Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Pursuing the Truth (4) The Real Contents of the Enlightenment

Enlightenment is to really experience that we are just living in the Real World, which is different from the area of mental consideration, and the area of sense perception. Therefore it is a simple fact that we are just living in the Real Fact at the present moment. About 2 thousand and several hundred years ago, Gautama Buddha found such a simple fact, and he taught such a simple fact to many people who liked to study the Truth sincerely. Such people made their efforts to experience the Truth directly. Such a kind of human effort has continued for ages because Zazen, the practice of Buddhism, is enormously effective for human beings to get the Truth, or Happiness.
However, fortunately even in the scientific area, the reason why the practice of Zazen is so effective for us to become happier and healthier, has become clarified, and so it has become very clear why the practice of Zazen helps us. It might be very happy situations that in 19th, 20th, 21st Centuries the Modern Psychology and Physiology have developed so much, and it has become very clear that in our body and mind there is a nervous system, which is called the autonomic nervous system, and which is divided into two parts, the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous system. And the sympathetic nervous system is much related with the mental function, and the parasympathetic nervous system is much related with the sensuous function. And when the strength of sympathetic nervous and the strength of parasympathetic nervous system are equal, then there occurs a state, which is called Sunyata. The Sunyata is our original state, and when our autonomic nervous system is in balanced, our body and mind are quiet, our physical conditions are healthy, we can be active, and our behaviors of daily life are moral. When we are practicing Zazen every day, we can keep ourselves balanced.
Gautama Buddha's Teachings were born by relying upon his daily practice of Zazen. The reason why human beings can keep being original, healthy, active, and moral, hasn't be clarified for 2 thousand and several hundred years. But, relying upon the excellent western philosophy and science we have clalified the True Situations of Valuable Zazen for the first time.

6 Comments:

Blogger Lone Wolf said...

Gudo Nishijima Roshi
The more I hear about your teachings on Zazen bringing one into proper balance and action the more it makes since. Because it seems I've tried so many different conceptual ideas to reach happiness whether they be idealistic or materialistic but they all just fall apart. The philosophy of action just seems to explain what happens when you do the very experientual practice of zazen, plus as Brad recently mentioned on his blog the philosophy of action is not reality either but it is very close to explaining the reality one can experience through practicing Zazen. Thank you, I am enjoying the story of Guatama Buddha your telling.

1:22 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger oxeye said...

Thank you Roshi for your teachings. I don't comment often on your posts but I read them all. we are all very lucky to be able to live at a time when it is so easy to talk with each other over such great distances. The internet is a wonderful thing.

11:31 PM, December 31, 2005  
Blogger Witraven said...

Gudo Nishijima Roshi
thank you for a nice start to the new year
I am reading Bur'odo-san's book, sitting with Eric and enjoying your blog, but have yet to learn about blogs!

7:21 AM, January 02, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

I think that Nishijima Roshi's words: "we have clarified the True Situations of Valuable Zazen for the first time" just express the state against which Master Dogen warned us in the 2nd paragraph of Fukan-zazengi--pride in our understanding.

I spent many years trying to "keep the spine straight vertically" in order to keep my autonomic nervous system balanced. I was conscious of physiological balance, as the result I was after, but I was taught nothing in regard to the proper means by which, here and now, I might allow my spine to lengthen. The means I was taught were wrong. Nishijima Roshi's instruction in the matter of upright posture was utterly misguided.

It took the skilled guidance of Alexander teachers to demonstrate to me how wrong were the habitual means upon which I had learned to rely.

Of course physiological balance must be a vital part of what is allowed to happen in Zazen. But to spare even a single thought for physiological balance, instead of paying attention to the vital matter of allowing itself, is just a case of mistaking the finger for the moon. The essence of enlightenment is not in the physiology but in the allowing.

Nobody has ever clarified the anatomy and physiology of allowing, and no-one ever will...

Don't talk about a function
Of the living whole:
Allowing is the breaking
Of a beggar's begging bowl.

1:00 AM, January 03, 2006  
Blogger Mike LaTorra said...

Thank you Nishijima-Roshi for so clearly connecting thw wisdom of Buddhism with the knowledge of science. I read your book TO MEET THE REAL DRAGON and found it to be uniquely useful among all the Buddhist texts I have read.

2:47 PM, January 07, 2006  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

For Lone Wolf San

Thank you very much for you reading my blogs. I think that you have arrived at Gautama Buddha's teachings.


For oxeye San

Thank you very much for you reading my blogs. I agree with your idea, and I think that the fuction of computers are giving so many revolutions to human civilizations.


For Witraven San

Thank you very much for you reading my blogs. Unfortunately I do not know the name of Bur'odo San, and at the same time I have several Dharma Heirs, who are called Eric San, and so I would like to know his family name too.


For Mike Cross San

Unfortunately your interpretation of the second paragraph of Fukan-zazengi clearly includes a serious mistake, because it is not a warning of Buddhist wrong view, but a warning against an intellectual attitude without practicing Zazen.

I think that because of your such a intellectual misunderstanding you haven'n entered into the balanced state yet. Therefore if you like to grasp the Buddhist truth, it is necessary for you to throw away your intellectual understanding totally.

I am sorry, but I do not know about Alexander Techinic almost at all.

I think that the separation between body and mind might be a very serious violence against Buddhism, and so I do not like to listen to such a non-Buddhist theory.

What is the meaning of "allowing"? Is it a kind of being in dullness, or fleeing from our efforts?

If we allow everything, we can never do anything.


For Mike LaTorra San

Thank you very much for you reading my Buddhist books.

12:55 PM, May 10, 2006  

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