Buddha Is Always Here

Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

Sandokai Lecture III
Monday, June 1, 1970

[The following lines of the Sandokai are discussed in this lecture:

Line 5 Reigen myoni kokettari.
Line 6 Shiha an ni ruchusu.
Line 7 Ji wo shusuru mo moto kore mayoi.
Line 8 Ri ni kano mo mata satori ni arazu.


Line 5 The true source is pure and stainless.
Line 6 The branch streams flow in the dark.
Line 7 Clutching at things is delusion.
Line 8 To recognize the truth is not always
enlightenment either.]

[Suzuki sneezes directly into the mike as it is being set up. He and students laugh.]

I want to know the feedback. [Laughs, laughter.] Oh my. [Laughs.]

After all, it's better to follow one character after another like this. [Points to the blackboard where the characters of the text are written. ]1 This part is not so difficult. Reigen-- rei is-- rei is “something wonderful,” you know, “something beyond our description, beyond our words” is rei. Gen is “source-- source of the teaching.” Reigen-- ”source of the teaching.”

The source of the teaching of Buddha, you know-- Buddha-- what Buddha talked about is the source of the teaching which is beyond our words in term of right or wrong. And this is important, you know. Rei-gen. Whatever we can think about is not source, you know. It is already something comes-- come out from the source. The source is something unknown. Only buddha knows. Or only when you practice zazen you have it. Or even though you don't practice it, or whether you realize it or not, you know, something which exist before our realization is source. The source is not like something, you know, to, you know, to put on lettuce [laughs, laughter]-- not that kind of thing, you know. It is something which you cannot taste, you know, in term of tasty or not tasty. That is real source.

And this source can be-- Here it says ri. Ri is “truth,” we say. But when we-- ”truth,” you know, when we say “truth,” you know, in our language, the truth is something which you can see, you can figure out. But that-- in Buddhism that is not truth. Truth is something which is beyond our description, which is beyond our thinking, is the truth. Ri. And reigen is, you know, more figuratively speaking, ri can be “the wonderful,” you know, “source,” wonderful which is beyond our language-- description. And this is source-- source of all being.

By the way, when we say “being,” you know, “being” include our thought too. You see? The being-- when we say “being,” being can be many things which we can see is being, but which we can think is also being [laughs], you know. So usually, [when] you say “truth,” the truth means something underlying theory or something is truth, you know. That the sun rise from east and set in west is truth, or that the earth is turning, you know, by itself in some certain direction, is the truth. But in Buddhism that is not truth. That is being also––being which is in our big mind, you know. So in our m- -- Whatever it is, what is in our mind in term of big or small, right or wrong, that is “being.” So if you think about something in term of right or wrong, or you may say “This is eternal truth” [laughs], you know, but that is-- for us that is “being” too, because that is some eternal truth is something which is in your mind.

So we do not, you know, make much distinction between things which exist outside of ourselves or which exist within ourselves. You say “outside of ourself” [laughs], you know, but it is not true, you know. “Outside of yourself.” You feel in that way, you know, but actually, when you say “There is river,” river is already within your mind, you know. So, you know, hasty people may say “River is there,” but if you think more about it you will find out the river is something which is in your mind is river. So it is a kind of thought we have in our mind.

And if you say “There is river and here is my mind,” that is dualistic, you know, understanding. That is hasty, primitive, shallow understanding of things. That is so-called-it u. U, you know. [Laughs.] U. U is, you know-- maybe better to remember this words, you know: u or mu. Mu-- opposite of mu is u. U-- uken is, you know, pre-Buddhistic, you know, understanding of things. When you become Buddhist you have no more idea or [of] u or mu.

Anyway, [reigen means] the “real source,” “true source,” or “source which is beyond our thinking.”

