How Important is it to belong to a Sangha
How important is it to be a member or participate in a sangha and for what reasons.
|Master Gudo Nishijima has been practicing Buddhism for more than sixty years.
He was a student of Master Kodo Sawaki, an itinerant priest famous
for his efforts to restore Zazen to its rightful place at the center
of Buddhism. Master Nishijima was ordained as a priest by the
late Master Rempo Niwa, formerly head of the Soto Sect,
and has written many books on Buddhism
in both Japanese and in English.
For over twenty years, he has been
giving instructions on Zazen and lectures in English.
See here for details.
Dear Nickolos Beumer,
Thank you very much for your question, and my answer is as follows.
(From Mr Beumer) Dear Master Gudo Wafu Nishijima,
I would like to clarify the fundamental point of Zen.
When one sits in Zazen, one experiences a state of pure being, free of subject and object without any graspable quality.
After Zazen, one experiences that state of pure being as the very essence of all composite phenomena, yet the magnitude of that experience is impermanent.
After that, one experiences the state of pure being in every moment of daily life.
When looking at the matter, nothing has been gained nor attained, yet recognition has taken place, is such experience and understanding in line with the fundamental point of Zen?
Thank you for your time
(Gudo's answer) In your question, even though you have wrote "nothing has been gained nor attained," but I don't think so. I think that you have entered into the action to sit, and if you like, you have made your autonomic nervous system balanced to throw away consideration and perception, and you could enter into Reality. However, you do not notice such situations, and you have felt that nothing has been gained nor attained. Therefore at the next chance, I would like to ask you to intend to practice Zazen.
With best wishes Gudo Wafu Nishijima
Dear Master Gudo Wafu Nishijima,
Thank you for your response.
(my opinion) While cultivation has taken place, Reality was always there. That is why "nothing has been gained nor attained". That is not to say there is no need for cultivation. While nothing is ever gained nor attained recognition does take place. When recognition takes place, there is no distinction between Zazen and washing dishes, they are both actualizing Reality in the present moment.
If we hold onto our opinions, we are like blind men talking about the beauty of a flower that we hold in our hands. The finger always points to Zazen, it always points to Reality.
I will sit Zazen.
How long and how often would you have me sit Zazen?
Thank you very much for your time