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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Gakudo-yojin-shu (6) No. 5 It is very important for us to select the true Master.

(The translation of the original text)

The meaning of the title above is that reading words of Masters in the past, they say that if the first attitudes of pursuing the truth are not ture, even though we might make our efforts of practice so hard, eventually we have to supply our enormous efforts for doing useless effects at last.
It is necessary for us to say that this teachings are eaxactly ture. It might be true that effects of Buddhist practice must be decided by the difference whether the leading Masters are true, or not.
It seems that the difficulty of educating Buddhist students can compare to an example that whether the materials of fine arts are good or bad, and in such a situation we can think that the standpoint of the teachers are similar to the position of fine artists, who utilize the stuff.
Even if the materials were so excellent, when it is difficult for materials to get excellent artists, it is completely impossible for those materials to get good works of art.
Even if we have to use some strangely-winded materials, when we can meet an artist, who is so excellent in his ability, then we can get so excellent works of art from the strange materials finally.
In the case of pursuing the Buddhist truth, there are serious differences, whether their conclusions are true, or false, relying upon whether their teachers are true, or not.
However, in our country, in Japan, it seems that the true Buddhist Master hasn't manifested himself yet.
With what reason, can we grasp such unfathomable facts?
We can suppose such kinds of unfathomable facts by reading the descriptions, which Buddhist teachers wrote in the past.
The situations of our supposition are similar to the facts that we can research the situations of water at the upper part of a river by investigation of scooping water at the lower part of the river.
Even in our country, since the ancient time until now many numbers of Buddhist teachers have edited Buddhist books, teached students, and guided people and gods on the earth and the heaven, but the words, which they expressed, seems to be too young, and their expressions are very immature, and so they have not arrived at even the top of the intellectual research, and so how is it possible for them to arrive even at the vicinity of practical experience at all?
They pass on only words of sentences to their students, or have their students recite only titles of Buddhas', or sutras, without getting any merit so much as a penny, as if they were calculating property of others.
The responsibility of Masters in the former ages were like that.
In some cases they teach others that a right conclusion exists at the place, where there is no mind, and in some cases they teach others that we should reborn in the different world other than this.
From those situations of their teachings, which we can perceive clearly, miscellaneous kinds of perplexities and confusion occur, and many kinds of wrong ideas are also related with those facts closely.
For example when a doctor gave very excellent medicine to a patient, if the docter does not know the method to restrain the side effects of the medicine, the excellent medicine might become serious cause of another sickness, and so it would be much more worse for us than to drink some kind of poison itself actually.
Generally speaking in Japan it seems that there were no doctor, who has been able to give good effective medicin to a patieht from the ancient time at all, and an able Master, who could give his students excellent teachings to cure the poisonus wrong teachings, hasn't appeared at all yet.
From those situations, it was so difficult for Japanese teachers to throw away the diseases, which occured from the causes, which I described above, and so it seems that how is it possible for them to avoid suffering from aging and dying?
Those inability of Buddhist teachers in Japan, all belong to their own inferiority, and it does never come from inferiority of students for their own worse nature at all.
The reason, why I insist such a kind of opinion, comes from that people, who have ability to become Masters of others, have tendency to recommend their students throwing away the fundamentally important problems, and having their students pursue the trivial problems, and so such a kind of unhappy effects have occured.
Those teachers have their common tendency that, before they have grasped the fundamental Truth by themselves exactly, utilizing their own immature ideas one-sidedly, and they have others fall down and enter into the wrong states without any reason at all.
It is actually very pitiful situation, but even the teachers, who have been talented becoming teachers for others, recommend their students to pursue getting the enlightenment, which does not have any relation with mental function, or recommend their students to make their efforts to become reborn into the world, which is different from this world. In such a situation, how is it possible for their students to recognize whether it is completely wrong, or not, for them to pursue the true enlightenment at the place, which is perfectly irrelevant to mind, or whether it is completely wrong, or not, for them to be reborn into the perfectly different world from this world?
It is very sad facts that in Japan, even though it is a very small country far remote from the civilized countries, Gautama Buddha's teachings are not so much purvaded throughout the country yet, and the true Masters haven't appeared in it.
If we would like to study the teachings of Gautama Buddha, which are the highest teachings of the world, it might be very nice method for us to visit excellent priests in the Sun Dynasty of China.
It is very nice method for us to reflect the world of action, which is far distant from mental functions. In the case, when it is impossible for us to get the true Buddhist Master, it might be much better for us not to study Buddhism at all.
Generally speaking, a person, who is called the true Master, is not related whether he is old, or not, or whether his career in Buddhism is long, or not. The true Buddhist Master is called a person, who has become perfectly clear in understanding the true contents of Gautama Buddha's teachings, and who has received the distinct certificate from an authentic Master.
Knowledge of letters is not so important, and the theoretical understandings are not so important. But the true Buddhist Master has excellent power, which is much superior to ordinary people, having unusual determination, without being restricted by his own opinion, without hesitation in his own emotional viewpoint, but whose action in his daily life is perfectly identified with his own understanding Gautama Buddha's teachings, is just the real situations of a person, who is called exactly the true Buddhist Master.


In the nearest part of the end in this chapter, Master Dogen says that "In the case, when it is impossible for us to get the true Buddhist Master, it might be much better for us not to study Buddhism at all." The meaning of the sentence is that if it were impossible for us to get a true Buddhist Master, it is much better for us not to study Buddhism at all. And this idea is very important. To study Buddhism is just our own efforts to pursue the Truth by sacrificing our own life totally, and so if it is just the Truth, which we are pursuing, then we are very happy, but if it is not the Truth, which we are pursuing, it might be very serious, because we have to pursue the wrong teachings throughout our whole life believing as if it were the Truth. In the latter case we have to lose our long whole life for pursuing the wrong theory, and so we have to sacrifice our whole life, which is just only one life for us, to pursue something completely wrong.
Therefore Master Dogen proclaimed that we should never study Buddhism under a Master, who does not understand Buddhism truly and exactly, because by doing so we have to lose our total life by making our efforts for completely wrong or useless aim.
Thinking about such concrete and real examples, we should think about the problems sincerely, and we should never study Buddhism under a wrong Buddhist teacher.


Since 15th September I have lengthened the time of Zazen pracice in the morning from 30 minutes to 45 minutes, and I am enjoying the good effects of it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Gakudo-yojin-shu (5) No. 4. We should never practice Buddhism having a mind of getting something

In the practice of Buddhism, which Gautama Buddha taught us, it seems that we should inevitably receive the true teaching of excellent Masters of the past, and we should never utilize our own private criteria.

Furthermore Buddhism can neither be grasped by intentional mind, nor without mind.

If it is impossible for us to identify our mind to regulate our action and the truth, it is absolutely impossible for us to maintain our mind and body as peaceful and stable.

If it is impossible for us to maintain our body and mind as peaceful and stable, it is impossible for us to maintain our body and mind as peaceful and comfortable.

And if our body and mind are not peaceful and comfortable, in what time is it possible for us to experiece the truth? Then the severely painful obstacles will occur.

As it is usually said, how is it possible for our regulating ability of act and the truth to be fused into one, and how shall we behave in our daily life? In short, it is necessary for our mind not to have any kind of like and dislike, and it is necessary for us not to have an intention of getting fame and profit.

The practice of Buddhism is never to be done for getting others' admiration at all.

When we think about people that are Buddhist practitioners in the modern age, the distance between their mind and the truth is as limitlessly distant as possible.

If people admire and love something, even though a leader really knows that it is different from the truth, he usually practices it.

At the same time, if people do not respect and praise it, even though the leader knows that it is just the true way, he intentionally throws away the practice of it without any hesitation. How are the situations like those pitiful and miserable?

It is necessary for you to reflect and suppose whether such a mind and act are Buddhism, or not.

