Dogen Sangha Blog


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Friday, July 28, 2006

Dogen Sangha (1) The Sprout

Buddhism and I

Even though I have now become 85 years old, when I reflect on my life in the past, I feel very happy that I have met with Buddhism in my life, and to have continued studying it. And having understood the total meaning of Buddhism, I am now posting my Dogen Sangha Blog to all people in the world.
When I was young I didn't have any idea that there was only one truth, which can survey throughout the universe, but after meeting with Buddhist philosophy, which Gautama Buddha has established, I have begun to believe in Buddhism absolutely, and have spent more than 60 years studying Buddhism, practicing Buddhism, teaching Buddhism, and spreading Buddhism as far as possible. And recently I have begun to post Dogen Sangha Blog through the world, and feel very happy to spread Buddhism through the world by this method.

Of course the religious situations of the world are not so simple, and there are so many seriously difficult problems accumulated in the world related to religious views, the problem of Islam being only one such example. The situations are so complicated, and even though so many excellent politicians, religious people, and scholars are making their efforts to solve the problems, still it does not seem to be so easy for human beings to solve such religious problems.

Fortunately for me, I met with Buddhism. Buddhism insists that we should throw away the two fundamentally incorrect philosophies, that is, idealism and materialism, and we should directly accept reality itself. When I heard this theory for the first time, I was much surprised, and it was very difficult for me to accept it. But when I began to study Buddhism, I found that Buddhism is a so reasonable theory, which can persuade us to indicate the one-sided and imperfect characteristics of idealism and materialism, and open our eyes to the direct situations of reality. Having studied such a so simple and so direct philosophy, I was much surprised, but it was inevitable for me to refuse the so understandable and so practical teachings of Buddhism at all.

Buddhism and My Family

The family in which I was bought up was not so religious family. Following the common situations of Japanese family life at that time, my father cleansed a small Shintoistic alter near the ceiling, and changed the leaves, water, Sake, at the beginning of every month, but he was not a so sincere believer of Shintoism. My mother was very diligent to visit a Shinto Shrine near my house, but she was also not so sincere a believer of Shintoism. Therefore in my case I did not have any religious belief to influence me so much.

The Second World War and Buddhism

Following my family life I was not so religious in my childhood, but in 1932, and in 1936, the two big accidents of coup d'etat occured in Japan, and the political confrontation between the nationalistic militarism, and Marxist communism, had become sharper and sharper, and so it was inevitable for me to think which is true between the two, as the problem of the fundamental religious viewpoints had become so serious.
In such situations I had a chance to attend a Buddhist retreat, which was presided by Master Kodo Sawaki, at a temple called Daichu-ji in Tochigi Prefecture in the northern district from Tokyo.
And at that time I heard the very clear proclamation of Master Kodo Sawaki that "The right wing is wrong, and the left wing is also wrong." And listening to his proclamation, I thought that this idea might be true.


Blogger Jules said...

Nishijima san,
You and your student Brad Warner were strong influences on my decision to explore Buddhism more deeply, to begin practicing every day, and to find a teacher that lives near me.

I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping to bring this beautiful teaching into my life.


9:42 AM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:57 AM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger oxeye said...

master nishijima, thank you for posting your dogen sangha blog for us. It is a great gift and much appreciated. But Master Sawaki might have had it backwards. could the truth be that the left wing is correct and the right wing is also correct. this view would follow if we put aside our negative thoughts as master Sawaki suggested.

11:36 AM, July 31, 2006  
Blogger Lone Wolf said...

Thank you for sharing your life story with us Gudo San. Your study of Buddhism has allowed you to live such a happy meaningful life. Thanks for passing on your wisdom to the rest of us who care to listen.

4:25 PM, July 31, 2006  

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