2008.10.03-serial.00197

00:00
00:00
Audio loading...

Welcome! You can log in or create an account to save favorites, edit keywords, transcripts, and more.

Serial: 
SO-00197
Photos: 
Transcript: 

Good morning, everyone. This morning I'd like to start page 34, the last paragraph of page 34. This is a new section. The title of the section is Living Out the Reality of Life. Let me read the first paragraph. I have explained that the reality of life is the very living out of life, just as it is, and that the Zen is the practice of doing just that. But is there any other way to live besides living life as it is?

[01:03]

Of course not. Whatever our way of life may be, that is the reality of life. So there is no possibility of living outside the reality of life. Nevertheless, it is also too possible to live losing sight of that reality, and because of that to suffer and agonize about our lives. So he has been talking about our Zazen practice, and he said our Zazen is to practice and to live out this reality of life as it is, that is beyond our thinking. And the question he raised here is,

[02:09]

is it possible to live outside of this reality of life? Whatever way of life we live, we cannot get out of the reality of life. But he said it is possible to lose sight of the reality of life because of our illusion, or delusion, that is floating around six feet off the ground. So even though our body is, or of course our mind is, living the reality of life, but things happening in our mind can be the fantasy that is floating from the ground of the reality of life. And he introduced one example here.

[03:14]

That example is about a woman. So he introduced his conversation with this woman. But before I start to talk with this conversation, Uchiyamuro's conversation with this woman, I'd like to introduce one chapter of Shobo Genzo, and that what Uchiyamuro is saying is a kind of his understanding or interpretation of what Dogen Zenji is saying in here. This is a chapter of Shobo Genzo entitled, Inmo. Inmo is very well known or used often in Zen literature.

[04:22]

And this inmo literally means thus or how. So it doesn't mean, it has no, how can I say, meaning. It has function, but no meaning. And this word inmo or somo or juumo, juumo, this means what. Those words are used to refer to the reality of life before any definition or before any conceptualization. And Dogen Zenji discusses about what this inmo is. And first he introduces one of our ancestors' sayings about this inmo.

[05:24]

The ancestor is Ungo Doyo. Ungo Doyo, Taiyosho, is a disciple of Tozan. So, Ungo Doyo, Ungo Doyo, he is Tozan Ryokai's dharmaya. So, this is very beginning of this chapter, inmo, he said, Great Master Hongjue or Koukaku of Mount Yonju or Ungo, Yonju is Chinese, Ungo is Japanese pronunciation of the name of the mountain this Zen Master Doyo lived.

[06:27]

He was the legitimate heir of Donshan or Tozan. He was the 39th generation Dharma descendant of Shakyamuni Buddha. He was a legitimate ancestor in the lineage of Donshan or Tozan. One day he said to his assembly, If you wish to attain the matter of thusness, thusness or suchness is an English word to translate this word inmo. And here I translate, this is my translation, I translate with English word thusness. Or we can use suchness or as it is-ness, or those words.

[07:28]

Why do you worry about the matter of thusness? He said, If you wish to attain the matter of thusness, you must already be a person of thusness. Since you are already a person of thusness, why do you worry about the matter of thusness? So Ungo repeated this inmo four times. First he said, If you wish to attain this inmo-ji, the matter of inmo, the matter of thusness, then you must already be a person of thusness. That is inmo-nin. Inmo-ji and inmo-nin is person. And he said,

[08:32]

Since you are already a person of thusness, this is again inmo-nin. You are already a person of inmo. Then, so, why do you worry about the matter of thusness? And next he said, What he said is that, One who wishes to attain the matter of thusness must be a person of thusness. And because the one is already a person of thusness, why does he have to worry about the matter of thusness? You know, first he quoted the Chinese, and here he kind of translated this into Japanese. So kind of a repetition. And he showed his understanding of this saying.

[09:36]

He said, The essential point of this saying is that, Directly heading toward the unsurpassable awakening for the time being is called thusness. So this thusness or inmo is directly heading toward the unsurpassable awakening. That means anuttara samyak samyak bodhi. So this thusness is directly going toward the awakening anuttara samyak samyak bodhi. This directly going means already there. That means this inmo is another word, reality of life or reality of all beings. And according to Nagarjuna, reality of all beings is itself nirvana. So that means we are already in nirvana.

[10:37]

And because of that we wish to attain the matter of thusness. So we are already within the reality of all beings, reality of life. Therefore we wish to attain the matter of reality of all beings. Does it make sense? Maybe not. As for the unsurpassable awakening, it is like even the entire ten direction world is a small part of the unsurpassable awakening. This ten direction world, this entire network of interdependent origination, is a small part of the unsurpassable awakening. This awakening is greater than the entire world.

[11:41]

That means this awakening includes not only space but also time. Entire time and space. This interconnectedness of time and space is the reality of all beings. And he said, we are also the furnishings existing within the ten direction world. Furnishings. That is like desks, tables, chairs, and utensils. So the ten direction world is like a house. And we are like the furnishings or furnitures in the world. But there is not any root. How do you know?

[12:51]

How do we know that we are thus? This is Dogon. How do we know that we are thus? It's funny. He said, we know that the reality is thus, or immo, because our bodies and minds appear within the entire world, and yet they are not ourselves. He said, we are like furnishings or furnitures of this world. And Dogon asked, why do we know that? Because he said, our body and mind, our five skandhas, appear still for a while and disappear within this world. And he said, this is not ourselves.

[13:56]

That means, these five skandhas are a collection of causes and conditions. And these five skandhas, body and mind, are not my possession. This is not a private thing. But this is a furnishing or furniture of this world. That means we are part of this interdependent origination, and also we are persons of thusness. We are born within the reality of life, and we are living out within the reality of life, and we are dying within the reality of life. We never get out of this reality of life. And he continues, even the body is not our personal possession.

[15:00]

Our life is moving through the passage of time, and we cannot even stop it for an instant. Where have our rosy cheeks gone? You know, rosy cheeks means when we are a child, our cheeks are rosy. But when we get old, not anymore rosy. That means we are getting older. So even if we wish to find them, there is no trace. So we cannot control the passage of time and changing of our body and mind. So this is the same thing as Uchamara said in the previous section, about we can't control our heart beating, or breathing, or sleeping.

[16:03]

Because this is not our possession. We cannot control. And commonly that is considered to be the cause of suffering. We cannot control, so we suffer. Because we have a desire to control, and yet we cannot. So this is the cause of suffering, or that is another word some people use instead of suffering. And dissatisfactoriness. Dissatisfactoriness. We cannot satisfy. We cannot have satisfactory. Because I cannot control even I am. Even this person, these five skandhas. So usually this is considered to be the cause of suffering. But according to Mahayana teaching, this is reality of life.

[17:10]

And when we awaken to this reality of life, this cause of suffering is a cause of nirvana. Not cause of, but nirvana itself. That is a kind of difference between early Buddhist teachings and Mahayana teachings. That means one of the basic teachings of Mahayana is samsara and nirvana are one. Cause of samsara can be a cause of nirvana. When we awaken to that reality, and when we are released from clinging to these five skandhas, then these five skandhas is a gift from Buddha. That is, not Buddha, but Dogen says, our life and death is Buddha's life.

[18:12]

Life and death is, or life and death or shoji, is a Chinese translation, one of the Chinese translations of samsara. The cycle of life and death. But in Shobo Gendo Shoji, or life and death, Dogen then said, this life and death is Buddha's life. And in this case, this life, I usually write with a capital L, life. That means Buddha's eternal life. That is mentioned in the Lotus Sutra. So without this, our life and death, there is no Buddha's life. And, maybe I don't have time to talk about it.

[19:17]

Maybe it might be interesting, so I'll talk anyway. There is one Japanese pure land priest, who, when he was about 60, maybe in his 60s, he had cancer. So he faced his own matter of life and death. And he is, how can I say, contemplating on this shoji, life and death. And one day he found the final stroke of this kanji, life. And the first stroke of this kanji, death, is the same line. So he made this one kanji.

[20:20]

He put these together because he found these are two same lines, same strokes. So he said, this is one kanji, not life and death. And he is asking to many of the Buddhist teachers, how do you read this kanji? And Uchiyama Roshi was one of the teachers who was asked. And Uchiyama Roshi's way of reading this kanji, you know, oneness of life and death. The final stroke of life is the first stroke of death. So there is no separation between life and death. And Uchiyama Roshi read this as, right now, right here, this moment.

[21:25]

So this moment is this line, which includes both life and death. So, without this, you know, life and death, there is no Buddha's life. So, you know, within this, both samsara and nirvana are included. That is the reality Dogen Zenji and Uchiyama Roshi both tried to point out. How do you live this kanji? Oneness of life and death. Anyway, so now Dogen Zenji described the impermanence.

[22:27]

And impermanence means we cannot control even our own life. So, even the body is not our personal possession. Our life is moving through the passage of time. And we cannot even stop it for an instant. Where have our rosy cheeks gone? Even if we wish to find them, there is no place. When we carefully contemplate, we understand that there are many things in the past that we can never see again. He said there are many things, but not simply many things, but everything. Everything in the past we cannot see again. Even, you know, this is the same marker I saw and used yesterday, but this is different.

[23:30]

So we cannot see yesterday's marker, and we cannot see yesterday's me. It's already gone. So only this moment. That is life and death, right now, right here. And we only have once. Within millions of years. And not only the body, but the sincere red heart does not stay either. Bit by bit, it is coming and going. Our mind is also coming and going. Although there is sincerity, this red heart means sincere heart. So although there is sincerity, even if we live sincerely, it does not stagnate within the boundary of individual ego-centered self. Although there is sincerity, it does not stagnate, stay, within the boundary of individual ego-centered self.

[24:50]

So even our mind is gone. My past mind is already gone, as the Diamond Sutra said. The past mind is already gone, so we can't grasp it. The future mind is not graspable, because it has not yet here. And present mind is also ungraspable, because there is no such chunk of time to grasp. So mind cannot be grasped also. Body is always changing, mind is also changing. Nothing is under our control. So the point is whether we awake to this reality and live based on this reality,

[25:54]

or we want to create a fantasy and live within that fantasy. That is the point of samsara and nirvana. Whether we live based on that reality of impermanence and egolessness, or we create the story based on our ego-centeredness and put our life into that story and live out within that story. That is the difference between samsara and nirvana. So not so much different. Very subtle difference, but this subtle difference makes a big difference. So, although it is thus, in this chapter he often uses this word, thus.

[26:54]

Although it is thus, there are some who allow awakening mind without any particular reason. Somehow we want to awaken to that reality. Because to live in the fiction or in the story does not make our life stable and peaceful. So somehow we want to awake to that reality. This desire to awaken is awakening mind or bodhicitta. Bodhicitta. From the time that this mind is aroused, so bodhicitta is aroused, we throw away everything we have been toying with. Toying? Playing with.

[27:56]

We wish to listen to what we have never heard. That is Buddha's teaching. And we wish to verify what we have never verified. All of these are not simply our personal activities. This desire to awaken, awakening, is not our personal desire. Somehow, that's why Uchamara Shofun said, this awakening is not this deluded person awakened to that reality. But he said, reality awakened to that reality. So this practice and this awakening is also, this activity or practice, is also not my or Shohaku's action to make Shohaku a better person. But reality awakened to that reality through this person.

[29:01]

And why we do such a thing? Dogen then said, we should know that we are thus. Because we are persons of thusness. Because we are persons of immo. Because we are living within that reality of life. Somehow we wish to awaken to that reality of life. How do we know that we are persons of thusness? Then his answer is, we know that we are the persons of thusness precisely because we wish to attain the matter of thusness. He said, we are such a thing because we are persons of thusness. And he asked again, why we can see we are persons of thusness?

[30:13]

He said, that is because we want, we wish to awaken to that thusness. So thusness is the same as reality of life. Because we want to awaken to the reality of life. Because we are actually living the reality of life. And how do you know? Because we want to awaken to the reality of life. So this is a kind of repetition. But that is the only reason we can find. Since we already have the face of the person of thusness, we should not worry about the present matter of thusness. So thusness is not something lacking. But we are within thusness and we are already the persons of thusness.

[31:15]

So when we awake, that means when we let go of these fantasies, we are right within this thusness. So thusness is not something lost and went somewhere else. But within thusness we have fantasy and we lose the sight of the thusness. So when we let go of this fantasy, then we are right in the middle of thusness, reality of life. That's why he said we don't need to worry about it. We don't need to find, we don't need to walk wandering around to find what is the reality of life. Because here it's working, always working within our five skandhas. But he says another interesting thing next.

[32:19]

Because to worry about it is also a matter of thusness, it is not worrying. Still we worry about it. How can we awaken to that? But this worry is also a function of thusness. So he said it is not worrying. That means we seek the reality of life. We try to find the reality of life. And we try to keep awakening to the reality of life. That is our practice. But this worrying and seeking is also a part of reality of life. Because we are like a plant growing towards the sun. We have a life force to awaken to the reality of life. Because the reality of life is us.

[33:19]

Also we should not be surprised that the matter of thusness is thus. The matter of thusness is thus. Even if there is thusness, you may be surprised and scared. That is nothing other than thusness. So there is nothing outside of thusness. Everything is happening within this thusness or reality of life. So even our fictitious way of life, our fantasy, is also part of reality of life. But as far as we are living within this fictitious story, then, as Uchamaroji said, we are losing sight of reality of thusness. So we have to practice. We have to study and practice. That is our study of Dharma and practice of Dharma.

[34:26]

That there is thusness should not surprise us. So we don't need to be surprised and worried and scared. Simply this cannot be measured with the measurement of Buddha. It cannot be measured by the measurement of the mind. It cannot be measured by the measurement of the Dharma world. And it cannot be measured by the measurement of the entire world. So this reality of life cannot be measured in any way. Because it includes everything. It should simply and precisely be already being a person of thusness. Why worry about the matter of thusness? For this reason, thusness of sound and color is thus.

[35:33]

Thusness of body and mind is thus. Thusness of all Buddhas must be thus. You know, sound and color is usually, we think, the object. And body and mind is subject. And, as I often say, object, sound and color become a Nama Rupa. And this subject, body and mind, is being pulled by, by clinging to some part of the object, and chase after that. And hate or dislike another part of the object, and we try to escape from that, our life becomes samsara. Chasing after something or escaping from something. But when we see thusness of sound and color, that means object, and thusness of body and mind, then, what he is saying is, there is nothing to chase after,

[36:36]

nothing to, you know, escape from. That is the place we can find, you know, peaceful foundation of our life. Then, he quotes one phrase from a sutra. For example, at the time of falling down to the ground, falling down to the ground means when we are walking, falling down means we are in trouble, in some difficulties, when we lose sight of this reality of life. We thus understand as thusness, there are so many thusness, that the time of inevitably standing up on the ground is thus. We should not doubt ourselves if we fall to the ground. That means if we fall to the ground, we have to stand up on the ground.

[37:40]

And this ground is reality of life. I think, basically, what Uchamro is saying here is the same as what Genzenji is saying in this part of Inmo. We are already living within the reality of life. And we are always part of reality of life. We never get out of life. But we lose sight of life, reality of life. So we try to awaken too, moment by moment. Then, we are already there. Because we are already a person of thusness. Even though we are a person of thusness, we lose sight of thusness because of our fantasies. So our practice of Zazen is to awaken from the dream by letting go of thought, moment by moment.

[38:45]

And I think now I'm ready to talk on the conversation between Uchamro and this woman. I think, you know, in the previous section, he talks about, you know, reality of life. Well, Zazen practice is to awaken to and live out reality of life. And there are two ways to obstruct our awakening to the reality of life. That is our self-centered, limited and conditioned way of viewing things in our daily lives. And second, our rational way of thinking to define everything.

[39:48]

And he said, in Buddhism, the important point is reality beyond thinking. That means beyond discrimination. I think these three, you know, recently we studied the five eyes in the Diamond Sutra. I think those three are the first three eyes. You know, physical eyes, divine eyes, and wisdom eye, or prajna eye. And fourth is Dharma eye. And fifth is Buddha eye. Buddha eye includes all those four. And Buddha eye is a perfect function of all those four eyes, I think. But where is Dharma eye? That is a kind of an interesting question. And, you know, in the very beginning of this part two,

[40:59]

Uchamara introduced his dialogue between one American businessman who had some feeling of emptiness in his life, even though he was a very successful person. And he gave some advice. And here, you know, one Japanese woman came to talk with him. And he gave some advice. You know, within this conversation, Uchamara always never rejected a person coming to ask the question, unless he was really sick. You know, when he was not sick, he met all the visitors. And all the visitors had some problems or questions from their lives.

[42:03]

And I think he already talked about his attitude when he met with those visitors with questions. When he met with those visitors or persons who had problems, he met as a part of his life, his own life. And the person's problem is his problem. That is his attitude. And often he gave really precise answers. So that American businessman really understood what Uchamara was saying. And Uchamara understood the essential point of this American businessman's question. That is, according to this book, that is alienation. That is Uchamara's dharma.

[43:05]

And actually, he wrote this book as a kind of a guideline of Zazen practice for foreigners. Because he didn't speak any Western language, even though many Westerners came to practice with him, he couldn't give instruction one by one within conversation without a translator. It's not convenient. That's why he wrote this book and asked his American student to translate. So from the very beginning, he wrote this book. His intention was this is for instruction, Zazen instruction for foreigners. So this is how his Dharma-I works.

[44:10]

I mean, his activity of writing this book. So, you know, those kind of ancient teachings from the Diamond Sutra is really still working today in this person whose name was Uchiyama Kosho. So this is another example of Uchamara's talks with one person who was in kind of difficulty. This conversation is quite long, so I read sentence by sentence. I don't think we need explanations. So if I have something to say, I may comment, but I just read sentence by sentence.

[45:17]

Excuse me. One time, a woman in her forties came to talk with me. She was one of the visitors to talk with Uchiyama Roshi. She was distraught as she told me her story. She had always loved to paint and was quite talented. When she was in her twenties, her parents supported her and helped her make a life as an artist in Tokyo. Initially, she met with considerable success, so she was a painter.

[46:26]

Her paintings were exhibited everywhere, often winning prizes, and even the critics gave her generous praise as an accomplished young artist. So when she was in her twenties, as a young artist, she was very successful. However, her brilliant beginning met with an obstacle. Just when her reputation was starting to grow, her father lost everything he had. It was still a little too risky for her to live only by her paintings,

[47:35]

and she was also worried about her disappointed parents. So, she returned to the country and did all she could to look after them, after her parents. Years went by, so she left Tokyo to take care of her parents. That means she couldn't continue to work as an artist. Years went by and her parents grew quite old, but her unceasing passion for painting would not allow her to stay in the country and wither away. So, she moved back to Tokyo, taking her aged parents along.

[48:38]

Maybe I might need some explanation. You know, Tokyo is the center of Japan, and if not only the artists, but also any scholars or anything, if they want to be well-known, famous, you know, first-class people, a successful person, he or she had to go to Tokyo. If they stayed in the local places, you know, they might be a local person, and within local, but they cannot be a really successful person. So, all talented people who want to be successful, to get success, need to go to Tokyo. And especially the world of painters are kind of small, and there is a, you know, in Japanese society, everything is like a pyramid.

[49:43]

There is a, you know, certain, you know, very well-known painters, and without, you know, entering this small pyramid, the person cannot be successful, an outsider cannot be famous. So, first, from the bottom of the pyramid, the person should, you know, climb the ladder. If the person wants to be a successful artist, or even a noblest, or a poet, that is a kind of a system of Japanese society. That's why, you know, in order to be a successful artist, she needs to stay in Tokyo. When she left Tokyo, that means she left that, you know, pyramid. But, so she lived in the countryside to take care of her parents for many years,

[50:57]

maybe 20 or so, because she was successful in her 20s, and now she was in her 40s. So, she lived in the countryside for almost 20 years. Years went by, and her parents grew quite old, but her unceasing passion for painting would not allow her to stay in the country and wither away. So, she moved back to Tokyo, taking her aged parents along. She worked during the day, so she had a part-time job, and devoted herself to painting at night. She continued this effort for several years, but she was unable to win recognition the way she had in her 20s.

[52:00]

Every painting she exhibited and placed her hopes in lost in competition. As a result, she was unable to sell any paintings, and was forced to continue working to support herself and her parents, which sapped all her energy and spirit, so she couldn't really focus on her painting. Lamenting her unfortunate situation, she wept over being unable to develop her talent because her family had lost all its property. That was her story.

[53:04]

So, she wanted to receive some advice from Roshi. When I totally sympathized with her inability to achieve her goal as a painter due to the setback in her circumstances, I rebuked her for her own sake. So now, Jam Roshi started to talk to her. It's a kind of a strong thing to that person who is in difficulty. I think, psychologically, she's vulnerable.

[54:11]

What is the word? Yeah. He said, You are thinking about this all wrong. It's a kind of a strong thing. You are wrong. You are mistaken. It's a big mistake to think that it is only natural for a person to receive a family inheritance. What is natural is that a person has no property at all. You know, when she was young, because her family had a lot of wealth, that's why she could study painting in Tokyo. That means parents sent money to support her study. And, of course, it was a very unusual situation in Japan at that time.

[55:15]

Now, Japan is a rich country, so many parents could send money for their children to receive good education. But, maybe this is about 30, 40 years ago. And she was about 40, so it was about 50, 60 years ago when she was 20. Only a rich family could send their children to Tokyo and send money to support the person's education. That means the family was really rich. They must have some big property. But probably because of some difficulties, her father maybe had a bankrupt or something, and he lost all the possessions.

[56:18]

In my family, my family was a merchant in Osaka. Osaka is the second biggest city in Japan and the center of merchandise. And my family lived in downtown Osaka for six generations. So, my family had certain property and wealth. But we lost everything in one night. When the American Air Force bombed Osaka, everything was burned. And only the land remained, but my parents sold that land to raise us, to raise their parents. So, after World War II, my family really had nothing.

[57:24]

And my father, when I was a teenager, my father said, We have no property to inherit, and we have no family business. Several years after World War II, my father went to the countryside and did some farming. Because it was difficult to live in the city, people were starving. And after several years, he came back to the city and started to work for a small company. So, we had no family business and no wealth to inherit. So, my father always said, You are free. You can do whatever you want. And I was lucky. I felt I was lucky. So, I'm free. That's why I could become a monk.

[58:31]

If my family wealth was there, I was the person who succeeded to take over and take care of it. So, I appreciate I have nothing to inherit. Also, as a Buddhist teaching, now we have no possessions. That is the reality. So, if we have something to inherit, if we can receive some financial support from family, that is unusual. That is what Ucham Roshi is talking to this woman. So, the person should be grateful about that. So, what is natural is that a person has no property at all. You were able to study painting by means of your family's wealth until you were past 20.

[59:42]

That is unusual. And something for which you should be grateful. Now, even though 20 some years have passed, you are still lamenting your family's loss and being dragged around by fantasies of the past. You have to open your eyes to your present reality and start off with a totally naked self. Possessing no property or anything else. Before, Ucham Roshi said we are born as a naked self without any possession when we are born. And when we die, we cannot take any possession behind. We have to leave everything behind.

[60:45]

So, we die as a naked self. We are born as a naked self and we die as a naked self. But during birth and death, we put on different kinds of clothing. All those conditions and situations and positions, wealth, or even the position or jobs or status or reputation or fame, those are all clothing, according to Ucham Roshi. And, you know, then he said, dropping off body and mind, that means dropping off those clothings and become a naked self as we are born or as we are going to die. In that sense, he said, to sit facing the wall and sitting is like to be in our casket.

[61:50]

You know, without grasping anything, without possessing anything. That is the reality of life. And that is where we find peace of mind. If we are worrying about which clothing we can take, and we hate the clothing we put on now, but we want to get better clothing. You know, this is what we are mainly doing in our life between birth and death. But when we are born and when we die, we become a naked self. So, according to Ucham Roshi's teaching, to practice to sit facing the wall and letting go of thought and dropping off body and mind means to become, not become, but be a naked self without any possession.

[62:55]

So, whatever we can use, you know, even when we sit, we have clothing, of course. And these clothings are gifts from Buddha. You know, because this is a Buddhist robe, so this is actually a gift from Buddha. But even if we don't put on the Buddhist clothes, Buddhist robes, still those are the gifts from the nature, from the society. So, we should be really grateful. And yet we are always complaining, this is not good enough. We need better clothing. That is how we create a story. What makes me such a miserable person? And we try to find the cause that was wrong. That is how we make a story of our life. And always the center of that story or heroine or hero of that story is me.

[64:03]

So, he said, we need to wake up, wake to this totally naked self, possessing no property or anything else. Then we can be a little more free. And we can be grateful for anything we have now. And besides, you are still looking back to the time when you were in your twenties. And the paintings you exhibited always won prizes for you. And wishing you could taste those days again. Isn't agonizing over things that doesn't work, work out just the way you want? Nothing but being dragged around by more fantasies.

[65:11]

So, that means she was in trouble because of her fantasies about the past. You have to begin with your present reality. So, you have to start from right now, right here. But we always think, if that didn't happen, I must be in better condition now. So, that is the problem. But we don't think this is a problem. And Uchamaroshi continues, What is most basic is that you paint because you enjoy painting. Isn't that so? You enjoy painting. Can you let yourself be satisfied with that and with having a part-time job to support yourself?

[66:19]

If you can make a living like that and enjoy painting the rest of the time, then you can have a rich life. This is something to be happy about, whether you receive recognition or not. So, what he is saying is, as a painter, painting itself should be the person can enjoy. But usually or commonly, through painting, we or many people want to get something else, like a prize or recognition or status or fame or wealth. That is the problem. So, we need to enjoy what we are doing.

[67:22]

In the case of painting, it is most important. But often we think this painting is a means or method to get something else, something desirable. So, this is not the thing we want. But this is a method or means to get that thing. According to Chiyamaro, that is a delusion. Why don't you, if you are a painter, just enjoy painting? Why do you need recognition or fame from others, from the society? Just enjoy painting. That's enough. Maybe I talk this many times, but one of the Japanese Rinzai Zen masters, his name was Morinaga Soko, who was an abbot of Ryoan-ji.

[68:31]

No, not Ryoan-ji, but a sub-temple of Ryoan-ji. And he was a president of Hanazono University. That was a Rinzai University. He said, Samadhi, about Samadhi. He said, Samadhi is like a kid playing with sand in a sandbox. You know, like shoveling the sand and put it in a bucket and make something. For the kid, this action, he's just enjoying that action. So, if someone else said, do you want to exchange? Then the kid said, no, because the kid is enjoying this. But when a grown-up does the same thing, shoveling the sand as a job,

[69:39]

for that worker, this shoveling of sand is not that the person is enjoying, but he does this in order to get wage or money. So, if someone asks the worker, do you want to exchange? And if someone else can do it, and still the person can get the money, there's no reason the person says no. But, according to that Morinaga Roshi, that's the difference between Samadhi and Jofu, or task. So, for the painter, painting is the same as a kid playing with sand. So, painting should not be a task or a job, to get that thing. So, what Roshi is saying is, if you like painting, painting is your Samadhi.

[70:44]

If you want to use this painting as a method to gain something else, that is not a real painter. What you are doing is not Samadhi, but it's a job, and that is not a good thing. So, this person, this woman, is a painter. So, I remember, within Sawaki Roshi's life, as I said, he was born, he grew up in a very difficult situation. His stepfather was a gambler, and his stepmother was a prostitute. And he was forced to work in that situation, and he really didn't like to live in that way.

[71:45]

And so, that was when he was about ten years old. He just finished elementary school. As I said, in his neighborhood, there was a family, and his father's job, and this family was only one exception in that area. That area was like a slum. Only one exception. And the father's job was, I don't know the English word, but his job was to amount the paintings or calligraphy on the frame. Framer. Framer. Yeah, something like that. Anyway, and he was exceptionally, not very, but an educated person.

[72:50]

And he had some knowledge about the classic teaching of Confucius or those things. And his son, as I said, was six years older than Sawaki Roshi. He was a painter. I mean, he was sixteen, so he was not a painter yet, but he was studying painting. And that person talked about the painters to Sawaki Roshi. And one of the stories was, you know, one very well-known painter, he never worried about money. He really loved paintings. And so he didn't paint for money. So one time he painted, you know, with a kind of expensive, on the expensive paper,

[73:59]

using expensive, what do you call, colors. And it's big paintings. But the person who ordered that painting, I don't know how much, he said, very cheap. But sometime when a rich person came to ask paint, and he painted with just ink in ten minutes or so. And the person paid something like $1,000. So the painter doesn't care how much the customer paid, but he just liked what he wanted to paint.

[75:02]

And when he, Sawaki Roshi, when he was ten years old, he had that kind of story. It's very different from the people he knew in his livelihood. So he yearned to that way of life, without concerning or worrying about how much income or not, but just focused on, you know, painters just paint for the sake of painting. That was a desire he had, and that was, I think, motivation. He wanted to escape from his situation, family situation, and became a Buddhist monk. So until his death, Sawaki Roshi put emphasis, just sit, for the sake of sitting. Don't make this a celibate thing.

[76:06]

But it's a really important point in Sawaki Roshi. And Uchiyama Roshi is talking the same things in here. So if you love painting, just paint. Don't worry about, you know, money or fame. So he said, this is something to be happy. To be happy means she has a talent to paint, and she could paint. That is something to be happy about. Whether you receive recognition or not, that is not a question. You must be happy just that you can paint. And he started to talk about his own life, about Zazen. So Uchiyama Roshi also following Sawaki Roshi's teaching to practice Zazen.

[77:09]

This is a really important point. I haven't been doing Zazen because I want to make it into something celibate. I've been leading a life of Zazen for 30 years. But in the first 20, I was completely ignored by the world. And practiced Zazen in obscurity with barely enough to eat. But just by doing Zazen, I was able to discover the meaning of my life, my own life. Even in those circumstances, in very difficult and poor circumstances, he could find the meaning of life. So to find a place where we can find a meaning of life is, I think, most important.

[78:16]

That is what Dogen Zenji said in Genjo Koan, to find a place. If we find a place, we can find a path. But unless we find a place, what we really want to do and we can enjoy, whether we receive some profit or fame, that is a place. When we find that place, we can find a path to go. But unless we find a place we really can stay and enjoy, then our life becomes sansara. If we find even one thing, you know, painting for painter or Zazen practice for Zazen practitioner, if we can find only that one thing, then no matter how difficult another part of our life might be, we can find a meaning.

[79:18]

During the last ten years, people who are sympathetic with my attitude towards Zazen have come to join me in sitting. But even now, I haven't the slightest intention of making Zazen into a sellable product. I'm just doing my own Zazen. For you, painting your pictures is your life. Shouldn't just that be your greatest joy? Maybe. So, also I have been trying to follow this attitude from Sawaki Roshi about Zazen. I try not to make Zazen as a sellable thing, commercial product. That's why we are still small.

[80:25]

That's why only people who really want to practice can come. That is really important point in our lineage from Sawaki Roshi. Not only Sawaki Roshi, but from Dogen Zenji. Thank you. You know, even now, I'm talking so many times, but I don't receive salary from Sanshin Zen Community. And if I can make fantasy, I can make many different fantasies. Like, if I didn't become Uchiyama Roshi's disciple, but I continued to study and become a Buddhist scholar at Komazawa University, the current president of Komazawa University is the same age as me. So, if I studied a lot, maybe I could be the president of that university.

[81:31]

That is one kind of fantasy I could have. And another one, before I became Uchiyama Roshi's disciple, I was asked to become a disciple of certain priest who was a professor of that university. And he had a big temple, but he didn't have a successor. So he asked me if I was interested in his disciple. So if I said yes to that person, now I could be the abbot of a big, rich temple. But I said no. I was not interested in that way of life at all when I was 20 or 21. That's why I became Uchiyama Roshi's disciple, who was the abbot of an Taiji that has no family members, so that means no income. That is how I have been living.

[82:37]

And I think I'm pretty happy about what I'm doing now. If I became a scholar in the university or a professor in the university, there are so many things I have to do. And when I became an abbot of a big temple, I didn't have enough time to practice that. So, to me, this is the best way of life. And almost 40 years later, I could still practice. I was taught by my teacher. It was really fortunate to me. And I had some people who could practice with the same attitude. Well, it's 10.30 maybe. This is a good place to stop. And I'll continue from here tomorrow.

[83:42]

Any questions or comments? No questions. So, painting is an art that one might do just for the sake of painting. There are some kinds of art that one does that seem like they require other people to participate. Anything in dance or theater or so forth. Making movies? Yeah, any of that kind of thing. I was thinking of writing, which I did for a while. In the case of writing, we need readers. Writing cannot be done. Same as painting. Painting needs some people to see. But it's different from chasing after fame and profit.

[84:49]

To paint and offer this to the people who can enjoy it. And musicians can be the same, or making movies or writing novels or poems can be the same. But I think the important point is we do this for the sake of something, or just do this. For a short time, I don't know, a few months, I think, I actually wrote full-time. I worked as an artist. But doing it full-time instead of having a job and then doing it in my spare time was quite different. And I'm thinking that this woman was really regretting that. I mean, who knows what she was regretting. Probably she wanted to be a full-time painter. That means to support her life and parents by painting. So we need patience.

