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.


 The observation that mind is without constancy” To observe the mind is without constancy. Although the word "mind" is used here, it is not the kind of word that people commonly think of when they think of something. The word "mind" refers to all things, right? It is a pronoun that refers to everything. I'm sure you're all well aware of the term "impermanence," without constancy. If you take a closer look at life itself, it's already obvious. There is no one who is doing what has just been done. All in all, no matter where you look in your body, there is not a single person who is doing what we just did. So that's the way it's made. What are we obsessed with? Where do we get caught up in and worry about? There's nothing to worry about. There's nothing left. There's nothing left to problematize. That is the state of impermanence. You don't see impermanence that way, do you? Being without constancy, it's not enough to be what you think it is, it's boring. Look truly. You really have to see it. To put it nicely, people do things they've never experienced before, and that's what it means to be alive.

It's the first time I've seen something like this. (He looks around the room.) It's different from what I saw earlier. What I saw a moment ago is what I did a moment ago. I do it now, for the first time, ever. I've never done this before, not once. And yet, this head is saying again, again, again. I don't see it that way. There's nothing like what happened before, at a time like this. It is the whole body. It's not just the human body, as mentioned here in the word "mind," everything is acting in such a way. This is called seeing the impermanence of the mind. As a way of studying, if you make it this far, you will surely feel clearer.

“The old Buddha Sokei says “Non constancy is the Buddha-nature.” It is said that because there is such a thing, when we truly understand the state of this impermanent, we can know exactly what the Buddha really realized. “Therefore, non-constancy understood by various things is also the Buddha-nature.” You might say that all things are impermanent and impermanent, but the contents are made in this way. It's such a simple thing, but people think that things that happened a while ago, things that happened years ago, are still coming up. You think like I am talking. It's not that it's really happening, but you' re thinking that way. You are just thinking, such things, like that, in the way of thinking. In the reality, there is not such a thing. The question is whether or not you can see the mind to that extent, and whether or not you can correctly see the state of things. That is what this practice is all about. In the Four Abodes of Mind fulness “the observation that mind is without constancy” is.
There is a man in China named Great Master Yoka Shinkaku in China.
There is a saying that he left behind. “All things are impermanent, all is empty.” He says that all activities, various things, there is really only the appearance of activity now, and nowhere else later, even though that activity has taken place, there is no trace of it. Emptiness. “Just this is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization.” The Buddha's enlightenment is wonderful like that, he says so.
“The present observation that mind is non-constancy is the Tathagata’s Great and Perfect realization,” When we realize that the way we are now is really just unfolding now, we can definitely be saved.
There's no way to fix what's going on right now. Okay? CLAP! (He claps his hands) You can't hear this sound again. CLAP! It's all done. CLAP! Even though it doesn't do anything. CLAP! It's good that you can hear exactly as it sounds. It's not like you can only hear half of it. Everything is exactly as it should be, there is no shortage of things, as it is said Great and Perfect realization. That's what it looks like. That' s what is clear. “Kaku; realization” is being enlightened. It is self-awareness. There is no need to deal with, it's made in such a way that there's no need to fix it. What would you do if you noticed something wrong and fixed it? What if there is a person who has the ability to fix things, and when he sees something wrong here, he fixes it immediately? If he fixes it as soon as he sees it, the mistake will never be noticed.
Let me tell you something about the body. If there are people who treat their pain as if it is not painful when it is painful, or if there are people who take it as if it is not painful when it is, they will not be able to recognize their own body or illness. It looks good, when you're in pain, it looks better if it doesn't hurt, but when it hurts, it really hurts, and if you try to fix it, then you won't know, even when you go to the doctor. If you have a pain here(A) and you change it to a pain around here(B), and you say, "It hurts here(B)," they say, "What? It's nothing.” They will send you home. In the reality, it hurt here(A). But humans are that kind of animals, aren't we? When something is wrong, you try to make it right. That's not true. The only way to make things right is to make it clear that what is wrong is wrong, right? It is the saints who can recognize a mistake as a mistake. Ordinary people cover up their mistakes. That is an ordinary person. This kind of thing comes out in these parts.
“Mind, even if it intends not to observe,” We try to not see things, to not see such things.  However, as it is said, “it follows the others,” we are always living together with all the movements, so it is impossible for us to be here all alone. Look around you. See how you are here now. You are living with all things as your content. We are not living without tatami mats. We are not living without the room. We are not living without all this air. Yes, we really don't know how much of it is the way of us, it is “it follows the others.” There is no boundary. This much is about me. Things are so clear here that we think of only the visible side of this body as ourselves, and the rest as the others. That's not true.
We have eyes and if there weren’t things like those as circumstances, the eyes would not grow. Those things are the nutrition of eyes. Eyes eat those things and live. To be able to see like this is what makes our eyes grow. If you put your eyes in complete darkness, you can't see things. They lose their ability to function. If you put a person in a room with no sound for years on end, he will lose his hearing. If you leave someone bedridden, he or she will not be able to walk. Because all of that is “it follows the others.” All the things around us are also the nutrients of this body. They are not separated, are they? “If there is mind, there is also observation.” There is no such a person who has a body but without a mind. There is no such a person who has only a body but no function of the mind. Even if you say that a person is placed in a vegetative state or a brain-dead state, if you touch him, his body will always react as you touched him. Even though he may not be conscious of it. That's how we' re made.
On the whole to reach the Supreme Truth of Bodhi, the Supreme Right realization is non-constancy” Well, even if something is said to be the supreme state, if you ask what the content is, it is just this truth. The truth of non-constancy is that there really is neither after nor before, it's only carried through in the way things are now. We can recall what we did yesterday, but we can't do what we did yesterday today. We can think about tomorrow, but we can't do what we will do tomorrow right now. It's really just what you're doing right now, is right now where you're doing it. This is the highest state of being.There's really nothing more to say. Do you want something more, yet? Is there something missing? When you live like that, you can make a good living, I guess, if you have various occupations. If we spend our time staying the way we are properly, in our occupation, in each situation, and in each moment, we will be able to do good work. That's what it means t to observe the mind. The observation of the mind.
“Mind is not necessarily constant,” If you ask me if there is always something like a mind, there is no such thing. The function which has nothing like the mind is called the mind for a while. What it means is that there is a function that we see red when we face a red rose and white when we face a white rose. There is nothing that forces us to look at it this way. There is nothing fixed, but depending on what you touch, this one exactly changes into the color (the state) as it is. Just because this one has changed, where does it stay, does it stick? When we come into contact with the next thing like this, we are all living in a state of detachment from the former one, from one thing to another. I think this is what is meant by “Mind is not necessarily constant,”
There is a saying, “Because it separates the four corners; tetralemma, existence, nonexistence, both existence and nonexistence, neither existence nor nonexistence, and surpasses the hundred negations,” Four corners mean being or not being. Things like " there is" or " there isn't" is typical example. The hundred negations mean many things can be listed as " it is not so,” “it is not so,” “it is not so." We have the habit of seeing things from a fixed point of view. It' s strange, isn't it?  When I talk to people, I can understand it very well. Even if someone seems like they don't have such a fixed view of things, before they know it, they have their own way of thinking. It' s about showing up in various places, that's what. That's probably what it means. That's probably what it means to be bothered, isn't it? Whenever you touch something in your life, whenever you are bothered by something, you have something inside of you that you think it must be like this without knowing it. So, when you touch it like this, you react to it. If you are bothered by such things as why they are like that, why they do such things, or why they talk like that, then you have something inside you that is like this, or should be like this. You should realize that these things are making you uncomfortable.
Sometimes it is said, “I came for the first time, zazen is to become nothingness, it is to become no-mindedness, isn’t it?” Where did you learn? How is it like? How do you know what it means to become no-mindedness? When I say such, everyone certainly has something this or that in his head. So, no matter how much I talk to him, he doesn't accept it honestly. When I talk about something that is different from the way they see things they have studied, they say, "That person is strange, why is he saying that? I don't think I came here to learn such things.” Saying that, they don't accept it. That's how grasping something inside yourself can cause strange situations. But when you truly become honest and you have nothing in this (pointing himself), what people say comes in quickly and you understand things. The people who take a long time to practice have always a lot of such things (possessions) in themselves. They are accumulating them without knowing it. The way of leaving or cutting off all such things would be “it separates the four corners and surpasses the hundred negations.” Then, as you can see here, when you come in contact with things called fences, walls, tiles, pebbles that exist around there, that is, pebbles, walls, broken fences that you don’t value, you come to realize. If you have possessions, you look at as if they are nothing. They think it is not what they are looking for. If you see a stone, you think if this is the study of Buddhism, if you are told to look at a stone, you would not think that it is the study of Buddhism. There's a wall over there, look at the wall, what's that? So what? That's how it works. It's impossible to study.
 Here is another one. “stones large and small,” The word "stone head" is written as "head of stone," and when you go to a place called Seoktusan (石頭山), stone mountains, there are many stones, big ones and small ones, there is such a tale and it is mentioned here. That is the way we can study. In a more general way, there is a way of seeing things as they are, which you are using. It's really the power of receiving it exactly as it is. When you do that, things start to change. In our way of seeing things, there are things like likes and dislikes, good and bad, right and wrong, and, generally speaking, these things always happen the moment we see them. It's the only way to see things. There are few people who see things as they are. When we see something, we never see it in comparison to other things. When you say, "Look at this," you don't look at it in comparison to other things. And yet, when you look at them like this, they are big, or small, or beautiful, or what it is that comes up. You are comparing it to something. You're doing it without knowing it, aren't you? You're not really looking at the thing exactly as it is, are you? You don't realize it. It is so simple thing, though. There's a good word for it, "see things as they really are.” I wonder if you really can see things as they are. I wonder if you' re doing it. Being so, it is said here “fences, walls, tiles, pebbles, and these are the mind, and are non-constancy, and are precisely observation.” So that's how it comes out. It's not that there is something special about practicing. 
You do it with the thing you're doing right now, the thing you're touching. Although you practice with what you are doing, but if you' re not careful, you can't do things like this. Well, maybe that's what makes us say it's difficult. So, this is the end of “the observation that mind is without constancy.” 


“Sweet ripen melon,” sweet ripen melon, what is it? Is it a watermelon? “It means to replace by bitter gourd,” There is a footnote at the bottom of the page. This means that even though we are formed excellent, we don’t know it, and live to suffer from the messy way it is handled. The sweet melon is deliberately replaced with a bitter one. That's because you don't know the thing. If you knew things well, you wouldn't do such a foolish thing. You would eat sweet things while they are still sweet.
 So, how you change sweet melon by bitter one? See the example in your own life. You were suddenly slapped on the cheek. That's all there is to it, but you'd immediately change it by saying, "What are you doing? you instantly change it like that. This will cause problems, won't it? In fact, PAN! (He hit his cheek,) this is all there is to it, but you treat it like that, "What are you doing?” When a person gets a little older and his memory gets worse, and he starts repeating the same thing over and over again, the people listening will say, "Shut up, and that one too.” It's all about this. They' re changing it. Look closely. It's just what's being said at that moment, nothing else. There is nothing else. There is no such thing as talking again or saying the same thing.

Do you know about that kind of thing, all of you? It's a story manipulated in your head. In the real ear, there is no word because sound is vibration of air. When the vibration of air touches the eardrum, the vibration is merely transmitted. That’s how sound works. As you have studied it, you may probably know it. That is why when the vibration stopped, the sound is nowhere to be heard. That's how it always is.
Because human beings have learned language, however, we don’t hear the vibrating sound, we change it into words. We think we hear a sound. 
They say that a crow caws, CAW, CAW, ask crows, they don’t say, CAW, CAW. Cats goes MEOW, MEOW, they don’t say it that way. They are onomatopoeias made up by man. We have created a preconceived notion and decided that, in case of cat, they go like MEOW, MEOW, a dog barks BOW-WOW. Then asked, "What does a dog sound like?” They answer BOW-WOW. They think that's what a dog really sounds like. Listen to it, listen to the real thing, it's different. The real thing, you know, only makes sound when it vibrates. Other than that time, the real thing makes no sound at all.

It's the same with such a thing. (There was a sound) You see, this is what happens, but because our brains are so good, we catch it quickly and say, " I heard that sound earlier, and I heard that sound again.” That's not what you' hearing. This is talking in your head. These sounds are what you call to replace the sweet melon with a bitter gourd. We live our lives in such a way that it becomes a problem, even though we are fortunate enough to be able to do just that at that time without any problems. I wish he didn't have to write in such difficult words, but he must be a brilliant person, Zen Master Dogen. He brings these words to us, to our heads. I feel like I am going crazy.
“This is bitter to the skin, flesh, bones, and marrow.” Once that happens, you suffer so much you can't keep still. You just made a selfish mistake, but you suffer with your whole body. In the worst cases, and that‘s why they destroy themselves. There are more and more people like that, in reality. Torment oneself, drive oneself into a corner. Whether or not you have a mind, whether or not you have faith, when you suffer, you suffer in that way. It's thoroughly bitter. “This is one of the divine practices and enlightenment.” Suffering, for example, when you are in thorough pain, there is no room for any other thoughts. You' re there just for the pain, so you can be saved. People who have been sick, had surgeries, and experienced all kinds of things know it well. It is the same with poverty. When you are so poor that you have nothing left to throw away, you can be saved. In common parlance, such a thing is called that a cornered rat bites the cat. A cornered rat bites the cat. It's the other way around. Normally, the cat takes the mouse, but something out of the ordinary comes out. Power comes out. As long as you are poor and still have the desire to be rich, you will suffer, but when you are bottomless poor, you have nothing to lose. That is good. There is such a world. People are saved when they become bottomless poor. That's why, they are cornered, and when they are cornered, they will go into personal bankruptcy. That's the kind of system we have in our society. You throw away everything in personal bankruptcy, things you own. Isn't it right? If so, you are not going to be ill-treated any more, right? Like a debtor's hell. In return, you probably won't be able to get a loan, even if you go to a bank. You'll be on the black list. However, as long as you have this one body, you can continue to live. There is such a system, isn't there? “One of the divine practices and enlightenment” There is such an interesting world.
It is the divine practice and enlightenment which springs out from the calyxes and springs out from the roots.” Can I say that there is no such thing as bound, connected, or inconvenient? What inconveniences people is solely their own way of thinking. It' s our own way of thinking that cripples us, binding us. It' s like we're all connected, unbreakable, and hard to break. In fact, it's not true. In reality, there is not such a thing. We live a life of complete detachment from such things. If you think it is a lie, you simply look at this painting of the Buddha entering nirvana hanging here, and look at the stove, look at the wall, look at it like this, and what happens when you look at it like this is that because you properly accept it one by one, the previous thing is freely separated, and you are able to see it properly like this. You are formed like that. There is nothing that you can't see the next time you see it, because what you saw before is in the way. However, if something comes to mind, even just a glimpse of it, “Oh that is” such kind of thing arises, you can't see it even though you should be seeing it.
It is the same with people's talks. If you try to understand what people are saying and listen to them by doing various things, you will not be able to hear what they are saying. If you really listen to what is being said, it is unconditional. You don't need to grope for what the other person is saying. Just stay with what you hear. Then you'll understand things. I'm sure of it. You think you can't understand what is being said, so you twist your brain while listening, so you can't keep up with what is being said. What I was talking about here, you keep making it an issue, I'm talking more and more and more, but you keep making it an issue only here. When I finished speaking, I asked what it was like, but you couldn't understand what I said. The context is not connected. That's the way it is in most everyday conversations. Now that I am talking with effort, if you stay in silence, you can hear everything being said as it is. You are formed that all are audible to ears. If you listen with your thoughts and thinking, or various things attached to it, it becomes a mess.  It's not what the other is saying. You change it to your own way of receiving, or your own way of understanding, it is replacing the sweet fruit by the bitter fruit, which is mentioned a little while ago. In such way, people suffer, being bound by their own way of thinking. We can be more liberated.
You're not supposed to walk in front of people like this, it's just OK to turn sideways and walk past them. They say that it is common sense when crossing in front of people, or we should not cross in front of others, it is not so. We are bound by common sense. Why is it that when it's a child, you let them go by like this, you let them scamper about with smile. When an adult pass by, it won’t be that easy. There are sweets like this. When a child comes in and eats a piece of it, they say, "Oh, " and when an adult eats it, they say, "How did he grow up?” They even say they want to see the faces of the people who raised them, and the faces of their parents. It's interesting.
When so many people are seated in a row like this, depending on where you sit, problems may occur. When we are invited to other places, such as a wedding banquet, there is a table there, so we can sit anywhere we want, but if we sit in a wrong place, we will get into trouble. In fact, there are no rules. Someone else has the rules, and the rules in their head make them inconvenient. Once you are free from such kind of thing, you will have a fun. It is the divine power that human beings have. We all have it. It is nothing special. Nowadays you will be questioned if you perform a medical procedure without the qualification of doctor. In the old days, when medical care was not yet advanced, parents would do what they could to help their children if something happened there. And even if they lost a life because of it. Well, there are various things, just to name a few.
Nowadays, there are so many rules and regulations, and these rules and regulations have made it difficult for people to get around, even in various facilities. I heard that even in nursing homes, it is really difficult. If someone who uses the service asks a staff to buy something to eat, he or she can' t do it. It's not that they can' t do it, they can, but they have the promise; the rule. The staff says, “I could do it, but there is a rule. I did it and went back to the office and report them, I would be scalded why I did it. So, I cannot do.” It has become a crippled world. They can' t even do cleaning. When a user asks that as the room is dirty, please clean it, the staff answers that is not part of the deal. While the staff is staying for one hour, the user can receive whatever she wants as she pays wage. They don't do things without promises. That's funny. In such a situation, a person with divine power can deviate from such things and freely do things that make people pleased. They have that kind of power, don't they? Well, that is the true meaning of divine power, isn't it? It's not like jumping over the top of Mt. Fuji.
“This has been said that sentient beings suffer, and more, there are suffering sentient beings.” Do we read like this? Sentient beings are all living things. We are all part of it. If we don't know things well, we will suffer from very little things in our life. “Sentient beings are not self and they are not the others.” The person next to you has nothing to do with you, that’s not true. We're already here together, living like this right now. This is what's going on in our own flesh and blood. Look at each one of us. But this brain here (pointing his head) understands that this is just me, and the others are all other people. If we take another look, we can see that there are so many of us here, who is doing this? To put it very simply, this is what your eyes are seeing right now. It's not what other people's eyes see. So much so that all of this is the content of your own life. This is it. To be able to see that there are so many people here. It means that our eyes are acting vividly right now, that's it. It's not about the others. So, it's not that we don't care. It's all our own content, and that's why we learn from it. It is really a wonder. When someone falls down there, if we happen to touch the way he fell, this thing will respond. We don't know where we learned it. We do not go in ignorance, do we?
I know many of you drive cars, for instance, there is a crosswalk here. There's an old lady standing there. We were driving along here for a while. We drove casually, but we could see the crosswalk and the woman standing. While we were driving, I talked with the driver, he said that he was not able to know whether the woman would cross the crossing or not. He was driving. When driving, he was very concerned about, he said. He said, “If she wants to cross, she can do so, if she doesn't, she won't,” it would be good if she could express her will properly. “I cannot know. Because I cannot know so that I am nervous and scared.” At that time, I said to him, “You know well. You are so clear. You know clearly that the old woman is hesitating to cross, and yet, because you have a strong sense of your own way of thinking, I'm sure you'll say something when you bump into her because she doesn't give you a proper sign. It's not like that. You who are on this side know how the situation is.” We know better than that. When we know that something is dangerous, we should go carefully, but that we say, "That one.”

For example, there is a hedge over here. You can see the shadows flickering somehow. You know it. But you couldn't understand it, you said. It's strange, isn't it? Although you don't know who was there or what's there, you do know that there was some movement. But you say you are not sure. You say you don't know. That's why you say he or she popped out of nowhere. No, it is not so. No, it' not. We know that. It's an amazing ability. But because we say “we're,” sometimes things get worse.
The car in front of you stopped. If the car in front of you stops, something must be going on. When the car stops and you think you can pass on the right, you hit a person walking or a bicycle with a bang. You knew it, you knew that the car in front of you stopped. If the car stopped like this, even if it does not come into your eyes, even if you cannot see the other side of the car in front of you, the most obvious thing is that the car in front of you has stopped. You said it stopped suddenly. That's right, it stopped suddenly, didn't it? In any case, things rarely turn out the way you think they will. Yet, we are formed that our bodies can understand everything that is not as we think it is.

We do various works and when there is a person to work with, if I am here and I touch his or her movements like this, I can know all about them. Although we understand everything, there are many people who don't want to go along with a movement that is different from what they want. Isn't that kind of a problem? That's what these places are all about. “Sentient beings are not self and they are not the others” “Furthermore, there are suffering sentient beings.” or “Thus it has been said that sentient beings suffer, and furthermore, there are suffering sentient beings.”
After that there is the phrase, “ultimately it is impossible to deceive others.” This is what I have just told you. There is no such thing as being deceived by others. No matter what it is, it is settled properly. If you don't like what that person is saying, it means that you've been properly listening to that person before, and that's why you've been able to make that kind of decision. When you're listening properly, you're not listening to something that you don't want to hear, so you can hear it properly. After listening, you try to process it with your own way of thinking, which causes many things to happen. It is said that ultimately it is impossible to deceive others, isn’t it? I guess it means not to be deceived.
CLAP! (He claps his hands) When I have you hear this sound, CLAP! If I ask you how you heard it, and people say all kinds of things about it, your own, CLAP! the sound you are now hearing with your ears is not deceived by others at all. It's really clear. It' s fine, without anyone's help. What, it sounded like that? People might say variously, but when you hear like that, CLAP! you are not deceived by others at all. That's how they are made. That's how it's made to be properly heard. This is the point which we should see on practice.
The Four Abodes of Mindfulness is four thoughts. Now, the second one. We are studying the part, “It is the observation that feeling is suffering.” The next part says that what is sweet is totally sweet and what is bitter is totally bitter. But “suffering should not be easily groped.” When you have worries, pains, and other things in your life, you need to see what's really going on, what the problem is, and how it's happening, and treat it as a teaching material in your practice.

“We should ask ourselves,” he says that you should ask yourself. The other said something like this, CLAP! (He claps his hand) if the other person says something like this, it will be heard as such. That's the first thing. After that, what will happen is that you will come up with your own way of looking at things, your own way of thinking, and various thing, then you start dealing with them, and they will bother you. The other side said this, CLAP! Isn't this the thing that makes you suffer? What do you think? As I mentioned earlier, the ears can only hear while there is vibration. Who cares about what you don't hear? After hearing it, hold on to it, and make it matter, who is doing such? I guess it hurts when someone slaps you like this, but then the pain goes away. But because the slap is still in your memory, when you see that person, you want to say a few words about what he or she did to you the other day. Now, if you are asked if the pain that you were hit with at that time is still in your body, it is nowhere to be found. It means what is the problem? You have to ask yourself.

 “We should ask ourselves,” he says, “What the hell is suffering?” “What is suffering?” Suffering, we say we suffer, but what the hell is suffering? There is nothing to lose if you stop thinking about all the things you are thinking about when you are suffering. If you didn't think about it, your life would be a mess, and a lot of things would be lost, that's not true at all. It's easier when you're not thinking about unnecessary things. Is it more fun to hold on to suffering all the time? Is your life worth living if you have to deal with it? Is that why you spend so much time on it? Do you spend a lot of time doing things you've already done and fixing them to your liking? That's not practice, is it?