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Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Shosan Ceremony Closing Comments

 Butei, the Emperor of Liang, asked Bodhidharma, “What is the first principle?” 

Buddha [Bodhidharma] said, “Who is it in front of you?”

Buddha [Bodhidharma] said, “There is no holy person or common person.”

And the Emperor said, “Who are you in front of me?”

Bodhidharma said, “I don't know.”

Bodhidharma in his answer appeared to be someone who is just sitting without thinking, without doing anything, being with everything-- without form, without color. He revealed himself in that way for the emperor. But the emperor wanted to know someone who is wise, who is powerful, who is learned, who is very helpful. So this question and answer was not so successful.

We should understand ourselves in two ways: as some person and as someone which has no name, or no body, or no mind. To understand ourselves in this way is liberation from myself. And true understanding of ourselves when we say “things as it is,” means to understand ourselves from the viewpoint of being and non-being. That is how we understand ourselves. That is how we should exist as a human being in this world, or else we will be lost. Right now, most people lead their lives as people who are known to each other, but we lose the another point. That is why this world is so busy and noisy.

When we understand our world in this way, with calmness of your mind-- our mind, we will have compassionate mind for the people who are just involved in a one-sided view. Our practice should be concentrated on this point by doing trivial, near-at-hand practice.

Thank you very much. 
        --------------------------- Excerpt from Shunryu Suzuki lecture 68-11-11 as found on shunryusuzuki.com. Edited by DC  - Going through Suzuki lectures and posting anything that can stand on its own. Not looking for zingers or "the best of." I find that following these excerpts daily provides another way to experience Suzuki's teaching. - DC