Dogen Sangha Blog

  by Gudo NISHIJIMA

Japanese / German

Monday, December 7, 2009

[22] Examination of Realization (16 verses

MMK (22) Examination of Realization (16 verses)

1. The five kinds of substances, that is, matter, perception, consideration, action, and consciousness, are not always the same as the five kinds of substances,

Not always relying upon this world, the five kinds of substances do not belong to this world actually.

The real arrival of Reality does not have left the five kinds of substances,

And in that situation, what is just the real arrival of Reality there?


2. When a person, who is going to get the Truth,

Just at the time, there is no subjective existence of real fact.

And when there is no subjective existence really,

How is it possible for any kind of objective existence to exist really anywhere at all?


3. And such situations produce objective existence clearly.

Then, what is called Spirit or Mind, will appear actually.

And what is like that, which does not have Spirit or Vigor, is?

Therefore it is possible for something, which is called the Arrival of Reality, will exist
in future.


4. When the subjective existence does never exist at all,

How is it possible for objective existence to exist actually?

When something moves relying upon the oneness between the subjective and
objective existences,

The Something Real is just the Arrival of Reality itself.


5. When the five kinds of substances are impossible to be accepted,

Then some kinds of possibility in the Arrival of Reality might exist.

Such a kind of facts at the present moment, can be possible,

And so the situation of expansion can be going bigger more and more.


6. When even the smallest volume of the five kinds of substances do never appear at all,

Even the smallest volume of Reality Arrival does never exist at all.

And even the slightest Reality Arrival does not exist even as a non-appearance,

How is it possible for the Reality Arrival to be realized to occur even in future?


7. If there were no behavior not to receive anything,

Even a study itself, is also actually something, which is called just a study itself.

The situation that, in which everything has been emancipated from desire or
attachments, does not exist actually.

In such situations what kind of Reality Arrival has not arrived at yet?


8. The situations, which rely upon Reality and Non-Reality, do not exist relying upon the mutual relations between Reality and Non-Reality,

The thoughts, which have been persuaded, and the five kinds of Matter, the Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and the Space,

Something, which relies upon Reality,

Can be realized as the Arrival of Reality.


9. A person, who especially has ability to realize the concrete thing at this place,

Does not like to recognize miscellaneous subjective thoughts at all.

Because the subjective existence does never anywhere really exist actually.

Therefore where will it be possible for the concrete facts to exist only as the
physical problems?


10. Relying upon such a method, the balanced states of the autonomic nervous system,
can be recognized.

What we have actually perceived, are just everything.

Just relying upon intuition, or just relying upon the balance of the autonomic
nervous system.

How is it possible for the balanced autonomic nervous system itself to be the
Arrival of Reality itself?.


12. What is called Eternity, or what is called Non-eternity, and so forth, exist here in front
us.

Where are the Four, Reason, the external world, Action at the present moment, and
Reality?

The End and No-end, and so forth, are just manifesting themselves in front of us.

Where exist there the One Group of four, the Reason, the External World, Action at
the present moment, and Reality?


13. Now full of Murder, Restraint, and Confinement,

Nowadays, relying upon those facts, it is called the Arrival of Reality.

Actually speaking, it is said that the real situation does never change at all.

And furthermore the situation of stopping might continue for the length of Kalpa.


14. When the state, which is based on subjective existence, is in the balanced state of the
autonomic nervous system,

Following upon the situations, a worry does never appear at all.

When a long distance exists from the self-regulation,

It is also said that a Person, who has realized the Truth, does not exist too.


15. The person, who promotes his or her own Personality, has realized the Truth.

The people, who have promoted the Past, are eternal.

They, people, who expand destructions to everything,

Do never look at the Arrival of Reality.


16. The Arrival of Reality is some kind of subjective Existence.

And such a kind of subjective Existence is just the motion of this world.

The Arrival of Reality is never a lacking of subjective existence,

But the negation of subjective existence is just the motion of this world.

32 Comments:

Blogger Jiryu02 said...

Dear Nishijima,

I have been curious to know whether buddhism has a viewpoint about transcendence.

I ask this because I have heard people speak about it in different ways. In general, transcendence means to "go beyond".

However, in one sense, it means to be beyond this realm of existence. Thus, they say God is transcendent because he "exists outside".

I have heard that in buddhism, Gods (which are not central to the philosophy) are subject to cause and effect like everything else. So maybe Buddhism doesn't beleive in this kind of transcendence.

