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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

[19] Examination of Time (6 verses)

MMK (19) Examination of Time (6 verses)

1. The existence just at the present moment is the state that everything has never arrived at yet.

And at that time past is just the object of consideration mentally,

The existence just at the present moment is the state that everything has never arrived

Therefore the past in time will exist in future actually.

2. The existence just at the present moment is the state that everything has never arrived
at yet,

The situations there might never exist once more again at all.

The existence just at the present moment is the state that everything has never arrived
at yet,

Perhaps, aha, what kind of consideration, does it belong?

3. An accomplishment is not so esteemed.

Past is not so recognized also.

Existing at the present moment hasn’t arrived at yet actually,

Therefore Time is not recognized yet.

4. Utilizing just this place what have been left are two,

The one is relying upon going on ahead, and the other one is relying upon

Among the highest, the lowest, and the middle,

Selecting only one might be desirable actually.

5. Time can be grasped relying upon the fact that it does never stop.

Time, which has stopped, can never be found anywhere at all.

If Time is something, which has been caught, but at the same time hasn't been caught,

How is it possible for Time to be recognized at all?

6. Even though it is clear for Time to exist really,

In the case that Time really exists, where does it move actually?

If there were no existence of Time at all,

Where is it possible for time to exist really even in future at all?


Blogger Ran K. said...

Dear Sensei,

I wonder whether you would be interested to refer: -

When I was in Ryutaku-ji (Rinzai sect) in '91 people often asked me whether Zazen was just a practice for me or whether Buddhism was a religion for me.

This is likely not to be the exact question but this is the general idea.

I never answered.

I thought it was a stupid question.

I saw no meaning in belonging to one stream or way or another. As I saw it it was just the practice you do that is important.

I didn’t think being a Buddhist or not being a Buddhist has any meaning. Especially if you do exactly the same practice. [And of course you always do exactly the practice that you do. There is no other choice. But this seems to be beside the point here.]

I don’t much like for such a difference [between belonging to a certain path or not] to exist but this may again be beside the point here.

In the Shobogenzo Master Dogen speaks about ordination.
I don’t remember much.

What is the meaning of ordination?

Is it possible to transcend ordination? - Might it be possible in the future?

Master Dogen lived eight hundred years ago. Conditions might have changed. Also Zen is spreading out of Japan now and Buddhism in general out of the east.

I suppose it might shed off some Japanese or eastern characteristics with time. Perhaps the situation might be different in that in a way too. In case the possibility exists conditions may be getting more convenient.

So far,

The questions are as I have asked,


Ran. (Kennedy)

7:47 AM, November 12, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Ran K. San,

I think that Buddhism has become a philosophy from religion in 20th Century. Because in 20th Century Buddhism has accomplished its interpretation of philosophical system absolutely, and so nowadays there is no philosophical explanation, which Buddhism has never solved yet. Relying upon the theory of the autonomic nervous system,Buddhism has finished the explanations of philosophycal system completely. Therefore now we can insist that Buddhism is just a philosophy. Because nowadays Buddhism does not have any doubt in its philosophical explanations.

I think that whether we have practice, or not, does not decide whether we are believers of religion, or not.

Not only Master Dogen, but even Gautama Buddha recommended us to belong to organization.

11:15 AM, November 12, 2009  
Blogger Ran K. said...

I think the term “believer of a religion” is wrong, since faith does not rely on membership or belonging as well.

A person can have faith without belonging to any organization. There is no doubt about that.

Also I don’t think religions differ in faith. The universe is the same universe, and our vision and understanding should not be distorted whether we are Buddhists or Christians, Muslims or Hindus, - or whether we have no belonging what so ever.

Religions differ in the path, not in the view. [Of course we can only speak of a vision, or understanding, or action-or-application, or path, - as long as we see these as [- independently] existing.]

So - being a Buddhist does not define faith but some sort of membership.

That which I did not understand is what does this membership contributes to the practice itself.

Or to whatever the aim of Buddhism [or Christianity, or Islam, or Hindu, or any other of whatever you call these] is.

3:07 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Ran K. said...

Also – having read Shobogenzo Kesa-kudoku ([87], [90]) I wondered: - if one does wrong one does wrong. If one does right one does right. [to the extent right and wrong exist, - of course]

What is the value of receiving the precepts?

If the same action would bear different consequences [or “fruits”] relying on reception or no reception of the precepts, - this would seem strange. Would it not?

It seems unnatural.

Would it not be the best way for this not to have any meaning?

So far,
Best wishes,


3:38 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

I want to ask you if is it possible to see our life in wide contexts? I maybe mean if is possible create different state of consciousness where everything is so clear for us, so we know how to deal with our problems in every moment of our lifes...

And isn't it just game of ego to want to see myself from eyes of other person?

Thank you for your answers, and I wish you good moments! :-)

6:52 AM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Ran K. San.

Faith does not belong to membership, but members are usually love to become members.

A person can have faith without belonging to any organization.

I think that beliefs among Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, or Hindus are absolutely different.

Religions are absolutely different among their views.

Buddhists absolutely revere their own belief, and so Buddhists revere their orgernizations.

Relying upon our Buddhist Ceremony of Precepts, we can have very strong confidence that we are absolutely

To believe in Buddhism is to believe that Buddhism is the absolute Truth in the Universe.

