Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Zazen and enlightment stuff

Dear master Nishijima

thank you very much for your writings and efforts. I appreciated them a lot.

I would like to ask a question about enlightment, satori, nirvana, what ever word we like to use. In my opinion I don't care about enlightment or stuff like that because it's something that lies somewhere in the future, in our minds. It's not real. What is real is this present moment and practising zazen. Sometimes people who practise zazen are trying to achieve satori etc and as I see it they are losing this present moment where realization is; not in the past, not in the future but here, right now, right here.

Zazen and enligthment are the same so practising zazen is practising realization.

I think most important is to practise zazen, to help yourself and others, to live normal and calm life, simple life. And that's it. We can't know anything about death and future etc. so why to think stuff like those? Life is in here, in this present moment.

Dōgen wrote in Shobogenzo:

To think practice and realization are not one is a heretical view. In Buddhism, practice and realization are one equivalence… Being the realization of practice, there is no boundary of realization, being the practice of realization, there is no beginning of practice.

What is your opinion about this matter?

Thank you very much.

With best wishes,
Markus Laitinen

2 Comments:

Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven Markus Laitinen,

Thank you very much for your question, and I think that your interpretation of "Satori" is true. Because your interpretation of "Satori" hits the target of the first enlightenment.

The first enlightenment is just to practice Zazen itself.

Therefore your opinion that "Zazen and enlightenment are the same so practicing zazen is practising realization," is true.

And so I clearly agree with your expression that "I think most important is to practice zazen, to help you and others, to live normal and calm life, simple life. And that's it. We can't know anything about death and future etc, so why to think stuff like those? Life is in here, in this present moment."

Therefore I perfectly agree Master Dogen's expression, which you have quoted in your letter.

Gudo Wafu Nishijima

4:39 PM, February 08, 2008  
Blogger Markus "Uku" Laitinen said...

Dear master Nishijima,

thank you very much for your answer. Your teachings have been a huge help during my buddhist path.

With best wishes,
Markus Laitinen

1:19 AM, February 09, 2008  

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