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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Pursuing the Truth (3) What is the Enlightenment

Gautama Buddha, who experienced that Ascetisism was not only useless to attain Enlightenment, it was just an obstruction to the attainment of Enlightenment. Thus, he left the forest of the ascetic life decisively. The practitioners of asceticism were certain that Gautama Buddha left the forest of Asceticism because of some lack of endurance on his part, and so they laughed at Gautama Buddha, and reproached him. However, it could be supposed that in the contents of his brain there might be only Gautama Buddha's very pure intention to pursue the Truth, and there might not be anything other than his pure intention of pursuing the Truth. Therefore Gautama Buddha had left the forest of Asceticism without recognizing anything in the criticism of the practitioners of Asceticism at all. When Gautama Buddha was walking along the river called the Nairanjana, a girl named Sujata, looking at Gautama Buddha's so withered and humble conditions, presented her dried gruel to Gautama Buddha.
Eating the dried gruel, Gautama Buddha became a little vigorus, and recovered a small part of his human characteristics. Then he began to pursue the Truth relying upon another way, one that is a bit similar to Yoga practice. Because the practice, which was done by Gautama Buddha, was a posture, which was esteemed as the best in Yoga practices. Gautama Buddha had begun to practice the practice of sitting, which is the same as the practice of Zazen today. After continuing such a kind of practice for several years, Gautama Buddha was practicing Zazen one Winter morning, when he noticed that he did not live in the area of mental consideration, or in the area of sensual perception, but he recognized that he was just living in the area of Reality. As a description of a Sustra, it is described that "Mountains, rivers, grass, and trees, have totally become the Truth," and it was also described in the Shobogenzo that "Mountains, rivers, and the earth have become the Truth." Therefore we can understand that at that time Gautama Buddha experienced that this world is just Reality, and this world is just the Truth. What we produced in our brain can never become the truth, and what we perceived through our sense perception can never be the truth or Reality. What we do just at the present moment is just the Truth, and it is just Reality. That suggests that the very gorgeous and so excellent Idealism and Materialism can never be the Truth. They are just a kind of delusion, or illusion, and our act, which has been done at the present moment, is just the Reality, just the Truth. And furthermore, what we do at the present moment is just the real existence of the Universe, and so the oneness of our human act, and
the real Universe are just Reality itself. That is just the simple fact at the present moment, and it is just Enlightenment.


Blogger Jules said...

Nishijima sensei,
In response to your comment on the "gorgeous and excellent idealism", I have a question.

I have recently begun sitting with a group in Thich Nhat Hanh's tradition, and it seems to me there is a lot of idealism in this group. More so than in other Zen groups I have met. There are many flowery comments made about the gorgeous and excellent Dharma.

In Thich Nhat Hanh's book about the precepts, "For a Future to be Possible" (which seems like a pessimistic title), one person said it would give her a "buddha smile" to have all children recite the Five Precepts every day in school before class starts. Hanh himself suggested that the precepts should be the basis of our government.

On one hand, the precepts are excellent rules to live by, and I would like to see those in our government following them a lot more closely. On the other hand, I live in the United States, and we have a tradition of religious freedom which I believe is very important. I believe the government should not force students or anyone to recite the Buddhist precepts or the Christian Ten Commandments or any other vow.

I believe that the combination of religion and government is a recipe for idealistic war.

Would you please say something about Idealistic Buddhism?

Thank you!

5:02 AM, December 30, 2005  
Blogger Lone Wolf said...

To act doesn't one have to use the idea of what one is going to do plus the sensory perception to be able to feel what one is doing?

1:47 PM, December 30, 2005  

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