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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Same

We say the Four Noble Truths and Eightfold Path are teachings for the sravakas, and the Twelve Links of Causality is a teaching for pratyekas, but according to recent results of scholarship, Buddha actually taught both of those teachings without separating them: sometimes the Four Noble Truths and the holy Eight fold Path, sometimes the Twelve Links of Causality. And if you analyze those two teachings, they are two different versions of the same teaching. What he meant was the same. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-C as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Interdependency

 Those teachings starting from birth, old age, sickness, death, sorrow, lamentation, woe, grief, uneasiness and Nirvana are the teaching of interdependency. Most scholars used to understand this as a teaching of causality: birth is the cause of old age, and birth is the cause of sickness. Because we were born, we have old age and sickness and death. But this is actually the teaching of interdependency and is another form of the four noble truths. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-C as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

On the Other Hand

[following from yesterday] But you should know how complicated our Dharma is. Very complicated, but very clear, you know. But to make it clear, we have to make a good effort. Sometimes it looks like some story, and you may think if you read those scriptures, that there's no truth in them, that they are just fairy tales or stories, but it is not so. The underlying thought is very deep and accurate. So as long as we are studying it, we should make it clear.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-C as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, June 17, 2019

Suzuki stops reading from the Lotus Sutra to say:

Oh, I'm sorry. Maybe it is too tedious for you. (lots of laughter in this paragraph) I almost gave up already, so I can imagine how you feel. When I was young, I would go to school by train. As long as the train was going, I was sleeping, but when the train stopped, I woke up. I woke up suddenly because I had to get off. As long as my tedious lecture is going, you may sleep. If I stop my lecture, you should wake up. There will be no need to remember these things, you know.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-C as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Reading and Commenting on the Lotus Sutra

2nd title: Vidyacaranasampanna [myogyo soku] is one who can see through things, who knows his former life, and who has perfect enlightenment. This is also an attainment of the Arhat. In the morning we pray to have three wisdoms or powers, the Arhat's power. Nowadays we have science instead of those three powers, so maybe that is why he translated it as "science".  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-C as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Reading and Commenting on the Lotus Sutra

First of the ten titles: Tathagata [nyorai] means a man who comes from the truth and who does not stay in any realm of form or form world, who comes from truth and who goes back to the truth, or someone who preaches right Dharma and right law, or someone who observes things as it is. Arhat [arakan] is one who has attained perfect enlightenment, the attainment of the Theravada Buddhist. Samyaksambuddha [shohenchi] is Buddha who knows everything and who knows things as it is, who has no discrepancy or one sided understanding or observation.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-C as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Merit

Q: Roshi, when we chant the Maka [Hannya Haramita] Shingyo, in what sense is there merit? And can we give this merit to others?

R: Yes, to help. When you become familiar with the shingyo, what you will do will naturally explain your understanding, your attitude. Even though you don't realize it, there is a big difference between the people who can recite sutras and those who cannot. So, of course, that you can recite sutras will help others. From my cabin, when I am resting, I can see out of the window in front of my sink. Before you enter the restroom, you bow. And I think you are just doing it, you know, like this, maybe, because you get accustomed to it. But I thought, if people saw someone bowing to that place, what kind of feelings would they have? The people might not know what it meant, but I think you would give them some feeling. You just do it, you know. And that's a very valuable thing. This is the same thing as reciting the sutra.
Buddha's disciples converted many learned scholars to Buddhism, like Sariputra, who converted when he saw a monk walking on the street with a very steady feeling. So, we say that each one of the 250 characters of the "Prajna Paramita Sutra" is a bodhisattva, is Buddha. This is more than just how we understand it. That is this merit for us and for others. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Scripture

Q: In Hinduism they often wonder about good karma and bad karma and merit. And when the Emperor asked Bodhidharma about the merit in making many temples, Bodhidharma said, "No merit." In what sense is there merit in reading or chanting the sutra?

R: To sit is to read the sutra. We understand in the opposite way. Let me explain this point. This is a very good question. In another school, for instance, they say, "You should read the scripture with your body. You should experience it." When they say this, it means that even if a person is going to be killed, the sword will be broken in two, piece by piece. If that kind of thing happens to him, it means he reads the scripture by his experience, with his body.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Worlds

 Q: Last night you mentioned the world of form, the world of desire, and the world of no form. Would you explain what the world of form is and how that differs from the world of desire?

R: The world of desire is the world of attachment. The world of form is the world as it is, including desires. We have desires; everything has a kind of desire. But if we observe desire as it is, that is also the form world, not the desire world. The world of no form is easily obtained in your deep zazen. When you do not feel your body, you're deep, you know. That is the world of non form. Those are the worlds where every being exists. 
 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC