. If you think about it, it says the obvious. That's what we need, to be clear about it.We don't decide what we are now. It must be decided, but it is not decided by human beings. If moved, if the hand itself moved, it was fixed as it did.
7)The Buddha brought a flower called a comparage and showed it to a crowd of people. He would show the comparage like this, and everyone would see the flower as it was offered. Many people, most people, wondered what he was doing. There was one person who smiled. This is someone who knows what he's doing. It means the truth is transmitted that when someone is polishing a tile on the stone, it is transmitted as he is polishing a tile on the stone. There is no other way. But people think that this has nothing to do with Buddhism. You're looking at it, but you don't know what it is. There are many people who touch something but do not know what it is. If we don't know that deep down, we don't know that everything is the way it is now. We don't know that water is water, and we don't know mountains we are stepping on now. You don't know that the thing appears as the thing.
8)He says that people who study Buddhism thinking that what they see now is not important and that there are other more wonderful things out there are not people who study Buddhism. To truly learn Buddhism means that anyone can come into contact with these facts that are unfolding in front of them right now and say, "I see, this is really true," and that is how to learn Buddhism. In the present state, there is the great way, as the Dharma, what is the Dharma, the way to make the universe yours. There is the great path where people, in general, don’t expect such a thing can be settled.
9)When you polish a tile on a stone, the mirror shows the state of your polishing. One understands that the mirror reflects the real thing as it is in the mirror, but the fact is that the object outside the mirror is not being reflected in the mirror, but what he is doing is suddenly active in the mirror. That is the principle of polishing a tile to make a mirror.
10) The tiles are also the state of tiles, and the mirror has the appearance of the mirror, it is the way of being now. This is the way it is now, the way the tiles are being polished against the stone, the principle of polishing. No matter what time it is, the way it was before is nowhere to be found. Only the present is unfolding.
11) When you can really aware the reality, there is no slipping out of place anywhere. The fact that it doesn't slip out of place means that there is no difference between the other side and this side. The fact is that there are absolutely no two reality, there is always one.
12)If you don't understand or realize what it is, you can't touch what the Buddhas and the Patriarchs were aware of themselves. If we don't have a clear understanding of this, there is no necessity of preaching what the Buddhas and the Zen adepts left. We can't see how buddhas are alive and well. We cannot hear and receive.
13) There are many people who understand that Dajaku is saying that no matter how much you polish a tile, it will never become a mirror. This is not what Daijaku is saying. All you know is that the mirror is treated as if there is something to be reflected on the other side and there is something to be reflected on this side. The mirror that the Buddha's ancestors dealt with is the one which you see, hear, and taste things when you are living your life itself. It's not a reflection, but that itself is the content of the mirror.
14)We don't need help from others. It's not that you see things when you face them, but you don't know. Without knowing, the thing is there. You don't do anything, you don't look at it, you don't understand it, and suddenly it's just the way it is. This is the way it is when you are living. Even if it is making a mirror, there is no room for one's opinion of it. Even if polishing a tile becomes a mirror , it is not the same as remaking it according to one's thoughts.
15)This is an inquiry into the Daijaku’s saying “How can polishing a tile make a mirror?”. It is clear from the questioning that he is not answering the question in the usual way, "How can you make a mirror if you polish it with a stone?
16) It is the state going on between the two of them. It's not to do something from now and become something else. It's not about polishing a tile to something about it. The exchange of what is shown at that time is immediately exchanged between the master and disciple. Here is important point that should not be overlooked. They are really tuned in to each other.  
17) It is not as if you become a Buddha only after you have sat and done zazen. You may understand that it is only when you hear that you become able to hear, but you become the state before you know it. There is the thing that zazen is not waiting to become buddhas. It is determined that doing Zazen is immediately the state of becoming buddhas. Everyone is fixed a such, which is the truth of the Dharma.
18) It sounds like a question, but it's not. It's not a question, it's an acknowledgement of what the master is doing. It seems to be asking about the present, but it is a question that strikes at the bottom of the Dharma. It is not talking about the problems of the human world. It is talking about the state of the Dharma itself.
19) They are both in the process of knowing the truth about each other. It's not like they're two people who are going to practice and get truly enlightened, to be clear or not. It is a discussion of comrades who have this intimate clarity of the truth of the Buddha's ancestors with each other. If two best friends run into each other, they are each other's best friend. Truly the way we are solves a great deal.
20) They appear at the same time. When one meets someone, they always appear at the same time. It cannot be only the other side. It cannot be over here. That is what an encounter is. If you examine the content, you will find that there is nothing to do. We're already doing such a great job that we're all done before we can handle it.


