2009.07.04-serial.00203

00:00
00:00
Audio loading...

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

Transcript: 

Good morning, everyone. Yesterday, I finished talking about the precept of taking refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. This morning, I start to talk on the threefold pure precept, at the bottom of page 3. This is the second set of the three precepts. Let me read that section. The threefold pure precepts. The precept of embracing moral cause. This is the abode of the laws and cause of all Buddhas. This is the root source of the laws and the cause of all Buddhas, the precept of embracing good dharmas.

[01:08]

This is the dharma of unsurpassable true awakening, Anuttara Samyukta Bodhi. This is the way in which one should practice by oneself and the way in which one should lead others. The precept of embracing all living beings, one should transcend distinction within ordinary beings and sages, and save both oneself and others. These are the threefold pure precepts. So, these three are called threefold pure precepts, or in Chinese or Japanese, we call San Juu Jou Kai.

[02:10]

The Chinese characters are in the printout and handouts, so you don't need to copy these Chinese characters. San, Jyu, Jyo, Kai. San is free. Jyu is, what is Jyu? A collection or groups. And Jyo is pure or purity. And Kai is precept. So, this is the threefold, or three collections of pure precepts. And the first one in my translation, the precept of embracing moral cause, is the translation of SHO, RITSU, GI, KAI.

[03:12]

And second, the precept of embracing good dharmas is sem-sho and zen-bo. Same as ho, zen-ho or zen-bo, kai. And third is the precept of embracing all living beings. That is sem-sho, shu-jo. Shujo means all living beings. And so precept of embracing, the first one is Ritsu Gi. And Ritsu Gi literally means Vinaya. Ritsu is a precept in Vinaya. And Gi is forms. forms is like, how do people do ceremonies and gatherings.

[04:26]

Those are part of the Vinaya precept. So, Ritsugi literally refers to the Vinaya precept. So, this means even this precept, Bodhisattva precept, or Mahayana precept, we embrace the Vinaya precept. That is the original meaning from one text of Mahayana Vinaya. I mean, not Vinaya, but Sira or Kai. But another text says this in the case of Bodhisattva precept. This does not refer to the Vinaya precept, but this refers to the ten major precepts we receive. Anyway, this... So, depending upon the interpretation, what this ritsugi means, refers to, is different. So, I simply translate moral cause.

[05:30]

So, we can put any moral cause in here, if it's accord with the Mahayana teachings. So, originally, this precept means, even though we are Bodhisattva precept, we embrace and value the Viraya precept. That is the reason even Mahayana monks, you know, received Viraya precept. Except, you know, today, you know, Japanese monks or priests, we don't receive, Vinaya. Anyway. And the second one is Zen is good and Ho is Dharma. Good Dharma or good actions. So, this is a precept embracing all good actions. And the third is Shujo is living beings.

[06:32]

This is a precept embracing all living beings. These are the literal meanings of this threefold pure precept. But I think this threefold pure precept is a kind of reinterpretation of the verse from the Dhammapada I introduced at the very beginning of this retreat. That is, the first one is about... What was the translation? My mind doesn't really work well. The first is, do not... fat is evil. evil, or bad, or twisted, or twisted karma, or unwholesome.

[07:35]

And second is do. Fat is good. And in the case of the verse from Gammapada, the third line is keep your mind pure. You know, this keep your mind pure is the same word with this jo. And, as I said in the first lecture, you know, in the case of the verse in the Dhammapada, this do avoid unwholesome and practice wholesome is one set of teachings. and keep your mind pure is another set of teachings. This is for monks, for lay people. We should avoid unwholesome and we should do good actions.

[08:39]

If we do evil, we go to hell. If we do good things, we will be born in heaven. So, within samsara, depending upon our action, we go up or down. So, we should do good things in order to go up instead of down. That is one set of teachings for lay people. And Buddha taught the monks to keep your mind pure, which means we should go beyond discrimination between good and bad. then monks could go to enter nirvana. That is so purity in the verse in Dhammapada means go beyond good and bad. But here it says all those three are purity. So not doing unwholesome or avoid evil.

[09:45]

and practice good things. These are not based on discrimination, but these are expressions of our pure heart. And, so, the third line is changed. This is not going beyond good and bad, but embracing all living beings. Embrace, you know, As I always said, all living beings does not stay in nirvana. All living beings are within samsara, within this shore. So, in order to embrace all living beings, we have to stay here, not going there. But staying here and doing good things to help others and avoid unwholesome, And these two, avoid unwholesome and practice wholesome, should be for the sake of all living beings.

[10:54]

That is what this purity means. So this is, I think, the interpretation of purity in the birth, in the Dharmapada. So we don't do practice good or we don't avoid evil because we want to go to hell. No. We want to go to heaven and we don't want to go to hell. But this is the expression of a pure heart. That's why we practice good and avoid unwholesome. And you know, when we receive certain precepts or accept the rules, we, you know, easily think to keep the rules is the most important thing. And this most important thing and doing good things for the people in front of us is sometimes contradicted.

[12:01]

You know, sometimes we use regulations or laws or precepts or some kind of taboo in certain religions as a kind of excuse not to help others. But this second precept means even sometimes we need to break the precept. We have to do good things actively. So, to avoid unwholesome is not enough. Sometimes we should do good things actively. And both avoiding unwholesome action and doing good action should be for the sake of all living beings, not for the sake of this person going to nirvana, or attain enlightenment, or become a teacher, or certain kind of great person.

[13:07]

But that is the spirit of this practice, these threefold pure precepts. So is this reinterpretation of the pure mind, is this Dogen's reinterpretation? Not Dogen. This threefold pure precept appeared in one of the... What is the word? I forget. Yoga Chara Text. And this appeared also in the Sutra of... I again forget it. Yoraku-kyo in Japanese. That is the Yoraku-kyo, Jewel Necklace Sutra.

[14:13]

So these three, I mean, these three are three aspects of, you know, next Dogen Zenji made a comment on ten major precepts. Those three are the three aspects of each of the ten major precepts. Each precept within the ten major precepts should be seen or understood from three perspectives. What we should avoid and what we should do. And for what? We avoid unwholesome and practice good. And the answer is for the living beings. Next, I'd like to introduce one Dharma discourse of Dogen.

[15:24]

I think, I believe, that expresses the point of the spirit of threefold pure precept. from this book, Dogen's Extensive Record. This is a translation of Eihei Kōroku. If you have this book and you want to check later, this appeared in Volume 8. Shōsan, Number 20. It appears on page 496. Shōsan is a kind of informal gathering.

[16:29]

A teacher or the abbot gives certain instructions and students or disciples or monks ask the question to the abbot. It's called shō, means small, small meeting that is different from daisang or larger meeting that is done in the Dharma Hall. It's very most formal way of giving lectures. But shōsan is more informal, often takes place in abbot room. And this shosan is done at the end of summer practice period. So, this is kind of suitable for today. This is almost end of the three-month summer practice period.

[17:33]

And we made, we mean Taigen and me, made the title of this Dharma Discourse. And the title is The Village Song of Mahakasyapa and Manjushri. Village Song. I'm sorry. Village Songs. Plural. The Village Songs of Mahakasyapa and Manjushri. Number 20. Informal Meeting for the End of the Summer Practice Period. Dogen says, for 90 days of non-action. Non-action is Mu-I. So, what we have been doing for 3 months or 90 days is Mu-I.

[18:41]

No action. That doesn't mean we do nothing. Or this, what we did, our practice is good for nothing. Not for the sake of this person, but for the sake of Dharma. So, it has no value as a kind of, in a kind of a marketplace. We just practice for the sake of practice, or we practice for the sake of Dharma. That is what non-action or mu-i means. Usually we have some purpose, or some goal, or something we want, reach, or get. But in our practice there is no such thing. That's why this is called Mu-I. So, for 90 days of non-action, the whole assembly has been peaceful and calm. I hope this is true also in this assembly.

[19:45]

Peaceful and calm. Nevertheless, we have been protected by the Buddha's ancestors, which is truly the fortune and happiness of the Great Assembly. So, we have been practicing with peace without much difficulties. because of the, according to Dogen, because of the protection by Buddhas and ancestors. Of course, including our, you know, each one of us, you know, effort to practice together with people in this sangha. So, it's truly the fortune and happiness. Tonight, I or Eihei will hold an informal meeting, as usual, at the end of a practice period. So, at each practice period, Dogen and his assembly have this kind of meeting.

[20:55]

What we call informal meeting is an occasion to give the family instructions. Family instruction means it's not something very highly philosophical, but more intimate and concrete instructions. So this is about the teacher's own style of practice and teaching. Although there are many family instructions, Now, I will offer one or two. The ancestral teachers of former generations are all noble people. The, you know, teachers from, within the history of Buddhism, from Shakyamuni Buddha, in each generation, they are all noble people with the mind of the way.

[22:02]

Mind of the Way, in Japanese, is 道心. 道 is Way or Dao, and 心 is Mind or Heart. Mind of the Way is one of the translations of Indian or Sanskrit word, Bodhicitta. So, you know, Chinese people translate body or awakening into this Chinese word Dao. It's kind of, you know, strange to me, but interesting. Why Dao can be awakening? Of course, this is because Taoist or Daoist connotation of this word, Dao. Anyway, so all teachers or ancestors had or allowed bodhicitta, or way-seeking mind.

[23:05]

Without the mind of the way, the myriad practices are mere vain arrangements. Vain arrangement. Arrangement. Maybe arrangement is not the right word. It's like a fabrication. You know, we do many different forms, how to eat, how to sleep, how to sit, how to do chanting, how to do kinhin, all are those forms. And those are kind of invented, were created by Buddhas and ancestors, allow us to practice and cultivate our bodhicitta, awakening mind. And yes, if we practice all those formal practices without this mind, awakening mind, then this is really simply a vain fabrication.

[24:07]

Empty forms. No meaning. Actually, our practice has no meaning. It's mui. And yet, if we practice this good-for-nothing practice without vain mind, it's really no meaning. You know, that is the fact, you know, Sakiyoshi said, you know, Sakiyoshi said, our Zazen is good for nothing. But if you don't understand our Zazen is good for nothing, your practice is really good for nothing. So, we understand that our practice is good for nothing. Then, I don't know, is it good or not? This is our koan. Anyway, in order to make our practice in the Sangha meaningful, we need to allow bodhicitta with seeking mind or awakening mind. That is the first thing. Therefore, monks who study and practice must first allow body-mind or bodhicitta.

[25:16]

Allowing bodhicitta mind is allowing the mind that saves all living beings. Saves. Maybe you don't like this one. Saves. But this is DO. The word appeared in the first of the four bodhisattva vows. SHUJYO, MUHEN, SEIGAN, DO. This DO is in DO. save. But many American people don't like this word, save. But the literal meaning of this word, do, is cross over. It means cross the river between this shore of Sansara and the other shore of Nirvana. So that means Bodhisattva is like a fairy person who helps people cross this river from samsara to nirvana.

[26:28]

So Dogen said, to allow bodhicitta or awakening mind or way-seeking mind, to allow this mind to help all beings to cross this river and enable them to enter nirvana. So way-seeking mind, to seek the way, does not for the sake of this person, but to help others. So this is the same as the first of the four bodhisattva vows. All save or help all living beings, First, you must have the mind of the way. Next, you must become endowed with yearning for the ancient. This yearning for the ancient is Boko. Maybe I don't need to write it. That means, you know, now we are at the end of this Srimad-Sama practice period.