Myoni kokettari: myo is, you know,” clear”; koketsu means-- ko is “white,” and ketsu is “stainless.” It means that-- ”stainless” means no stain of thought or, you know, thought or words. If you describe it, that is the stain, you know-- to put limitation to the truth, you know. So it means you stain the truth. You put some mark on the, you know, truth. So if it is pure, white, and stainless, that is clear. And that is, you know, how [what] the “true source” means, you know. So true source is pure, white, and stainless”-- ketsu is-- seiketsu means, you know-- seiketsu, you know-- you should keep your room seiketsu. Seiketsu means “well cleaned up” is seiketsu.

Ko is “white.” This [pointing to ko] is “white.” And this [pointing to -tari?] is “sound.” Give [poetic or spoken?] sound to the character-- ”the white”-- ”the pure white”-- and “stainless and clear.” But this two characters [kokettari?] is very interesting, you know. I will explain later.

Because he said reigen-- ”source,” you know-- he-- it is to say “branch stream” is some rhetorical way of putting words, you know. When-- Because here [pointing to reigen] is source, here [pointing to shiha] is stream, you know. To make this-- those two line of the poem beautiful, he says “shiha.” “The branch stream is”-- an is also. It means “dark.” “Dark.” This [pointing to myo] is clear. This [pointing to an] is dark. And ruchu is “flow” or “pour in,” you know. “Flow over”-- not “over”-- ”flow in.” Ru–chu. This [pointing to ru] is “flow.” This [pointing to chu] is “pour.”

So the source is, you know, pure and stainless, but this [pointing to reigen] is more noumenal word. This [pointing to shiha] is more phenomenal words. If I say, you know. But phenomenal or noumenal is not right [laughs], but tentatively I have to say so. But-- So that is why I said it is better to remember this word-- technical term, ri [noumenal]. And another important technical term is ri-- ji [corrects ri to ji, phenomenal] [writing on blackboard]. Those two technical terms is a term which you [should] remember.

Ji is, you know, something which you can see, which you can hear, or which you can smell or taste, you know, and it include object of thinking, or ideas-- is ji. Whatever it is, you know, which can be introduced into your consciousness is ri-- ji [corrects ri to ji ]. And this is something which is beyond our conscious world is ri.

So here, you know, this five characters [Reigen myoni kottari] means ri, which is beyond words, something which is stainless. In Prajnaparamita Sutra, [it says] “no taste, no,” you know, “no eyes, no,” you know, “ears, no nose,” you know. That is actually this one [the character ri].

And, Shiha an ni ruchusu. Shiha [an ni ruchusu] is “branch stream naturally or,” you know, “by itself flow or pour in everywhere like water.” Now water, even though you don't think there is no water, there is water, you know. Water will be inside of our physical body, or even in plants there is water. So even though we don't know, you know, there is water all over. So the pure source is all over, you know. So each being is itself, you know, pure source. And pure source is nothing but each being. If you want to know what is pure source, each being is the pure source. If you want to know what is each being, you know, pure source is each being. So even though-- If, you know-- There is no two things. There is no difference between ri and ji-- pure source and its stream. Stream itself is pure source, and pure source is stream.

[Line 5] Reigen myoni kokettari.
[Line 6] Shiha an ni ruchusu.

Even though you don't know, you know, there is reigen, the pure source. A pure source is flowing all over. Stainless. Pure source is all over. Even though you don't know-- that is “dark” [an]. And this “don't know” is very important, and this “clearness” [myoni?] is also important, but I have to explain it later.

And here-- so to stick to various idea, various being, or to stick to some idea of something, you know, even though [it is] Buddha's teaching, you know. And if you think you understood it, you know, [saying] “Buddha's teaching is something like this,” you know, then it mean you stick to ji. To stick to shu is to-- shusuru is--

[Line 7] Ji wo shusuru mo moto kore mayoi

-- you say. Ji is “being.” This [shu] means “to stick to.” To stick to being or thought is originally or of course [moto], is delusion. Ji wo shusuru mo-- Ji wo shusuru mo moto kore mayoi. This [mayoi] is “delusion.” And kore is “itself is delusion”-- ”nothing but delusion,” you know, “itself is delusion.” Or “nothing but delusion.” Moto-- ”of course,” you know-- ”nothing but delusion.” To stick to things is delusion, you know. To stick to some idea is delusion.

[Line 8] Ri ni kano mo mata satori ni arazu.

This [satori] is “enlightenment,” and this [arazu] is “no, not enlightenment.” Mo mata is “also.” This [character] is ri, the-- This is ri. It’s better not to say [laughs] anything, you know. It’s better not to say in English, you know [laughs, laughter]. Ri ni [laughs]-- If you translate-- If I translate it [into] English it can be this [pointing to ji],2 you know [laughs] already. So--

If you, you know, think-- recognize, you know. This [pointing to kano] is “recognize,” you know, [as in] kai-- San-do-kai. Kai. The point-- If you, you know, make some point about ri [it] is not enlightenment, you know. Enlightenment is not something you can experience, actually. Enlightenment is beyond our experience. At the same time, you know, if you think enlightenment is beyond our experience, something which you cannot experience-- ”That is enlightenment.” So if someone says, “I attained enlightenment,” he is wrong.

If you say so [laughs], it means that you stick to [laughs] the explanation of enlightenment, you know. That is, you know, if you say so you are-- you stick to words. That is delusion if you say so.

So you cannot say there is no enlightenment or there is enlightenment. Enlightenment is not something, you know, which you can say “there is” or “there isn’t.” And at the same time, enlightenment is something, you know, which you can experience is enlightenment too. If you understand really those two sentences--

At Sekito's time, there were big dispute about, you know, sudden enlightenment and gradual practice or enlightenment. Kataku Jinne denounced the Jinshu's way very badly. And Jinshu's way is gradual attainment, while Sixth Patriarch's way is sudden enlightenment. So in the Sutra of Sixth Patriarch, “just to sit” is not true practice. That kind of sentence is, you know, you can see everywhere [in the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch] denouncing the, you know, Jinshu's way. But maybe that is not Sixth Patriarch's idea [laughs]-- that was not Sixth Patriarch idea.

There is not much difference between Jinshu and the Sixth Patriarch's way. Later, maybe fifty years later, there was this kind of words was added by Kataku Jinne. Right after Kataku Jinne passed away, maybe his disciple [added them]. Kataku Jinne was very good. On the other hand, he was very active and he was very critical with Jinshu's zazen. But he is not so, you know, hasty so he wouldn't say something like that.

But right after the Kataku Jinne, which was great, you know, Zen master, disciple of Sixth Patriarch, you know, this kind of , you know, things was added on the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch, which was written right after the Sixth Patriarch's death. So [in] seven fourteen [714 C.E.] it was compiled.

And, you know, compiling and maybe many of his disciple had it, you know-- the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. But Kataku Jinne's disciple made some, you know, correction or [laughs] changed some part, or added something, you know, like, you know, poem: “There is no bodhi tree -- ” [laughs] or “There is no mirror -- ,” you know. “There is mirror, or there is no stand for the mirror. There is nothing,” you know. “How is it possible to wipe the mirror?” That kind of poem, you know. Many people criticize that kind-- that poem because it is not so good, you know [laughs, laughter]. So many people thinks this cannot be the Sixth Patriarch's poem, you know. This kind of, you know, useless, you know, things was added.

And it was the, you know, a kind of pride or honor to own the Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. So, “Do you have this book,” you know? “Yes I have.” But the books they have is not same. There are many books-- many kinds of the-- entitled “The Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch.” Many kinds. So the oldest one is, you know, do not include that kind of, you know, denouncing [laughs] critical words to the-- for the Jinshu school.

So to, you know-- The purpose of Sandokai is to make it clear this kind of wrong understanding of which is right, or which-- Jinshu, who stick-- who looks like stick to rituals and understanding or scholarly work. All the scholarly works belongs to ji, you know. Scholarly study belongs to ji. The ri is something, you know, which you can experience by practice is ri. You see, this is-- Maybe you, you think scholarly work is ri [laughs]-- you may think so-- but for us it is not so. Scholarly work is ji. To stick to scholarly work is to stick to things. Things include our scholarly study.

