Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Friday, July 17, 2009

[2] (25) The Real Situations and Recognition.

Real Action to go, the Real World, and the unreal World,

Those Three Kinds of processes do never go ahead,

Therefore following such situations, an action to go, and a person to go, and an accomplished facts,

Can never be recognized at all.

22 Comments:

Blogger element said...

Hello Master Nishijima,

In your Text from July 11, 2009 -
"[2] (1) A memory of having gone, a supposition of not having gone, a recognition of going on, and the Real Act at the present moment."

- you say that:
" ... In the Euro-American Civilization the memory, the supposition, and the recognition, are revered so much, but the Real Act at the present moment is not recognized at all.

But on the basis of the Realism, the Real Act at the present moment is all. The memory, the supposition, and the recognition, are all movements of brain-cells only."

My questions are:

1) Do you mean that when I act, I can not recognize the real act, because recognition is thinking or perceiving, which is destroying real action. So real action must be a somehow blind action, doing it without recognizing it?
If so that makes clear, why you are against mindfullnes, concentration, acting with attention.

But to do something right in real action, you have to learn it.
Learning means to concentrate be mindful, or? Later when we learned we can do it without thinking?

2) You say: "But on the basis of the Realism, the Real Act at the present moment is all. The memory, the supposition, and the recognition, are all movements of brain-cells only."

But I think everything, also action in the present moment, is "movement of braincells only".
During zazen/action I also have sense perceptions and thoughts.
Do you mean that during zazen/action when I hear something and so forth it is a hearing without a hearer, that there is no one who thinks or perceives, nonethenless hearing and seeing occurs?

I would be happy to hear your answer to that.

Thank you very much,
Markus

12:11 AM, July 19, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. element San,

Thank you very much for your nice questions.

My Answers are:

1) When we are acting, we are just acting, and it is different from consideration, perception, or recognition, but doing Action.

In Buddhism, we clearly think that Action is perfectly different from consideration, perception, or having consciousness, but it is just doing.

Therefore we clearly think that Action is dimensionally different from consideration, perception, or having consciousness, but it is just Action.

And so Action is absolutely different from mindfullness, concentration, or acting with attention.

Therefore when a baby is crying, it can never be any kind of learning, but only doing.

All babies are just crying or sleeping as Action, and so their Action can never become any kind of training, but a kind of Natural Action itself.

Therefore we can think that a baby's first Action can never be need to learn anything, but it is just our natural Action iitself.

(2) Therefore I say that memorries, suppositions, and recognitions, are all movements of the brain-cells, which are perfectly different from our Real Action.

Then it is absolutely necessary for me to insist that motion of brain-cells can never be Action at all.

When you are practicing Zazen, if you have a time of thinking or perception, it might be a momentary stopping Zazen, and so you are perceiving some kinds of voice or sound, throwing away your practice of Zazen.

4:33 PM, July 19, 2009  
Blogger element said...

Dear Master Nishijima,

Thank you very much.

You explained action with the behaviour of a baby crying or sleeping as a natural reaction.

- I can see what you mean, but I think for an adult person natural behaviour is only a small percentage of all his actions.

What about cultural behaviour?

- A friend of me says in order to stop wrong, selfdestructing behaviour we should just learn what mind is. To follow mind would help to be fresh, to act honest and real. It would stop behaviour that is moving in circles, vicious cirles, being obsessed, possessed by thoughts, suppositions or theories.

I would be curious what you think about that?
What is mind for you? Should we follow it?
How would you stop wrong behaviour?

Thank you,
Markus

6:32 PM, July 19, 2009  
Blogger Al said...

Nishijima Roshi,

I very much appreciate your answers to Element.

You said,"When you are practicing Zazen, if you have a time of thinking or perception, it might be a momentary stopping Zazen, and so you are perceiving some kinds of voice or sound, throwing away your practice of Zazen."

Does that mean that if during Zazen we have noticed we are thinking or feeling something, than that is not Zazen? If so is Zazen only taking place when we are focused on keeping our spine straight? If that is the case it would seem that most of us spend 90% of the time we are sitting not in Zazen.

I have one more question. I sit at least twice per day and most of the time three times per day. I have personal anger problems and which seem to be unaffected by my sitting practice. Am I doing Zazen wrong? When I sit I try to keep my spine straight vertically and that is all.

Regards,

Al

11:46 PM, July 19, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. element San,

In Greco-Roman Civilization, or Euro-American Civilization, there is no independence of Action from consideration or sense perception.

But Buddhist philosophy has found the independence of Action from consideration or perception. And this is very important point for us when we think about the fundamental basis of Buddhist philosophy.

Buddhist philosophy insists that our Human Action is absolutely different from our Human consideration, or sense perception. But in Euro-American Civilization, people usually do not recognize the dimensional difference between our Real Action and our mental consideration or sense perception.

Therefore your own question "What about cultural behaviour?" suggests the perfect confusion between cultural consideration or perception, and Real Action itself.

I think that even though we have learn what mind is, it might be perfectlly impossible for us to stop our wrong Action.

Therefore I think that what your friend said might be wrong. Because our mind is not so strong for us to stop our wrong behavior Actually.

