Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Gakudo-yojin-shu (11) To hit the target just at the present moment

The title above, suggests the meaning that when we want to make our body and mind decisive and preferable, there are naturally two kinds of way. The one is, becoming a disciple of a Master, to study Buddhist teachings, and the other is to make our efforts for getting the Truth by practicing Zazen.
To sudy Buddhist teachings makes our mind and consciousness free, and the practice of Zazen makes our action and exprience as very flexible as we want.
Therefore, when we want to enter into Buddhist teachings, if we threw away even the one of the two, it is absolutely impossible for us to realize the Truth just at the present moment.
In general, every human being has inevitably body and mind, and all actions have inevitably strength or weakness. The those two are, the one is dauntlessness and the other is blind weakness.
Sometimes it is vigorous, and sometimes it is serene, but utilizing such kinds of body and mind, to experience the state of Buddha directly is just the hitting target.
In other words, without turning body and mind arround, to follow only objective experience is just called the present moment, and so it is also called hitting the target.
It is just to follow the objective experience, and so it is not former interpretation.
It is just to hit the target, and so it is nevr a new trial.

(cmment)

The words that "to meet the Truth directly" suggest that "to get the enlightenment." And when we want to get the enlightenment, Master Dogen insists that the two kinds of efforts are necessary. The one is to study the Buddhist philosophy under a Buddhist Master, and the second is to practice Zazen. And he says that if even only one between the two lacks, it is completely impossibe for anyone to get the enlightenment.
And he says that all human beings have inevitably their body and mind, and their body and mind have their fifference of strengh and weakness without fail. However, transcending their personal difference, to hit the target by making their autonomic nervous system balanced is just the enlightenment, and such a situation is called "SATORI."
In oher words, "SATORI" is never to change our body and mind specially, but it is the state that we just follow the experience of the external world perfectly, and to meet Reality itself directly.
Therefore the enlightenment is different from to attach the old former circumstances, but at the time it is different from to live in the new circumstances. The enlightenment is just to act the most adequate realistic behavior at the present moment.

15 Comments:

Blogger Element said...

"becoming a disciple of a Master"

Is it good to become a discible of a Master who teaches that one should concentrate on the breathing, become one with the breathing, even if the Master is a Student of Master Deshimaru(AZI) and acknowledged by the Sotoshu?

Is it OK to follow the teachings of Master Nishijima and Brad Warner (not to concentrate on the breathing) and practicing with a Master with a different teaching like I mentioned above?

If it is possible, how can I respect this Master if I think his teaching is not so good (in this particular point,breathing)?

How can I deal with this unsatisfied fact? (There are no other teachers in my area then AZI).

10:09 PM, November 28, 2006  
Blogger Jordan&TheTurtle said...

Master Nishijima,
I have a question regarding Gakudo-yojin-shu (6) No. 5 It is very important for us to select the true Master.

“Generally speaking, a person, who is called the true Master, is not related whether he is old, or not, or whether his career in Buddhism is long, or not. The true Buddhist Master is called a person, who has become perfectly clear in understanding the true contents of Gautama Buddha's teachings, and who has received the distinct certificate from an authentic Master.”

How do we determine if anyone is a true master? How do we know their understanding? Is a certificate not just another worldly attachment? In our time there are many people with a certificate, how would I know their certificate is valid?

Gassho
Jordan

8:53 AM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

For Element San, and Jordan San,

Every one has his, or her own right to select one's own Master, and it is very important point in everyone's life.

Please think about it until you will get your own intuitive decision by yourself.

Such efforts are also a kind of Buddhist efforts.

The certificate is not always reliable, I think.

In my experience, when I am concentrating my mind into breathing, it is a kind of consideration of breathing, but when I concentrate my efforts to keep the spine straight vertically, it is a kind of action. And I love such an impression of action.
Godo Wafu Nishijima

11:54 AM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Element said...

Master Nishijima,
Thank you for your answer

4:51 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

A new trial:

How does a tiger hit the target?

How can I grasp freedom?

Is freedom hard-wired into a tiger?

Is it that, by adhering to this sitting position which is, by tradition, fixed, I can make balance happen, I can grasp freedom, and I can hit the target?

Or is it, conversely, that when a tiger is totally at ease before its mountain stronghold, the target cannot but hit the tiger?

Of what does Master Dogen write? A human being hitting the target by making his or her nervous system balanced? Or something naturally being hit?

Grrrrrr

5:34 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger MikeDoe said...

Mike Cross:

A Tiger does not know that it is a Tiger. That is what we call it. A Tiger does not know that it is free. Only a tiger that has been captive would understand freedom.

Whilst there is a target to aim at and hit it can never be hit. The target can only be hit when you truly give up trying to hit it. When neither target nor aim nor archer exists then, when you neither care about hits or misses, only then just maybe then may the target to hit.

Or something naturally being hit?
Effortless effort.

8:34 PM, November 29, 2006  
Blogger Jordan&TheTurtle said...

Master Gudo Nishijima, and Chodo Cross,

It has been said by a tiger that an elephant holds on to views that are not the teaching of the World Honored One. It has been stated by an elephant that a tiger holds on to views that are not the teaching of the World Honored One. The result to this is great suffering being caused by an elephant to a tiger and to the elephants herd by the tiger.

Can elephants and tigers free themselves from their attachment to views and end the cycle of suffering?

Gassho
Jordan

1:55 PM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

I think that people who haven’t got enlightenment need not ask or discuss or worry about lesser problems but should ask about enlightenment.

Elephants and tigers who have got it already should make their effort to clarify to others what the method might be.

Wanting to get enlightenment by practicing Zazen, over 25 years I have come up with thousands and thousands of new ideas, competitively one after another, about how I might get my paws on enlightenment.

I would like to ask Gudo:

So far, has any of my new trials hit the target?

5:37 PM, November 30, 2006  
Blogger Element said...

Master Nishijima,

What do you think about the relevance of giving Kusen during zazen? I think it is better to give talks after zazen?

What do you think about Kito ceremonys, is there any need for them, I find them very strange?

Saturday evening I will beginn a Rohatsu Sesshin. What do you think about such big Sesshins?

2:21 AM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

For Mike Cross San

I think that a tiger might be an animal, and so I think that it does not have any target.

When you keep the balanced autonomic nervous system, you can be free.

Freedom is not related with tiger, because freedom is related with human beings.

When you want to get the freedom by practicing Zazen, it is imporant for you to have the authentic posture exactly.

A tiger does not have any relation with freedom.

Master Dogen wrote that "A bird fries as if it were a bird" in Zazenshin.
Therefore I think that a human being sits in Zazen as if he is a human being.


For Element San,

I have my strong criticism against "Kusen," because Master Dogen did not write anything such a strange habit at all.

I have also some doubt in Kito.

I think that to practice Zazen everyday is
much more imortant than attending Sesshin.

12:46 PM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Thank you for your answer to my previous question.

My question today is not about intellectual thinking, not about thinking about the target; my question is about thinking the target.

When we think the target that thinking cannot hit, what kind of thinking is it?

This question is just the crux of Fukan-zazen-gi Rufu-bon.

Has there been any Zen master for the past 750 years who clearly understood it?

Because the answer is perfectly realized everywhere by grass and trees and clouds and space, or the song of a solitary bird, without any hindrance, now I ask the question:

When we think the target that thinking cannot hit, what kind of thinking is it?

9:47 PM, December 01, 2006  
Blogger Element said...

Master Nishijima,
Thank you very much for your answer

4:28 AM, December 02, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

Master Nishijima - In attaining the human freedom that you speak of by sitting zazen, Is this freedom ever a perfectly resolved state, or does one just get more freedom but never a perfect freedom?

3:43 PM, December 02, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Pointing to the target
That thinking cannot hit...

Dogen offers a vivid metaphor:
A tiger in its original state
Roars freedom from fear.

Gudo explains it with a new theory:
Balance of the ANS
Is his golden key.

To unlock what cage?

4:30 PM, December 02, 2006  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

For Mike Cross San (the second question)

Every target has been produced by human consideration, and so there is no target, which hasn't been thought by human beings.

In Fukan-zazen-gi Rufu-bon, I haven't found such a kind of strange crux at all.

I think that grass and trees and clouds and space, or the song of a solitary bird, do not say anything to such a strange question, I think.

I think that there is no target, which hasn't been thought by human beings.


For Element San and Jordan San

Thank you very much for your questions.


For oxeye San

I think that idealistic freedom is usually perfectly free, but in the case of Realism even the freedom is also limited.


For Mike Cross San

My proposition. that the Buddhist Truth can be experienced when our autonomic nervous system is balanced, has been found by myself for more than 50 years ago, and since then there hasn't been any kinds of facts, which denies the proposition, and so I think that it is just the Truth, which will be maintained for ever.

8:52 PM, December 04, 2006  

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