It is seriously shameful, seriously shameful. The facts are perfectly clear, when the eyes of saints look at them.
Generally speaking, Buddhist practitioners do not practice Buddhism even for themselves, therefore how is it permissible for them to practice Buddhism for fame or profit?

Buddhism should always be done just for Buddhism itself.

The reason for the benevolence of the Buddhas' compassion and love to all living beings is never for Buddhas themselves, or never for others, but the reason for the benevolence of Buddhas comes solely from the common behavior of Buddhas in Buddhism.

Don't look at the facts that even small worms, or animals, when they feed and bring up their children, even though the parents meet so painful and difficult experiences, and they manage so
severe and painful situations, and they ultimately accomplish their long bringing up at last, but they do not like to receive any kinds of rewards because of their efforts.
Nevertheless, however, they supply also their benevolence and compassion to their children.

Even those small kinds of creatures still have such benevolence and compassion, and they are very naturally similar to many Buddhas, which love all living beings so much.

The fine and powerful teachings of many Buddhas are not limited to only one factor of benevolence, or compassion, but they manifest themselves in almost all divisions of the world. The fundamental basis of all kinds of things and phenomena are like that.

We, Buddhist students, are just Gautama Buddha's students already, and so how is it possible for us not to follow Gautama Buddha's elegant behavior in his daily life?

Buddhist practitioners should never think to practice Buddhism for themselves, and they should never practice Buddhism for their own fame and profit.

They should never practice Buddhism for them to get direct or indirect effects, and they should never practice Buddhism to get miraculous virtue.
To practice Buddhism just for the sake of Buddhism itself is just the Truth itself.


In Buddhist teachings, all actions should be done for the actions themselves, and Buddhist action should never be done for another purpose other than the action itself. This is just the general principle of Buddhist act, which is always based on the philosophy of act, and so we should think that Buddhist act itself is always the aim of the act itself.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Gakudo-yojin-shu (4) No. 3. It absolutely necessary for Buddhism to be experienced and entered by action.

(The Text)

The meaning of the title is as follows. It is said in secular societies that when we study something, the reward of our study exists just in the study itself. And Gautama Buddha says that if we practice Zazen, the effect of Zazen exists just in the practice itself.

There is no one, who receives the rewards without study, and I haven't heard of any case that without practicing Zazen someone has got the truth.

Even though there are so many differences of practice — based on belief, doctrine, the necessity of a short or a long time to get the truth — it is inevitably necessary for everyone to rely upon the practice of Zazen for getting the truth.

Even though there are so many differences of shallowness, profoundity, intelligence, or foolishness in miscellaneous study, it is inevitable for everyone to get the reward after having accumulated so much study.

This might suggest that it is not always decided that everything will be preferable, or not, relying upon whether the ruler is excellent, or not, and that it is not always decided that everyone will be happy, or not, relying upon whether the motion of the Universe is adequate, or not.

If it is possible for anyone to get the rewards without study, (because they do not like to study,) how is it possible for anyone to get the teachings of the ancient Emperors' methods for regulating human societies?

If it is possible for anyone to get the truth without practicing Zazen, (because they do not like to practice Zazen,) how is it possible for anyone to understand Gautama Buddha's teachings, which can distiguish truth, or falsehood?

You should know that first we should establish our own practice of Zazen even in our deluded condition, and then we can grasp the truth before getting enlightenment.

Just at that time we can notice that the ships and rafts, which we expect to utilize to arrive at the distant shores of the truth, were just a dream yesterday, and we can clearly decide that the old views of wisteria vines as snakes were wrong.

These situations never come from Gautama Buddha's intentional enforcement, but it has been managed just by the present function.

Furthermore, what action introduces, is the truth. The miscellaneous treasures in our own warehouse do never come from outside of ourselves.

What the truth utilizes is our action. How is it possible for us to actually turn around the traces of our mental functions in the past?

However, if we turn around our eyes of the truth to look at our own situations of action really, there is no spot, which disturbs our eyes, and if we dare to look at something, only white clouds pervade throughout the sky limitlessly.

If we want to grasp our own grade of experiencing the truth utilizing our real foot of action, there is nothing, even a piece of dust, which supports our foot at all, and if we dare step our foot, we have to notice that the distance between our foot and the ground seems to be like the distance between the heavens and the earth.

Just at that time if we reflect to step back a little, we can trascend even Gautama Buddha's state.

Written on 9th, March, 1234.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Gakudo-yojin-shu (3) No. 2 To study the True Dharma without fail when we meet the chance to study it.

(The Text)

The following suggests that, if a very sincere and reliable person presents his whole-hearted words to the ruler, the sincere words sometimes have a strong power to turn over the whole world actually.

And it is said that if Gautama Buddha has given his short words to someone, there is no one, who does not change his or her mind into Buddhism, at all.

But, in the case that the ruler does not have excellent wisdom, he does not have the ability to accept the advisor's kind opinion, and if the person, who listens to Gautama Buddha's teachings, does not have enormously excellent ability, it must be impossible for him to accept Gautama Buddha's advice at all.

The fact that there are people who do not change their fundamental viewpoint from their own former one to Buddhism, might come from the fact that it is completely impossible for them to cut their habitual attitudes to follow the common daily life and death.

Therefore in the case that the whole-heartedly sincere advice of the person hasn't been accepted, the facts suggest that it has been impossible for the country to realize an adequate goverment and good policy yet.


Master Dogen says that if we meet Gautama Buddha's teachings, it is necessary for us to study them without fail. And I think that the reason why he says so might be that Gautama Buddha met with the enormously confused ancient Indian society, where Danken-gedo, or Materialism, which was insisted upon by the six non-Buddhist thinkers, and Joken-gedo, or Idealism, which was insisted by Brahmanists, were the guiding viewpoints. Gautama Buddha sacrificed his total life to solve the contradictory conditions of the two absolutely reasonable philosophies, that is, the one is the usually intellectual philosophy, and the other is the unique Buddhist philosophy, which is based upon a practical, actual, or real basis. Gautama Buddha was been utimately successful in finding the logical method of the four philosophies. I guess that Master Dogen also recognizes that Buddhism is the ultimate truth through the world, and so he expects everyone to study Buddhism without fail.

Therefore Master Dogen explains that even in secular societies, there are many examples that the words of the truth have enormously strong power, which can turn the whole social situations over completely. So similarly in philosophical societies, Master Dogen insists that relying upon Gautama Buddha's teachings we can change the human societies completely, if Gautama Buddha's philosophy will be understood eaxactly and actually, and then there can be an absolute change of all human societies relying upon Gautama Buddha's philosophical system at last.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Gakudo-yojin-shu (2) No. 1. Establishment of the Will to the Truth

This original text of Gakudo-yojin-shu in the computer was presented by Mr. Mitsuo Ebisawa, who is a member of Dogen Sangha Kyoto. The sentences are separated into each paragraphs, making them very easy to read, and so I also follow such a method. The parts that are different from the old original text I have corrected following my book "Gakudo-yojin-shu-kowa, or A Lecture of Gakudo-yoji-shu."

(The Text)

No. 1. To Establish the Will to the Truth

The word of Bodaishin, or the Will to the Truth, has many other titles, but they can be identified totally into one word, Bodaishin.

Master Nagarjuna says. "We can also call the mind, which can grasp that the situations of secular societies are so flexible and instant, as the Will to the Truth." And such a kind of intuitive mind is also called Bodaishin, or the Will to the Truth.

Therefore I think that it might be possible for us to call those many kinds of expressions of the mind totally with the title of Bodaishin, or the Will to the Truth.

Truly speaking, when we reflect the instantaneousness of the present moment, our selfish mind does not occur, and consciousness of fame and profit does not appear, therefore we sincerely worry about the fact that time and light run away much too fast. Then our practicing the truth can be so sincere as if we were putting out burning hair.

We have to reflect that our physical strength is not so strong, therefore our sincere efforts intend to follow the efforts of Gautama Buddha, who always walked with his steps utilizing only his tiptoes.

Even though the very beautiful and admirable cries of kimnara or garuda(both are the names of birds in ancient India, which are famous for their beautiful cries,) exist in the morning, the blown wind of our death in the evening will erase the beautiful cries completely. And even though Mosho, or Seishi (both are famous beautiful ladies, who are favored by Chinese Emperors), have very beautiful faces and figures, if we die in the morning, our sight will be shut like a drop on the leaf in the morning.

However, if we left bondage and restriction of what we listen to, or what we look at, it might be possible for us to fit with the order and situation following the will to the truth. From the ancient time to the present, when we listen to the situation of people, who are scarce in their knowledge, or when we look at people, who are narrow-minded, in almost all cases they have fallen down into pitfalls of fame and profit losing the life of Buddhist Truth forever.

It is so sorrowful and it is so regretable. We should know such kinds of sad situations without fail.

Even though they have read so many excellent Buddhist Sutras of both the figurative and the real, or even though they have received so many excellent books of the concrete and the secret, if they haven't thrown away fame and profit wholly, it is competely impossible for them to be esteemed for their having started to have the will to the truth already.

Some say that the will to the truth is the mind of the supreme and truly balanced consciousness, therefore it does not relate with famous rumors, or sufficient foods and clothes. Some say that it is intuitive understanding that one moment at the present includes three thousand things and phenomena in it. And some say that it is the Buddhist teachings that anything does not appear at the present moment at all, or some say it is the mind, which is going to enter into the world of Buddhism.

Such poeple as these have never known the will to the truth, but they are blaming the will to the truth at random because of having their wrong explanations. Therefore we can say that they are people who are far more distant than anyone who is studying Buddhist teachings.

For trial, reflect on your own mind, which has fallen down into the selfish mind or the greedy mind to get some profits. Are they harmonized into substance and form of oneness between a mind and the three thousands of miscellaneous things and phenomena? Do they experience the gate of the truth where any consciousness is not born?

Oppositely, even though there are so much deluded mind of craving fame and loving profit, it is very surprising that there is almost nothing that can be called the will to the truth at all.

Since the ancient times, there have been the cases of the saints who have got the truth and the rule of the universe. Even though they have pretended to be the same as ordinary secular people, there is no saint who has had any kind of evil thought for getting fame or profit at all. They did not have even any kind of attachment to the rule of the universe at all. Therefore it is not necessary further for us to say anything about the case of secular attachments.

What is called the will to the truth is just the mind, which has been described in the paragraphs before, as the mind of reflecting the instantaneousness of the world, is also one example of it. It is completely different from what mad people are prone to indicate at all.

The consciousness, in which any kind of idea does not occur at the present moment, or the consciousness, in which the three thousands of miscellaneous things and phenomena appear really, is just the splendid act, which manifests itself after establishing the will to the truth. Therefore we should never mingle the difference of the two cases at all.

When we practice Zazen privately for a while forgetting ourselves, then the will to the truth will become very familiar to us.
Therefore we can say that the 62 wrong viewpoints other than Buddhism come inevitably from the viewpoints of self.
When the viewpoint of self occurs inevitably, please practice Zazen quietly to reflect on the self, whether or not it really exists.

What is the real substance of what we have inside and outside our body and mind?

The body, the hair, the skin, are received from father and mother. Both the red drop of ovum and the white drop of semen do not belong to us completely, and so they can never be ourselves.

Mind, will, consciousness, and wisdom make our life continuous, but it is not clear what is called the breath of exhalation and inhalation in conclusion. Therefore the breath is not ourselves. And so the mental function of mind, and so forth, and the physical function of breath, both are not so preferable as ourselves.
The people, who are deluded, prefer one of them, but the people, who are clear in understanding, leave the problem.

People usually, however, consider the self of no-self, or attach to the life of not being born. They do not practice the Buddhist practice, which they should do, and they do not cut the emotional conditions of secular societies. They usually hate the real rule of the universe, and they usually want to get the wrong rule of the world.

Aren't they making very serious mistakes in such ways?