Whether we can have our controlling power of our behavior, or not, is absolutely relying upon whether our ANS is balanced, or not. Therefore if we want to control our moral behavior perfectly, it is important for us to maintain our ANS balanced.


Dear Ven. Al San,

I think that what you have said might be
Euro-American philosophical system, but it might be different from what Gautama Buddha has found before 4 or 5 Century B.C.

Even when we are practicing Zazen, we experience sometimes thinking or feeling. And at that time it is necessary for us to consider that we have left our balanced body and mind, even though we are keeping our body and mind as if we were keeping well.

Therefore if we experience such a kind of umbalanced condition, we should come back to our balanced situations at once.

But fortunately, after we can enter into the balanced state by keeping our posture regularly. we can continue our balanced state actually. Therefore it is important for us to practice Zazen everyday, whether our balanced situations are realized, or not.

1:40 PM, July 20, 2009  
Blogger element said...

Master Nishijima,
Thank you for your answers.

Do you think that zazen can help people with severe problems, people who are in prisons, people with psychic problems or should they work on themselfes in a other form?

What do you think about psychotherapy to help a person?

Thank you,
Markus

1:04 AM, July 21, 2009  
Blogger Jiryu02 said...

Dear Nishijima,

I've posted a question on one of your previous post: "[2] (12) The place of the Real Action to go".
However, I think you've might have slightly answered those questions here and by continuing the posts.

Other than that I have another question about zazen and it's realtionship with the real act.

If the real act is seperate from the idea and the recognition, how does one realize this when it takes mental consideration to even begin zazen practice?

Thank you,
I'm happy to see that such an important text discussed.

5:09 AM, July 21, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. element San,

Yes, I surely believe that Zazen can help people with severe problems, people who are in prisons, people with psychic problems or they should work on themselves in another form.

Actually speaking, I do not know about psycotherapy well, but I wonder whether it is possible for us to be able to save people, who suffer from mental diseases, by psycotherapy actually.


Dear Ven. Jiryu02 San,

I am very sorry that I have lost your questions before I have answered them, and so I would like to ask you to send me the same questions again, and I would like to answer them. I am very sorry that even though I am 89 years old, but my ability to use computer is very poor, and so I have made very serious mistakes in my answering your questions sometimes. Therefore I would like to ask you again to show your same questions in my blog for me to answer them.

Actually speaking, the Real Act is completely separated from ideas or recognition, and so if we are doing Zazen, it is impossible for us to consider or perceive any kinds of ideas or perceptions, but we are doing the practice of Zazen wihout thinking or perception at all.

Zazen is never any kind of mental consideration or any sense perception, but it is just Action of sitting to keep
our spine straight vertically.

9:52 AM, July 21, 2009  
Blogger Jiryu02 said...

Dear Nishijima,

There is no need to apologize for not answering my previous question. As I've said before, this discussion on this post and your continued translation of MMK may have already answered that question.

Even so, you may be able to help me understand by answering that specific question in detail now you can pay particular attention to it. So here it is:

<"Where is the real action when it comes to zazen? Surely the Investigation of Motion doesn't just apply to going.

I ask this because you've made it clear that not even the recognition of action is the real action. So what is there to be done in zazen if the memory, the supposition, and the recognition are not the point?

How is it possible for the mind to concieve a fourth option if any?

Thank you Nishijima,
you've made MMK a bit easier to read.">

11:10 AM, July 21, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Jiryu02 San,

When we are practicing Zazen, to practice Zazen is just the Action.

It is not always necessary for us to need motion when we act. It is also clear action for us to sit in Zazen without motion.

I have never said that the recognition of Action can become Action itself, but the recognition of Action can never become Action at all.

Therefore we can say that the memory,the supposition,and the recognition, can never become Action at all.

The fourth option, the Action itsef, is never the object of consideration at all.

2:04 PM, July 21, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

Dear Roshi,

I have been considering the nature of the term 'Reality' and 'real' as it might be used in Buddhism and as you use it in these blog articles about MMK. I think the use of this term may be prone to creating an idealistic view of 'Reality', such as some 'Reality' which exists in opposition to 'delusion' for example. However, Reality is not opposed to anything in practice it seems. I think this revelation may be the great contribution of Buddhism to the world.

I wrote this short piece (below) for my blog. I would be interested in your opinion of 'Reality' and it's relationship to delusion.

It's tempting to think that everything we fabricate mentally is some sort of redundant dream or delusion which exists in opposition to some absolute value that we designate 'Reality'.

I'm sorry, but how can that be it?

In zazen we can clearly see that there is actually only reality and that everything we can fabricate is a wonderful and vibrant part of it.

Buddhism isn't about splitting 'heaven and earth', or splitting ourselves, any further apart.


Thanks & Regards,

Harry.

12:03 AM, July 23, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Harry San,

But I feel vey sorry that you haven't understand Buddhist Philosophy at all yet.

When we want to study Buddhism, the most important matter for us to do, is to throw away our old two fundamental philosophies, that is, Idealism and Materialism. (MMK.[1](1))

Then we can meet the Philosophy of Action. And so we can meet Reality.

