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Good morning, everyone. This is the precept retreat, or in Japanese I call this Zen Kai-e. Zen is, of course, Zen. Zen in the Zen, and Kai means precept, and E means gathering. Same E in Genzo E. So, this is a gathering to study Zen and Kai. Zen and Kai are two things, but this is sometimes used as a compound, one word. That means Zen and Kai are one thing. There is an expression in Sōtō-Zen, that is, Zen, Kai, Ichi, Nyo.


Zen and Kai are one. Thusness. So, we study Kai or the precepts transmitted within the Zen tradition. So, this is, in our case, especially the tradition of Dogen Zenji. And, in the Dogen Zenji tradition, We study and understand the precepts we receive based on Dogen Zenji's comment on these 16 precepts, entitled in Japanese, Kyōjū Kaimon. And that is one of the handouts, I think, we have. My Japanese and English translation is, Comments on Teaching and Conferring the Bodhisattva Precepts that have been authentically transmitted by Buddhas and Ancestors.


It's a long title, but this is a very short writing, but a basic teaching of Dogen about the precepts we receive. So, during this retreat, I focus on talking on Dogen's comment in this short writings. And the second handout is the Ten Major Precepts from the Brahma-Net Sutra. The main part of this Dogen's comment is about his, you know, insight about these Ten Major Precepts. So, in order to understand what Dogen is talking about, we need to understand what is the meaning of those ten major precepts from the Brahmanic Sutra. So, this is the second handout.


And the third one I think we have is Bodhidharma's comments on the one-mind precepts. Although it is said Bodhidharma's comment, I'm pretty sure it's not written by Dogen. I mean Bodhidharma. And I'm not sure who wrote this and where this comes from. At least from the 17th century in Sōtōzen tradition, this is studied as an important comment or text of our understanding of those precepts. This is a very short comment on those ten major precepts. So, those are the three texts we use this time. The reason why I give lectures on the precepts before the precept ceremony is in the Brahman... Now, from last April, we have been studying the Brahmanic Sutra.


And that Brahmanic Sutra is a very basic sutra in which, you know, Mahayana precept or Bodhisattva precept is mentioned. And in that sutra it is said, you know, Buddhist teacher needs to give the precept to whoever wishes to receive the precept. and also understand the meaning of the precept. So, when we have a precept receiving ceremony or jukai, the teacher has to give explanation what that precept means. So, that is kind of my responsibility to give or offer my understanding of the precept. Receiving the precept is a very important thing, especially for the people who receive the precept.


It can be like the second birthday. the recipient receives a new name, bodhisattva name or dharma name, and the meaning of this name, bodhisattva, means a person who lives being led by vow, not by karma. So, our life force or other bodhisattva is our vow. So, we need to understand what is our life. That means what is our vow. Our vow means bodhisattva vows. So, for the recipient, you know, this is really important time. But, you know, not only for the recipient, but who have already received the precept. Listening to the teachings about the precepts is a meaningful opportunity to renew, including myself, renew our vows.


And also for the people who have not yet received, This is a chance to study what is this kind of a strange precept. You may understand what this strange precept is. So, that is what we are going to study during this retreat. And because we have the precept receiving ceremony on Monday, so I can give only four lectures. And I usually give ten lectures to cover the entire sixteen precepts. But this time I try to finish the entire text, so I need to be a little bit in a hurry. Do you have something to say? I just don't have a copy of


Before I start to talk on the text, whenever I talk on the precept, I start with the very well-known verse from Dhammapada. And I think it's very important. So, this time again, I start to talk on this very important and well-known verse from Dhammapada. I think all of you already know what is Dhammapada. I'm sorry. Dhammapada is a collection of short verses. And it is considered to be one of the oldest scriptures in Buddhist history. And the verse I would like to introduce is as follows.


It says, Do not thought is evil. And do thought is good. Keep your mind pure. This is the teaching of Buddha. I think you already know this verse. Let me read it again. Do what is evil. I'm sorry. My mind doesn't work. Do not what is evil. Do what is good. Keep your mind pure. This is the teaching of Buddha. In Chinese translation, this verse is as follows. SHO AH MAK SA SHU ZEN BU RYO


ji jo go i ze sho butsu kyo sho aku maku sa shu zen Bu-Gyo-Ji-Jo-Go-I-Ze-Sho-Bu-Tsu-Kyo-Sho-Aku-Makusa-Shu-Zen-Bu-Gyo-Ji-Jo-Go-I-Ze-Sho-Bu-Kyo You know, this English translation of Dhammapada is a translation from Pali. Pali Dhammapada.


And this is a Chinese translation. If there is the same, for example in this case, verse, are there in both Pali and Chinese translations, that means this verse was already existing when the first division of Buddhist Sangha happened. That is about 100 years after Buddha's death. That means this verse is very old. The tradition which went to China and which transmitted within the Theravada tradition, that division happened. Before that division happened, this verse is already there. And, to me, this is really important. teaching to understand Dōgen's comments on these precepts we receive.


And, within this very short verse, and it's very clear, nothing difficult, shōwaku means all, aku is evil or bad, or some American people don't like to use those words, used as something like wholesome or beneficial. And maku is not, and sa is make or do. So, do not do, do not make or do not do, all, everything. Aku is bad, evil, unwholesome. And shuzen means all good. Zen is good. And bu, what is bu? Bu is like respectfully. And gyo is same gyo in shugyo.


That is practice. Respectfully practice everything good, or beneficial, or wholesome. And jijogoi. Ji is self. Anjou is pure or purified. And go means it. And i is thought or mind. So keep one's mind pure, undefiled. And Zesho-Bukkyo is... Shobutsu means all Buddhas. This is all Buddhas. Kyo is teaching. This is all Buddhas' teaching. So do not anything unwholesome. And do or practice everything wholesome. and keep your mind pure, undefiled.


This is the teaching of all Buddhas. And in Chinese tradition, this verse is called Shichibutsu Tsu Kai Ge. Shichi, Butsu, Tsu, Kai. Ge means verse or poem. Shichi Butsu means seven Buddhas. And Tsu means common. And Kai is teaching or admonitions. So this means this is the birth of Buddha's teachings of all seven Buddhas.


Seven Buddhas means seven Buddhas in the past. That is what this all Buddhas means. All Buddhas refer to seven Buddhas. Anyway, this means this teaching is the essential teaching of all Buddhas. And within this short verse, there are two sets of teachings. The first two lines, of course, mean good and bad, and we should avoid evil or bad or mistaken deeds, and we should practice everything good. distinction between good and bad. And third line, pure, keep your mind pure, means go beyond good and bad.


This verse is in Dhammapada, number 183. But there is another verse, that is 126, about these two sets of teachings. Verse 126 says, Some people are born on this earth. Those who do evil are reborn in hell. The righteous go to heaven. But those who are pure reach nirvana. So, there are three kinds of people. You know, we are all born on this earth.


There are three kinds of people. If someone or some people do evil or bad or unwholesome, they will be born in hell. And if we practice good, then we can be born in heaven. That is one set of teachings. If you do bad things, you will be in hell. And if you do good things, you will be born in hell, within the six realms of samsara. There are six. One, two, three, four, five, six. From hell to heaven. If we do good things, we can be born in heaven. And if we do bad things, we will be born in hell. or halfway, or somewhere between hell and heaven, depending upon our actions.


So, this is about cause and result, causality, cause and result. So, if you want to be born in heaven, you have to do good things. Otherwise, you will be in hell. That is one set of teachings. And this verse says, but those who are pure reach nirvana. So, this is six realms. This is samsara. And if we keep our mind pure, we go nirvana. That is another set of teachings. So, if you do bad things, you will be born in hell. If you do good things, you will be born in heaven.


And you can enjoy your life. And your desires will be completely fulfilled. But these are still all within samsara. It doesn't last forever. Anything, any condition does not last forever. So, we have to transmigrate. We have to go through changes. But, the Buddha said, if we keep our mind pure, that means going beyond good and bad. If we are living within the realm of good and bad, we continue to transmigrate within samsara. But if we become free from distinction or discrimination between good and bad, then we can go to nirvana. So there are two sets of teachings. One is based on discrimination between good and bad, and we should choose good things.


And we should avoid bad things. And another set of teachings is we should go beyond this good and bad. And then we can enter nirvana. Interesting. So, what is nirvana? Is nirvana permanent then? There is no change within nirvana? I don't know. I've never been there. Just checking. OK. So, Fatouji Nirvana is an important point. That is what we are going to study. And we can find many examples of this kind of teaching. This is about morality or ethics. We need to be a good person and do good things. We should avoid evil things.


and going beyond that discrimination between good and bad. And traditional understanding in Buddhist history is this set of teachings about morality, good and bad, is given for lay people. Purify one's mind and go beyond good and bad. It was given to monks. That means lay people stay at home and live in the world. So they have to do good things or bad things. They have to make a choice. In order to make a choice, they have to make discrimination. What is good? What is bad? And they should you know, do good things and avoid bad things. Then, they can be born in the heaven.


But that is not the path of the monks. For monks, they have to go beyond good and bad. And keep their mind pure. Then, monks can enter nirvana. So, nirvana is only possible for monks. who can go beyond good and bad. As far as we are living in the realms of good and bad, we try, we not try, but we have to keep transmigrating within samsara, whether we are born in a good part of samsara or a difficult part of samsara. That is the teaching. And yet, when we hear this expression, going beyond good and bad, or become free from discrimination between good and bad. Or if we are careless, we think we can do bad things, because we don't need to think about good or bad.


But that is not what this means, going beyond good and bad means. Because, you know, to go Buddha, you know, request or expect monks to accept 250 precepts. That means much stricter moral codes than, you know, lay people. So, going beyond good and bad never means we can do bad things. But going beyond good and bad means we should do good things, and we should avoid evil or unwholesome actions. Still, we need to become free from discrimination. Often, when we think we are a good person, doing good things, we become, you know, arrogant.


And when we meet with some people who don't keep the precept, we think they are bad people. You know, this is a discrimination. And this is a problem caused by this discrimination. We judge people. We are good, they are bad. But going beyond good and bad means we need to become free from that kind of attachment to our good deeds. And also, if we meet someone who made mistakes or unwholesome things, you know, we need to be free from anger or hatred against those people. So, going beyond good and bad in Buddhist teaching never means we have a license to do anything we want. But we need to be flow-free from our attachment toward our good deeds.


So, just do good things without attachment and without expectation from our good deeds. And also, we should always have compassion toward people who fail to do good things. That is what going beyond good and bad means. So, we have to be very clear about that. So, in the early Buddhism, you know, this kind of a frame works very well. But, in the case of Mahayana Buddhism, this is a problem. I mean, in the early Buddhism, the distinction between lay people or householder and monks are very clear.


And if people want to enter Nirvana, they have to become monks. There is no question about that. But in the case of Mahayana Buddhism, this distinction is not so clear, or there is no such distinction. That means either householders or lay people and monks are called Bhojasattvas. There is no distinction. That means, Bhojasattva means all living beings are children of Buddha. Then this distinction becomes a question or a problem. If, you know, one group of people have to keep transmigrating within samsara, and another Buddha's children can only go to heaven. That is a problem. You know, because we are both lay people and monks are Buddha's children, our destination is to the Buddhahood, to become Buddha.


And because we are all Buddha's children, you know, If we keep, continue, practice, all of us, all living beings become Buddha. That is the very basic teaching of Mahayana Buddhism. Then, you know, this distinction becomes a problem. So, how we can integrate these two is the point of very important teaching in Mahayana Buddhism. And, you know, these two in Sanskrit, this one is called Rokika. Rokika. And entering nirvana is called Roka Uttara.


Let's see. This Rōkika in Chinese, or Japanese, is called the Seiken Hō. Seiken means word. So Dharma of the world, within the human world, is good and bad, and transmigration. And Roka is also the world. And Roka Uttara in Chinese is the Shus Seiken. Dharma of shutsu means to exit or get out.


And sometimes this Roka Uttara or Roka Kottara or shutsu seiken is translated into English as a kind of a strange English. Shupra world. Shupra world? Something like shupra. Shupra. Or beyond the world. So, there are two sets of teachings, or dharma. One is the dharma within the world, and another is dharma going beyond the world. Here in this Rokika, dharma of Rokika, there is good and bad. And we should avoid bad, and we should practice good. And in Rokottara, or Rokottara, there is no such distinction. We need to go beyond such distinction. I think this, you know, how can I say, distinction is within the history of Buddhist history, I mean history of Buddhist philosophy.


Later, this side is called ultimate truth. And this side is called a conventional truth. And in Chinese Zen, this side is called Li. And this side is called Ji. Li literally means principle or ultimate truth or reality. And Ji is a concrete or conventional reality or truth. And how can we integrate these two? And how can we also make distinction between these two? How these two are interconnected with each other? What is the relationship between these two is one of the very important


point of entire Buddhist teachings. And if we clearly understand that, you know, this point, I think when you read, you know, a collection of Koan stories in Zen tradition, almost all of them, or not all of them, but many of them, are about this point. How can we go beyond discrimination? And yet, how can we avoid evil and practice good? The relation between these two sides is a very important point of Buddhist philosophy and Zen teaching and practice. So, when we study about the precept, we study about this point.


That means, in Dogen Zenji's words, how can we just do good? Actually, Dogen Zenji wrote a chapter of Shobo Genzo entitled, Shouaku Makusa, or Do Not Evil. So, we have to just do good things without expecting the desirable result. Just do it. That is what Dōgen-zensei meant when he used the expression, shikan, not only in the Zen. He called his Dazen, shikan tada, just sitting, but not only doesn't practice, but also in our day-to-day activities, we just do good things without expectation of some reward from this good thing.


That is, even though there is a distinction between good and evil, and we should do good, still do good things without any attachment, any expectation. Just do it. That is, the way, not only Dogen, but kind of Zen way of integrating these two. These two are there. And yet, there's no such distinction between these two. Both are there within this one action. That is, in my understanding, that's the main point of practice of or at least Dogen Zenjutsu tradition. OK, now I start to talk on the text of this Kyoju Kaiman, Dogen Zenjutsu comment.


on these sixteen precepts. In Dogen Zen tradition, named Soto Zen in Japan, we receive sixteen precepts. Those sixteen mean three diffuses and three-fold pure precepts and ten major precepts. And this is Dogen's comment on those sixteen precepts. We only receive sixteen. And there is no distinction between monks or priests and lay people. Both lay people and monks or priests receive the same sixteen precepts. That is the only precept we receive. So there is no distinction between lay practitioners and monks or priests in terms of the precept.


And we consider this Dogen's comment, but actually this is not written by Dogen himself. But it says, whenever they have a precept receiving ceremony or jukai ceremony, Rogen Zenji made explanation about these precepts. And one time, in the precept or jukai ceremony, traditionally, there are at least two teachers. One is called kaishi, precept, master or preceptor, and the second is called kyōjushi. Kyō means teaching, and jyū, what is jyū, is giving or offering.


This word, kyoju, is used in modern Japanese as a professor or teacher. Anyway, this kyojushi is a person who assists the preceptor and gives an explanation of the meanings of the precept. And, one time, of course, in Dogen Zenjutsu Sangha, Dogen was the preceptor, and his major disciple, Eijo, was a Kyōjushi, or what is English word for this, like a precept explaining teacher. At that time, Ejō wrote down the point of Dōgen's teaching. And that is this writing. So, this is actually written by Ejō. But, because Ejo wrote down the essence of Dogenzen's teaching, commonly we consider this Dogen's comment on the precept.


And, originally this was written in Chinese, but Keizan Jokin, Keizan was the fourth generation from Dogen. Dogen's dharma heir is Ejo. And Ejo's heir is Gikai. And Keizan was Gikai's disciple. And Keizan established Sojiji. Sojiji is one of the two major monasteries in Sotozen tradition. So Dogen is called founding ancestor. And Keizan was, what the fuck is Taiso? I don't know. Another founding ancestor. because actually there are two major monasteries, Eheiji and Soji-ji.


Actually, the Sotozen temples connected or came from Keizan's tradition. Soji-ji is much more. Anyway, Keizan is very important ancestor in our lineage, and when he gave the precept to his female lay student, her name was Shikyu, not Shikyu, Ekyu. She is a lay woman student of Keizan. Keizan wrote this text in Japanese, translated into Japanese, and gave this person.


