For example, “it is like the way of washing a robe.” It is the dharma of washing, washing these clothes. “Water is dirtied by the robe and the robe is permeated by the water.” That is natural. It becomes like this when we soak what we wear into water. Try it and you will see. If you put what you wear into clean water, the water is naturally polluted with them, and the clothes are soaked as a matter of course.
Now the next part, it says to wash with this water. “Although we use this water to wash the robe completely,” Water is changed and so is the washing machine. It says how many minutes to wash, how many minutes to rinse, so it changes the water. It does not wash to rinsing all the way through with the same water poured at the beginning. It serves clean water newly and carries on washing. That's how it works. “we still use water and carry on washing.” “The first wash, the second wash,” When you wash once and twice, you come to feel that they became clean. “If it does not seem to be clean,” If, after one or two washes, you find that there remains dirt, “do not liger on taking a rest.” He says that you should not stop there. That is right. You will wash it until it becomes clean. There is nothing strange in this sentence, is there?
“We used up water and use the other water to wash.” We change water and wash again. “The robe becomes clean and we still carry on washing the robe.” This is how it is done many times. “We use many kinds of water, which is suitable for washing robes.” is written. Do you know that it becomes clean, if you wash something with muddy water? When you wash your feet in muddy water, the mud comes off. You think it will not be removed by washing with what is dirty, it is not so. There is such a thing. Many kinds of water are written, there are rainwater, tap water, river water, and there are people who wash using water left in the bath tub, because it is wasteful to drain using only once. Anyhow we use each of them, it is good for washing clothes.
“We should study thoroughly the truth that when water is not pure, we know that there may be fish.” To say that the water is muddy means that there are fish in it. To say that the water is not pure is that there is still dirt in the clothes. When rinsing, you stop only when the water of rising becomes pure. But Recently you leave washing to others and you don’t know. It cannot be known unless you have washed it. “As for robes many sorts of robes are completely washed.” We wash kesa, we wash clothes, we wash inner clothing, and we wash all kinds of things. There are another way to wash cloth but leaving it aside, “Taking suchlike effort,” making effort like this, “the law of washing robes is realized.” By washing clothes, we learn the truth of things, what is written here is like this. What should we really do by doing washing now? After this, it says this again. You see?
“All the same we see what purity is.” You have problems in yourself and whether they have been truly cleared off or not, which is practice. You have come to let go and feel at ease from the bottom of your heart. Whether there are some problems that are bothering you anywhere or not, he is saying like that here. If you neglect this, your practice is no good. It is the same as washing. That is why “we see what purity is.” Looking at yourself, you see through by checking whether the content of your own is all right in every way and that you have become such.
In case of spilt-toe socks, when you take them off, you turn them inside out and wash. You should not just take them off and wash them on the outside. As for pocket, before washing you turn it inside out and see if there is any debris in them and remove it properly. If it's a washing machine, you put it in the washing machine and wash it. If you don’t, debris piles up in the rubbish bag, even though there is a bag to remove debris in the washing machine. it's not good to let it pile up. It's better to clean and wash before that happens.
“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,” What is really at issue? “in using dirty water to wash the robe, the truth exists.” There is the true meaning to wash the robe with dirty water, which is the point we should see. We use a cleaning rag when cleaning, we wash the rag in water while doing so. Naturally the dirt of the rag is removed and the water is dirtied. In the dirtied water, we slosh the rag. And the rag become clean rapidly even though it is dirtied water, which can be happened. If we don't use a rag that has been washed so much that the water has become clean, there is no point in ragging. You know that, don’t you? In temple, there are important place where Buddhas abide like a dais for a Buddhist image, floors a hexagonal building. We treat with care each of them. So, we use the rag called jhokin; a clean rag, if the rag is not clean, it is useless to wipe with dirty one.
“There are also ways of washing robes and washing things, by using fire, wind, soil, water, and space.” Well, there is. Well, there is. There is a way to clean it with different things. “And there are ways of washing and clearing earth, water, fire, wind, and space, by using earth, water, fire, wind, and space.” I’m sure they are. You are doing in everyday life, so you can see.