But I have heard that Nargarjuna, by clarifying causality, has made the idea of cause and effect transcendent. I have heard the same about "the Truth" or "Reality".

Is there any truth to this?
Also, what is to be embraced in buddhism, Unity or transcendence?

Thank you very much, you've been so kind to answer my questions before,

1:08 PM, December 11, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

should We walk and sit straight in EVERY moment of our day?

Thank you for your answers.

Have a good day, Tom

11:34 PM, December 11, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Jiryu02 San,

I think that Buddhism does never expect to be transcendent.

I agree with your idea. I think that Buddhism does never expect to be transcendent.

Therefore I agree that God is the other name of Universe. Gods are never personality, but some kind of parables.

I think that Master Nargarjuna, therefore Gautama Buddha himself, think that the Rule of cause and effect, suggests the the Rule of Cause and Effect, which are absolutely revered in modern schientific study too.

I do not believe in the existence of Cause and Effect other than schientific Cause and Effect.


Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

I think that we, Buddhists, should walk and sit straight in Every moment of our dayly life.

11:27 AM, December 12, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

How we can realize immense value and importance of "Present Mind/Action/Living in the present moment with the whole body"? I often forget that and act under my emotions and ego.

Thank you very much for your answer. By the way I read some blog post from Brad Warner about your b-day. Happy birthday! :)

7:53 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

If we want to realize immense value and importance of "Present Mind/Action/Living in the present moment with the whole body and mind, we should keep our autonomic nervous system balanced at every moment.

11:38 AM, December 13, 2009  
Blogger Al said...

Roshi,

In your last response you said, "we should keep our autonomic nervous system balanced at every moment."

How do we do this?

REgards,

Al

8:36 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Al San,

When we want to keep our autonomic nervous system balanced at every moment, it is necessary for us to practice Zazen everyday.

The length of the time is not so long, but it might be necessary for 30 minutes at least. Therefore first we try Zazen for 5, 10, 15 minutes for the first time, and then we inclease the length of
time to 20, 30, 45, and so forth.

10:24 AM, December 14, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Does absence of sleep influence on our ANS? Yesterday I was sleeping about 5 hours and my concetration wasn't good that day. My body was full of tension. How we can make our arms during zazen loosely? And it should be loosely? I often can't relax my arms during zazen, what am I doing wrong? I often feel tension around my belly, I know belly should be relaxed, but at the same time I know that pelvis should be pushed forward. Should I underlay my hands with something, so my arms could be relaxed? I read many directions about zazen position, include your great work about it, but I still know that I should visit some dojo nearly.

5:57 PM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

I'm sorry, I forgot wrote: "Dear Roshi." and "Thank you very much for your answers." I really appreciate that all communication.

5:58 PM, December 15, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

There is no problem for you to forget writing "Dear Roshi" or "Thank you very much for your answers', at all.


Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

The absence of sleep influences our ANS so much, and so the tension of ANS sometimes stops our sleeping totally.

During Zazen the reason, why we make our shoulders relaxed, comes from that during Zazen it is necessary for us to make ourselves relaxed.

However it does not mean to make us dull, but to make us balanced between tension and dullness is the standard criterion.

As far as the state of shouldears, we should make our shoulders relaxed. And it means that we should hung down our two elbows naturally, but our two forearms should be kept horizontally
wider than the width between the two shoulders.

If you like to make your posture relaxed, the most important matter is to keep your spine strate virtically as far as possible. By keeping your spine strate virtically, then you can find your whole posture of Zazen might be balanced.

Anyway it might be good idea for you to visit another teacher other than me.

4:55 PM, December 16, 2009  
Blogger Honiahaka said...

Dear Rôshi,

Sometimes it our life people have such experiences when the life surprises them with some unexpectedly choking things. It may be war, loosing of beloved mans, loosing of existence base or home and a lot of more.

I think that praxis of Zazen can help to stay happy (not meant "joyful") even in such situation. But I think, if we compare this situation with a dark labyrinth, so Zazen can help us as a map in which we need first strongly believe and flashlight in the hand. With another words: if you are alone with it and need first to go a peace of way with this plan seeing in this darkness only as far as the flashlight can shine and you are not sure in this plan, so Zazen will not give you the faith you need go out with it.

In generally to do any certain action like "just to sit" or whatever seems impossible to be an "universal answer" for every situation in the life. Because it is a repetition at least at the beginning. And our life as you know better than me - is not only that.

After thinking and feeling about it, I believe, that such an answer can only be "more attention". It is like a light shine in the darkness of the labyrinth, which can give us faith and show the way out.
Zazen seems to be a plan which helps to come to this light, but one do not able to see it from the first step.

May be you can think, that I write it for to speak out my criticism on Zen. In reality I just try to understand deeply whether Zazen is the best way for me. Buddha have said:

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

I am following this advice and hope, you can say me something, that helps to find out the answer.

With best wishes!


.

7:59 PM, December 18, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

isn't our concentrate better when we drunk? I know it must sound pathetic, but when we drunk we just got different kind of consciousness. What u think about alcohol and drinking?

Thank you for your answers

7:06 AM, December 19, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Honiahaka San,

Thank you very much for your very kind advice. Even though it is very difficult for me to understand your advice, it might be necessary for me to follow your advice sincerely.


Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

Frankly speaking, when you are drinking alcohol, your parasympathetic nervous system inevitably be stimulated. Therefore you feel that you have been reluxed so much.

But I think that such situations might be too much reluxed autonomic nervous system.

Therefore I think that the state of too much alcohol drunken, might be having the state of too much reluxed situations in our body and mind.

3:27 PM, December 19, 2009  
Blogger Honiahaka said...

Dear Rôshi,

thank you for your kind answer. I sincerely admire, that you being 90 are able to share with us you time, working at the same time with verses to help other people on the way of Buddhism.

I feel, that writing my questions here and reading your answers helps me to get more light in my praxis and perception of meditation. Thank you very much for it!

Also I am glad that you have seen in my last question some advice worth to mention. As my English is not very sure, I may have to clear afterwards one sentence in that comment. With "you" in here: "..if you are alone with it and need first to go a peace of way..." I spoke about "everyone" who begins the praxis. I hope it was not misleading in English.

With your help I have also understood, that the balance between parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems makes the real mindfulness / attention possible and so we can love the life in bad and good times.

With best wishes!

7:38 PM, December 19, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Honiahaka,

you quote “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.”

but you believe in this quote, right? So I think people gotta have got their own experience, and so then they have not believe others. Zazen is such experience like this. Nobody cant sit zazen for you, but just only you can by yourself. And nobody cant live your life, but just you.

It's just my opinion. Good luck.

7:46 PM, December 19, 2009  
Blogger Honiahaka said...

Dear skatemurai,

yes, you are right, I believe to what Buddha has said about it, because it agrees with my own reason and my own common sense.

And as said before in my comment I try to find out, how much according to my own senses and reason can Zazen help me and others. One part of my efforts in it is the praxis of Zazen as well as other forms of meditation. Another part is to try to use the words of Rôshi about it.

Of course it would be wonderful if Zazen which is very simple to explain (just sit) could alone and more fast as anything else help to believe, that this is the best way. So could millions of people just try Zazen and become sure, that this is the way out of suffering to the happiness. Many people around the world suffer in this time. In this case Zazen could be used widely.

But also your own personal example among others seems to show, that the praxis of Zazen alone can not help you in your point of your way. You need the help of Rôshi. And my situation has been the similar one.

Thank you and good luck also for you.

9:36 AM, December 20, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Mr. skatemurai San,

Unfortunately your interpretation of Buddhst thought are ferfectly wrong.

If you believe in your own idea, you are just believer in your own belief, and you can never become a Buddhist Believer at all.

The practice of Zazen can never be the same as another practice.

If anyone loses his or her own balanced state of the autonomic nervous system, his or her body and mind will become perfectly confused, and so he or she can never be happy completely at all.

The reason why the almost of all peole in the World have lost their own happy conditions, comes from that he or she has lost their own balanced autonomic nervous system, and so it is impossible for them to come back their own natural condition at all.

If you like to become happy, it is necessary for you to save yourself relying upon your own efforts.

In Buddhist philosophy, there is no gods at all. All Human Beings should save themseves relying upon their own efforts.


Dear Mr. Honiahaka San,

Unfortunately, I do not have any memory that I have said such strange words as "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

I have never said such a strange opinion throughout my life at all.

I never believe in such a strange opinion at all.

The Truth is just only one, which is called the Universe, or the Action at the present moment.

5:37 PM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger Honiahaka said...

Dear Rôshi,

I am sorry, to have evoked this false impression. Unfortunately my English still needs a serious improving.

What I tried to say was, that this quote reproduces the words of Gautama Buddha.

Probably you may have read the Sutras with teachings of Buddha mostly in Japanese. Therefore this somewhat rough translation of the Buddha's words into English can surely appear strange to you:

"Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense." .

Another version of this quote it is this one:

"Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it." (As quoted in the Kalama Sutra, as translated in The American Buddhist Directory (1985) by Kevin O'Neill, p. 7)

And there is also at least one more which I quote here with preceding words from Kalama Sutra:

"14. "What do you think, Kalamas? Are these things good or bad?" — "Good, venerable sir." — "Blamable or not blamable?" — "Not blamable, venerable sir." — "Censured or praised by the wise?" — "Praised, venerable sir." — "Undertaken and observed, do these things lead to benefit and happiness, or not? Or how does it strike you?" — "Undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness. Thus it strikes us here."

15. "Therefore, did we say, Kalamas, what was said thus, 'Come Kalamas. Do not go upon what has been acquired by repeated hearing; nor upon tradition; nor upon rumor; nor upon what is in a scripture; nor upon surmise; nor upon an axiom; nor upon specious reasoning; nor upon a bias towards a notion that has been pondered over; nor upon another's seeming ability; nor upon the consideration, "The monk is our teacher." Kalamas, when you yourselves know: "These things are good; these things are not blamable; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness," enter on and abide in them.'"(http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/soma/wheel008.html)

I think, that the understanding of the word "belief" and "knowledge" is often misleading.
For example the use of knowledge and the search of the liberating Truth seem me to be not the same. I believe Buddha spoke in Kalamata Sutra exactly on it.

With best wishes.

9:32 PM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger Honiahaka said...

Dear Rôshi,

In my opinion your words about Truth and th quote of Buddha which I have posted in more authentic translation above are not in contradiction.

If we "believe" uncritically in something what is said, written or proposed , we get in fact the dead "knowledge", which is always connected with some certain point of view (one of many others).

Therefore any knowledge can never be a Truth, which is "only one" as you have written.

9:45 PM, December 21, 2009  
Blogger Al said...

Roshi,

During zazen should we ignore or disregard all the thoughts that go through our heads?

Regards,

Al

6:41 AM, December 22, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Al San,

During Zazen we should enter into the area of Action directly.

In the Euro-American civilization, we usually recognize our thinking and feeling in our mental functions, but in the Buddhist philosophy we have the area of Action, which is different from the areas of thinking and perception.

Therefore when we are doing Zazen Practice, we are making our efforts to leave from the area of thinking or feeling, and to enter into the area of Action.

So when we are practicing Zazen, we should leave our areas of thinking and feeling, and we should enter into the Action to sit itself,leaving from thinking and feeling.

In other words in Zazen we should concentrate ourselves only into Sitting, that is, Action itself. Therefore we should keep our own spine straight vertically stopping our thinking and feeling as far as possible.


Dear Ven. Honiahaka San,

Thank you very much for your long answers. But I do not have any oppositions against such Buddhist theories, but I have only criticised your quotation in the former comments that "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."

And about such a kind of quotations, I have wondered whether our reason or our own common senses are so reliable, or not.

I think that generally speaking our own reason and our own common sense are not so reliable, and so it is necessary for us to grasp the ultimate philosophy, which Gautama Buddha taught us, profoundly.

In such meaning, if we place our own reason and our own common sense as the ultimate criteria of Gautama Buddha's teachings, it might be very arrogant attitudes of human beings, and so I can never accept such arrogant criteria at all.

12:08 PM, December 22, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

thank you for your direct answer, but I think you dont' get my point, probably because my bad english and I'm sorry for that. Basically I thought same thing like you, I dont believe in any gods or something, for me just Action is important. And I have got another question about our daily lifes:

how we can find balance between narrow mind (too much concentrated) and lazy mind (under emotions)? I think every balance can be found by our softness in everything what we do. Softness of our mind that coming from zazen. Am I right?

Thank you very much for your answers and have a good day!

8:39 PM, December 22, 2009  
Blogger Honiahaka said...

Dear Rôshi,

thank you very much for your answers.
I wish you Marry Christmas and a Happy New Year coming soon.

8:41 PM, December 22, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

If you believe in Gautama Buddha's Philosophy of Action, I think that your Buddhist thoughts might be the same, which I believe in.

The reason why we can find balance between narrow mind (too much concentrated) and lazy mind (under emotions), comes from that we, Human Beings, have our autonomic nervous system in our body and mind.

And our autonomic nervous system are divided into the two parts, the one is the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), and the other is the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS).

Therefore what you call softness comes from the equality between SNS and PNS.


