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Good morning, everyone. Does it work? Good. Yesterday afternoon, I started to talk on the text of Yoibutsu Yobutsu. And we read first and second paragraph. In the first paragraph, it said the Buddha Dharma can be realized only by buddhas. That means as far as we are thinking and doing things in terms of me and something we want or we wish or we achieve, buddhadharma cannot be seen. Ordinary human beings transmigrating within samsara is chasing after something we want, or escaping from something we don't want.


And in Pratyekabuddhas, Srila Bhagavan and Pratyekabuddhas would like to escape from that. That is another picking and choosing. So when we are escaping from something or chasing after something, we cannot see Buddhadharma. When we give up that picking and choosing, then we are, from the very beginning, right within the Buddhadharma. That's why Buddhadharma cannot be seen. as far as we are seeking something or escaping something. That is what the first paragraph is saying. And in the second paragraph, it talks about thinking and realization, or satori. You know, when we encounter with so-called Buddhism, or Buddha's teaching,


or Buddhist practice, we are almost always, almost all of us is still seeking something. Almost always we start to study or practice Dharma or some kind of spiritual teachings when we have problems or when we are in a difficulty and we're trying to find something better. or something which allows me to exit from that difficult condition. So, you know, bodhicitta is sometimes translated into English as way-seeking mind. And that is what we are doing. We are seeking the way. And by seeking the way, we are separate from the way. So, in that process, when we are seeking the way, we are thinking, what is the way?


What is the Buddhadharma? What is the realization? And those, our other understanding, when we read some texts, the other understanding or thinking or theory, it might be right. But that is not what really Buddha Dharma is, or the way is. So often, when we read Zen literature, there are some stories such as Buddhist scholars or lecturers give lectures about, for example, Dharma body, Buddha's Dharma body, or Buddha nature. one Zen master is in the assembly and listening and start to laugh. So the lecturer asked the Zen master, what is wrong about what I was saying?


Then the Zen master said, nothing wrong what you are saying, but you don't see Buddha nature yet. You don't know you don't really encounter with Buddha, Dharma, Kaya, or Dharma body yet. So, to think and understand by reading books or texts is not really encountering with the Dharma. So, according to Dogen, to really see the Dharma is to awake that I, in the first two lectures, I talked about the Lotus Sutra. In it, you know, we are living within time and space, and we can exist only in relationship with, throughout time and space.


That is what I said, and that is what I think the Lotus Sutra is saying. We are all living within this structure. And we arouse bodhicitta, like a seed starts to sprout. And we gradually grow, and then we are here. Sometimes in the future we might attain Buddhahood. But as the Lotus Sutra says, this process is happening within Buddha's Dharma body. So Buddha's Dharma body is not really a body, but this structure of interconnectedness. throughout time and space.


And we are supported by all beings and when we are mature enough we can offer something. This is the world we are living according to Mahayana Buddhism. So our awakening is that we are living within that structure. That means we are from the very beginning and even before we knew such a thing, we are already living in that network of interdependent origination. That means we are supported by all beings. That awakening, that we are already there, is I think that time we really start to see Buddha Dharma. So Buddha Dharma cannot be some kind of object or concept, but it's a real thing in which we are living as a part of it.


So, as far as we are thinking about buddhadharma, or realization, or dharmakaya, we are separate from it. That's why all those thoughts cannot be really buddhadharma. But when we are awakened to this reality, we are not simply living with other individual persons, But it's kind of a difficult thing to say in English. In Japanese, we say, we have an expression. You know, this kanji, sei, means to live. But it also means to be born or birth. And we can use this as a passive. Ikiru. means to live.


And umareru is to be born. But we have an expression in Japanese, ikasareru. I don't know how to say this in English. It's a passive word, to live, to be lived. It's a strange English, I guess. To be unable, unable to live. We are unable to live. with the support of all beings. I hope we have some better English expression. Animate doesn't work. Being animated doesn't work. I don't think it works. Anyway, we are, you know, unable to live to exist because of the support of all beings. We are actually living together with all beings.


