Recently I have met my necessity to translate "Fukan-Zazen-Gi, or The General Introduction of How to Pracice Zazen." "The Fukan-Zazen-Gi, or The General Introduction of How to Practice Zazen" was written by Master Dogen in 1227, but later it seems to be revised by Master Dogen himself, and so nowadays "Fukan-Zazen-Gi" is usually published in its revised one. Therefore in this case I also utilize the edition, which has been used as the authorized one for hundreds years continuously.
Generally speaking, when we research the Truth, the Truth are originally pervading through the Universe, and so how is it necessary for us to rely upon sometimes practice, or sometimes experience?
Furthermore, the methods, which are useful to arrive at the fundamental principle, are existing everywhere, and so how is it necessary for us to be exhausted by the enormous efforts to get them?
Enormously much more, we, Buddhist monks, totally have got rid of the secular garbage or dust already, and so who is it be necessary for us to believe in the necessity of methods brushing off or wipe off them?
Generally, we, Human Beings, are impossible to get rid of our adequate place, and so how is it necessary for us to utilize even a bit of part of our legs for that purpose?
However, if there were any kind of the slightest gap existing actually, the gap of the expanse will become much more wider as if it were the width between the Heaven and the Earth, and so if there occurs any kind of difference, because of the difference we have to lose our mental and physical serenity completely.
Even though we are proud of our clear understandings, being full of clever decision, getting further excellently different consideration, getting the Truth, clarifying the mind, encouraging the will excellently piercing the sky, and even though we are taking a walk to put our head into the area of considering Action, but actually speaking, we are totally losing for ourselves to put our body actually into the area of Real Action itself.
Furthermore, in the case of innate Genius at Jetavana Anathapindikarama, we can actually look at the historical remains, where Gautama Buddha himself authentically sit there for 6 years. And the historical person in Shao-Rin-Ssu, who has transmitted the Central Symbol of Buddhism into China, has been presenting his authorized dignity of facing the wall for 9 years even today. Even in the case of such ancient examples those Old Sacred Personalities have been already like this. How is it possible for us, the people today, to spend the time without practicing Zazen at all?
Therefore we should stop our efforts to looking for words and to understand verbal expressions at all. It is necessary for us to study our passive steps of turning light to ourselves for reflecting ourselves opposite. The consciousness of our body and mind might vanish in a few minites, and our original face and eyes will manifest themselves naturally. And if we want to get anything ineffable at once, just practice something ineffable, that is, Zazen, at once!
Generally speaking, if we want to practice Zazen authentically, it might be better for us to use a quiet room, and what we drink and eat, might be better to be moderate. Many kinds of miscellaneous circumstances must be thrown away, and many kinds of business should be stopped so far totally. Don't consider Good and Bad! Don't worry about Right and Wrong! Stop the motion of Mind, Will, or Consciousness! Stop the consideration of Consciousness, Thoughts, or Reflection. Never, never, intend to become Buddha! And such a kind of efforts can never be limited only inside sitting, or lying.
In general situations, we should spread a thick carpet on the floor, and on there we use a thick and round cushion for Zazen. Sometimes we practice a full lotus posture, and sometimes we practice a half lotus posture. In the case of the full lotus posture, first we put our right foot on our left thigh, and then we put our left foot on the right thigh (for example.) And in the case of a half lotus posure, we push over our right thigh with our left foot (for example.) We should put our clothes over the legs for making the situation of clothes orderly.
Then we put our right hand on the left foot, and put our left hand on the right hand to put the tops of both thumbs together supporting with each other.
Then regulate our posture into the authentic sitting, and don't incline our spine left or right. Don't slouch the spine forward, or lean backward. The line of ears must be parallel with the line of the shoulers horizontally, and the nose aligned with the navel. Hold the tongue against the palate, keep the lips and teeth closed, and keep the eyes open naturally.
Breathe softly through the nose, and after settled the physical posture already, make a deep
breath once, sway the body left and right. Sit immovably in the mountain-still state, and think the concrete state of not thinking. How is it possible for us to think the concrete state of not thinking? It is just different from thinking. This is just the abreviated technique of Zazen.
What is called Zazen, is different from learning Zazen, but it is just the Peaceful and Pleasant Gate into the Universe. It is the practice and experience to clarify the Truth. The Universal System has been realized already, but nets or cages for us have never arrived at us yet at all.
If we have arrived at what we intend to, the situations might be the same as if a Dragon has got the water, or a Tiger has got mountains as the guard behind. We should exactly notice that the True Dharma has manifested itself naturally, and both darkness and vagueness have been destroyed first.
When we stand up from sitting, move our body gradually first, and then stand up stably. Don't be hasty or violent. In the case of standing up still, first we should move our bodies slowly, and then stand up. We should never be hasty or violent.
Reflecting Ancient Times, transcending the common sense, overcoming the Sacred, dying in Zazen, or passing away in standing still, all have been relying upon the power, which has been trained by the practice.
Furthermore a turning point utilizing a finger, a pole, a needle, or a wooden block, and another usual experiences utilizing a hossu, a fist, a wooden stick, or a cry of 'Katsu!', are also the identified experiences, which are far beyond the decision by consideration, or judgement. How is it possible for any kind of mystical ability, practice, or experience, to be available to know? It might be some dignified form outside of voice or color. How is it possible for them not to be criteria before recognitions or perception?
Therfore, we should never select abilities between the clever or the stupid, discussing higher wisdom, or serious stupidity, or selecting a clever person or a sutupid person. If we sincerely consider problems, it must be just pursuing the Truth. Practice and experience should never naturally become tainted with each other, and what is aimed at, should be balanced and constant.
Generally, this world and the other land, or the western world and the eastern land, all are keeping Buddhist characteristics, and solely including the authodox behavior. Just we are diligent in practicing Zazen only, and we are just being caught inside the state without motion.
Even though our situations are so much different having so many differences, we should solely practice Zazen for pursuing the Truth. How is it possible for us throwing our own sitting seat for wandering in the foreign countries here and there without any criterion? If we make a mistake even only one in our step, we have to commit our mistake just at the present moment.
Fortunately we have got the excellently valuable human body already. Should never pass the valuable time without doing anything. We, human beings, have already got the very important faculty for Buddhist Morals. How is it possible for anyone to lose the so valuable Time in vain spending it for instantly fleeting joy?
Not only like that, the physical substances are so fragile like a due drop on grass leaves, and the flimsy life is very similar to a flash of lightning. They suddenly vanish completely, and they eraze themselves at once.
I would like to ask to elegant people of studying Buddhism that because of having accustomed to models of dragons, don't be afraid of the Real Dragon itself. Relying upon the direct and simple efforts of practicing Zazen diligntly, and revering the person of transcending theoretical learning and forgetting intention. We will have identified ourselves with the Ultimate Truth of many Buddhas, and receive directly the balanced Autonomic Nervous System of many Patriarches's Samadhi. If you will continue this Something Ineffable, the Warehouse of Treasures will open naturally, and it wil become easily possible for us to receive and utilize them as we like.
Fukan-Zazen-Gi The End