[86:04]

We need patience and continue to work. To create such a situation where we can practice full-time. And it's not possible for me, even now, because I have... The source of my income is mainly from that work. But who knows if we continue to work. But that might be another cause of the problem. You know, if we have enough support, financial support, where we could be a full-time practitioner. That might be a cause of problem. Because people may become that part of community because of that support. Not the practice itself.

[87:06]

So we don't know what is the best situation. Maybe the situation we are in is difficult but somehow could be. Uchamara said he could barely eat and practice. That might be the best situation. There are a lot of things about our situation. But we have an opportunity to try to make our work. The work that we are doing, we are trying to bring our practice into that work. It's sort of a continual thing to try to keep my energy levels up so I can work here. But it's also a challenge and a good thing to learn. To try to have our Zazen as a work that we do when we are mowing the lawn for whatever it is. Or whatever job we are doing, going to the orchard, to not just forget about Zazen.

[88:11]

Yeah, good point of our practice. Those activities can be part of our Zazen practice. In Dogen Zenji's tradition, working with very important practice. Offering something to other people. So if we have a job through which we can offer something and help something, some helpful thing for others, even though those people are not Buddhist, then it's a practice for us. So, that is a good point about our practice. Please. Along the same lines, I was thinking, in listening, at least this much of it, everything we've discussed could be true for a very ego-centered situation.

[89:17]

And somehow your Mahayana reminds us about the Bodhisattva aspect of it. So I guess I would ask Amina, is that something you watch out for? That we not forget the Bodhisattva. You already mentioned we do something for other people. Otherwise, everything you said could be by somebody who has heard of Bodhisattvas. You know what I mean? What is that? What is the word you said? Bodhisattva. I mean after that. Before, selfish. Self-centered. You mean just practice for the sake of practice is a self-centered attitude? That means escape from the society and focus on our practice for the sake of our own.

[90:23]

We can enjoy it. OK. Well, I don't know about the painter, but about our practice, we receive Bodhisattva precepts and we take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. And we take four Bodhisattva vows. So, even, for example, Dogen Zenji's way of life. He escaped from Kyoto to the very deep mountains and created a very small community only for the sake of practice. Is it selfish or not? So, we must be careful, you know, even in the case of Dogen,

[91:28]

even though he lived in a deep mountain, kind of escaped from the noisy, busy world, but still his activities were based on Bodhisattva vows. So, even in his lifetime, his teachings did not influence society so widely, but because of the life of his vows, power of life, life of his vows, energy of his vows, you know, later his teachings spread all over Japan. So, even though now we are a very small community, and that is okay, but we need to maintain that kind of energy or power of vows, life force of vows.

[92:31]

Then it can, you know, even little by little, the community becomes wider. Please. Yeah, somewhere I remember in some discussion of Zen terminology, the phrase not forgetting. In a way, if we repeat the vows or something, it's not forgetting the Bodhisattva vow while we're doing this. And then, for me, an interesting aside is a long time ago, Baba, it was Yasutani actually, and he was talking to people about necessity. You know, the responsibility, we have to work ourselves, and this is the best of all the possible times, you know, that kind of talk. But then the other thing he added was that, how did he put it? He said, but even though we're doing this work on ourselves, and working hard,

[93:37]

he said, how did he put it? He said, our efforts are supported by people that we never hear about, that are far away practicing. And he said, their efforts are helping us. And then he went on, but he included some mysterious people that nobody knew, that he didn't seem to be just practicing, but he said they help us. And then he went on, and I was very impressed. Yeah, we are supported by this entire network of interdependent origination. So we cannot be really alone or separate from the rest of the world. That is what interconnectedness means. So no matter how small our community might be, no one cares, no one pays attention to what we are doing now. Maybe not many people in this country don't know what we are doing.

[94:38]

But still, we are connected with all those people. So it's important not to forget about that connection. We cannot be alone, even if we live in deep mountains. Any more questions or comments? I've got a quick question to go back to the Shobogenzo festival that you were talking about. There was one thing you mentioned, kind of near the end, where you were saying about that. And it was about body and mind, and sound and color. Something about when they exist in dustness, there is nothing to cling to. And that reminded me, is that one of Dogen's comments on the precepts that's very similar to that?

[95:40]

Yes. Could you say, kind of, about what that means? Yeah. I think he said some kind of similar thing on the second precept of not stealing. Not stealing. When subject and object are in dustness, the gate of liberation opens. Something like that. That means there is nothing to steal. When body and mind and sound and color are in dustness, there is no separation to make this thing my possession. Yeah, he said the same thing. So, the precept of not stealing is not simply ethics or morality, but it's also expression of our understanding or awakening to that reality or dustness.

[96:48]

That is a very important point when we study and understand and practice the precepts in our tradition. OK, thank you.

[97:06]