And this has been transmitted to his, Keizan's, disciple, Meihō Sōtetsu, and he also gave this writing to his lay student. So there are two versions of this Kyōjū Kaimon. And we can see both. And both are not different, actually. So, in our tradition, when we study the meaning of the precept we receive, we study this text as a fundamental text. And, of course, there are many commentaries on this text. Commentaries are more difficult than the original, or more complicated. Anyway, so during this retreat I focus on this text.


In page 1, the first section is a kind of introduction. And Dogen Zenji, let me call this Dogen's writing. Dogen Zenji says these precepts are, in the first sentence, it says, the great precepts of the Buddhas. So, this is called Buddha's precepts. Let me read the introduction. The great precepts of the Buddhas have been protected and maintained. by Buddhas. Buddhas conferred upon Buddhas, and ancestors transmitted to ancestors. Transmission of Dharma transcends past, present, and future.


The identity of teachers and students' verification is continuous from ancient times to the present. Our great teacher Shakyamuni Buddha conferred them upon Mahākāśyapa. Mahākāśyapa transmitted them to Ānanda. In the same way, these precepts have been legitimately conferred from teacher to disciple for fifty-four generations, the transmission reaching to the present abode of this monastery. Now I confer these precepts in order to sincerely express my deep gratitude to the Buddhas and Ancestors and make the most essential teachings for human and heavenly beings forever. This is because the life wisdom of the Buddhas and Ancestors continues through transmitting these precepts.


So, this precept is called Buddha's precept. In Japanese, it's called Bukkai. And, Dogen said, this Buddha's precept has been transmitted from Shakyamuni to Mahakasyapa, Mahakasyapa to Ananda, until this text says 54 generations. Fifty-four means Keizan. So, this precept has been transmitted until Keizan. Dogen was, I think, 50 or 51. Anyway, so, You know, usually we think precept is a kind of a correction of regulations or rules. That means a correction of what we should do and what we should not do.


Prohibition. And, of course, these precepts are kind of a prohibition or restoration. But, Dogen says, these precepts are the Dharma which has been transmitted from Buddha to Ananda. I think you know the story about Dharma transmission from Shakyamuni to Mahakasyapa. You know, one day, at the Vulture Peak, Shakyamuni Buddha sat on his seat. So, all the people in the assembly expected, you know, the Buddha is going to give some lectures. But on that occasion, Buddha didn't say anything. But he just picked up a flower and just watched it without saying anything.


Then, within, I don't know how many monks were there, only one person, Mahakasyapa, smiled. Then, at that time, Buddha said, you know, I have this Dharma named Shobo Genzo. Well, this is a long name, so I don't like it. True Dharma. On that occasion, when Mahakasyapa smiled, when Buddha just watched, the flower, is transmitted to him. This story, of course, is made up in Zen tradition. In order to show, you know, the Dharma that has been transmitted only within Zen tradition, is called Busshin.


Shin is mind or heart. And Busshin is the opposition of Butsu-go. Go means Buddha's words. That means, you know, he is Buddha's another disciple, Ananda. was his personal attendant for many years, more than 20 years. And Ananda was very good at memorizing everything. So he memorized, you know, everything Buddha said. All Buddha's words were memorized by Ananda. And after Buddha's death, Ananda recited what he remembered, and those became Buddhist sutras. So, Buddhist sutras came from Ananda's memory of Buddha's words.


So, Buddha's words had been transmitted through Ananda and written down and recorded within the sutras. But, in Zen tradition, it says, beside this transmission of Buddha's words within the sutras, his heart, Buddha's heart, was directly transmitted to Mahakasyapa without using any words. That is the beginning of this story of, you know, Buddha picked up a flower and Mahakasyapa smiled. Without using any language or words, Dharma was transmitted. from Buddha to Mahakasyapa. And this Buddha mind has been transmitted in Zen tradition. That was what people who made up this story wanted to say.


So, this is another example of, you know, two sets of teachings. Using words. By using words we have to make distinction. discrimination. Fat is true. Fat is false. Fat is good. Fat is bad. Fat Buddha taught. Fat Buddha didn't taught. Fat Buddha negated. Fat Buddha affirmed. But within transmission of this Buddha's mind or heart, there is no such discrimination. Just the Dharma to which Buddha awakened to is directly transmitted to Mahakasyapa without using any language, any concept or words. That is the meaning. So, that means absolute truth is transmitted without using words. teachings, Buddha's teachings, using words, were memorized and recorded through ananda, using as a form of sutras.


That is the meaning. Anyway, what Dogen Zenji is saying here is this precept is transmitted from Buddha to Mahakasyapa. That means these sixteen precepts are not made up by studying and interpreting what is written in the sutras. But when we awaken to the same reality or truth Buddha awakened to, then those, again, precepts are about discrimination. good and bad. So this is an integration between good and bad, and beyond good and bad. But what he is saying is, you know, when we awaken to the same reality Buddha awakened to, before Buddha started to explain what this is, or what this means, you know, we have to avoid certain things.


and we have to do certain things. And when we express, using words, about this Dharma that requires us to do and not to do, it becomes this sixteen precepts. That is what this means. This comment, Dogen Zenji, understands the precept from the absolute truth or reality. But, of course, good and bad is integrated or included within this absolute truth. So, this is one of the examples you know, relative truth or conventional truth and absolute truth are integrated and show us how we can practice including both.


So, what this introduction is basically saying is, these 16 precepts are the expression of this ultimate truth, and a guideline of our day-to-day activities based on that truth. In the third sentence it says, Transmission of Dharma. Transcend past, present and future. Transcend past, present and future means transcend time and space. This is also important.


You know, when we study Dogen's idea or insight about time and space, well, it takes forever to talk about it. If you want to really study about Dogen's teaching about time and space, please read Shobo Genzo Uji. Uji is being-time. And in that chapter of Shobo Genzo he said, being is itself time, and time is itself being. So being and time is really one thing. But usually we think there is a stream of time which flows from past to future through present. And, you know, we are living within this time. I was born in 1948 and now, you know, I'm 61 years old and I have been, you know, living within this flow of time.


And I can, you know, write down what I did. Then I was 10, or 12, or 20, or 30, 40. That is our common understanding of time. But Dogen said this is not... He didn't negate this. But he said this is not the only way we can see the time, understand the time. And, for example, in Genjo Kohan, He used the analogy of firewood and ash to show his understanding of time and changing or impermanence. You know, when firewood is burned, it becomes ash. So, in this present moment, it is burning.


By this condition of being burned, firewood becomes ash. And we think firewood is before and ash is after, of course. And that is not wrong view. But he said, this is not only view, only understanding. But he said, You know, at the time, at the moment of firewood, this is only firewood. Firewood stays or dwells within the Dharma position of firewood. And there's no after. He said, there is before and after. That means before firewood was a living tree. When living tree is cut off and dried, it becomes firewood.


So there is a past. And when firewood is burned, it becomes ash. So there is a future. But he said, the past and the future are cut off. Cut off means, is a translation, side down. Sai means border, and Dan is to cut off. That means there's no such border, you know, between past and present, and present and future. That means past has already gone, so it's not there anymore. And the future has not yet come, so there's no such thing called future. Only truth, only real reality is this present moment.


That is firewood. So firewood is just firewood. The time firewood used to be a living tree is already gone. So it's not there. It's cut off. And the time firewood has become ash has not yet come. So it's not there at all. Only this present moment is reality. So firewood is just firewood. Nothing else. And an important point is this present moment has no rings. Thank you. That means this is zero. So, you know, in this kind of a diagram, this is just a border between past and future. And the only thing that is there is this past and the future.


The present doesn't really exist. But, a few minutes ago, I said, the present moment is only reality. The past and the future are not there. Which is true. I think both are true. So, time is a strange thing. But, what Thogen said is, time is this being at this moment. And, this past, present, and future, and this flow of time is created in our mind. to understand the changes. Time does not really exist without this person, without the person or being, actually being unchanging. So, the time comes from this being. And another thing,


For example, Dogen said in Bendowa, when he described about his Zazen as Jijyu Zanmai, he said, when one person, any person, sitting in Zazen, even for a short period of time, he said, Zazen is one with entire all beings in the entire space and all time. So it seems in Dogen's writing there are three kinds of time. One is the time we usually consider as a linear, you know, flow from past to future. But it seems he thinks of time that doesn't flow, that doesn't move.


That is called eternity. This is not permanent. Permanent and eternity should be, you know, different. Eternity means from the, in my understanding, I'm not sure it's true, right or not, From the moment of Big Bang until, I don't know the name, but at the end of this universe, this is one seamless moment. We make, you know, kind of segments using certain, you know, yardsticks. like a second, minute, hour, one day, or seven, one week, or one year, or one century, to make it easy to understand, and think, and grasp.


But there's no such thing actually, what is the word, behind, not behind, but beyond human beings. So, until human beings started to think and observe and make that kind of, you know, segment, time is just one moment. And even when we are, even now, when we are making that kind of discrimination, still time itself has no such separation. So this is one moment, and this time doesn't flow. And I think this idea came from the Lotus Sutra, the eternal life of Buddha. So this eternal life of Buddha does not mean something called Buddha's life continues within this flow.


That's why I want to make clear distinction between permanence and eternity. Anyway, Dogen said, in bendowa is, you know, in our daily lives we sit, you know, for a certain period of time. Here we sit 50 minutes a period. That is a very short time. And yet, moment by moment, you know, we sit really only this moment. And this moment is not the continuation of the past or continuation to the future. So, past and future are cut off. Just only this moment, without any links. Then, I think Fat Dogen said, then we become zero, actually.


We become one with eternity. So, this becoming zero is just be right now, right here. Only this moment. Only this body and mind. That is what we do in our dazen, by letting go. By letting go of thought, we let go of the story we create in our mind. then we are just only this moment, which has no length. And this is a kind of a, what is the word, a gateway towards eternity. So it seems, I have been studying Dogen for many years, but in my understanding, in Dogen's teaching, there are three kinds of times. And those three kinds of times are not really three different times. But this is only one time. And when we practice zazen and letting go, just be right now, right here, you know, these three become really one thing.


That is what samadhi means. No separation. And what he is saying here is, he says, Transmission of Dharma transcends past, present and future. So this comment on the precept is about dharma transmission. It's the same thing. When we receive transmission from teacher, then in that transmission, teacher and student are really one thing, like Shakyamuni Buddha and Mahakasyapa. or Gaudi Dharma and Huiko, or Eka. And, you know, generation after generation, same thing happens. But this Dharma transmission transcends past, present, and future.


So this means, Dogen Zenji is saying, receiving the precept is the same thing with our Zazen practice. That means one moment within this flow of time, and this only one moment, absolute moment, absolute present moment and eternity become really one thing. And within receiving this precept, same thing can be said. So, this is I think, to me, this is a very surprising or amazing teaching. We usually think in receiving precepts, we receive certain rules, and I take a vow to, you know, following and keeping these rules, then I can be a good so-called Buddhist.


But according to Dogen, you know, the meaning of receiving precept is not such a thing. But... Receiving precept means receiving this reality. And this reality means entire space is one seamless space. And entire time is one seamless moment. And each moment we are really living out this seamless moment and seamless space at this present moment, moment by moment. That's why, you know, Dogen is saying in this text, it's kind of beyond our understanding.


If we understand to receive the precepts, it means to receive the rules. Anyway, then, a few... sentence after that it said, in the same way these precepts have been legitimately conferred from teacher to disciple for 54 generations. So the Dharma which has been transmitted from teacher to disciple, teacher to disciple, is this reality. And this reality cannot be written. So there is no such particular Dharma or teaching that can be transmitted from one teacher to his disciple. Actually, I didn't receive anything from my teacher. But what is transmitted is this reality.


And actually, Actually, without receiving such a thing, we are already living there from the very beginning. So, what we study from teacher is to, how can I say, in a sense, allow that study or practice, allow us to awaken to that reality in which we are already living from our birth. That is what has been transmitted. And in Vendova, this thing is called Myoho. Myoho is Wanderlust Dharma. Wanderlust means beyond our thinking, beyond our understanding. And this transmission has been reaching to this precept teacher.


Next sentence. Now I confer this precept in order to sincerely express my deep gratitude to the Buddhas and ancestors. So, in my case, I studied and I practiced following my teacher's teaching and examples. Even though I didn't receive anything, when I received transmission I didn't really understand what he was saying and what my teacher was teaching. But somehow I received when I was 26. And much later I gradually started to understand. When I give the precept, I really, how can I say, feel gratitude to my teacher and his teacher and this tradition from the Buddha.


So I'd like to share and transmit to the next generation. So, you know, At certain, you know, community, Buddhist community, receiving the precept is almost like a, kind of a, initiate. Initiation, ceremony of initiation, become a member of the Sangha. But I don't think that is the meaning of giving or receiving this precept. So I... I think, you know, when I give dharma, not dharma, this precept, I always say I'm a person between recipient and Buddha. And recipient becomes Buddha's disciple or student, not my disciple or member of my group.


So, I don't, you know, request any commitment from the recipient of this precept. So this is, to me, this is really important thing. You know, precept is not the, how can I say, 16 rules, written rules. But this is actually our life we have already received. And yet, we make a commitment to keep awakening to that life, that reality, and living based on that reality. So, I confer this precept in order to sincerely express my deep gratitude to the Buddhas and ancestors. This is because life wisdom of Buddha.


Life wisdom is a-myo. It says life wisdom. Actually, order is wisdom. So, Buddha's life is wisdom, or Buddha's wisdom is the life we are living. We can say either way. And when he discussed, not discussed, when he commented on the precept of not killing, he said, our bodhisattva practice is to transmit this wisdom life. And this precept of not killing is about not killing this wisdom life.


How can we continue and nurture this wisdom life is about the first precept, not killing. I wanted to finished the repentance this morning, but it's not possible. But let me read the section of repentance. The bottom of page one. Respectfully, in the testimonial of the Buddhas and ancestors, we should Take refuge in the three treasures, receive the precepts, and repent of your misdeeds. Wholeheartedly recite the following verse of repentance.


I have made countless bad karmas in the past. All of them were caused by beginningless greed, anger, and ignorance. born of my body, speech and thought. Now I make complete repentance of all. In the testimonial of the Buddhas and ancestors, you have already been cleansed of your karma of body, speech and thought, and have become completely immaculate. This is done by the power of repentance. So, when we receive the precept, First thing we need to do is make repentance. Repentance means we have been doing many things that might be harmful to ourselves and others, that is not healthy, or keep the condition of this wisdom life healthy.


That means, even though we are one with all beings in the entire space and entire time, we don't know that. We don't awake to that reality and think, I am the center of the world. I am most important. And all other beings are the kind of resource or material I can use to make me happy. That is fact, you know, ego-centered or self-centered means to use others as an object or material I can use to make me happy. That is so-called unfolesome or evil or bad actions against this reality, against this life-wisdom or wisdom-life. Actually, almost everything I did, I have been doing, is based on my egocentricity.


So, you know, when we receive the precept for the first time, you know, I take out, I make repentance and try to change the direction of our life. not to fulfill my personal ego-centered desire, but to live together with all beings. That is the direction we need to go. So this practice of repentance within precept ceremony is we make commitment to change the direction of our life, not to fulfill my personal egocentral desire, but to share this wisdom life to all beings. So this is the meaning of practice of repentance. But, you know, the next day I forgot. So, we have to renew this vow every day, or even each moment, every moment.


So, repentance needs to be continued, to practice. as often as possible. And, you know, here we have a Ryakufusatsu ceremony once a month. But certain, some monasteries or Zen centers, they chant this verse of repentance every morning. I think at MZMC they did. I think that was Katagiri Roshi's teaching. That means we need to make repentance every morning. That means, you know, even if I vow to change the direction, next day I return to my selfishness. So, each day I have to make this vow and make sure which direction we need to go. This is the meaning of the practice of repentance when we receive the precept.


And because of this practice of repentance, it is said, in the testimonial of the Buddhas and the ancestors. In the testimonial of the Buddhas and the ancestors means During the jukai-e, or precept-receiving ceremony, first thing the preceptor, I do, is chanting the names of Buddhas, and invited all Buddhas and ancestors as a testimonial. In the case of receiving Vinaya precept, There are three preceptors and seven witnesses. But in the case otherwise, receiving the benign precept doesn't become official. But in the case of bodhisattva precept, the testimonials are all buddhas and bodhisattvas and ancestors.


So in the beginning of this ceremony, we invite all buddhas, ancestors, and bodhisattvas, so they are together with us. So we make this repentance in the testimonial of the buddhas and ancestors. And you have already been cleansed of your karma of body, speech and thought. And he said, have become completely immaculate. That means we become refreshed. This is done by the power of dependence. This is not done by the power of my effort. This is not the result of my practice. using my willpower. But this is done by the power of repentance. This is an important point.


You know, sometimes, you know, at least in Japanese Buddhism, Pure Land Buddhism is called a religion of other power. and Zen is considered to be the religion or practice of self-power. But, at least in Dogen Zen's teaching, our practice is never self-power practice. You know, this practice of repentance is like cleaning our karma. But this cleaning is not done by my willpower. by my effort, but this is done by the power of repentance, power of practice. But next moment, we are defiled again. So, we continue to practice. So, this verse of repentance is


is allow us to change the direction of our life from self-centered way to the way, you know, living together with all beings or Bodhisattva way toward Buddhahood. And yet we need to continue to practice this repentance. Because we are always, even though we make commitment to go that direction, often we find we are going somewhere else. We, you know, divert from that direction. And whenever we find I'm going somewhere else, I try to return. to that direction. So, this awareness of, you know, I'm going somewhere else is dependence.


And return to the direction we need to go. So, to me this is like the same thing we do in our dazen. You know, when we sit with this upright posture, and try not to sleep, try not to think, but we always deviate this time. We start to think, or we start to sleep, or we start doing something. Whenever we found we are doing something else, besides just sitting, we return to just sitting at this moment. This return to just sitting is repentance in our daily lives. So this is one meaning of the practice of repentance. But there is another meaning of the repentance.


And I don't have time to talk. So tomorrow morning I start from there. That means there is another verse of repentance from the Mahayana teaching. OK, now it's 10.35. If you have any questions, please. Please. When we are sleeping or thinking, so we return to the posture.


What does it mean to return to the posture? To observe the posture? To be concentrated in the posture? What does it mean, return? It's a mental return, it's an emotional return. What does it mean, that return? This is what, you know, Uchiyama Roshi wrote in the book, Opening the Hand of Thought. You know, Dogen Zenji called our zazen just sitting. This just sitting, washikan taza, means we do nothing but sitting. But we want to do something. And I think, we think, to do something is a good thing. To do nothing is not good. But, in our Zazen, when we sit on the cushion facing the wall, we may take a vow or make a vow to just sit without doing anything else.


So, when we start to think that is something else, whether this thinking is about Dharma or about Buddha's teaching, or about some kind of truth. Whatever thinking is, you know, deviates from just sitting. Even thinking about zazen is not zazen. Even, you know, I have to return. If I think I have to return, then that is not zazen. So, we cannot return to just sitting by thinking. Because thinking, I have to return, is itself against just sitting. You know, so, this just sitting, you know, within this Zazen practice, we keep, we sit in this upright posture, and we hold our hands in Hokkai-jo-in or Cosmic Mudra.


This, you know, posture is really important. You know, Dogen Zenji described the posture. And we keep our eyes open. In some traditions in Buddhism, they sit closing their eyes. I think in Vipassana, often they close their eyes. But, in Zen tradition, we keep our eyes open. The reason for this is, when we close our eyes, we often are easy to fall into sleep or have a kind of a dream. So, to keep our eyes open means we keep awakening, not sleep. And yet, we don't focus on anything. but just keep our eyes open, half open actually. And, you know, and whatever thought comes up, we just let go.


Let go means we don't, how can I say, become, how can I say, become subject and object. In our Zazen there is no object. Of course, again, there are in certain many traditions of Buddhist meditation, there are some objects in sitting practice. Some tradition uses koan, or counting breath, or watching breath, or visualization, or some kind of mantra, you know. become object. Actually, the teaching is become one with those objects. But, when we have object, it's difficult to become one. And, our practice is, you know, just be one. So, we don't use any that kind of object, or method, or technique.


So, there's no object in our Zen. So, I don't want to call this practice as meditation. When we meditate, and meditation is done with our mind, and there is some object to meditate, but in our practice there is no such object to meditate, so we don't really do meditation. Dogen Zenji more often used the word taza, meaning sitting, instead of zen. Zen is meditation. But he called his practice sitting. Even so, there is no subject and no object. When there is no object, there is no subject. There is no separation between subject and object. But, as you know from your experiences, more than enough, you know, when thoughts come up, those thoughts become objects, and we start to interact with those objects.


Then, our mind separates into two pieces, the thought which is seeing, and the thought which is seeing. This separation is a problem, and ours doesn't need to really become one, one seamless body, mind, time, and space. So, whatever, you know, thought happening, and when we found You know, there is separation, and I'm interacting something with a certain thought. We stop it and let go, and return to this posture, or breathing, or keep our awakening, not sleeping. When we start to interact with our thought, something is distorted. You know, often our body is you know, distorted in some way.


Or, when we are sleepy, you know, thoughts come up as a dream, as a kind of dream. So, when, you know, thinking or dreaming is happening, there is something distorted in our sitting, you know. posture, or breathing, or awakening, or grasping, or chasing after our thought. So, return to just sitting means stop it and just sit. And if there is some distortion in our body, or some, how can I say, disharmony in our breathing, we correct it. That is, to me, that is what returning to Zazen means. Thank you very much. OK?


And we do the same thing in our daily practice, daily activities. And these precepts, at a point, we need to awake, aware. If we do something against these precepts, that means there is some problem or something not healthy happening in our mind or in the way we think or we do. So, we return to the direction as a bodhisattva. Okay, please. Rinpoche, you mentioned that Dogen sometimes used a word for sitting. How do you spell it? What was it? Taza? Taza. In kanji, ta shikan taza is... This ta, literally, this kanji means to hit.


But in this expression, this kanji has no meaning. But this kanji just strengthens the next word. So this means really just sit. And shikan means just. This is tada. Tada means just, really only this. And khan means, khan is like a, what is khan? Like a control. Or concern. So, simply, actually, in our Zazen, there is no concern or control. So, we don't translate this. So we say, just sitting. And she means Tada, or Tada and she are equivalent, did you say?


She means Tada. Tada is a common Japanese word. Only. Just. Please. I had a question about repentance. In Buddhism, I know in In places, in temples where they practice the Vinaya, they have a ceremony. And the monks should, my understanding is that they should, if they've gone against one of the precepts, they should say that to the community. And I was wondering, in temples that you practice at, with the 16 precepts, when you have a fusatsu ceremony, do people say Is it done in the same way as is done when they practice the Vinaya, like, I broke such and such a precept, or I did this? Actually not. How does that go? Gyaku fusatsu means simplified fusatsu.


Fusatsu is uposata. It came from the uposata practice in Indian sangha about the Vinaya precept. So, the tradition came from, you know, that practice. But, in Japanese Soto Zen practice, we have Ryaku Fusatsu twice a month, and, not Ryaku Fusatsu, just Fusatsu, or Dai Fusatsu, Raja Fusatsu, I think once a year or so. But, In our tradition, we recite Dogen Zenjutsu Kyoju Kaimon. And we don't really, how can I say, speak up our mistakes. But this is a kind of a ceremony.


And so, when I was a training monk in Japanese monastery, I didn't like this. I didn't find any mistake. But, to me, it's important to renew our vow. So, it's different from the kind of uposata or fusatsu in Vinaya tradition. OK? Please. Even if we live in accord with the precepts, How can we escape the self-centered way of living? Aren't we ultimately driven by the desire to escape even from that? That's the point of this precept. That means it's not possible to keep this precept.


When I received the precept from my teacher, after the ceremony, he said, You know, during the precept receiving ceremony, then the preceptor recites each of the ten major precepts and asks, do you keep this well? And we have to say, yes. And my Uchamaru said, when you said yes, then you are given the third, fourth precept. Fourth, right? Yeah, fourth precept. That means, no false speech. That is the first violation of the precept. And, you know, in the Mahayana precept, the precept of not killing is not killing even any form of life, even a mosquito or a plant. Then, how can we live without killing?


We cannot. So actually, it's really not possible. Even though we vow to do so, and we say, I will, still it's... I think it's not possible to completely, you know, be in accord with these precepts. So these precepts are the direction we should go. And yet we, actually, almost always we are deviated. We do something against this precept. So, you know, taking precept means taking vow. So, what my teacher wanted to say when he said that is the first violation, he said, taking vow or taking precept and dependence need to be always together. That means there's no way or no time we can be arrogant. I keep all the precepts, therefore I'm a good person or I'm an enlightened person.


There's no time we can say such a thing. So, this, you know, taking precepts, receiving precepts, in a sense, makes our way of life humble. We cannot say, I'm a right person. This means, for example, if we take, receive the rule, accept the rules that we should not kill any human beings, maybe we can do that. We can live without killing human beings. But if we have to, we should not kill any form of life, then we cannot live. Even if I really try to not kill any form of life, we need to stop eating. That means to kill this person.


That is another kind of killing. So, these precepts are really, in a sense, impossible to keep. And that is an important point. Do you understand what I mean? We need to always be humble. I can never say I'm a right person. I keep all the precepts. But I have to always make repentance and humble. And yet try to, how can I say, even one step forward toward that direction. So that is the meaning of our practice when we receive the bodhisattva precept. So, we cannot use this precept to judge ourselves and to judge others. This is the kind of direction we vow to go.


And there is no time. Same as four bodhisattva vows. You know, living beings are numberless. I vow to save them, or free them. If living beings are numberless, there's no time we can save them all. And yet, we try to, one by one, whenever possible. That is our practice. That's why our practice is really endless. And our practice is moment by moment. There's no goal. And I said, now I have achieved the entire Bodhisattva path. So, in our practice, there is no graduation. Does this make sense? Yes. I can't say whether it actually makes sense. That's why I said these are the strange precepts. Please.


Continuing Phyllis's question, my difficulty is if we, each of us, receives the precepts and we are going to save all sentient beings, this is the most important bodhisattva, if that is my biggest job, to do that. So this is the person that I really need to take care of if I have to save everyone. So how can, in some ways, I can understand Philip saying there's some self-centered aspect of this, because if I start to run and take care of everyone else and not keep myself well-maintained, then I definitely cannot go... Of course, you are one of us, all living beings, so first you have to take care of yourself to take care of others. And to take care of yourself means to practice and free from, you know, self-centeredness. But if I am, as you say, One with everything. So I can see the self-centeredness.


Why is just not taking care of me taking care of everyone? This is my difficulty. When you say so, you already make a distinction between you and all others, I think. Why me or why others? Why not both at the same time? Well, that's what I'm saying. It is. So I can understand the self-centered aspect of this, because in some ways I'm the most important, and then I need to forget about that at the same time. So it's... What is it? That's your koan. I'm sorry, there's no answer. Thank you. So we're almost always back and forth. You know, we have to take care of ourselves in order to take care of others. But if we only take care of ourselves, you know, we are selfish. But if we only take care of others, we may, you know, forget ourselves.


That might be a problem. OK. Anything else? Please. I was just wondering if, maybe not today, but at some point in your lectures, are you going to talk a little bit about the Raku Sutra? and how that is understood and so forth. Okay, okay. Okay, thank you.