[27:40]

And this Dharma discourse speech was given almost 800 years ago by Dogen, the founder of the Soto Zen tradition. And 800 years later, we are doing the same thing, even though the teacher is not so great, like Dogen. but also Dogen Zenji quotes a story about Buddha's assembly, Shakyamuni Buddha's assembly. So this, you know, three-month summer practice has been a practice carried out even from the time of Shakyamuni and for more than 2,500 years and we are still doing. And we yearning the ancient means we become, we feel happy or glad if we can do genuine practice as Dogen did, or Dogen's assembly did, or Shakyamuni and his assembly did.

[28:52]

And we try to make effort to practice. Maybe we cannot practice exactly the same way. because the culture or age, everything is different. But we need to make effort to practice with the same spirit. And same spirit is this bodhicitta, practice with awakening mind. And if we can practice with the same spirit, with Shakyamuni Buddha and his assembly, or Dogen and his assembly, feel happy. This is, thus, you know, mind to yearning for the ancient. So this is a wish to continue the tradition of this practice with the same spirit. What is the Japanese again for that yearning for the ancient?

[29:56]

Boko. Boko or moko. bo or mo, and ko. Bo is to yam, and ko is ancient. Then, you must seek what is genuine. What is genuine is not fake, not simply forms, empty forms, but we need the real thing. And, you know, we have many different forms, but, as I said, without this bodhicitta, all those forms become fake, not genuine, not real thing. You know, even, you know, we have, you know, same, you know, temple buildings as Dogen did,

[31:04]

like Heiji, and we do the same ceremonies and practices and study. If we lack of this bodhicitta, all those practices are fake, not genuine. So, to seek genuine, to seek fat is genuine. is most important, even though, you know, this sangha is very small and we don't have, you know, real, you know, monastery facilities yet. But, that's OK. That doesn't make our practice genuine. The most essential thing, our practice, genuine or fake, is our bodhicitta, we, mind. So we have to examine ourselves if our practice is genuine or not.

[32:13]

That means if we have a real, true, way-seeking mind, the spirit of practice. These three kinds of facts should be studied by both beginners and later comers. The family instructions of Ehe are simply like this. So, this is Dogen's family instruction to his students. Have the genuine bodhicitta, or awakening mind, and value and wish to continue the tradition from Buddha and, in our case, Dogen. and make effort to keep our practice genuine with the genuine spirit of way-seeking mind.

[33:17]

That is very simple, but most important point of our practice. Then, he introduced one story. This is not a historical story, of course. This is a made-up story. probably in Song China, in the Zen traditions. But, to me, this is very interesting. This is about, again, at the end of summer practice period, in the Sangha of Shakyamuni Buddha. And, in that practice period, Mahakasyapa was the head monk. I think he was head monk. and the story is as follows. Dogen said, I can remember. So Dogen introduced the story. Once, long ago, during the time of the World Honored One, that is Shakyamuni Buddha, on the day of confession at the end of

[34:31]

summer practice period. Summer practice period is usually from 15th day of 4th month until 15th day of 7th month. So, in the solar calendar we practice, we have some practice period from middle of April until the middle of July. But this is in the lunar calendar, so the season is different. Anyway, 15th is the day of the full moon in the lunar calendar. And this is the day, not only during the summer practice period, but in each month, in Indian sangha they have a gathering, usually called Uposatha, or in In Japanese we call it Fusatsu.

[35:33]

And the end of the summer practice is the day of the Fusatsu, or Uposata. And this is also a day of reflection. And the leader of the Sangha recites each and every precept. monks in the assembly thought they did something against the precept. They have to make confession or repentance. That is what happened at the end of the summer practice period. So I think, you know, to have a precept retreat at the end of Three-month summer practice period, I think, is very relevant. Anyway, on that occasion, at the gathering of repentants, Manjushri... Manjushri had spent the summer at three places.

[36:46]

You know, during the summer practice period, all monks had to stay one place at the monastery. No one can go out or travel. That is one of the regulations within Vinaya precept. No monks can go out of the monastery. Really stay and focus on study and practice. But this person called Manjushri, he was there at the beginning of the practice period. But somehow he disappeared. And at the end of the practice period, he appeared again. So he, you know, clearly broke the regulation. So Manjushri had spent the summer at three places.

[37:49]

Maaka Shapa, the leader of the monks, wanted to expel Manjushri. If they break the rule during the summer practice period, the person who breaks the regulation needs to be expelled. So, Mahakasyapa, as his responsibility as the head of monks, tried to expel Manjushri. So, Mahakasyapa wanted to expel Manjushri. But when he started to approach the sounding block, sounding block means in the monk's hall there is a block with something like this, and there is like a mallet. And today, when Ino makes announcement, he hits this.

[38:56]

This is in Japanese called tsui-chin. So, this is Mahakasyapa's responsibility to pick up this mallet and hit the wood block and make announcement that Manjushri is expelled. When Mahakasyapa started to approach the sounding block to make the announcement, he suddenly saw hundreds of thousands of millions of Manjushri. Not only one, but numerous Manjushri appeared. when Mahakasyapa tried to expel Manjushri. Mahakasyapa used all of his divine powers, but could not lift the sanguine block.

[40:04]

He couldn't lift this, you know, mallet. That means he couldn't make announcement to expel Manjushri. Then, the World Honored One finally asked Mahakasyapa, Which Manjushri do you want to expel? Mahakasyapa did not respond. So he couldn't say anything. And here Dogen didn't mention, but in the original Koan story, Manjushri spent three different places. In each month, he spent different places. And the first month he spent at King Prasenajit's harem. So he spent one month's practice period with the mistress of the king. And in the second month he played with children at an elementary school.

[41:16]

So he spent a second month with children. And the third month he stayed at a bo... bo-del? With, again, with women. That is what Manjushri did for three months' practice period. And he returned at the end, and he didn't make repentance. And Mahakasyapa wanted to expel him, but he couldn't. That's the meaning of this kind of a funny story. Of course, this is a made-up story. Manjushri was not a real person. I think this means, you know, to spend three months at certain monasteries and focus on studying Dharma and practice meditation is a really important tradition from the Buddha's time.

[42:28]

And to break that rule is clearly against the Vinaya precept. And yet this person, Manjushri, a bodhisattva, you know, breaks the rule. And this means, if all the monks stayed in the monastery, who can teach the people outside of the monastery in the world? And those people need more, those people really need Dharma. So, if monks stayed in a monastery, who can teach, who could teach those people? And that is a... Good idea. So, this means monasticism taught those people who are really in need.

[43:30]

If we attach ourselves to observing the Vinaya precept and stay in the monastery, apart from the people in the world, who can work for the living beings? From that point of view, to practice at a monastery, can be selfish for the sake of this person's enlightenment. So, one of the interpretations of this funny story is, this is a criticism from Mahayana point of view to the people, you know, so-called Hinayana. They cling to the tradition and regulation and practice for their own sake.

[44:35]

And to me this is a very interesting point. And In this story, it seems Buddha supports Manjushri and Mahakasyapa couldn't expel Manjushri. So this story is made from the side of Mahayana point of view. And yet, Dogen is going to make a comment on this story, but Dogen wants to support Manjushri, I mean, Mahakasyapa. Actually, both. So, Mahakasyapa is a kind of a symbol of embracing all moral codes or Vinaya precepts. And Manjushri is a symbol of doing good for the sake of living beings.

[45:41]

And Dogen made a comment on this story. Great Assembly, do you want to free inquire into this occurrence? So we must study what this story means carefully. First, you must deeply trust that spending the summer in practice period is the one great matter in the house of Buddha's ancestors. So, as Dogen says in the introduction of this Dharma discourse, we need to yearn the ancient, that means Buddhist traditions. And Buddhist tradition is to spend three months summer practice period at the monastery. So this is one great matter, very important thing. This is also what Dogen did.

[46:51]

So, Dogen, I don't think he, you know, recommended his disciples, you know, go out and teach people in the world. But he, I think he, you know, requested his monks to stay at Eheiji for three months without going anywhere else, focus on practice. So, Dogen said, do not take it lightly. So, keep the Vinaya regulation in Vinaya. Our Buddhist tradition is important. We cannot take it lightly. Tell me, at that time, did Mahākāśyapa expel Manjushri or not? In the story, it seems he didn't. He couldn't. But Dogen is asking if he really didn't expel Manjushri or not.

[48:00]

If Mahakasyapa couldn't expel Manjushri, Mahakasyapa could not carry out his responsibility as a person who needs to protect the regulations. And if you say he had expelled Manjushri, why is it that he could not raise the sounding block with all of his divine powers? So, he did expel or he did not. Either way, we have a problem. If you say he had not expelled Manjushri, Since Mahākāśāpa's action was completely in accord with regulations, Vinaya regulations, his effort should not be discredited.

[49:05]

So we need to support Mahākāśāpa's action to expel Manjushri. Great assembly, this is to Dōgen's assembly, you should know that if Mahakasyapa wanted to expel Shravakas, Pratyekabuddhas, beginners, late comers, or even those of the stages of the ten sages and three wise ones, but those are all different kinds of Buddhist practitioners, until in a certain stage of Bodhisattva. Dogen said, Mahakasyapa certainly could have raised the sounding block, but he couldn't raise the sounding block for Manjushri to expel him.

[50:08]

Now, if Mahākāśapa wants to expel the hundreds of thousands of milliard, I'm sorry, milliard millions, milliard millions of Manjushri's, this is a really interesting statement. And this shows, I think, Dogen's sense of humor. He said, Mahākāśapa uses a sounding block that cannot be raised. So, in order to expel Manjushri, Mahākāśapa used the sounding block which cannot be raised up. That means Mahākāśapa didn't raise the sounding block. That means he didn't make announcement. But that is the way he expelled Manjushri. Does it make sense? So, his Dogen supports both Manjushri and Mahakasyapa.

[51:11]

That means, you know, Mahakasyapa's responsibility or practice as a head monk in the summer practice period and what Manjushri did, break the precept and teach the people in the world. There are so many things Bodhisattvas need to do in the world. I think not only Manjushri, but Avalokiteshvara also working in the world, even while monks are practicing for three months in the monastery. Which is more important? I think both are important. And how can we do both? That is the point of this story, at least, from Dogen's teaching. So, he said, he used a sounding block which cannot be raised.

[52:23]

That means he expressed Manjushri without making the sound, without announcement. That means Manjushri is Manjushri. Monks in the monasteries, what they do. And allow Manjushri to do whatever Bodhisattva needs to do in the world. How can this be? How can this be? And Dogen continues. Don't you see that a thousand-pound stone, I'm sorry, thousand-pound stone ball, stone ball, cannot be used to shoot a small mouse? You know, a huge ball cannot be used to shoot a tiny mouse. And how could a thousand-ton ship

[53:28]

thousand-ton ship sail following the ruts of an oxcart. So big ship cannot sail in the, you know, how can I say, pool, water pool made by the oxcart. That means these two are two kind of different how can I say, not a level, but dimensions. You know, monks, you know, continue to practice following the Buddhist traditions. This is a very concrete, you know, activity, so we have to keep this tradition. And what Manjushri did to teach all living beings how can I say, belongs to two different dimensions. It's not, you know, Manjushri can be judged by this tradition or this, not tradition, but regulations.