Kozei Daijaku Zenji, while he is practicing under Nangaku Daie Ejõ Zenji, after being transmitted intimately the Dharma Seal, he always does zazen. One time, Nangaku goes to Daijaku’s place and asks, “Daitoku, What are you working thus, in zazen?”

You should quietly work on this question and see thoroughly.1) The reason for this is, whether there is anything that should better than Zazen2), whether there has never yet been a way that should be drawn up out of Zazen, whether there is nothing that should be drawn, and at the precise moment of Zazen, what kind of figure appears? We should contrive that minutely. Instead of loving a carved dragon, we should love the true dragon3). Both the carved dragon and the true dragon should study that they are capable of clouds and rain4). Do not regard the distant as noble or the distant as low, but be familiar with the distant. Do not regard the close as noble or the close as low, but be familiar with the close5). Let not the eyes be in low, let not consider the eyes important. Let not put a high value on the ears, let not the ears be in low, let the ears and the eyes be sharp and clear.6)

Kosei says “working to become buddha.” We should clarify and attain this saying.
What is the meaning of saying “to become buddha?”7) Is it saying that becoming buddha being done by a buddha is becoming buddha?8) Is it saying that making a buddha is “become buddha”?9) “Becoming buddha” is the appearance of one side and the appearance of two sides?”10) “Is working to become buddha being falling off, or is it becoming buddha as falling off?11) “Even though becoming buddha is all sorts of matters, is it said that going on being entangled with this figure working become buddha? 12)
You should know that the sayings of Daijaku are Zazen is always working to become buddha, Zazen is without fail the figure of becoming buddha. 13)The figure should be before becoming buddha, should be after becoming buddha, and should be the precise moment of becoming buddha.14) Let us ask for a while, how long does this one figure entangle with becoming buddha?15) This entanglement is further entwining with entanglement.16) At this time, every item of entanglement as the utmost becoming buddha, is always being straightforward of becoming buddha, altogether the figure of each item. 17)We cannot flee from a single figure. 18)When we flee from a single figure, we will lose body and life.19) When we lose body and life, it is the entanglement of a single figure. 20)

This question is directed at us. We should ask each other what we are trying to do by Zazen.

参究work out and see thoroughly  In Zen , 勉強、学ぶ;to study is always to touch the reality, the fact. To be with reality is studying. 実参、実究、is said. 実 Jitsu means reality. So the word 参;san participation is key word, to participate to realize being oneness. There is the difficulty in English term to express 参、実参。

2) When you are sitting now, except the way you are, do you picture something to yourself that you still need to work towards? Or are you seeking something else, or are you sitting setting it up in mind? Or is it that when you are really sitting, there is only the appearance of sitting? He asks if there is any real path other than zazen, or if there is nothing else to do but Zazen.

3) Since the difference between what we deal with in our thinking and the real thing itself is clear, doing zazen means that we do not deal with what is on the way of thinking. Real thing, Shinryu, a real dragon, a living creature, we have something to attend to with it. The way of thinking is a carved dragon. The one that everyone draws, such as what was, what is, what will be, is said a carved dragon. The true dragon is the very liveliness that is active in this whole body right now. 
So, rather than loving what is on your thoughts, you have to go on and face the truth of yourself, taking it up as an issue, otherwise you will not be able to do Zazen.

4) Both of them have their own functions, but it is clear that one of them cannot be settled by dealing with things above the idea. Even if you can understand by advancing logic, there are things that you cannot allow in your understanding. That's why, when you practice, you don't practice by the way of thinking. If you know the true meaning of all of them, you will find that there is no such thing as true or false. When you can do zazen, you can get away from that kind of relationship, and you are be able to work with great power. That is the true form of each other, which is indicated. 
In both close and distance, it is necessary to be intimately present with the thing without attaching any right or wrong to it. To be familiar with is to be with the thing without attaching any thoughts to it.
He is telling you to see the truth, the way things are, really clearly. There is nothing there but the way you are sitting right now. And if being raised the category of "wise with ears and eyes," the eyes are really just the state that they are touching. No matter where you face, there is just the way it is. Even the ears are always present at the time of sounding, and there is no such thing as hearing the sound after the sound has stopped. There is nothing to be done about it, except to say that it is the way it is, whether it is the ear or the eye. Now they are wise.

7) Dogen Zenji asks us, "What are you trying to do by sitting? What is the content of becoming buddhas?”

8) Is it called "becoming Buddha" when you don't do anything about it, but when your eyes touch something, you can see it as it is? Is it called "becoming Buddha" when the thing really exists as it is?

9) It doesn't take a lot of distance or time just to be in the present moment itself. There is no distance to go. There is no distance to ask and get there. Is that what is said?
10) “The appearance of one side and the appearance of two sides” means it's just what's going on right now. There is the state of the face at that moment, and there is only the state of the moment at that moment. For example, when I move my hand like this, there is not another way to move my hand. The next time I do like this, there is always just the state as it is.
Dropping off means a moment in time that leaves no trace of its presence anywhere. You must have seen it, but when you are finished, what you just saw is nowhere to be found. I showed it to you like this, and I'm sure you saw it like that. But when finished, what you've done is nowhere to be found. There's no shell, there's no shed. That's how different your life is from what you think.

12) It is each other’s state, getting together, we are practicing. Entanglement is something like ivy or wisteria that gets tangled up in things, and generally speaking, it is taken to mean a hindrance, but when we read it here, it is not that way. It is really an activity in which what is called the other side and this side come together and work. There are many different ways to move, and no matter how you move, there is nothing wrong with that.

13) To say sitting, there is first the appearance of this body sitting, which is the figure of becoming buddhas. It has already been as it is, it has manifested as a buddha, hasn't it? When I do this, (showing a fan), you inevitably become like this. It's the same for everything except Zazen. There is no other way but the way it is now. It's the same with anyone's body, but since you only have one body, when you are doing it with your body, there is absolutely nothing but the way your body is now.
14) It means any time. In terms of time, we imagine the past, present, future, and the three temporal worlds, so it's like saying before, after, or at the precise moment. At any time, in the past or in the future, if I do like this (he shows a fan), you will become this. Since you all have only one body, there is absolutely no other form than the one you have at that time, no matter when or where you are. If there is only one form at that time, it means that there is no need to do anything.
15) This state that each of us has only one body means it does not move in two ways at any given time, which is only one figure. How long is it? It is a long time. How long have we been really doing? That's the only way humans have been working for a long time, even before you knew it. The truth is that we all live that way, but when we get attached to the way of thinking, the truth is covered up, and we can't see it as it is.
16) And so it goes one thing after another, on and on. The word "entanglement " means "vine" or "wisteria," so it's like being attached to a tree. Each of us has been given this body and mind, so no matter where we go, the environment and things around us are made to appear on this body. Whenever you go outside, you don't do anything, but it always changes as if you went outside. That's how we work together with this body, without leaving things. That what’s entanglement looks like.

17)Each is the way things are at the time. The way things are at that time, neither before nor after, is the way they are at that time, and even though we don't do anything about it, there is no trace of that activity anywhere. That's how living things are. In your life, even though you have experienced the real, living life, there is no trace of it. All is the way you're experiencing it now. All things arise. Each of you is truly free to act in your own way.
18)You cannot flee from. Fleeing from what you are now mean running away from it. You can't flee from. When I do this (he raises his right hand), even if you want to go away from what's happening, saying you don’t wont, you will become like this. You can't run away from, now. You will surely become such.
19) What would it be like to live separating from what you are seeing right now, when you are seeing it right now? It would be strange to live in a way that you are away from what you are touching, when you touching. When you try to flee from the way you are, you lose your body and life from the figure. It's just the state of being dead within the thing itself. You had means to flee from the previous thing. You lost your body and life and the thing is gone.
20) You lost your body and life, which is directly what you are right now. When you make such trivial movements, you will see yourself just as you are when you make such movements. That's how you notice yourself. You realize that this is what happens when you do this. You can see that it's not good to think in an extra way and try to see things other than what you are seeing.