Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Gakudo-yojin-shu (8) A person, who yearns to practice Buddhism and to get rid of social restriction, has to practice Zazen

The title suggests that Buddhism is perfectly superior to all miscellaneous teachings. Therefore everyone wants to get it. When Gautama Buddha lived, there was no teaching other than his, and there was no teacher other than him. Only the Great Master Gautama Buddha introduced and led all living beings only relying upon the supreme Truth.
Since Mahakasyapa has transmitted Shobogenzo, or "The Right-Dharma-Eye Treasury," to his disciple,
the 28 generations in India, the 6 generations in China, and the many Patriarchs of the 5 Sects, have received and transmitted Dharma from the authentic successors to the authentic successors without any extinction.
Therefore, since the middle era of Futsu in Ryan Dynasty, Buddhist Monks as well as the King and the public officers, who were excellent, inevitably belonged to the Buddhist organization.
Because it might be the general principle that what is excellent should be revered as what is excellent.
It should not be similar to the Chinese man called Shoko, who loved only imitations other than the real dragon.
Even in many countries, which are eastern than China, the verbal nets of Buddhist teachings have spread over the sea and on mountains pervasively. However, even though the verbal teachings are pervasive throughout the mountains, they do not have any truly realistic contents as in the real clouds, and even though they have spread over the sea, they have been dried up losing the real contents of the natural waves.
However, the stupid people love those unrealistic dried contents.
For example, even though they have got only an eye of fish, they want to attach that the eye must be a piece of pearl.
And the person, who was deluded, wants to enjoy such a delusion endlessly.
In another example, having kept a piece of stone, which has been got from a nest of swallows, a person, who reveres it as a jewel.
And the most of them, falling down into the caves of demons, have to have themselves hurt in many cases.
It is very regretable that we, the people in uncivilizd area, are prone to admire the wrong habits there, and it is very difficult for us to perceive the true Universal Rule.
However, the only one country, China, has been soaked by the Buddhist Truth already.
But in spite of such a situation, the true theachings of Buddhism have not pervaded in our country, Japan, Korea, and so forth, yet.
What is the reason why? What is the reason why?
In the case of Korea, even though they have listened to the title of the True Buddhism, it is impossible for us to listen to even the name of the True Buddhism at all.
Because many Budhist Masters of our country, who have entered into China before, all have been bothered and caught by the theoretical Buddhist teachings solely.
Even though they have introduced Buddhist books into our country, it seems that they have forgot to introduce the real Buddhist teachings completely.
What were their real effects of those monks, who have visited China at that time. It seems that the effects of their efforts were totally nothing at all.
This is just the reason, why they haven't known the real facts of studying the Buddhist Truth at all.
They are very pitiful that even though they have made a lot of efforts, they have passed through their own human life without doing any thing.
Generally speaking, when we enter into the studying Buddhism, first we listen to the leaders' teachings, and practice the Buddhist tasks at the beginning.
Just at that time there is something, which we should know exactly.
That is, the Rule of the Universe drives ourselves, and we ourselves drive the Rule of the Universe.
When it is possible for us to drive the Rule of the Universe, we ourselves are stronger, and the Rule of the Universe is weaker than ourselves.
And when the Rule of the Universe drive ourselves oppositely, the Rule of the Universe is stronger, and we ourselves are weaker than the Rule of the Universe.
From the beginning, Buddhism has kept those two kinds of situations, but in the case that we are not the authentic successors, it is impossible for us to know the such a kind of secret at all.
In the case, which is different from the case of the truly authentic Buddhist monks, who are wearing the humble clothes, it is impossible for them even to listen to the expression of such a fact at all.
If someone has not known such a secret fact in the past, it is impossible for them to distinguish the real situations of studying Buddhism, and so how is it possible for them to discriminate between the Truth and wrongness.
Nowadays, in the case of people, who are practicing Zazen for studying Buddhism, they have transmitted and received the real facts in the past naturally.
Therefore they do not have any possibility for then to make their mistakes on such a matter. But such a fact can never exist in another lineage.
It is just impossible for a person, who yearn to practice Buddhism, to understand and experience the True Buddhism at all without practicing Zazen.

(comment)

In this Chapter it is insisted that, if we want to overcome the miscellaneous burdens of fame and profit in secular societies for living in the world of the Truth, it is necessary for us to practice Zazen inevitably.
Because, nowadays, usual people, who are living in the common secular societies, do not recognize the necessity of practicing Zazen, some people, who have usually a little stronger sympathetic nervous system, will finish their life keeping their rather stronger greed for getting fame.
But in the case of people, who have rather stronger parasympathetic nervous systm, they are impossible for them to get rid of their greedy tendency for material value, and so they have to finish their whole life being caught by a slavery of getting material profit.
Because of such a situation, actually in our human societies we are usually prone to be competive against with each other between the two groups of people, who so diligent to get fame, or who are so diligent to get profit.
But looking at those situations from Buddhist viewpoint, we usually have our own natural reflection, whether it is comfortable and happy for us to struggle for getting fame or profit in our daily life, or not.
And in the Buddhist viewpoint, we, Buddhists, usually notice the existence of much more higher value of the Truth, and we can have the will to the Truth, which is the highest value in the Universe. But it is necessary for us to keep our autonomic norvous system balanced for maintaining the will to the Truth. Because of such a situation Gautama Buddha recommended us to practice Zazen, and so it is inevitable for us to practice Zazn everyday.

7 Comments:

Blogger Mike Cross said...

Trying to explain the physiological basis of the will to the truth does not sound like the will to the truth.

The biography of Zen Master Dogen, who fled the comforts of a privileged position in his own society, because of his peculiar desire to get the supreme teaching of anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, just sounds like the will to the truth.

He came back to Japan proclaiming the truth in Fukan-zazen-gi Shinpitsubon, and, wanting to hit the target more exactly, revised it into Fukan-zazen-gi Rufu-bon.

In Fukan-zazen-gi the words “will to fame and profit” or even “will to the truth” do not occur. But every word is a clear manifestation of Master Dogen’s devotion to the supreme teaching of anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, the practice and experience of which, he wrote, is perfectly realized by Zazen.

The teaching of Fukan-zazen-gi is not convoluted or willy-nilly. It is very direct:

If we want to get it, we should practice Zazen, at once.
If we want to get it, we should practice it, at once.

Having regulated the bodily form, sitting in the full lotus posture, we deprive ourselves of oxygen once and sway left and right (thus recapitulating our earliest reflex experiences in the womb, associated with the FPR and the vestibular sense) and then, thus sitting in balance, we think it. Not think about it. Just think it.

Real will to the truth is like this.

Now I am in France on my own. I am happy that no-one bothers me and I can just follow my own routine. At the same time, it is very regrettable that there is no-one who bothers me like I bothered Gudo.

2:59 PM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger MikeDoe said...

Mike 'tigger' Cross:

"At the same time, it is very regrettable that there is no-one who bothers me like I bothered Gudo."
If people have no hunger for what you have to offer does that not suggest that you can offer them only rotten food and poison.

If people do not want to be like you they are showing signs of wisdom.

You seem to have spent a lot of time in france this year. It's a long way to go to sit on a cushion which works no better than the cushion at home.

7:50 PM, November 18, 2006  
Blogger Gebeleizis said...

Great blog! I'm really happy that I found it! Congratulations!

9:12 AM, November 19, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

Without exact theory, there is no exact experience.
Without exact experience, there is no exact theory.

On this point, Gudo taught me very exactly.

Having lived for years among Japanese and French people, I see a tendency in them to be more cultured and more polite, less straight, than the people among whom I grew up.

People who call such observations racist are wrong. Japan and France are not races; they are nations.

A person who yearns to get Gautama Buddha's enlightenment, has to understand Buddhist theory exactly, getting rid of their own social norms.

I revere Fukan-zazen-gi much more than I revere Gakudo-yojin-shu.

3:07 PM, November 19, 2006  
Blogger MikeDoe said...

Mike 'Tigger' Cross:

"A person who yearns to get Gautama Buddha's enlightenment, has to understand Buddhist theory exactly"

Buddha created his theory AFTER sitting under the Bodhi tree.

If it worked for him why would it not work for you?

What you are suggesting is trying to put the chicken back into the egg.

7:30 PM, November 19, 2006  
Blogger Mike Cross said...

A person who endeavors to hit the target in Buddhism usually misses the target.

Even when we are conscious of having hit the target, at that time also we are generally missing the target.

With Fukan-zazen-gi, however, the more one devotes oneself to it, the more one feels that it is just the hitting of the target, right in the middle.

Fukan-zazen-gi is not Zazen itself; it does not have painful legs; it does not breathe. Whether in Chinese characters or English script, it is only black words on a white background. It is theoretical teaching.

In Zazen we are aiming at a concrete state. Gudo calls it balance of the autonomic nervous system. Yakusan called it “This concrete state of not thinking” or “That real state beyond thinking.” Was Yakusan describing that state of enlightenment of Gautama Buddha or this concrete reality here and now? Master Dogen compared it to being like a tiger before its mountain stronghold. That suggests true fearlessness, the state of really living in reality.

Because I know the theoretical teaching of Fukan-zazen-gi, I know what to aim for in my Zazen practice. This means that, even though I am invariably missing the target, I have a sense of a true direction in my life.

When I was younger I was impatient, irritable, and intolerant. So Gudo’s missing of the target made me angry. Nowadays I am not like that. I am extremely impatient, irritable and intolerant. So Gudo’s stupid missing of the target makes me absolutely fucking furious. But the fact that I have a sense of true direction in my life stems mainly from the fact that Gudo emphasized to me when I was young the primary importance of understanding Buddhist theory. That is why my frustration at Gudo’s stupid fucking up of our translation partnership is always mixed with a sense of eternal gratitude.

Anyway, the idea of stupid people that practice/enlightenment is primary but theory is only secondary, is never true. When a person hits the target, true Zazen practice and exact understanding of Buddhist theory, are inevitably in mutual accord with each other.

6:41 PM, November 23, 2006  
Blogger MikeDoe said...

Mike 'Tigger' Cross:

"Anyway, the idea of stupid people that practice/enlightenment is primary but theory is only secondary, is never true. When a person hits the target, true Zazen practice and exact understanding of Buddhist theory, are inevitably in mutual accord with each other.
"


True.

So how is it that you manage to be so good at missing the target?

7:05 PM, November 23, 2006  

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