Buddhist Realism is perfectly different from Idealism, or Materialis. Therefore without leaving intellectual Idealism and Materialism, we can never meet Buddhist Realism at all. (MMK. [1](2))

9:35 AM, July 23, 2009  
Blogger Jiryu02 said...

Dear Nishjima,

I have some follow up questions somewhat related to your response to Harry's comments.

First would it be safe to say that the memory,the supposition,and the recognition are a result of Materialistic and Idealistic philosophy?

Second, when it comes to Buddhist epistemology (theory of knowldge), what can you say is certain and absolute?

Third, is Buddhist Realism absent of all falsehood?

Is this why Nargarjuna criticizes the common views?

Is this is why, at least in Soto Zen, we are asked to just sit?

I apologize for using philosophical terms. I major in philosophy so I tend to use that kind of vocabulary in common situations.

Thank you.

1:07 PM, July 23, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Jiryu02 San,

Thank you very much for your important questions.

I think that the memory, the supposition, and the recognition, are not only a result of Materialisic or Idealistic philosophy, but those mental and perceptive functions are general or common in human mental and perceptive functions.

But I think that both Idealism and Materialism can never be the Truth, because the function of human brain-cells are not so reliable.

Therefore Gautama Buddha has thrown away the value of human consideration, and sense perception, but he insists the value of intuitive decision, when our autonomic nervous system is balanced.

So we can never think that the memory, the supposition, and the recognition are never the result of Materialistic or Idealistic philosophies at all.

Therefore, second, it is possible for us to say that when our ANS is balanced, our physical and mental decision can be True.

Third, therefore it is true that Buddhist Realism are perfectly absent from all falsehood.

This is the reason why Nagarjna criticized the Idealism and Materialism completely.

The reason why Master Dogen recommended us to practice Zazen, comes from that by practicing Zazen we can make both our body and mind, and the Whole Universe together into the Truth itself.

It is not necessary for you to apologize your usuage of philosophical techinologies in the explanations of Buddhism at all. Because in the case of discussing Buddhism, it might be necessary for us to utilize the philosophical techinologies for discussion for making in the logical meaning of discussions clearer as far as possible. .

4:27 PM, July 23, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

Dear Roshi,

Thank you very much.

Please can you explain to me why we should consider the functions of the brain cells untrue... is it simply because we mistake them for some exterior, substantial reality? In this case their 'unreality' is only implied by a further decision which seems to be the cause of such a fault.

I am not sure that reality (such as the reality that we are thinking beings) requires me to confirm it as real or unreal as it seems to be a fact before I make such decisions at all.

When we are no longer mistaking them for some exterior, substantial reality are our inevitable thoughts still untrue, or are they the truth arriving and dropping off themselves?

You once said that Buddhism is basically humanism, but, to me, a philosophy that denies that human beings really are thinking beings seems inherently inhuman.

Thanks & Regards,

Harry.

5:23 PM, July 23, 2009  
Blogger Al said...

Roshi,

What is your opinion on the need to be in direct contact with a teacher on a regular basis?

I don't have a teacher in my physical vicinity that I can meet with regularly. Is meeting with a teacher once or twice per year adequate?

regards,

Al

8:14 AM, July 24, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Harry San,

Because when we think about the relation between our function of our ANS, in the case that our SMS is stronger, our ANS have to be tense, and when our PNS is stronger, our ANS have to be too much relaxed. Therefore in such situations, we can not have ability to correct the state of our ANS into the balanced True State without relying upon our Action.

And in such situations we, human beings, do not have any bility to decide that our decision is absolutely wrong.

In other words, if the state of our ANS hasn't been balanced, we can never have any kind of True Decision at all.

The facts are simple. When our ANS is balanced, we can have our true decision, but if our ANS is not balanced, we can never have any kind of True Decision at all.

Without the balanced state of ANS, we, Human Beings, can never have True Decision at all.

Human Beings can have their True Decision, only when they are keeping their balanced ANS, and when they do not have their balanced situations of their ANS, they can never have any True Decision at all.

Therefore when we can have the decision that we, Human Beings, do never any mistake at all, when our ANS is balanced, we can accept the Philosophy of Humanism as the Ultimate Truth perfectly.


Dear Ven. Al San,

I have remembered that Master Dogen said that if we could not meet a True Buddhist Monk, it might be much better for us not to study Buddhism at all.

Therefore if it is possible for you to ask many Buddhist questions to a True Buddhist Monk, there is no problem, but if it is impossible for you to find the True Buddhist Master at all, it is necessary for you to look for Him throughout your life until finding the Master actually.

8:42 PM, July 24, 2009  
Blogger Al said...

Roshi,

Thank you kindly for your reply.

Is it adequate to ask questions to ask questions to a teacher like you through the internet or is face to face meeting necessary?

Regards,

Al

9:25 PM, July 24, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Al San,

I always think that what we can do now, is our best, which we can do now.

8:43 AM, July 25, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

Dear Roshi,

Thank-you for your message.

Regards,

Harry.

12:56 AM, July 26, 2009  
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