[54:36]

So Manjushri does what Manjushri needs to do. And Mahakasyapa does what Mahakasyapa needs to do. So both are embraced. That is what I think the spirit of threefold pure precept, embracing moral cause and embracing good dharmas or good actions, like Manjushri did. Even he broke the precept. And both are for the sake of living beings. Dogen continues, although it is like this, without intervening in a matter of such realms of comparison, is there something more to say that goes beyond?

[55:39]

That means we need to go beyond this kind of a separation or discrimination between keeping precept or keeping tradition. and, you know, working for all living beings in the world. How can we go beyond this separation? Then, so, Dogen gave a question to his monks, and after a pause, Dogen said, so, this is a final statement by Dogen, and he offered in a form of verse. He said, In a peaceful age, the ruler's activity is to govern without signs. The family style of old peasants seems to be most pristine.

[56:41]

just concerned with village songs and festival drinking. How would they know of the virtue of shun or the benevolence of yao?" This poem refers to a certain Chinese classic story. I think it was also a poem. That means, These two people, Shun and Yao, are the Chinese emperors in the very ancient times, before history. And those kind of ideal emperors govern his country, his nation, with benevolence, not with regulations. And there is a poem that, you know, in the springtime, when, you know, it's becoming warm and the world becomes green again and they have flowers.

[57:54]

So it's a very joyful time of the year, you know, those farmers having party in the field. and they just drink wine and eat food and just enjoy their time. And the poem said those farmers even don't know their life was protected or governed by those Yang and Shang, those emperors. That means when we are in peace and harmony, we don't even think of who maintains this peace and harmony. If the emperors want, you know, show, I'm doing this, then those are not benevolent emperors. So that means within this peace and, you know, joyful life, that is nirvana, actually.

[58:57]

both, you know, strict regulations and beyond those regulations. Regulations means, you know, man-made thing, in order to make man-made effort to make this community or world peace and harmony. But actually, real peace and harmony was not really made possible by those man-made regulations or laws or rules. But that means... What is the word? I'm sorry, my mind doesn't work. That peace and harmony is enabled by the true reality of interdependent origination.

[60:04]

Interdependent origination, that all are working together, helping each other, supporting each other, all are connected. That is a real force. maybe power, force, that allow us to live in peace and harmony. But within human society, we need something man-made to keep it in order. So the man-made regulations and rules is a part of this benevolent temperance that is this reality of interdependent origination. If we forget about that and only see the man-made regulations and we judge people against the regulation or not, then we lose the point of our practice.

[61:21]

I think that is what Dogen meant. And I think that this is the spirit of threefold pure precept. That means we need to value and protect the precept, kind of mermaid thing. That means, mermaid thing means, depending upon the time or age and culture or society, those regulations can be interpret in different ways. That's what man-made means when I use that word. But those man-made rules or regulations or morality, moral codes, are supported by this interconnectedness. Well, that is what I have to say about the three-fold peer-precept.

[62:24]

And we only have 21 minutes. And tomorrow is the last day of my lecture. So I'd like to finish 10 major precepts. So let me go further. When we study these Ten Major Precepts, I usually read two other texts on the same Ten Major Precepts. One is the Ten Major Precepts from the Brahmanic Sutra, or Bonmo Kyo. And another is Bodhidharma's comment on one mind precept.

[63:29]

And usually, to talk on one precept takes one hour or more. But, because of my ambition to talk on all ten major precepts within this retreat, cannot talk in details. So I just read three texts and talk on Dogen's comment. And in the past, I talked all of those ten major precepts, comparing three texts. I'm not sure if the record of my talk lectures in the past during the precept retreat are available or not. but I hope sometimes it is available. Anyway, the first of the Ten Major Precepts is the Precept of Not Killing.

[64:33]

And first, let me read the Precept from the Brahmanic Sutra, because Dogen's comment or Zen expression a capping words or capping phrase on each of these ten major precepts in the Brahman Sutra. So, the first precept from the Brahman Sutra is on killing. A disciple of the Buddha shall not himself kill. Encourage others to kill. kill by expedient means, praise killing, rejoice at witnessing killing, or killing through incantation, or deviant mantras. I don't know how we can kill people with mantras, but it is said anyway.

[65:41]

He must not create the causes, conditions, methods, or karma of killing, and shall not intentionally kill any living creatures. As a Buddha's disciple, we ought to nurture a mind of compassion and filial piety, Always devising expedient means to rescue and protect all beings. If, instead, he fails to refrain himself and kills sentient beings without mercy, he commits a paralogical major offense. So, in this first precept, the first part of this precept, not to kill any living beings, is the part not doing evil, or avoid evil, not kill.

[66:58]

And the second part, we should always try to devise expedient means to rescue and protect all beings. This is, you know, the good dharma or good actions we should do. And those who try not to kill and also try to help living beings should be done with a mind of compassion. And it's said filial piety, because this precept sutra is made in China. Filial piety, as we discussed on Wednesday evening during the Dharma study group, this filial piety, that is a basis of Chinese morality or ethics. based on family system.

[68:00]

But I'm not sure this family system works today as a foundation of morality or ethics. This is made in the 5th century. That means you know, about 1,500 years ago in China. So, as a social morality or moral cause, you know, things should be, can be changed, and we need to reinterpret in detail or concrete things. But I think not killing or protecting life is forever valid. And Bodhidharma's comment on this precept is, Self-nature is wondrous and imperceptible.

[69:10]

Within the everlasting Dharma, not allowing the view of extinction is called the precept of not killing. So, even if we have a view that we can kill, it is against this precept. Everlasting means eternal. That doesn't mean there is something permanent within this network of interdependent origination. Everything is impermanent and changing and arising and perishing. And yet this life, so in this case this life refers to the life, you know, wisdom life. as I, I think, said, talked yesterday, that is Buddha's Dharmakaya. So, to protect this wisdom life, and being free from the view of extinction, that means the view that I can kill, I can terminate some life, and we

[70:32]

do. That is really against the precept of not killing. And Dogen's comment on this precept is, by not killing of life, the seeds of Buddha are nurtured, and one is unable to succeed the Buddha's life of wisdom. Do not kill life. So Dogen also talks about this Buddha's life of wisdom. This is Buddha's email I wrote down yesterday. E, Myo.

[71:37]

E is wisdom and Myo is life. So as a Bodhisattva, Bodhisattva means children of Buddha. That is what this seed of Buddha means. We are seed of Buddha. And also our bodhicitta, our awakening mind, is a seed of Buddha that allows us to practice as a Buddha's children. In order to nurture this life, we have to protect the life. So, do not kill life. You know, when we think of killing or taking life, you know, we can see two almost opposite Absolute reality. That means, maybe as I said yesterday, we cannot live without killing or without taking life from other living beings.

[72:43]

Even if we don't kill animals and eat meat, we eat vegetables. And vegetables are form of life. And we kill vegetables and that is the way we keep our life continue. So, from one side, it's not possible to live without killing. But from, you know, another kind of absolute truth is, because of emptiness, there's nothing to be killed. Now, nothing is born, nothing is died. Nothing is coming, nothing is gone. Nothing is alive, nothing is perished. This is all, you know, changing the shapes of something. All different elements getting together and separate.

[73:44]

That's all. And I cannot say I was born, actually. In the conventional sense, I was born in the year 1948 in Japan. I will die sometime in the future, I don't know when. So there is a birth time and death time. But what is born when I was born? And what is dying when I die? Is there something which is born? Is there something which is dying? Actually, at least according to Buddha, there is no such thing that is born, and no such thing that is dying. Shōhaku is just a collection of five skandhas. So this is one kind of absolute truth. And if we cling to that side of truth, then we can kill.

[74:52]

Even if we kill plants and animals or human beings, still we didn't kill anything. This is one extreme view. And sometimes this kind of thing is said about within Zen teachings. Especially, you know, in Japan. Zen was supported by so-called samurai or warrior class people. And the job of samurai is killing. That was a problem. And to, you know, when the master teach the warrior, a warrior, you know, just kill. There's no one killing, no one killed. And this is really terrible kind of a violation of the precept, I think, to, you know, protect this wisdom life. Is that the same motivation for the kamikaze pilots, to volunteer?

[76:05]

Unfortunately, yes. That is the problem. It might be the same thing, you know, when people do the suicide attack today. we need to see this wisdom life, and how can we protect this life. And, of course, you know, there are many, you know, different examples, but when I was in charge of, you know, growing vegetables, you know, when we plant the seed and it sprouts, somehow I had to thin the, you know, sprouts. That was a job. You know, I think, you know, I can make judgment, you can live, you have to die.

[77:09]

That was really a terrible job, but that is, in order to grow vegetables, that was my responsibility. Probably that was five Buddha-prophet monks to grow vegetables, farming. But, you know, to, you know, how can I say, support our practice and support our life somehow, or at least someone need to do that job. And if, you know, I think, you know, I don't do that job, but, you know, farmers do, so I'm okay, then there is something strange here. But if we see what, you know, the Buddhist monks did, Because farming was prohibited in the Vinaya, they didn't do, and they just received food cooked by the lay people, and those food were produced by the farmers.

[78:30]

Of course, monks didn't do killing. But here, the monks were supported by those people's action of killing. So, is this, how can I say, can we justify that kind of way of thinking? You know, I don't kill, but let them kill. It's kind of strange to me. So, this precept of not killing is really difficult. koan for all of us? So, I have no answer. So, the precept is saying whenever possible we try not to kill, of course. And if we do not have joy when we see killing, And whenever possible, we have to rescue life. That is our precept and that is our vow.

[79:36]

But whenever we reflect our way of life, I think no one can say, I'm perfectly keeping this precept. So, that's why I, not I, but Uchiyama Roshi said, When we receive this precept, we cannot say, I am a right person. I am perfectly, you know, keep this precept. So, this precept is not a kind of a tool to judge ourselves and others whether we are a right person or wrong people. If we use this precept to judge both ourselves and others, I think that is a misuse of this precept. This precept is the point we have to reflect our way of life and, how can I say, keep us humble.

[80:40]

And so our practice of taking this precept as our vow should be always together with repentance. Otherwise, you know, we just say, just think, you know, it's not possible to live without killing, so fight wrong. And without feeling, you know, guilty or feeling some sadness or remorse toward the living beings that support our life. And we become kind of ignorant about that. And we just dream, I'm okay. And that is the problem. So, I think not only the precept of killing, this is the same with all the ten major precepts.

[81:47]

As I said before, you know, when I received the precept, my teacher said, during the precept ceremony, when the teacher decides the precept, The recipient needs to say, or the teacher asks, do you protect or keep this precept or not? The recipient needs to say, yes, I will. And Uchamaro said, that is the first violation of the fourth precept, not telling a lie. So, we intentionally violated the precept. We need to be aware of that. Therefore, we cannot be arrogant that I am a right person. I never tell a lie. But to be aware that I cannot live without telling a lie is a very important awakening.

[82:55]

Or, you know, as I said, Sakiro said, the more we sit, the more we see we are no good. This is awakening. So enlightenment is to see we are no good. But usually we think enlightenment, you know, makes us perfect person without seeing everything as it is. And actually, things as it is, in this case of human beings, is, you know, we cannot live without killing. We cannot live without telling a lie. That is reality. If we think, you know, I live without killing, then that is a fantasy. That is a dream. So these precepts are the point of awakening, actually.

[83:57]

Well, it's 10.30. I only finished one precept. Nine are left. And tomorrow I'll try to talk on all nine. Or can I continue? Fifteen or twenty more minutes? Ten minutes? OK. The second one is not killing. This precept from the Brahmanic Sutra is as follows. A disciple of the Buddha must not himself steal or encourage others to steal. Steal by expedient means. Steal by means of incantation or deviant mantras. He should not create the causes, conditions, methods, or karma of stealing.

[85:08]

No variables or possessions, even those belonging to ghosts and spirits, or thieves and robbers, be they as small as a needle or a blade of grass, may be stolen. As a Buddha's disciple, he ought to have a mind of mercy, compassion, and filial piety, always helping people earn merits and achieve happiness. If, instead, he steals the possessions of others, he commits a biological offense. So this is about stealing. Stealing means some things possessed by other people. And by action of stealing, I want to make my possession.

[86:18]

And the reason, according to this sutra, the reason we should not steal is As a bodhisattva, we should have vow to offer good things for the people, for the living beings, and allow them to be happy. But, not many people are happy when they are stolen something. So, this is against the bodhisattva vow. And also, You know, one of the six parameters, the actual first one is dāna parameter, offering or giving. And this stealing is opposite, taking things from other people. And those people cannot be happy. So this is really against the Bodhisattva vow and Bodhisattva practice of six parameters.

[87:29]

So, that is the meaning of this precept, not stealing. And Bodhidharma's comment on this precept is, Self-nature is wondrous and imperceptible. Within the ungraspable Dharma, not allowing the thought of gaining, is called the precept of not stealing. That means nothing can be our possession. If we think, I can possess something, and other people can possess something, and I want that person's possession to be my possession, even to think that we can possess is itself against this precept. Because there is no one who can possess, and nothing who can be possessed. So this is from the absolute point of view.

[88:36]

Nothing to be possessed and no one can possess. So even to have this view, you know, I can possess and this is possessed by that person. So therefore I can transport this thing from their place to my place. That is based on illusion, illusive idea that we can possess something. So even having that view is against the precept. Even we don't actually steal, having that view, having that idea is already against this precept. You know, one of the kind of important teachings of Sawaki Roshi was, that is, Toku wa mayoi son wa satori.

[89:40]

That is, gaining is delusion and losing is enlightenment or satori or realization. So, his teaching is, we need to intentionally lose. Losing is enlightenment, and gaining is delusion. That was Sawakiroshi's very important teaching. So, when we practice, we practice, we try to make effort to lose. not to gain, but someone, I don't know who was a monk or a teacher or a layperson, but someone or a scholar criticized Sawakiroshi, that teaching. you know, the true reality is nothing lose, nothing gain. So, to say gaining is delusion, losing is enlightenment, is still not the reality itself.

[90:51]

So, still, you know, in Sao Kiro's teaching, still there is the idea of gaining and losing. That is delusion. That was a criticism from someone. But Uchamaru criticized again to that person. That means, even though as reality there is no one gain and nothing to be gained, no one lose and nothing to be lost, And yet, as actual reality of our life, we always want to gain, get something. And we always want to, and hate, to lose, or give up something. So that, we, Doge, not Doge, but Sawaki Roshi's teaching is based on that reality, actual reality of human life, not the reality of Dharma.

[91:52]

On that basis, his teaching, losing his enlightenment, or satori, and gaining his delusion, is really valid. That was Uchiyama Roshi's kind of counter-argue to that person. But we can continue to discuss or argue from either side, endlessly. Actually, both are true. So, Buddhist teaching is not kind of a, how can I say, not Buddhist teaching, but teachings by Buddhist teachers or their masters, is not kind of a, how can I say, objective truth. But, Fr. Akira said, losing is enlightenment, gaining is delusion. He is teaching to certain particular person, who has certain particular problem. to help that person to be free from that problem.

[92:56]

So, if we, how can I say, objectify his teaching, and think Sakyong didn't know the absolute truth of no gaining, no losing, it's a missed point. Anyway, Dogen's comment. on this precept is, second, not stealing. When mind and its objects are in dustness, the gate of liberation is open. This is his comment on the precept of not stealing. Do you understand? The connection between this state comment and this precept. I think this is really important. I have to talk more than one hour, but I'll make it short.

[94:02]

Subject, object. In this case, this mind is subject, and kyo is object. When our mind encounters some object, something happens in our mind. And this is a very basic form of Buddha's teaching. as, you know, as an object, this becomes Lama Rupa. Lama Rupa is an expression or word Shakyamuni Buddha used in the Sutani Pada. And this one, this word is used also in the Twelve Links of Causation, but the meaning is different. In the case of Buddha's teaching in Stanipata, nama-rupa refers to the object.

[95:12]

And if we, this is my interpretation, we call object as nama-rupa means our object is, rupa is material. And nama means name. When we encounter some object, this object becomes Lama Rupa. It means a combination of this matter and the name, or material and name, or the idea, or concept. And, you know, this is a black marker. This is the name of this matter. So, when my mind encounters this object, this object becomes Nama Rupa. And Nama Rupa is a connection of this person and this thing.

[96:13]

That means, in my mind, this is a black marker, and I need this marker to write something on the whiteboard. So this is useful and meaningful to me. So the name Black Marker shows the relation between this person and this thing. And we don't really see this thing itself. But we see this thing as object with the name. If we don't have name, we don't think of it. To have name means to have some definition and some value judgment. But this matter is not necessarily a black marker. This is a black marker, you know, only for certain period of time before this was manufactured at the factory, this is something else.

[97:20]

And this continues to be a black marker until the ink is dried up and I can use it for writing. After it's dried up, it becomes junk or garbage. or something else. So, there is no such thing as a black marker as an actual thing. This is what Nama Rupa means. And, not only this one, but each and everything we encounter as objects is Nama Rupa. And depending upon our karma. Karma means our experiences include our education, what I was taught from my parents, or family, or school, or society. I have a certain fixed system of value.

[98:23]

And when I encounter certain things, almost automatically I want to get this. Automatically, I think, you know, this is valuable. You know, in the modern society, the money is the, you know, most, for most people, money is the most valuable thing. Even though the, you know, paper money or coins are not really valuable. But money is actually Namanupa. It's not the matter. The paper is not important, or the metal is not really valuable. But, you know, the important point is human conversion. If I have certain number of money, I can exchange this with things I want.

[99:24]

That's why money is important. But actually, actual money is not really so important. But when, you know, when we meet with some, you know, occasion, I can get money, it's very difficult to reject it. Or refuse, I don't want. To find motivation, to find a reason to reject, if it's not illegal. If it's illegal and I may be have to go to jail, I have good reason to reject it. But otherwise, it's very difficult to, you know, I don't need it. As far as we are living in the modern society. But, that, you know, that relationship with subject, object, as Nama Nupa, We are hooked in certain ways.

[100:30]

And we have desires within our mind to get that thing. Or we have hatred against certain things we don't like. Or different kinds of emotional reactions are caused. by this hooked relation with certain things. And what Dogen Zenji is saying here is when mind and object are in thusness. In thusness means being free from free poisonous mind. When we are free from three poisonous minds, we are released from this fucked relation between subject and object, or subject of our desire. Often, you know, these things appear, become object of my desire.

[101:39]

But being thusness means just as it is. this object becomes nāma rūpa. To become nāma rūpa means, in Uchiyamuro's expression, to be processed or cooked within our mind. So, by letting go of thought, that is what we do in our zazen, we are released from this, you know, cooked relation. then this object starts to reveal itself as it is. Not nāma-rupa. That is what this means when mind and object are in vastness. That means that object is not an object of my desire anymore. We are released from this How can I say?

[102:41]

Binding. Then, the gate of liberation is open. That means, you know, its object is still there, and subject is still there. But, you know, we are liberated from three poisonous minds. And that is the time, you know, the fire of the three poisonous minds is extinguished. So, we are free from the burning house of the three worlds, world of desire and material and non-material. Then, there is no reason to steal. So, according to Dogen's comment, it means when we let go of our thought, opening the hand of thought, that means we are free from this desire, then this object reveals the way, the justness, or the thing as it is.

[104:01]

Then this subject and object, or division or separation between subject and object disappeared. And subject and object working together as one reality. As Dogen says in Tenzo Kyokun, you know, Tenzo and food materials or the utensils or fires or waters working together as oneness or thusness. Those things are not objects of Tenzo's desire to make money or something else. So, that is Dogen's comment on this project, not stealing. So if we, in our practice, if we practice in order to get something we want, the practice, even the practice, or even the Dharma, becomes the object of our desire.

[105:18]

So when we sit, that is Dogen's meaning. When we sit, just sit. When we practice, just practice. When we eat, just eat. But often, you know, we eat, those foods become the object of my desire, or object of my hatred. I don't like this, I hate that, or I want this, so I eat more than my stomach needs, because of desire. To fulfill my desire, we eat more than, you know, my stomach wants. That is the cause of suffering. And not only the food, but we do that kind of things with everything else. That is what the expression, burning house of three worlds, means. And our practice is being free from that fruct relation between subject and object.

[106:26]

Then we don't see any reason to steal. I think that is my understanding of Dogen's comment on this precept. Tony, do you have something to ask? I probably have been trying to already, I mean, answering it, but if I find myself in a condition of greed, anger, or... in that situation. I guess I'm asking, how can I? I'm aware of it. I've become aware of it. Now, how do I approach it? Shall I approach it through negating nama-rupa, or shall I approach it through trying to deal with my emotional attachment?

[107:30]

I guess that's what I'm asking. I think we should do whatever we need to do. Because depending upon what kind of person we are, sometimes we have to really stop it. And it might be very painful. But without this painful practice, we cannot make our stomach healthy. If we want to be released from stomach problems, We have to control our desire to eat things we like, or not to eat food we don't like. So this is one thing we need to do. And it was very difficult when we were young. But now it's not so difficult for me, because I don't have so much appetite. And I don't need so much food to fill my stomach.

[108:34]

But, you know, we have a fence. At least I have another problem. So I have to deal with different ways. Does it make sense? Well, you give me something to work with. Yeah, thank you. Please. Speaking of food, the story you told earlier about the monk that stole the rice to feed the Sangha, it's not identical, is that similar to the Manjushri Mahakasyapa story that you just told today about breaking the precepts and sometimes being the right thing to do? I think so. the reason why Dogen praised that person, that monk who stole the food to feed hungry monks.

[109:38]

So, even though he violated the precept of not stealing, but he didn't steal for the sake of his own, but he stole to offer other monks, other people. So, Within this, there is a violation of precept and also, how can I say, offering things to people. Both are there. So, if we really simply praise this person's action, that might be a problem. So, we have to be careful to consider each situation. Yeah, he had to accept the result of his violation of the precept. I'm not sure.

[110:42]

OK. Thank you very much.

[110:44]