“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.” A human being come into being wearing a kimono, called a heavenly robe without seams. A robe of feathers, a celestial robe, we are born with a robe of feathers, a heavenly robe without seams. This Kasaya. Everybody has received it. Earlier it was written a skin bag. It was written taihi; the skin of body. When it is said taihi, it may sound like something like fertilizer. A skin bag, a seamless kesa, namely, it is skin. It covers the body, covers the observing mind, and covers sentient beings. “whole of body, whole of observation and whole of being not pure”
It is a wonder that when this one (pointing his body) comes into the world, everything comes out together. Before this one comes out, it is not known that it exists. It is not known that there is the world. We cannot know. When this one (the body) came out, all things suddenly came out together. It is not that only this one (the body) came out. What it says is that all things appear on this one (the body), all do. It is usually said being seen or being heard. All of them are what appeared on this body. That's why we use this character for蓋;Gai. Covering all up. It is strange isn’t it? As long as this (the body) does not appear, such a thing does not happen. When this one is finally going to disappear somewhere, it will end instantly and splendidly without problem. So, the deceased person has never done anything. Has the person who died ever caused any harm to anyone? Do you know that a dead person causes evil things on people? No, never. Nowhere. What we care is that people who live think of the dead person and care for. “I should have done that for him,” “I didn’t do what he asked me to do.” You have various matters in yourself. Which becomes a problem for you and a dead person has never made you suffer at all. I would like you to know that.
“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?" When coming out, the kasaya has stuck to this body to come out. It is different from kesa like this. (pointing the kesa he wears) It is the essential one. Everybody has it. It is the only one kesa unsurpassed by anything in the world. Being so, what is it? Is there the phrase ‘Do not damage the body’ in the Imperial Rescript on Education? Not bullying and hurting the body etc., saying that it is filial piety. Anyway, leaving it aside for the time being, buddhas are using such a thing. It is not only Sanavasa. “We should carefully keep it in mind and study perfectly to go thoroughly.” Well, you go ahead with it. There is the principle like this. There is the state of washing. Here “the observation that body is not pure” ends. Shall I stop here?
In any event, we are likely to know well, on reading like this, that how Dogen Zenji is working on from day to day. On what he is doing now, in case of washing, on washing, he sees thoroughly with care what he is on it. When we wash, putting things in the machine, because it is automatic, when the time pasts, seeing that they are clean, we take them out and dry. Nowadays it is like that.
People don’t wear clothes as much nowadays as they used to, to get that stuck-on dirt. They wash clothes almost every day. It is awful sense of cleanliness. In a sense, that is how things are now. Therefore, it will be almost clean if you wash without putting a detergent, I think. We wash clothes using a detergent every day and we dirty water when draining, which may be a problem. I would be the same as taking a bath. If we take a bath every day, I think we don’t need to wash the body with soap and shampoo. By doing such, even though we have things to protect the body, we wash out and live like hurting the skin. It is not an advertisement of cosmetic, but we do it. I'm sure they do it. That's what they are talking about. Because they don’t know the essence of things, they tend to do the things preposterous and unnecessary. That's what Dogen Zenji is talking about here. “observation that the body is not pure.” It is written that it is important to see through the body of your own.
“Observation on the body is the body’s observation.” When observing that the body is not pure, to observe the body is to learn by the state of this body, nothing else. “Observation on the precise moment” By doing such, being in the true state of your own now like this is especially important practice, which is written. But maybe we don't do it that way. Rather than the body, what we observe is that we take it up as issue the thought that comes out in ourselves, which is disagreeable and concerned. We don’t observe the body. Don’t you think so? You haven’t observed the body. If thoughts come to appear and various things become problems in the thoughts, you are treating them. If so, it says it is not practice.
At that time, even when these various thoughts are causing problems, you should leave them alone and turn your eyes to the state of your body now. This is probably the most central thing in the first “Observation that the body is not pure.” Please try to do that. As Dogen Zenji teaches us like this, you should be engaged in real things. It is not the matter on thoughts, but on reality. This reality that you are living now, how the real thing of now is living? You should see thoroughly it, he says.
Even if someone says that he can think of nothing, when I point at like this, if he cannot see because he cannot think, it is not so. He can see them as they are. Even if someone says that I cannot stand listening to others talking, when he is asked “There is a tasty cake, Will you have one?” He answers “Yes.” He eats it and it tastes correctly. That's how you see yourself. You observe the body, not the thoughts. Then you don't have to sort it out, you can see what you are correctly. I will finish.