The soil is a result of the past living beings. Their body became soil. Even the oxygen was produced by living beings. This one, i ka sa re. So, in the second paragraph, what Dogen said is, as far as we are thinking, we are not really seeing this Buddhadharma. So, even though we think about delusion and realization, those are both part of delusion.


But is this phrase an expression of emptiness? Ikasareru? Emptiness. Does emptiness mean ikasareru? I don't think so. In a sense, there's no such fixed thing that is living, but we are unable to live because of all different elements. In that sense that is the same as being empty. We are emptiness. But once we awaken to this structure and we are living within that interconnectedness then even our thought before we awaken to this reality is a part of this, is nothing outside of this.


So, when we awaken to this reality, even delusion was a part of the reality, within reality we are deluded. But the ability, the ability we have to produce delusion is a very important part of our life. The problem is we are deceived by the illusion. Then we become deluded. If we see delusion as delusion, and we are not deceived, then we can enjoy delusion. It's not harmful. For example, the stories are not real things, or the movies, or novels, or even poems, and even shogo genzo. It's a kind of illusion. But if we don't think what is written, what is printed on this paper is a real thing, then we can learn many things.


we see a movie or a TV, if we see that is not a real thing, then a movie can be very educational. We can learn many things. And if we think that is a real thing, then we will have some problem. But we often think, you know, that TV or stories create within our mind when we encounter something. We think this story is a real thing. That is the problem. But if we see that is a problem, so we open our hand, then that is a very good teacher. You know, why this kind of illusion or delusive thinking appears in me? If we study and understand how this is produced, we can really understand the nature of our life.


So, from delusion, realization is delusion, part of delusion, but from realization, Even delusion is a part of realization. So these are not half and half, good and bad, but these are all interconnected and interpenetrated each other. I think that is what he said in the second paragraph. So I'd like to enter the third paragraph. When ultimate awakening is actualized as a person, this ultimate awakening is called a Buddha.


When a Buddha is the actualization of ultimate awakening, this Buddha is called ultimate awakening. If you don't know the faith, when we are within the way, we are foolish. The faith that I'm talking about is non-defilement. Non-defilement does not mean that we should force ourselves not to have a direction to go, to go forward or to stop picking and choosing, or that we fabricate a state of mind that has no direction. There is non-defilement in which we cannot resolve to go in a certain direction or to pick and choose no matter how hard we try to.


For example, when we meet a person, we don't remember what the person's face is like. Also, on flowers or the moon, we don't want to add another light or color. Also, spring has only the feeling of spring, and autumn has its own beauty and bleakness. There is no way we can escape from them. Even when we try not to be ourselves, This is exactly our self. We should understand non-defilement without picking and choosing from this. These sounds of spring or autumn, even if we try to make them our self, they are not our self.


We should reflect on this. These are not accumulated within us. These are not the thought existing within us now. The reason is that each of the four great elements and the five aggregates at the present moment cannot be grasped as our self or traced as someone else. Therefore, the colors of our minds caused by the flowers or the moon also should not be grasped as being our self. And yet we think them as our self. We think of what is not our self as our self. We cannot do anything about this. When we clarify that there is no color, we dislike. and there is no color we should approach and long for.


Then, the activities, naturally in the way, are the original face that is never hidden." In the beginning he says, the ultimate awakening, ultimate awakening is translation of Mujyo Bodai. Mujyo Bodai is a translation, Chinese translation of Sanskrit word Anuttara Samyaksambodhi, the Buddha's awakening. So, what he is saying is, when ultimate speaking, I'm sorry, when ultimate awakening, Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi is actualized as a person, literally, when ultimate awakening is a person, this ultimate awakening is called a Buddha.


So this is about a person and this Mujyo Bodhi, awakening. You know, the word Buddha is awakened one. Buddha came from the word body. Body is noun and Buddha is awakened one. So, Buddha is a person who has awakened. And this Mujo Buddha is awakening. So this is like a person and a person's that is awakening. Belonging? Or attribute? I don't know. Quality? Whatever word you like. Anyway, this You know, awakened one is awakening.


And this is matter of course. Because this person has awakening, this person is called awakened one. So this is about a person and what the person is doing and also the person has achieved or attained. So, Buddha has attained awakening. Buddha has attained awakening. When we make this kind of sentence, as a sentence, it's not a mistake. Buddha has attained awakening. Because Buddha has attained awakening, he was called Buddha. But when we read this kind of sentence, as I often say, there is a subject called Buddha, and an object called awakening, and attainment, attained.


So Buddha has attained awakening. That is the problem. But in the first two sentences, Fat Dogen wanted to say, this and this is exactly the same. There is no such separation and connection. As I introduced, Fat Dogen wrote in Shoho Jisho, you know, Yoibutsu Yobutsu and Shoho Jisho are one thing. It's not a matter of Yoibutsu Yobutsu, a Buddha together with Buddha. can or be able to penetrate the true reality of all beings. This is the same structure. But in Shofo Jisho, Dogen says, Yoibutsu, Yobutsu and Shofo Jisho are one thing. And we can understand that within this structure.


When we are thinking using words and language, we see things in this way, from this point, my point of view, and see other things. When we see in this way, we are subject, and those things are object. Even when I'm talking about this, this entire network of interdependent origination is object and concept. So don't trust what I'm saying. This is not real thing. We are within that real thing. So he want to destroy this structure. So that is what he is saying. This is the same as, you know, for example, Nagarjuna discussing about a person who is walking and the action of walking, or learner and learning.


Is there any person who can be called a learner besides activity or doing of learning? and actually there is no such person or thing which can be called a learner beside the action of learning. So beside this awakening, there is no such person who can be called a Buddha awakened one. So awakened one and awakening is one and the same thing. There is no such separation. That is what Dogen, I think, tried to do in these two sentences. So that means when the ultimate awakening is Buddha or a person, that ultimate awakening is called a Buddha. So Buddha and ultimate awakening is the same thing.


And when a Buddha When a buddha is actualization of ultimate awakening, this buddha is called ultimate awakening. So buddha and awakening, mujo buddhaya, anuttara samyak sambuddhi, is one thing. There is no such separation between the person and the person accomplished. So the person and what person is doing, or the practitioner and practice should be one. And that is what is called non-definement. So next he says, if we don't know the face, this face is translation of menmoku,


Men means face and Moku means eyes. Please. This side. Like this? Okay. Menmoku literally means face. But this expression is used in Zen, for example, the original face before our parents were born. That means before separation. The original face before separation. So this menmoku is the real thing. before being separated between person or learner and learning, or awakened one and awakening.


So if we don't know the faith or faith when we are within the way, we are foolish. So within the way means we are within this way. I'm sorry. Moku. K-U. M-O-K-U. Men. M-E-N. Menmoku. And he said, the menmoku, the face that I'm talking about, is non-defilement. So this non-defilement is a really important word in Dogen's teaching. And this expression, non-defilement, or fuzen-na in Japanese, came from a conversation between Huinan, the sixth ancestor, and one of his disciples, Nangaku Ejo.


I think this is a very famous story, so you may know already. When Nangaku, the student, first visited the Sixth Ancestor, Sixth Ancestor asked, where are you from? This is a very, you know, ordinary question. Then Nangaku gave a very ordinary answer, I came from such and such place, where such and such teacher lived. Then The Sixth Ancestor said, gave a question. The question is, Somobutsu in morai. Somo means fact. And mono, butsu, is thing. And immo is how, or thus, and rai is come.


So usually this is translated as, what is this that does come? What is this that does come? A question. But these words, somo, what, and immo, how or thus, is used with a very kind of interesting usage in Zen literature, especially in Dogen's lineage, that means Soto Zen, we don't read this as a question, but we read this as a statement. That means, fat things thus come. That means, the thing that cannot be called in any way, with any name. If we name it, it becomes a concept. So we don't name this, whether, you know, it is shohaku, or it is a priest, it is a teacher, or it is something else.


When I call this shohaku, that means a Japanese Buddhist priest, born in certain year. But this five skandhas is not necessarily shohaku, the Japanese Buddhist priest. Then what is exact name of this only thing is that is fat thing. Fat thing. And this fat thing is thus come, thus appear like this. So this is one of the interpretations of this sentence as not a question but a statement. This thing that cannot be named is evolving and manifesting in this way.


That is all we can say when we awaken to this structure. because everything is connected with everything and nothing is substantial. So whatever name we put on each and everything, that is empty. So we try not to use that name that has a connection with some concept or under evaluation. Anyway, but originally in that conversation, this is a question. But Huinan, I mean, the disciple, Nangaku Ejo, didn't understand the question. What thing? How come? What is that? That's come. So, he practiced with the Sixth Ancestor for eight years. I think eight.


Fifteen? I think eight. After eight years of practice with him, finally understood the meaning of the question. So Nangaku Ejo visited Ancestor and said, I first finally understand your question you gave me when I first visited you. Then Ancestors ask, how do you understand? Then, what Nangak said is, Setsu-ji Ichimotsu Soku Fuchu Setsu-ji means to speak about it and Ichimotsu is one thing


And soku is itself, or immediately. And fu is not. And chu is a center or a middle, but it can also mean hit. So, when we say something about that one thing, that thing, then we are off the mark. That means whatever we say is wrong. So that means we cannot say about fat is this. So we call, we just call this as fat thing. Then, Huinan asked another question. If there's nothing to say, there's nothing to say about this thing, means this is only one thing, one possible thing. And there's no way to define and evaluate.


That means there is no delusion and enlightenment. We cannot say if this is a deluded human being or enlightened Buddha. So, Hinan's question is, if so, if there are shu and sho, practice and verification, This shō is one of the three Chinese characters I talked about which can be read as satori. But in the case of shō, it's always used as a pair with shū. Shū is practice, and shō is result of practice. So this is satori as a result of practice. And the literal meaning of this Chinese character, shō, This part means words.


Words, language. And this part means true or right. And as one word, this show means to prove. Prove, as a noun, proof or evidence. And so we This day I try to translate this word, shō, as a verification. Verify, to verify. Shū is practice. And this shūshō is an abbreviation of a little longer expression. That is, mōng, shi, shushō. Mon, Shi, Shu, Sho is a process of studying or practice.


Mon is hearing or listening. And Shi is thinking. And Shu is practice. And Sho is evidence, proof, or verification. That means when we hear someone's teaching, we think about it, In our thinking, if it seems reasonable, or looks like, seems like truth, or seems it can be doable, then we put this teaching into practice. And after practice, we find the teaching is really true. So this shō, or satori, is evidence of the truth is correct. But because through our practice, we don't need to, you know, think anymore.


Because we know through our practice. So these are the process of studying and practicing and accomplishing. And I find the Buddha's teaching is true in the case of Buddhism. So shu is, in the case of shu-sho as compound, shu is cause, and sho is result. But when Dogen said, practice and realization or verification are one, or shu-sho-ichi-nyo, what he is saying is, these are not two things. When we practice, verification is already there. We don't need to wait until we finish practice to know Buddha's teaching is true. The truth of Buddha's teaching is actualized within our practice.


So we don't need to wait until we graduate from practicing to know Buddha's teaching is true. The truth of Buddha's teaching is manifested within shu, practice. That is what Dogen meant when he said practice and enlightenment are one. So, it's important to understand this. But this expression also came from this conversation between Sixth Ancestor and Nangaku. So, because Nangaku said, if we say something, it's wrong. That means there is no way to define this one thing, this thing, whether this is deluded or enlightened. But Huenan's question is, if so, is there any necessity of shu and shou, practice and verification?


Nangak said, shu shou, practice and verification is in English. In Chinese it's much simpler. shu shou mu wu No, I'm sorry, shu shou hi mu. Shu and shou are not mu. That means we cannot say shu and shou are not there. But shu shou cannot be or should not be defiled. Defiled is fuzenna. This is the word Dogen uses here.


And this Zen Na is defilement and Fu is not. So, non-defilement. So, what Nangak said is, you know, as I said, when we start to study or teach or study or practice, we are looking for something. This looking for something is a defilement. That is a kind of greed. I want that. Or when we practice, because we don't like something, we don't like the condition in which we have been living. I don't like this, so I want to go somewhere else. This, you know, greed, want to get something, and this hatred of who we are, how we live. These are actually two of the three poisonous minds, and those three poisonous minds, greed, anger or hatred, and ignorance, defile our practice.


So, practice and realization or verification without defilement means just practice. without seeking something, without escaping from something. Just do what you do. That is what Dogen meant when he said, just sit, shikan tazami, just sit. If we sit in order to get something we want, called enlightenment, then this practice is defiled. with my desire of getting that thing. If my practice is done with my desire to escape from something, then my practice is defiled by that desire and our hatred.


But when we sit, we just sit. then we are free from three poisonous minds, that is defilement. That is just sitting or shikantaza, or this practice realization or practice verification without defilement means. And here Dogen uses this expression, fuzenna, as a face or characteristic of the person in this way. That means Buddha and Buddha's awakening are not two, or Bodhisattva's practice is not attaining awakening. But, you know, as Saoki Kodoroshi, my teacher's teacher, said, I think I introduced on Sunday morning, that we don't practice to attain enlightenment, but we practice being pulled by enlightenment.


That means we are led by enlightenment. Our practice is led by enlightenment, not by our motivation, personal motivation to get something or to escape from something. Then, within this shu, sho is already there. That is what is meant. So, if Buddha and Buddha's awakening is two separate things, Buddha has always tried to keep that awakening with him, in order not to lose some of my possessions. But Buddha is itself awakening. So, Buddha keeps practice or keeps teaching, this non-refinement. So, to live in this way is to live without three poisonous minds.


And three poisonous minds caused by this separation between person and things person is doing, or some goal, You know, as I said yesterday, the difference between samadhi and yoga. When a kid is playing in a sandbox, he really likes it, that kid really likes it and enjoys it. He doesn't need anything else. But when we do something as a work, often for us, Work is not something we want, but work is something often, something we have to, to get something, and that something is usually money, or fame, or something.


So what we are doing and what we are looking for is different, then our life is lose the power, because I'm not what I'm doing. You know, one of my brothers is a photographer. He wants to take a photo as art, artistic photo. But it's really, really difficult to make money from the photography that he wants to do. And he knows that some kind of photography he could make money. And in order to support his life and his family, he has to take that kind of work. Then he has, you know, some feeling of alienation.


What he's doing is not what he really wants to do. So he is not really there. But when he want to, when he do something he really want to, then there's no way to support. That is, I think, the problem many of us have. So how can make this what I'm doing and what I want really do as a practice or vow, how can we make this without separation? It's really a difficult thing. I think that is a core for all of us, modern people. But at least, according to Dogen, at least Zazen practice should be both what I'm doing and what I want to do and what I can enjoy. Our practice of Zazen is not to gain something.


some kind of reward sometime in the future. But we, as a Zazen practice, we need to be really right now, right here, and enjoy it. Our Zazen is not a method to go somewhere else, reach somewhere else, but we are there. That is, I think, the most important point of Doge's teaching. as a practice realization as one thing without being defiled by our three poisonous minds. And then he started to talk about what Fudzena non-defilement means. the sentences.


Non-refinement does not mean that we should force ourselves not to have a direction to go forward or to stop picking and choosing or that we fabricate a state of mind that has no direction. This word, to have a direction to go forward, It's not a good translation. I think I need a better translation. But this is the original word, a very simple word. That is shuko. Shu is to go. And ko is toward or forward, to go forward.


And this expression shuko, to go forward, we need a certain direction. So we go somewhere. That means not staying here, but going somewhere. There's a certain goal. And this expression, shiko, is used or appeared in another dialogue between the masters. This dialogue is between Nansen and Joshu. Nansen is Nanchuan in Chinese. And Joshu, I think you know Joshu, Jaochu. I think when Joshu first visited Nansen, so this is again first encountering.


Nansen, the teacher asked, I'm sorry, Joshu asked Nansen, the disciple asked the teacher, what is the way? What is the way? Then Nansen said, ordinary mind is the way. This is a very famous expression. Ordinary mind, heijoushin, is the way. Then Joshu said, shall I try to direct myself toward it? Shall I try to direct myself toward it. This direct myself toward it is shuko. If the way is everyday mind, that is already here, because it's everyday mind, shall I go somewhere to find it? Because it's already here, our day-to-day mind, then we don't need to go somewhere.


That is what this shukō means, to go to get something. Then Nansen said, if you try to direct yourself toward it, you will move away from it. If you try to go somewhere to get it, then because we are already in this way, we lose it. Then Joshu said, If I don't try to find it, to find or seek the way, if we don't seek the way, how will I know it is the way? How can we know everything is the way? The way is already here. How can we know? To know or not to know is a very important problem for us. I want to understand.


I want to make sure I have a right understanding. Then Nansen said, the way is not concerned with knowing or not knowing. Knowing is chi and fuchi. The way has nothing to do with whether we know it or we don't know it. Because all beings are within the way. Whether we know it or we don't know it, we are already there. That is Nansen's answer. So, the way is not concerned with knowing or not knowing, chi and fuchi.


And he continues, knowing is illusion. Knowing means I know that thing. You know, this subject, object, structure. And there is already separation. So, knowing is illusion. But not knowing is blank consciousness. Not knowing is just our mind doesn't work. So both knowing and not knowing doesn't work. So if you try, if you truly arrive at the great way, if you truly arrive at the great way, This is interesting. If you truly arrive at the great way of no-trying. No-trying is a negation of this shuko.


This great way is this great way. It will be like great emptiness. vast and clear, so nothing to grasp, nothing to know. It's simply like an empty sky. And we are there, right within there. Please? He says we should not force ourselves not to have a direction to go forward. So usually, I think what we do then is if we think we're not supposed to force ourselves, we think we're not supposed to have a direction to go forward, we try to force ourselves not to have a direction to go forward. Right. That is another direction. That's the point. Is force a technical term? No.


It means anything that we do that coerces Yeah, we try. Right, when we do something intentionally to get that thing that is already against the way or separate from the way. Therefore, then, Dogen's questioning about that is, if fuzenna, no defilement, means not going any way, then Is such a non-defilement possible or not? Or is it healthy or not? So he is questioning about this common understanding of Zen. That is, you know, this is like emptiness, vast and clear, nothing to gain, nowhere to go. Commonly, that state of going nowhere is non-definement, that is enlightenment.


But Dogen is questioning about it here. Anyway, let me finish Nansen's saying. So it will be like great emptiness, vast and clear. How can we speak of it in terms of affirming or negating? So we cannot affirm or negate. What we can do is, as Katagiri Roshi said, shut our mouth and just sit. That means our action, our practice. So actually being there. What is that case number? This is a translation from Daido Rori's 300 koan collection by Dogen, named Shinji Shobo Genzo. Number is 19. And I return to Dogen's sentence.


Here, from Mansen and Joshu's question and answer, if we try to go forward towards a certain direction to get something, that is already wrong, a mistake. So, what Dogen is saying is non-defilement. Dogen negates that idea that we should not go anywhere, and we should stop all, you know, activity to going somewhere. So, he said actual, real non-defilement is not meaning that we should force ourselves not to have a direction to go forward, means not to do shuko. Joshu said, is there anything, how we can get the way to know that is really the way?


But Nansen said, if we try to do that, we miss it. So we should stop it. But Dogen is saying there is a defilement that is not forcing ourselves to stop going forward. And another word is to stop picking and choosing. Picking and choosing are, of course, a famous expression. Actually, the original word is a little different, but the same meaning. The supreme way has no difficulty, only dislike, picking and choosing. So this is from Shinjinmei, the long poem written by the third ancestor. So if we stop picking and choosing, then we are


in the way. But what Dogen is, is such a thing to stop picking and choosing possible or not. Or to go certain direction is possible or not. If that is what no defilement means, then we cannot do anything. We just be there without doing anything. And is that enlightenment? And Dogen said, no. Or that we fabricate a state of mind that has no direction. Somehow we try not to do, think of anything, or not to have any direction, any goal to achieve. If there is such a thing possible, according to Dogen, that is not this non-defilement that Dogen speaks about.


That means there is a direction we should go. Please. So, would it be accurate to restate that If we find ourselves picking and choosing, then to try to stop doing that, to force ourselves to stop doing that, is not the way. That's what Dogen means. Yeah, we need to pick and choose. You know, in Ehei Koroku, Dogen Zenji, I think, quote the Shinjinmei about not stop picking and choosing. Dogen said, not stop picking and choosing is like, you know, Garuda, Garuda is a big bird. Garuda only eat dragons. Garuda is a big bird, eat dragons, only dragons.


Is this picking and choosing or not picking and choosing? That means, as a bodhisattva, we practice Buddha's way. We go the direction towards Buddhahood. Is this picking and choosing or not? There is a direction. And then we have some situation that we go this direction or other different direction. We have to make choice. But actually, as Garuda only eats dragon, This is the only way I can go. So, you know, if I want to pick and choose, then there is picking and choosing. And in such a situation, I have to pick this way. Because this I am living, led by vow. So this is my picking and choosing. And yet this is not really picking and choosing.


That is the way bodhisattva goes. That is the direction we need to go. So here is a kind of a goat. There is a picking and choosing, and yet that is not really picking and choosing based on my preference. within this Dogen's expression, Garuda, eat only dragons, I think has a very deep meaning. And another place, I think, Dogen said, we eat rice gruel in the morning. Rice gruel, that is morning gruel, morning, you know, every day. In Japanese Zen monastery, we eat rice gruel, porridge. So that is not picking and choosing.


But that is picking and choosing. I made commitment to live in that way as Buddha's student. So is this picking and choosing or not picking and choosing? It's a good question, I think. I heard the translation from the way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. There is another translation. The way is not difficult for those who are not attached to their preferences. The second one is not literal. Not literal. I think. But I think meaning is okay. Is it permissible to talk about improving the practice? I mean, just in the everydayness of sitting and posture and mudra and all that we're doing, can we talk in those terms?


Of course, of course we can. I think. It's up to your teacher. I cannot give you the permission to ask your teacher, but if you cannot sit in proper posture, but by making effort, little by little, you can sit in an upright posture, I think it is improving. And you can talk about it. It occurs to me that you're doing it for the sake of doing it, because you love it, not because you're trying to do it right or guess something, but because you love it. Right. You know, for a runner, running is the thing. Whether it's slow or fast, or whether the person can run long distance or only short distance, and the person tries to run faster


or longer that is a kind of improvement and it's okay to make effort in that way but the important point I think is whether this learning is to gain something like a prize or some kind of reward that is not learning so within learning there is a good way or a proper you know, way of learning. And we, there is a certain proper way of sitting. And that kind of making effort is, I think, what Doge is saying. There's a direction we go. We need to prove. We have to make effort to make, you know, better work. If you are working in the tenzo, in the kitchen, we have to make an effort to prepare the best meal using the available ingredients for the people who eat and practice.


Then, to do so, we need direction and we need to study and learn so many things. and we have to be really attentive. So that is the direction we should go. But it's not direction based on my preference. This is the way, you know, being put by vow. So what Dogen is saying is this fuzenna, non-deferment, is not kind of an artificial effort or artificial condition that we don't go anywhere. We don't do anything and just be quiet here and now. But there is a different kind of non-defilement. Excuse me.


There is non-defilement in which we cannot resolve to go in a certain direction or to pick and choose no matter how hard we try to. There is another kind of without shuko and without picking and choosing. That is not some kind of artificial condition, but means our natural way of life. That is, for example, when we meet a person, we don't remember what the person's face is like. When we meet a person, we don't really make an effort to memorize the person's face one by one. But somehow, when we meet the same person next time, we know.


So, without making such an effort, we somehow remember the person's face. So this remember is more like memorized, like deliberately written? Yeah, yeah. It's not like, because we often say remember, for that to snow on the page. Yeah. Memorized, yes. There is another manuscript which is negating this mechanism. that there's no don't there. That means when we remember, naturally, in that case, we naturally remember. But anyway, in general, when we meet people, we don't really memorize the person's face in detail, but somehow we know.


We do remember or we don't remember? We don't remember. We don't intentionally remember but we somehow remember. Right. So it's a natural thing without our intention to memorize not to forget that person's face. but somehow we can recognize the person. That's the problem for me. I forget people's names always these days. And also, on flowers or the moon, we don't want to add another light or color. And spring has only the feeling of spring, and autumn has its own beauty and bleakness.


Because Dogen is a poet, he uses the beautiful examples, but not only flowers or moons, flowers in the spring. For us Japanese, flowers in the spring particularly means, refer to the cherry blossom. And the moon, we have a certain kind of a festival to see the moon in the fall, in September. And that is, for us, a beautiful, most beautiful time to see the moon. In the summer in Japan, there is a lot of moisture, so the sky is not so clear. but in the fall it's getting clear, so the moon, sea, you know, very clear. But not only those two, and not only the beautiful things, but some, you know, ugly things, or painful things, or all different kinds of experiences we have day to day lives.


When we encounter those things. So, as a Buddhist teaching, what he is talking is six sense organs, i.e. ears, nose, tongue and body, encounter with the object of six sense organs, such as color, shape, sound, smell, touch, and object of mind. When this and this encounter, something happens. within our mind. In the case of eye and color, we call it eye consciousness. Eye consciousness, ear consciousness, nose consciousness, and so on.


So she's talking about this kind of experience we have. So with this contact As I said before, we have sensation, sensation, soku, juu. and ai, that is attachment, and clinging, and suffering. That is what Buddha taught. So how we encounter with, not we, but our six sense organs, encounter with object of six sense organs, is very important point. How to encounter. And if encountering or contact is a cause of problem, how can we live without contact?


That is a very good question to understand Buddha's teaching. How can we be free from this contact and sensation, perception, attachment and clinging? Is there any other direction we can go? That is what he's talking here. And this is preference and choosing and picking and choosing. Anyway, so when we encounter all those things, whether it's beautiful or not so beautiful or joyful or not so joyful, something happens in our mind. And there is no way we can escape from them.


There is no way we can escape from those sense organs. I mean the object of sense organs. We are always encountering with things. And even when we try not to be ourselves, This is exactly our self. This means this thing is happening within our mind. When we see and experience things, something is happening in our mind. And that is called consciousness in Buddhist teaching. And we cannot escape from them. And I think we can understand until here. Even when we try not to be ourself, this is exactly ourself. You know, these things happening in our mind are things happening as me.


This is me. And we should understand non-defilement without picking and choosing from this. That means we cannot pick and choose what we encounter. You know, somehow I was born in Japan and I had to encounter with the social condition of Japan when I was born. That was 1948. It was not so peaceful yet, and people were poor. That was how I encountered the world. And there was no choice before I was born.


But that is the place I was born, and that is the situation. So my family was not rich, but pretty poor. That was the condition I encountered with all these things. And that became myself. You know. And so we cannot escape from that. And we have to accept that is me. And yet, this is not really me. That is fact. He says, next sentence, These sounds of spring or autumn, even if we try to make them ourselves, they are not ourselves. You know, things happening in my mind from our birth, that is, I have to say, this is me as a karmic person.


But is this really me? Actually, there is no such thing. This is just a collection of all different experiences. And yet we grasp this as me. In Buddhist philosophy or teaching, this is called, you know, all those experiences we had in the past is stored within the deepest layer of our consciousness called araya consciousness or storehouse consciousness. And seventh consciousness, araya is eighth consciousness, and seventh consciousness grasps these seeds stored in the araya consciousness as me. But actually those are a collection of the past experiences. There's no such fixed thing called me. So according to Yogacara, Araya consciousness is impermanent.


It's always changing. It's not a fixed thing, but it comes deep and continues, but it's like a water or a waterfall. It's always moving. So from one point of view, this is me. The experience I had in the past is me. There's no shohaku besides that thing, but there's no such fixed me, as I can grasp this is me. That means I can change it. When we learn, we study how this, my way of thinking, my way of behaving, doing things, my way of evaluating things or judging things, if we deeply study how it was formed, then we can make change. So there is always possibility to make changes.


That means there is no such fixed entity called shohaku. So from one side I have to accept this as shohaku, the collection of karmas. But from another point there is no such fixed entity called me. But we think this is me. So we open our hand. So, these are not accumulated within us. These are not the thought existing within us now. That means these are not fixed. Well, it's already 11.30. I think it takes a little time to talk about the next sentence, so let me start from here this afternoon.