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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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Continuing from yesterday -

Tantric or Shingon Buddhism emphasizes this point. Their basic scripture is the Diamond Sutra, which was told by Buddha, but not by the historical Buddha. Buddha didn't speak this sutra with his mouth. He didn't tell it for an audience, but for himself. This means that we should not read that scripture with our mind. That is why they explain the sutra with various mudras. The Zen understanding is very similar to this, but Zen does not depend on any sutra, because everything is a sutra. But the Shingon school chooses one scripture. They say this sutra was told by the Bodhisattva Dainichi Nyorai [Mahavairocana tathagata]. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, July 8, 2019

Esoteric

The other day, in the fireplace room, Lama Govinda talked about the Shingon understanding, the so called "Tantric" understanding not the physical Tantric, but the original Tantric, esoteric teaching of Buddhism. The reason we say "esoteric" is that true teaching is beyond understanding. Esoteric means you can't see or hear it. When you cannot see or understand it, you may say that is mystery or mystical. But that is not true understanding. There may be two kinds of things you cannot understand. One is something mystical just because you cannot see or cannot understand it. But there is another thing which you cannot understand. It is too obvious. The reality is too real to speak about. We say, "If you want to explain what water is, give him water, don't speak about it. Even though you speak about it, it is not possible to explain what water is." That kind of true experience, or reality, is not possible to talk about. In this sense, there is esoteric teaching. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Necessary

Everything is revealed through everything, revealing itself and fluently speaking about the First Principle. So Dogen understood enlightenment in this way. But it does not mean that there is no need to attain enlightenment. If you understand in that way, it is already the Second Principle, not the First Principle. If it is necessary or not necessary, this is the Second Principle. So if it is necessary to say something, you must say, "Sometimes necessary, sometimes not necessary." Whatever you say, that is right. That is more like Dogen Zenji's understanding. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Friday, July 5, 2019

First Principle

The first Principle is the reality, the absolute, which cannot be conveyed in terms of good or bad, supreme or common. It is the principle that everything is revealed through everything, revealing itself and fluently speaking about the First Principle. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Everything

When we understand everything, everything will be important. This is the difference between our understanding of the Lotus Sutra and the understanding of other schools. And, according to Dogen, whether or not we attain enlightenment, we are actually fluently speaking about the truth. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Important

as Dogen Zenji said, even the sound of the bell and the color of the mountain are bodhisattvas—they all can teach. Actually, he means that all we see teaches the Lotus Sutra. That is how we Zen Buddhists understand this sutra. Zen Buddhism, especially Dogen's Zen, actually arose from the Tendai school and teaching. But the difference is that the other school treats this sutra as the king of sutras, the highest sutra, but we do not. We think this is one of the important sutras, but all of the sutras are important. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Comment on Lotus Sutra

 The Lotus Sutra should not be understood literally. What it describes is how things exist, animate and inanimate beings, human and non human beings, from the lowest being of the six worlds to the highest being of Buddha. You know the six worlds. Among the six worlds, the celestial world is the highest, next is the human world, and the hell world and hungry ghost world are the lowest. Above the celestial world are sravakas, pratyekas, bodhisattvas, and buddhas. Buddha is the highest. This sutra includes all of those beings. We describe reality in terms of those beings, but that is not enough. We should understand in that way. If so, the Lotus Sutra is not the only valuable sutra, or the highest sutra. All the sutras are very valuable. There may be sutras not yet described by anyone. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC 

Monday, July 1, 2019

Reading from the Lotus Sutra

"That very night, in the middle watch, he [Shakyamuni Buddha] met complete extinction, like a lamp when the cause (of its burning) is exhausted. His relics were distributed, and of his Stupas there was an infinite number of myriads of kotis."

There is, you know, a similar story in China. When a Zen Master Nangyo Ejo passed away, the Emperor asked him, "What should we do about your relics? Is there anything we can do to help you? What do you want me to do?" And Ejo said, "If you build me a mound for my relics, it is enough." "How should I build it?" the Emperor asked. Ejo said, "My disciple will know it well, so ask him." So after he passed away, the Emperor asked his disciple how to make the mound. The disciple said, "Make the best mound." "How do you make the best mound?" The disciple said, "From the east side of the Yangtze to the west side of the Yangtze River." And the Emperor couldn't understand. It would cover the whole country! So he couldn't answer, he couldn't say yes. Ejo's true body covers everything, you know. He is one with everything, so even though he dies, there is no difference. -------------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture - 68-02-00-E as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC