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Saturday, August 24, 2019

I = you et al

Brad Warner's video linked to yesterday makes the point the his I and all other Is are the same I. That I thing really unites Hinduism and Buddhism too, found in the insight types like Zen and Advaita Vedanta which focuses on that point - and in other traditions as well. To me it's in the core of the perenial philosophy. The Who am I? koan goes way back in India.

Wheel

Student G: Docho Roshi, the wheel of dharma turns in our life in many ways. It'll go from sickness to health to sickness again to health. Should we try to master this dharma? What is its nature?

SR: Wheel of dharma. When it is turning means to master it. Because it is always turning, it is difficult to tell how it turns in detail. Only when we allow it to turn, or we can keep up with the turning wheel, we can master it actually. But-- but actually we are turning with it. We are actually a part of the wheel. In this way, we should master the wheel without trying to master it. 
   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, August 23, 2019

Collision

Student F: Docho Roshi, if the president of the United States were to come to Tassajara and say the earth and the sun were on a collision course, and ask us what we could do, some of us might say that we could not change what has already collided in this man's imagination. Actually, the least we could do would be to tell him, “No moon, no sun,” and show him your wonderful garden.

SR: Yeah. No moon or no sun. But the sun is the sun, the moon is the moon, so the moon-- when moon is really moon, there will not be any collision. There is no need for the moon to be a sun or vice-versa. 
   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Brad Warner

A while ago Brad Warner posted this video from Glascow. Well said Bad Brad!

His YouTube channell for more is youtube.com/hardcorezen

Here's his blog: http://hardcorezen.info/ 

Brad Warner on cuke

And if you Search for his name on web, there's lots.

Hi Brad.


Thursday, August 22, 2019

Merit

Student E: Docho Roshi, why does man's work bring so little merit?
SR: May be no merit, but when you realize that there is no merit, that is great merit. All the merit accumulated by all the people is your merit. So that is why the merit is not yours and actually at the same time yours. So when you forget all about you or others, the merit will be great.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Sorrow

Student D: Docho Roshi, you are you, and I am me, and you are not you, and I am not me, and the river keeps moving by. Where is the medicine for this sorrow?

SR: Medicine. The going river and the evanescence of life or ingraspable things is itself medicine. Sometimes it looks like poison, but actually those are only medicine we should take.
   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

RIP Michael Canright

Got this message from Barrie Mason - I just got a call from Jesse, Michael Canright's daughter, saying that he died of MS in February. I tried to call him recently & his # wasn't good any more, so I had sent him a post card. She lives in Pittsburg PA, Michael was living in Colorado. He continued to sit on his own.

question

Student C: Docho Roshi, how can being in sesshin be practicing the middle way?
SR: Middle way? When you forget all about the middle way, there you have middle way.
   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, August 19, 2019

Echo

Student B: Docho Roshi, although you can only clarify an outline, and we can only hear what we realize, please say something about echo.
(after estabishing that the question refers to echo and not eko which are recited after sutra)
SR: Mm-hmm. Oh, echo. Echo, oh. Everything is echo of your mind or of your activity. 
  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-B as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Stones

There are many stones in Tassajara Creek. Each stone has some very mysterious strange shape which will tell us various things. Kumazawa Zenji wrote something about stones, in Japanese. If you go to Sokoji, you may have seen it already: The Five Virtues of Stones. Even though you see a stone, there is still our practice. That is everyday mind. So everyday mind is not just a kind of mind which is always involved in dualistic sense.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-A as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, August 16, 2019

Bell

Every morning we hit our bell when we practice zazen. That will encourage our practice. But sometime it may be disturbance,. But when your practice is filled with true spirit, it will encourage your deep feeling. That feeling is dao or everyday mind in its true sense. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-A as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Bird

When you are involved in dualistic idea, you know: “What time we sit?” or “What bird we see?” [laughs], and more and more useless to sit in such a dark room instead of enjoying this beautiful sunshine at the foot of the mountain with bird [laughs]. The moment we hear the bird, usually, we will be involved in this kind of, you know, life. But when you hear the bird in your sitting, without trying to hear it, you know, then your practice will be encouraged by the bird.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-A as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Dao

“Everyday mind is Zen”: This was very important koan. “Everyday mind Is dao.” And this is, you know, pretty difficult. Maybe many people have misunderstanding about it. “Everyday mind is dao.” First of all, we should know what is dao or true mind, and this is again the promblem of true mind and everyday mind. Dao is the back something from which everyday mind arises.

Moneyya Chronicles

Moneyya Chronicles: Selected Poems and Musings, by Bhikkhu Moneyya, with color illusratrions by Bali artists, is now a Cuke Press book. It can be ordered from your favorite independent books store or through Amazon.

Here's the Cuke page for Moneyya Chronicles where you can learn a bunch about it and here's the Amazon link.



Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Pain

At San Francisco, Many times I told them that even though you feel you do not make any progress in your practice, and even though you have many problems in your practice, it may be better not to quit sitting because if you quit sitting you will not have the pain in your legs, but instead of that pain you will have another pain [laughs]. So this pain in your practice will be much better than the pain or problems you will have in city life in some other way.  -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-A as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, August 12, 2019

Problem

If you can accept yourself completely [laughs], then you will not be in this world any more [laughs, laughter]. So that you have problem means you are still alive. That is our way. And even though you make a trip to another world, same problem [laughs] you will have, as long as you have your body and mind. That is how things exist in this world.   -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-04-23-A as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Shadows

St 3: Docho Roshi. The year that I have lived here at Tassajara has gone by very quickly. But it’s been a very wonderful time for growing up. But the path ahead seems to be a dream or shadows –

SR: Yes. That is very true. We always feel that we uh started to study something right now. Especially when ah Christmas or New Years Day come. We start our practice right now or we must start some practice today. We always feel in this way. That is I think very good. And that is so called beginner’s mind. We should be always beginners. 
 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-G2 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, August 9, 2019

Weak

Student 2: Docho Roshi – At times during this training period I have felt very strong. But the feeling of weakness always returns. What can I do about this feeling of being weak.

SR: Hmm. Hmm. Ah. It is not only you.

Very weak. It’s alright for you – you should be very happy to feel weak – with everyone.

Student 2: And… [laughter] I would [laughter] - I would be much happier [laughter] – if everyone felt strong.

SR: Oh – oh no. [laughter] When you feel weak and everyone feels strong?

St 2: If we all felt strong together.

SR: That may be very dangerous situation

 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-G2 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, August 8, 2019

You fill in the blank


Bill Shurtleff: The Shingyo [sutra] on other points though like ignorance, shows us both sides...
SR: Umhum.
BS: Saying “no ignorance” and also “no annihilation…”
SR: Umhum. Yes.
BS: In that sense, there seems to be a completeness…
SR: Ah – yeah.
BS: In the words (?) and in the same way, it would seem to be no attainment and yet, constant effort for…
SR: Yes, attainment.
BS: Attainment. Something like that. I mean it seems to come out really strongly on only one side…
SR: Umhum.
BS: No attainment.
SR: So in our practice, you know, actually… [cough]… um
[audio ends]

 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Sides


When we describe something, we should follow the logical sequence. That is one side of the practice. But Dogen Zenji says, "When one side is described, the other side is dark." We cannot describe both ways at once. That is why we describe just one side of the Truth. But if you have ears to listen to it, eyes to read it, you should be satisfied with one description, because you know there is the other side. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Attainment

Thank you very much for listening to my tedious lecture. If you have questions, please ask me. Hai.

Monday, August 5, 2019

Speaking on the Lotus Sutra

The next chapter will be the interesting one, maybe. So if you read it, you will be very interested in it, because it has this kind of understanding. It is called the chapter of "Good Devices" or "Skillful devices". In this sutra devices are more important than the First Principle. Usually people respect the First Principle rather than skillful devices. But in this Sutra, Buddha put emphasis on skillful devices instead. This means that Buddha put emphasis on mercy. The way to help people with skillful devices is the most important point. And to find each one's own position, responsibility, and meaning of life, and to find the joy of life in the activity near at hand, or the previous attainment, is the most important point. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, August 3, 2019

Unhappy

This is possible if you understand this truth. But most people think it is not possible. "If we become friendly with each other, we will be lost. The only way is to have hard competition. If it is necessary, we should even fight or reject others' opinions. And we should stick to our own way." That is what we are doing, actually. Before you actually practice our way, you have this fear, but if you practice our way, there is no such problem at all, as you must have seen. If you have even the faintest idea of this truth, then it will be a great help for you, I think. Because you don't have this kind of idea, because you have never made this kind of effort, we are so unhappy. For a bodhisattva, to be unhappy is also good. For the usual person, to be unhappy is a terrible thing. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, August 2, 2019

Emphasis

This sutra, the Lotus Sutra, especially, puts emphasis on each one's own way, and on the meaning of each one's own being. At the same time, as you must have understood already, this sutra provides every one of us with a big, common ground where we can enjoy each one's own way. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Confusion

When we don't know that everyone's effort is supported by the same ground and are attached to our own way, rejecting or ignoring the others' ways and insisting on our own way, that is confusion. So we Buddhists put emphasis on each one's own way. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Supported

Even though each one of us is making a different effort, as long as we have Buddha Nature, as long as all the effort is supported by Buddha Nature, there is no problem. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

My Way

There is a characteristic in the way we make our effort. The direction in which we make our effort might be very interesting for you to know. If our human effort is pointed in the same direction by all human beings, that is a dreadful destiny. Everyone should strive in his own way, and everyone should find out his own way to develop himself. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, July 29, 2019

Reading from the Lotus Sutra

"Be well prepared and well minded; join your hands: he who is affectionate and merciful to the world is going to speak, is going to pour the endless rain of the law and refresh those that are waiting for enlightenment.

"And if some should feel doubt, uncertainty, or misgiving in any respect, then the Wise One shall remove it for his children, the Bodhisattvas here striving after enlightenment."

This is the last gatha of the first chapter. I think you must have understood the nature of our teaching. This is the Oriental tree, you know. It is rather difficult for you to figure out which way its root is going. If you know which way the root of Buddhism is going, it may be easier to understand how the trunk of the tree of Buddhism is supported by the root.
 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Nice Experience.



A neat little coffee shop just opened around the corner run by my landlord's son and I was walking our dogette to the beach and there were two fairly young women who wanted to say hi to her and we got to talking. MK from Singapore and Siong from South Korea. They spoke German to each other. So the talk led to Germany. I mentioned I go to a Buddhist retreat there. She inquired further. I said it's in the Black Forest - they both love the Black Forest - and it's in the lineage of the San Francisco Zen Center. MK said oh yes and they have the monastery called Tassajara. I said yes I'm writing a book on Tassajara now about the early years with Shunryu Suzuki. She said oh his Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind is my favorite book. I read it every six months. Did you know him? Yes he was my teacher. Oh. I'm reading a book about him now called Crooked Cucumber. I said I wrote that book. We talked for an hour. That was neat.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Daiji

The highest truth is daiji, translated as dai jiki in Chinese scriptures. This is the subject of the question the emperor asked Bodhidharma: "What is the First Principle?" Bodhidharma said, "I don't know." "I don't know" is the First Principle. Do you understand? The first Principle cannot be known in terms of good or bad, right or wrong, because it is both right and wrong. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Desirous of Glory - from Lotus Sutra

No one wore the gold embroidered kesa except Jita Maitreya, who was supposed to be the last disciple to attain enlightenment. He was something like this bodhisattva in his former life. He was called "desirous of glory". And Buddha was very glad that he wore the kesa, but maybe because of that, he received that kind of juki, that he would be the last buddha.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Lofty

Dogen was very strict about Buddhists having worldly desires. As a Buddhist we should not have even the desire to expect enlightenment. You may say that was a strict observation of this Lotus Sutra. Of course, that was his character. His character was so pure and lofty. And he didn't care about anything but truth. He would give his whole body and mind to the truth. That was his way. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Refering to stories like yeterday and the day before

All of those stories are about the eternal teaching which is always with every being, from beginningless beginning to endless end. That is what they mean. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Telling another Betime Story

Another story is also told. Dipankara Buddha is the Buddha who gave juki to Buddha and may be the last buddha Shakyamuni Buddha served. In ancient times there were great kings whose ministers were very wise. One minister was so wise that his king gave him half of the whole world, which he ruled. And he had a bright boy whom he sent to his brother, who was a great scholar. He studied under him and became a great teacher or bodhisattva. His father was very proud of him and brought him to his home and listened to his sermon. Then he brought him to his former king at the border between their two countries, and the son gave the king a great sermon. After that, for many hundreds of kotis of kalpas of time, the king sent various offerings to that teacher. Later that teacher became Dipankara Bodhisattva, and that king who helped him was the Buddha himself. So when Dipankara Bodhisattva became enlightened and became a true teacher of the whole world, Buddha became his disciple, studied, and received his juki from him. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, July 22, 2019

Dipankara story

Dipankara Buddha is supposed to be the Buddha who gave juki to Shakyamuni Buddha. I explained juki already [see previous lecture]. In Sanskrit it is vyakarana, to tell one's future attainment. "You will be born in such and such a place, and will attain enlightenment, and your name will be such and such." This is juki.

Shakyamuni Buddha in his former life studied under this Dipankara Bodhisattva. When this bodhisattva came to a muddy place, Shakyamuni Buddha spread many things over the mud. But the mud was so wide that the rugs he gathered could not cover it, so he spread his hair over the muddy place and let Dipankara Bodhisattva pass over the muddy place. This is why we bow, you know, with the feeling of Buddha's feet on our hands three times. This is the Buddha.
 -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Expounded

"The monks and nuns at the time being, who strove after supreme, highest enlightenment, numerous as sand of the Ganges, applied themselves to the commandment of the Sugata.

"And the monk who then was the preacher of the law and the keeper of the law, Varaprabha, expounded for fully eighty intermediate kalpas the highest laws according to the commandment (of the Sugata)."


In other words, Buddha's teaching is eternal truth, beginningless and endless. And the Bodhisattva Varaprabha expounded it for fully eighty intermediate kalpas, in other words, for a limitlessly long time. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-F as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Concluding this Lotus Sutra talk

So those teachings were not started by Buddha. Before Buddha there must have been many many Buddhas, limitless, numerous Buddhas. There must have been, in this way this sutra describes reality. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Stones

As you know, I like stones very much, but especially big ones. Someone came to me the other day with a magnifying glass and said, "Look at those stones." So I looked at them one by one. But to my great astonishment, those small stones were exactly the same as big ones! They were as interesting as big ones, the shapes were different, and some had very good shapes. You could make a beautiful garden with those stones. I was very pleased. I thought, this is what the universe consists of and how everything is going. So, if you cannot accomplish something great, you can work on a very small thing, in a very small scale, and the meaning is not any different at all. This is the nature of our practice and teaching. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Tibetan Buddhism - art show - politics, religion, violence too

Scales

We say, "You should put something which belongs in a higher place in a higher place, and something which belongs in a lower place in a lower place. Don't mix them up." Our way is very careful in this respect. So our teaching is limitless in both ways. Our teaching is on a great scale, and, at the same time, it is very particular on a small scale. This is the nature of our world. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Peter Zipser's cremation was yesterday

Post on Peter's cremation at Cuke nonZense blog.

Continuing from yesterday

In short, if we explain Buddhism or Zen Buddhism in this way, that whatever we are doing is a part of that activity, what we are discussing may seem too big, and seem to have nothing to do with our everyday life. But this is not just our understanding. We say, "When we talk about the greatness of the teaching, it will be as great as the universe. But when we talk about it on a small scale, it will penetrate the smallest particle of being imaginable." -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, July 15, 2019

If

If you are enlightened, you are one with the whole universe, and the whole universe is telling the truth to the whole universe, to everything, or the whole universe is revealing itself through every being. What is happening is the activity of big, one being, which is called Buddha. This his how we should understand the Lotus Sutra. [DC comment - well, not really a being but for now we'll call it that. ] -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Turn Turn Turn

To be turned by the Lotus Sutra means to read it literally, or in an intellectual or dualistic way: "I read the Lotus Sutra." To turn it means the Lotus Sutra turns the Lotus Sutra, like the Shingon understanding of the Bodhisattva or Tathagata of the Diamond Sutra giving the teaching to himself. That is how we turn the Lotus Sutra. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, July 12, 2019

RIP Peter Zipser

So sad. Peter died in a motorbike accident yesterday. Dear friend of Bali and Dharma Sangha Germany. Going to Singaraja for cremation Monday. Thinking of Evelyn. No words.

It's all #1

Dogen Zenji, referring to this story [see yesterday's post], said to be turned by the sutra, or to turn the sutra, or to be deluded or to be enlightened, are all the First Principle. The Lotus Sutra says there is no difference. That is Dogen Zenji's understanding. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Turning

In the Shobogenzo we have the fascicle called Hokke Ten Hokke, which means "Turning the Lotus Sutra". The title of this fascicle came from the Sixth Patriarch. I think you know that. Once the Sixth Patriarch was giving Dharma to people, and a bold disciple, a very arrogant fellow, appeared in front of him. But he couldn't bow to the floor, he failed to lower his head to the floor. So the Sixth Patriarch said, "Why are you so arrogant? Why do you bow in that way?" And the monk said, "I am very sorry." "If you say so, it is alright. But if you fail to lower your head to the floor, you must have something in your mind. What do you have in your mind?" The boy said, "The Lotus Sutra. I am reading it every day, and I must have read it maybe thousands of times." "Even though you are reading the Lotus Sutra, you don't understand what it means," the Sixth Patriarch said. "What is the true meaning of the Lotus Sutra" the boy asked him. And he said, "I will explain it to you, but I cannot read it, so please read it to me." So the boy started to read it, and the Sixth Patriarch said, "If your mind is deluded, you will be turned by the Lotus Sutra. If you are enlightened, you will turn it." -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Vairocana - the Cosmic Buddha of the Shingon sect

The whole mandala of Dainichi Nyorai is his body. There are many buddhas in the mandala, and all of them are a part of his body. Dainichi Nyorai is telling the truth to himself, to those buddhas in the mandala. Since they are a part of himself, he is not giving some special teaching to anyone else. Do you understand? It is like the universe is telling the truth to the universe, the whole cosmic being is telling the truth to the cosmic being. So whatever is going on in the cosmos is the teaching itself. When we understand their teaching in this way, it is very close to Zen. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture on the Meal Chant - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC