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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.


Blogger Jiryu02 said...

Thank you Nishijima, your blog is always interesting.

One question, though: Do all zen practitioners have many philosophical questions in mind? Certainly not all zen students practice for that reason. Or is it that these "philosophical problems" as you put it, are just the real obstacles of life that everyone wishes to solve (and manifests itself as a philosophical question for some students)?

Sorry for the long question, I've just been interested in what you have to say is all.

9:59 PM, April 23, 2009  
Blogger Uku said...

Dear Nishijima sensei,

thank you for your realistic approach to this realistic topic, satori. I believe it's really important to concentrate on practicing zazen everyday and to live Buddhist life as skillfully as we can. I think practicing wholeheartead zazen, trying to do one's best to help oneself and others, is practicing true zazen and therefore is walking Gautama Buddha's path, True Buddhism which is helping oneself and others.

Like Master Dogen wrote in Doshin:

"Again, constantly we should wear the kasaya and sit in zazen. There are past examples of the kasaya [leading to] attaining the truth in a third life. Already it is the attire of the buddhas of the three times: its merit is unfathomable. Zazen is not a method of the triple world: it is the method of the Buddhist patriarchs."

Thank you for your wise words, sensei.


2:56 AM, April 24, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Jiryu02 San,

Thank you very much for your interesting questions.

I think that not only zen practitioners, but almost of all human beings have tendency to like to pursue philosophical problems.

Of course in the case of zen students, they might like to get the Truth, but at the same time I think that almost all human beings have their desire to know the Truth, and so it is very natural that almost everyone is always wanting to know the Truth.

Dear Uku San,

I agree with your idea, which you described in your comments.

Therefore Master Dogen recommended us just to practice Zazen actually, and so he said that such kind of Real Practice is all.

11:13 AM, April 24, 2009  
Blogger Al said...


Thank you for the teaching. If during sitting our SNS or PNS becomes stronger, how do we correct it and bring it back into balance?

Is is correct to say that during zazen we are constantly going through a process of falling off balance and coming back? Or is it that we reach a point during our practice after a while wherein we stay balanced the entire time?



12:19 PM, April 24, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

Dear Roshi,

What is your view on the situations presented by Master Dogen where Buddhist practitioners have become realized on hearing the sounds of nature, or on listening to the words of a teacher, or on being physically struck etc.



7:42 PM, April 24, 2009  
Blogger Ran K. said...

How about Master Fuke? Do you think he had a tendency to like to pursue philosophical problems? (In somewhat of a strange manner perhaps?)

6:12 AM, April 25, 2009  
Blogger Ran K. said...

I was just joking – or half joking – of course – but generally, - as for the story – (where Master Fuke turns the table over (- twice)) it seems master Fuke had some criticism of Master Rinzai's question – but it seems he did have an opinion about the matter: – (- and have answered Master Rinzai's question – intentionally or unintentionally) according to his statements in the story his view was that the cases Master Rinzai had mentioned were not to be viewed as something special.

– I suppose Master Rinzai sticking out his tongue in the end was meant to express that this was not new to him.

- Ran

5:52 PM, April 25, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Al San,

Thank you very much for your questions.

When we are practicing Zazen, if our Zazen posture is regular, it is impossible for us to lose the balanced state at all. Therefore if our ANS is not balanced, it is necessary for us to check, whether our Zazen posture is authentic, or not, and we should correct our posture.

When we are keeping our authetic posture of Zazen, it is impossible for us to lose the balance of ANS in Zazen.

Therefore if our ANS has lost the balanced situation in Zazen, we shoud correct our posture of Zazen regularly, and we should come back our authentic state.

Unfortunately our posture of Zazen is not so always stable, and so if we notice that our posture in Zazen is not so good, it is necessary for us to correct our Zazen posture to authentic one intentionally.

Dear Harry San,

Thank you very much for your question.

During Zazen when we become realized on hearing the sounds of nature, or on listening to the words of a teacher, or on being physically struck, we usually accept them as usual.

Dear Ran K. San,

Thank you very much for your question.

The story about Master Fuke and Master Rinzai suggests that Master Rinzai asked Master Fuke the philosophical meaning of facts that they are going to receive the offering lunches.

But Master Rinzai has begun to discuss the Buddhist Q&A.

Therefore Master Fuke wants to suggest the much more importance of Action than the discussion of Buddhist theory, and so he violently has thrown away the meals suddenly because of insisting much more valuable facts of eating the Real Meal.

And in another chance Master Rinzai and Master Fuke have experienced the same Q&A again, and so the stories are showing the enormously much more importance of Action comparing with Buddhist discussion especially.

3:01 PM, May 04, 2009  

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