Dear Ven. Honiahaka San,

Thank you very much for your exact understandings. I think that since 19th Century and 20th Century, Buddhism has become Philosophy, which has been explained by physiological principles.

4:07 PM, December 23, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

Dear Roshi,

I wanted to ask you about cause-and-effect and the four phases as expressed by Master Dogen in Genjo-koan again in order for me to be able understand it clearly. Maybe you could correct it for me where it is not accurate:

1. In the first phase there are all kinds of thoughts arising which are based on previous intentional actions and which we can often act/react to in habitual ways.

2. In the second phase there are our bodily perceptions that can usually cause us to act/react in certain habitual ways.

3. In the phase of action/ Buddhist practice we realise that our action in the present moment is, in fact, already independant and need not be determined by the first two phases.

4. Is the experience of the actual real situation based on free action as outlined in phase 3.

Also, does the traditional theory of karma, or mental will/intention, belong entirely to the first phase?

Regards,

Harry.

12:22 PM, December 27, 2009  
Blogger Jiryu02 said...

Dear Nishijima,

I had an interesting thought about truth. The way I see it, the truth is always in operation no matter what we believe. So I think it is not something to be achieved because it "pervades through everything"(I honestly forget where that phrase comes from). So the truth may never be achieved. How can there ever be realization then?

Also, I've been thinking lately about the need for zazen. I think Dogen once asked about why we need to work for enlightenment if the sutras say we are already perfect. I have a similar question.

When in our lives did we go long? Why does our autonomic nervous system becomes unbalanced again (if I understand it correctly)? Are we always in need of zazen at all times in our life?

Thank you, these questions have been bugging me for a long time and I'm curious about your position.

1:36 PM, December 27, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Jityu02 San,

The Truth is just the whole Universe, and at the same time ourselves at the present moment too, and so it is impossible for us to expect transcendence at all.

God is never personality, but the Universe itself, therefore God does not exists outside of the Universe.

God is the Truth itself, and so God does not exist outside the Universe.

Our lives are limited. Therefore we should be diligent at exery moment.

Human Beings have the three kinds of possibility in our ANS, that is, the stronger SNS, the stronger PNS, and the balance betweeb SNS and ONS.

If we practice Zazen everyay even for a while, we can continue the balanced ANS throughout our life. Therefore it is necessary for us to practice Zazen everyday even for a short time.


Dear Ven. Harry San,

The four kinds of philosofical explanations at the beginning of Genjo Koan are the fundamental explanations of Buddhist Philosophies. Therefore it is very important philosofical process of Buddhist Philosophies.

1. The first paragraph sugests the fundamental meaning of mental consideration in Buddhist Philosophy. Therefore it belongs to the first phase of human mental fanction, that is, consideration. And the consideration is the basis of Idealism.

2. The second phase is just the explanation of human sense perception. Seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching and the center of sense perception, are the basis of the sense perceptions, which are the basis of Materialism.

3. In the third phase, Buddhism has entered into the Area of Action. In Euro-American Civilization, Idealism and Materialism are powerful, but in Buddhist Philosophy the Philosophy of Action has emerged as the much more important philosophy than idealism and materialism.

In Buddhism the philosophy of Action is much more important than Idealism and Materialism.

The philosophy of Action is the fundamental basis of Buddhist Realism.

4. The Buddhist Realism is just the only one Realistic Philosophy in the World, because even though people sometimes think that Materialism is the same as Realism, but this interpretation might be perfectly wrong. Materialism is based on Matter, but Realism is based on Action at the present moment.

12:15 PM, December 28, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

Thank-you, Roshi.

Regards,

Harry.

10:44 PM, December 29, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

do u think could person become grown man and one-man if he still live with his parents? Is it possible? I think there is such a "parents-son" roles so there is no space to progress to grown state of mind.

Thank u very much.

Tom

3:14 AM, December 30, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Tom San,

Of course, every one can become grown man, even though he or she is living with his or her parents. Yes, it is inevitable. Anyone has to become older if he is still living with his parents. It is almost impossible for everyone not to become older.


Dear Ven.Harry San,

A Happy New Year!

Gudo Nishijima

10:18 AM, December 30, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

is it possible for us to know myself? To know why we do what we do in every single moment? Is it possible? Isn't it egoistical want to know myself?

Thanks for answers... I hope I wasnt giving you so silly questions...

Tom

6:37 AM, December 31, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Tom San,

When you are practicing Zazen, you can notice what you are.

It is human duty to know what we are.

It is never egoistic.

8:12 AM, December 31, 2009  

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