Dogen Sangha Blog


Japanese / German

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shikan Taza, or Just practice Zazen

Shikan means "solely, or just," and Taza means "practice Zazen!" Therefore the words Shikan Taza means "Just practice Zazen," and so it means that Zazen is just Action, but it is never a only verbal expression of Zazen. Zazen is just Action, which has been utilize as a practice to have our ANS balanced.

Therefore the practice of Zasen is just useful when it is just actually practiced, but it is perfectly useless for us to explain or discuss Zazen only verbally.

However, actually speaking, people usually like to speak or discuss Zazen verbally, but exactly speaking, people usually do not like to practice Zazen actually.

And so Master Dogen proclaimes that "Do practice Zazen actually." That is just the meaning of words "Shikan Taza."

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Instantaneousness of Human Action at the present moment

When we think about the Human Freedom in idealistic philosophy, we can think that we, human beings, are perfectly free in our Action at the present moment.

But when we think about the Rule of Cause and Effect in materialistic philosophy, we, human beings, can never be free because of being governed by the Rule of Cause and Effect at all.

Therefore generally speaking we, human beings, are always perfectly free, but at the same time we, human beings, are always governed by the Rule of Cause and Effect.

However such a kind of contradictory situation of Human Freedom and the Rule of Cause and Effect can never exist really together actually at all. And so if we want to solve the such kind of contradictory situations, it is necessary for us to leave the intellectual considerations, and we should enter into the Philosopuy of Action itself.

In Euro-American Civilization it is impossible for us to find the Philosophy of Action, but in the Buddhist Philosophy, which Gautama Buddha has found in the Ancient India, has the theory of Philosophy of Action clearly, and if we rely upon the Philosophy of Action, the contradictory situations between Human Freedom and the Rule of Cause and Effect, can be solved exactly and clearly.

In the Philosophy of Action, our Action is always done at the present moment, and the Real Action is never done at any time other than the present moment at all. Therefore all human Real Action is always inevitably done at the Real Preasent Moment, and such a Real Present Moment is always so short as the edge of the width of razor-edge.

And relying upon such a fact that the Real Action is always done at the so short length of the Present Moment, and so Human Beings can select their freedom just at the present moment of Aeal Action.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What is the enlightenment, or Satori?

In Buddhism many people have discussed about the enlightenment, or Satori. And some of them discuss that the enlightenment, or Satori, is just a special and excellent situation, and so such a kind of experience is very rare.

But I think that the Real Enlightenment in Buddhism is completely different from such a kind of romantic fact, but the Real Enlightenment in Buddhism is just to get the balanced state of the ANS.

Therefore we can think that when we have begun practicing Zazen, if our posture has become regular, we can enter into the state of Enlightenment in several minutes everyday actually.

However before we have become accustomed to practice Zazen everyday, it is rather difficult for us to practice Zazen to continue everyday.

Therefore I recommen to everyone, who practices Zazen, to continue the practice of Zazen everyday. Because it is very important for us to continue Zazen everyday, and to become accustomed to our daily practice continuously.

Of course in Buddhism there are two kinds of enlightenment. The one is the state of practicing Zazen everyday. But at the same time when we have continued our daily practice of Zazen for more than 30 years, we can meet the second Enlightenment. Because when we have continued our daily practice for more than 30 years, we can continue our consideration of Buddhist Philosophies everyday for more than 30 years, and so we can solve the all kinds of Buddhist Philosophical Problem totally at last.

Therefore we can think that in Buddhism we can have two kinds of Enlightenment, that is, the one is our daily practice of Zazen, and the second one is the total understanding the whole Buddhist Philosophies after the very long continuity of Zazen everyday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Zen is not a independent concept

Even though in general Buddhism people usually think that the word "Zen" includes some kind of special meaning.

But actually speaking the word "Zen" is only a word, which has been abbreviated word from "Zazen", and so the original meanng of "Zen" is just the word, which only suggest the meaning of word "Zazen.

Therefore in Shobogenzo Bendo-wa, Master Dogen wrote that:
"Remember that this title "Zen Sect" was establisued in China and the east; it is not heard in India. When the Great Master Bodhidharma first stayed at Shaolin temple in the Sung-shan mountains, and faced the wall for nine years, monks and laymen were still ignorant of the Buddha's Dharma, so they calld [MasterBodhidharma] a Brahman who made a religion Zazen. Thereafter, the patriarchs of successive generations all constantly devoted themselves to Zazen. Stupid secular people who saw this, not knowing the reality, talked at random of a Zazen Sect. Nowadays, dropping the word "Za," they talk of just the Zen Sect. This interpretation is clear from records of the patriaechs.

Friday, April 3, 2009


April 4th and 5th, I will go to Osaka for my lecture, and so it is impossible for me to send Dogen Sangha Blog for those two days.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I will continue my English translation of MMK and its comments again.