The second questions,

When Shobogenzo has written by Master Dogen for the first time, of course there was not any printing machine at all. Therefore it has to be copied by hands so enormously many times, and so it was difficult for many people to avoid making their mistakes when they copied the texts with hands.

By receiving the precepts we promise to Gautama Buddha that we will want to follow the Buddhist precepts throughout our life absolutely.

Of course there might be many times, when we have to commit the breaking the precepts, but having the ceremony might be useful to dicrease the possibility of committing the mistakes less than usual.

And if it were not useful for decreacing the number of the mistakes, it might be very valuable for us to have the ceremony having the hope of decreasing the committing violence at least.

I think that generally speaking, we, human beings, are so week to stop doing bad.

Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

I think that your questions are much related with the problem of the autonomic nervous system.

When our sympathetic nervous system is stronger, we are too much spiritual.

When our parasympathetic nervous system stronger, we are too much relaxed.

Therefore if we want to be Human Beings, it is necessary for us to keep our autonomic nervous system balanced absolutely.

3:43 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

Dear Roshi,

I hope you are well.

I have a question about Zazen and cause-and-effect:

The instantaneous experience of time revered in Buddhism reveals that each moment is cut off from the next, that each moment has autonomy and is the freedom to act free from our usual conditions and habits.

Yet we know from our everyday lives that we cannot avoid the circumstances of our lives and our environment: we know that we are also conditioned and that we unavoidably live in conditions.

Can we say that the aim of Buddhism is to reorientate our conditioned lives based on the realisation of real time/ real action? Do you see Zazen as the practice of stepping out of cause-and-effect in order to better organise cause-and-effect in our daily lives?

Or how do you see Zazen relating with cause-and-effect in our daily lives?



10:03 PM, November 13, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Harry San,

When we think about the Buddhist Philosophy, we never forget the separation of Four Philosophies, that is, Idealism, Materialism, philosophy of Action, and Reality, and Zazen, belongs to the fourth phase of Reality, but cause and effect belongs to the second phase of cause and effect. Therefore Zazen and cause and effect can not be discussed together directly.

I think that it is necessary for you to separate the area of thinking and the area of Action.

We, Buddhists, are thinking about our Action, which is separated from our idea or perception.

It is Buddhism, which want to throw away idea and perception, and just to enter into the area of Action itself.

12:42 PM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

"It is Buddhism, which want to throw away idea and perception, and just to enter into the area of Action itself."

Thank-you, Roshi.

Are you saying that such Actions do not have substantial causes and effects?

This does not make sense to me as it seems clear that zazen has both real causes and real effects just like everything else regardless of how I philosophise about the situation.



7:18 PM, November 14, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

Thank you very much for your answers and I got one more question: Should we every conquer/master all our fears in our daily lifes?

Thank you very much, have a good Actions :-)

1:44 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger skatemurai said...

Dear Roshi,

I want to ask on another thing. What u think about drugs that change our consciousness? I've even met one man that told me that he was have got Enlightenment on one experience with LSD, and then he become boddhisatva under Buddhist Diamond Way sect.

3:17 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Harry San,

The area of substantial cause and effects is belongng the second phase, that is, Material area,or the scientific area. But Action belongs to the Real Present Moment, and so Action does not belong to the Idealistic consideration, or the Materialistic perception.

Action exists just at the present moment, therefore Action is absolutely different from idea, or sense perception.

The idea that Zazen has both real cause and real effects just like everything, is just your idea, but it is absolutely different from the Action of Zazen itself.

Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

I think that your fear comes from your rather stronger parasympathetic nervous system. Therefore if you like to eraze your fear, it is necessary for you to make your sympathetic nervous system stronger and make your SNS and PNS equal.

Dear Ven. skatemurai San,

If we change our mental therefore physical conditions utilizing some kinds of medical stuff, it is just a kind of schientific experiment, and so it is impossible for you to avoid the unnatural change of your body and mind absolutely.

11:51 AM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger Harry said...

Thank-you, Roshi.

A person asked the old teacher, "Do even people in the state of great practice fall into cause and effect, or not?"

He answered, "they do not", and, the story goes, he became a wild fox for many lifetimes.

Master Daichi of Hyakujo-zan released him from his time as a wild fox by instructing him regarding cause-and-effect thus: "Do not be unclear about cause and effect."

This story suggests to me that the relationship between cause-and-effect and zazen is different than their being seperate or cut off from each other. It seems to me that the raw 'stuff' of our own mental causes-and-effects is an essential element of zazen. It seems that our 'not being unclear' about these causes has an effect.

Do you agree with the Master's teaching on cause-and-effect? What is your understanding of his answer which released the old teacher from the body of a wild fox?

Thanks & Regards,


9:27 PM, November 15, 2009  
Blogger GUDO NISHIJIMA said...

Dear Ven. Harry San,

Thank you very much for your question, and my answer is as follows.

The old man's answer "they do not fall down into the Rule of Cause and Effect" was wrong.

Therefore the old man fell down into the state of a wild fox.

Master Hyakujo's answer "Do not be unclear about cause and effect" is an affirmation of cause and effect. Therefore the old man has become saved from the wild fox.

Therefore we should think that even though we practice Zazen, we can never deny the existence of Cause and Effect. And so Master Hyakujo said "we should never blind to the Rule of Cause and Effect."

12:01 PM, November 16, 2009  

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