To follow, or to realize, or to have complete understanding of ri-- to accept ri is our practice. But even though you practice zazen and you think that is ri-- attainment of ri, or realization of ri, but that is not always so [laughs]-- that is, you know, according to the Sekito it is so. And this is the, you know, the intention of writing this poem. So this is, you know, this is the backbone of the whole Sandokai. So if you understand this much, you understood-- you already understood Sandokai-- whole Sandokai.

So this is very important part. The first part was introduction:

[Line 1] Chikudo daisen no shin,
[Line 2] tozai mitsuni aifusu.
[Line 3] Ninkon ni ridon ari,
[Line 4] do ni namboku no so nashi.

This is introduction, you know. And then this is the first, or this is the main point of whole sutra. So, maybe, tentatively, I translate it like this:

[Line 1] The true mind of the great sage of India
[Line 2] handed down closely from west to east.

Tozai mitsuni aifusu. Chikudo daisen no shin is already understood, you know. Chikudo-- Chikudo is “India.” Daisen is “great sage.” Sen means “hermit,” you know. At that time-- at Sekito's time, there were many Taoist and there were many hermits who had some supernatural power, who were proud of various supernatural power and seeking for some medicine to, you know, to live long-- to keep long life, you know, maybe, you know, finding out some medicine is also Taoist way.

But they-- as I explained, they do not-- they were not so much interested in practice-- Buddhist practice-- and they don't, you know, find out-- they couldn’t understand why we must practice zazen-- why practice is so necessary. That was also true with Dogen Zenji [laughs]: “If,” you know, “we have-- all of us have buddha nature, why is it necessary to practice?” He, you know, suffered a lot about this point. He-- Not only he couldn't understand it intellect- -- solve this problem, you know, by study-- intellectual study-- but also he couldn't accept this point.

This is very important, you know-- why we should-- When you really know yourself, you know, you will realize how important it is to practice zazen. Before you know what you are doing, actually, you know, you don't know why we practice zazen. You know, you think you are quite free-- whatever you do, that is your choice [laughs], you say, but actually you are creating karma for yourself and for others [laughing]. And still you don’t know what you are doing, so you don’t think there is no need to practice zazen. But, you know--

So, we have to, you know, to pay our debt by [laughs] ourselves. No one can pay for your debt, you know. That is why it is necessary to practice, you know. To fulfill our responsibility, we practice zazen. And we have to. If we don't, you know, you will-- you don't feel so good, first of all [laughs], and, you know, you will create, you know, some karma for others too. And without knowing, you say “Why is it necessary to practice Zen?” Moreover, when you say, you know, “We have buddha nature,” you think buddha nature is something, you know, something, something like diamond which is in your sleeve, you know. The true buddha nature is not something like this [pointing to the character for ji ].3 It is ri-- it is not ji. Even diamond, it is ji, not ri. [Sentence completed. Tape changed.] [So we are always involved in this]4 world only without knowing ri.

The other day, when I explained about human potentiality-- And I think I will ex- -- This is very im- -- For the-- In this sutra, this point is not so important. The more important thing is-- In this sutra it says:

[Line 3] Ninkon ni ridon ari.

This is just, you know, rhetorical, because-- just because [of] rhetorical need, he put [in] this sentence. But we must ha- -- It is interesting to, you know, to understand what is human potentiality in Buddhism.

Kikon/rikon/donkon, you know, we--

[Line 3] Ninkon ni ridon ari.

Nin is “human.” Kon is “root.” And it [ninkon] means “potentiality-- human potentiality.” Ridon [rikon?] is someone who has advantage, or [and someone] who has some disadvantage is don. And one is ri [rikon], the [other] one is don [donkon].

And rikon and donkon is, you know-- There is, you know-- Ki-- kikon-- ki. Here we have no-- Ki-- ki means [refers to] kikon. Kikon, you know [is] classified into rikon and donkon. And why I start to-- started to talk about this is because I want to explain, you know, what kind of-- I want to explain what kind of understanding or practice we have, you know, and why it is necessary to practice zazen. And we-- Buddhists classified, you know, various people-- human being in various way. So one of the classification is, you know, rikon and donkon.

Ki means “potentiality.” Ki. We have potentiality to be Buddha-- to be a buddha, you know, in its true sense. So it is like a bow and arrow, you know. Arrow, you know, has potentiality to-- potentiality to fly, you know. Because bow and arrow has potentiality, if you use it, you know, the arrow will go. But if someone doesn't use, you know, bow and arrow it wouldn’t go. So bow and arrow has potentiality. So does we human being, you know. We are ready to be a buddha, but if you don't practice zazen, or if Buddha doesn't help you, you cannot be a buddha even though you have potentiality.

So ki means potentiality, and rikon is-- means people who have good potentiality. And donkon means who have not much, you know, potentiality.

And so far, Buddhists classified, you know, in various way. One class- -- one interpretation-- or you can translate, you know, ki like “potentiality.” Potentiality, you know, means-- One means two. One is possibility. Possibility. Potentiality, you know, is also possibility. The other is-- If you, you know, talk about its nature, it is, you know, possibility-- I have possibility to be a buddha. But if you observe me in term of time, you know, when, you know, in future, you know, even though I have, you know, potentiality to be a buddha, you know, if, you know, someone doesn't help me I cannot be a buddha. You see? Or if I have [don’t have?] a chance to be a buddha by practice, we cannot be a buddha.

So from the viewpoint of nature, you know, it is possibility, you know-- I have possibility. And from viewpoint of time, it is, you know-- I don’t know what to say in English, you know. Do you-- Do you find out some good word? Future possibility [laughs], maybe. Future possibility. Future possibility will be-- You know, it include the idea of time. When you don't include idea of time, it is possibility. Potentiality is possibil- -- equal possibility.

And when you have-- you ask me when, it means future possibility: when, you know. Today or tomorrow. So when we think, you know, when we understand the word “potentiality” in term of nature, we should be very kind and very generous to everyone, you know, because everyone has potential-- possibility to be a buddha, even though they are not buddha right now. Because right-- because he has, you know, possibility to be a buddha.

So we should not, you know-- we should respect him, and we should be very generous to people. But when we think about the possibility in term of “when,” you know, sometime you should be very strict with someone. Do you understand? If you miss this time, you know, if you do not [make a] good effort in one week or in one year, you, you know, you will not have chance to attain enlightenment. If you say always “tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow” [laughs], you know, even though you have possibility [laughing], you cannot attain enlightenment. So when we think when, you know, time, we should be very strict with people.

It is same thing with your practice, you know. When you don't think, you know, about time-- when-- you know, you can be very generous with everyone, you know. You will be-- you can treat people very well. Always. But if we, you know, think-- if we have to think about time, you know-- ”today” or “tomorrow” [laughing]-- we cannot be so generous because we will lose time. So “You should finish this” and “I'll finish this” and “You should help him,” you know, and “I will help some other person.” In this way, you know, we should be very strict with ourselves.

So that is why we, you know, analyze potentiality in various way. One is possibility, and the other is future possibility. So possibility, ki, means-- ki, means “possibility” and “future possibility.” When we understand potentiality in this way, you can, you know, work-- you can practice very well-- sometime very generous way and sometime very strict way. We have to have, you know, two side in our practice, or in our understanding of ki-- chance, or, you know, possibility. This is the first one [interpretation of ki].

And second one is interrelation. Ki means “interrelation.” It is relationship between, you know, buddha and good people, and buddha who has-- who is good nature-- and who has bad nature [laughs]. I am sorry to say “bad nature” [laughs] but tentatively I have to say so. So for the people who has good nature, you know, we should give-- we should encourage them, giving some, you know, joy-- joy of practice. We should enjoy our practice with good person. When we practice with someone, even though tentatively, you know, while [for] a while, who is not so good [laughs], you know, we should, you know, suffer with him. That is another understanding.

So ki means sometime “interrelationship between buddha and someone who helps, and someone who is helped.” So in the relationship between good person and you, there is-- that relationship will be to encourage, to give joy of practice is ki-- actual meaning of ki. And for the person who has-- who is suffering, you should suffer with him, you know. That is so-called-it jihi.

When we say “love” in our term, jihi. Jihi is usually translated “love,” you know, but love means-- love has two sides. One is to give joy, yoraku, and the other is bakku. Bakku is to eliminate [suffering]-- to suffer with them. To eliminate [suffering]-- to make their-- his suffering less, you know, we suffer with him. We share their suffering. That is love. So love has two side: to give joy, to give something, you know. If he is very good, you know, we can enjoy joy of practice with him by giving good cushion, good zendo, you know, and something like this.

But actually, who is suffering? Zendo doesn't mean anything [laughs]. It doesn’t mean anything. Whatever you give him, he will not accept it. “No, I don't need. I suffer a lot. I don't know why. Right now, you know, to get out of suffering is most important point. Nothing can help me. You cannot help me,” he may say. When you hear that, like Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, you should be someone-- you should be like someone who is suffering, and you should suffer as he suffers. Actually, you will feel in that way, you know. You-- if you see someone who is in suffer[ing], you will suffer too. That is because of your love, you know [tapping chest], your innate love, your instinct of love, you share the suffering. That is love in its true sense. So ki may mean not only “possibility” or “potentiality,” but also “relationship.” This is second interpretation of ki.

And third one is “good means,” or “adequateness,” you know. Like, you know, pots and cover [laughs], you know. You cannot put big cover, you know, like in Japan we have bathtub, you know. You may know what is Japanese bathtub. It is wooden barrel, you know, big barrel, which has its cover. After finishing bath we cover the bath with the big wooden cover. But that cover cannot be used for the pan [laughs]. It is too big. So bath must have, you know, cover for itself.

So ki means, you know, “adequateness.” So here it says also, if you see person who is suffering because of ignorance, because of what he is-- because he doesn't know what he is doing, you must, you know, give tear-- you must suffer with him. That is, you know, to-- to have good relationship. When you see someone who enjoy his true nature, you should give ji-- ji. Ji means, you know, compassion-- not compassion-- to-- to encourage him.

And here, you know, this is what-- this is extra [laughs]. And next thing is what I am very much interested in it. You know there is-- there is Buddhist understand this way: Buddhism will not last forever, you know. It will perish, you know, after thousand year from Buddha's death. But that thousand year in some other sutra it say some other way, but anyway, we have this kind of understanding.

When Buddha-- first five hundred years-- this is not exactly-- cannot be exactly so-- but the first five hundred years, when Buddha's direct disciple or grandson of-- grand-disciple-- anyway, the first five hundred [years] will have good sages like something like Buddha. And next, you know, hundred years-- so it means after-- one thousand years after his death-- we will have, you know, people who practice zazen and who study, you know, Buddhism. That is the people after the first five hundred to one thousand. The last time [laughs]-- this is interesting-- last time, which is after one thousand year [laughs], they will not observe precepts [laughs, laughter]. It is exactly so [laughs, laughter]. They will not observe precepts. But they will read sutras [laughing] and they will chant sutras. They will not [be] interested in zazen so much. And those people we had in the first thousand years-- people like arhat or people who practice zazen or people who understood his teaching-- difficult to find out, or no one can be like that. And the people will be involved in just, you know, idea of emptiness or, you know, somethingness [laughing]-- somethingness or emptiness.

You know, we talk about emptiness, you know, and you think you understand emptiness, but if you understand emptiness, you know, even though you explain pretty well what is emptiness, but it is [laughs] this one [pointing to the character for ji ], not that one [pointing to the character for ri ]. Real emptiness will be ex- -- not experienced, you know-- will be realized by good practice.

So here it says after-- people after thousand year after Buddha will have, you know, idea of emptiness or idea of somethingness [laughs]. But they will not understand what [is] really meant by emptiness or somethingness. So purpose of Sandokai is, you know, to make this point clear: what is, you know, emptiness, what is somethingness, what is darkness, what is clearness, what is true source of the teaching, what is various being which, you know, is supported by true source of the teaching is the purpose of his-- his intention of writing-- making this poem of Sandokai.

I borrowed, you know, a book from-- from-- from Gary [Snyder]'s wife, you know-- Mas-- Masa-- Masa-- and about Sangai-kyo, you know, a small Vajra school of Japan: Sangai-kyo. And in that book, you know, it said-- it says, the people in the last-- in after one thousand year after Buddha's death-- they will [laughs]-- people will-- may be classified in two [laughing]. Very appropriate, you know. You know, it explains what we are doing here and what they are doing here in Japan [laughs]. Good contrast. And, you know, it is explain very well, you know. Anyway, we do not observe precepts [laughs, laughter]. In Japan, you know, we eat fish, we kill animals, and in America too, you know. In its strict sense we don’t observe-- that is very true.

And, you know, one is very innocent [laughs], because, you know, you don’t know about what you are actually doing [when] you violate precepts. But in Japan, even though they know what they are doing, you know, they still do it because they are shameless [laughs, laughter]. They have no idea of shame, you know. I thought “You have no idea of shame,” but if I think more, you know, they do not-- knowing that what they should do, you know, to do not observe is real shameless, you know. You know, innocent people looks like shameless, but it is not, you know, real shameless [laughs]. So I was very interested in the description of the people in our time. And anyway, we will just-- we will be involved in, you know, this idea-- ji-- only.

So you may ask, you know, “What is real teaching of Buddha?” you know. If you don't, you know, understand it you will keep asking someone, you know, “What is it? What is it? What does it mean?” You are just seeking for something which you can understand. That is mistake, you know.

Dogen Zenji says, “There is no bird who flies after the limit of the sky,” you know. “There is no fish who swim after knowing the end of the ocean.” [Laughs.] We don't exist in that way. We exist in limitless world. And sentient being is, you know, numberless, and our desire is limitless, but still, you know, we have to, you know, try-- we have to continue to make our effort like fish flies [laughs]-- swims-- like bird swim [flies]. So Dogen Zenji says, “Bird fly like a bird; fish swims like a fish.” That is bodhisattva's way, and that is how, you know, we observe our practice. When we understand in this way, according to Dogen, we are not people in the, you know, we are not people in mappo. Mappo is last period.

Shobo/zobo/mappo. Shobo is Buddha's time. Zobo is imitation-- dharma imitation-- imitation-dharma time. And mappo is last period. But still, you know, in some way, in some way, Buddhism exist [laughs]. But if we understand, really, you know, what he meant, that is-- it means that we are in Buddha's time. As Dogen Zenji said, “Buddha is always here.” You should not be involved in time or space, you know. Our practice should not be disturbed by some framework of time or space.

Oh! [Sees the lateness of the hour.] Oh, my. I am sorry.

[Tape ends. No Question/Answer session.]
Source: City Center transcript. Entered onto disk by Jose Escobar, 1997. Verbatim transcript checked against tape by Bill Redican (6/5/00).

1The comment in these brackets is from the contemporaneous transcript by Marian Derby.

2From the contemporaneous transcript by Marian Derby.

3From the contemporaneous transcript by Marian Derby.

4From the contemporaneous transcript by Marian Derby (her notes during tape change).


File name: 70-06-01: Buddha Is Always Here Branching Streams Flow in the Darkness, p. 49, (Verbatim)

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In Wind Bell, Vol. 14, issue 1, 1975