Ekō Lecture 2

Shunryu Suzuki Transcript

The Second Morning Eko, Part 1 of 3
Friday Evening, July 10, 1970

[This is the second in a series of six lectures by Suzuki on the four ekos chanted at the conclusion of morning services at San Francisco Zen Center and other Soto Zen temples and monasteries.]

The Second Morning Eko:

Choka ogu fugin

Line 1. Aogi koi negawakuwa shokan, fushite kanno o taretamae.
Line 2. Jorai, Maka Hannyaharamita Shingyo o fujusu, atsumuru
tokoro no kudoku wa,
Line 3. jippo joju no sambo, kakai muryo no kensho,
Line 4. juroku dai arakan, issai no ogu burui kenzoku ni eko su.
Line 5. Koinego tokoro wa,
Line 6. sanmyo rokutsu, mappo o shobo ni kaeshi goriki hachige,
gunjo o musho ni michibiki.
Line 7. Sammon no nirin tsuneni tenji, kokudo no sansai nagaku sho
sen koto o.


Dedication for the Morning Service Arhat's Sutra

Line 1. May Buddha observe [see?] us and respond.
Line 2. Thus, as we chant the Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra,
we dedicate the collected merit to
Line 3. the all-pervading, ever-present Triple Treasure,
the innumerable wise men in the ocean of enlightenment,
Line 4. the sixteen great arhats and all other arhats.
Line 5. May it be that
Line 6. with the Three Insights and the Six Universal Powers,
the true teaching be restored in the age of decline.
With the Five Powers and Eight Ways of Liberation,
may all sentient beings be led to nirvana.
Line 7. May the two wheels of this temple forever turn
and this country always avert the Three Calamities.]

[The first chanting is chanted] in Buddha hall. In China and also in Japan, we have seven important buildings. One is sammon. Sammon is main gate.

And the first building you see in front of sammon is Buddha hall [butsuden]. When-- here we have the first chanting. Usually those-- this Buddha hall is the building where we celebrate for our nation or for our president or emperor-- something which is related to the country. That is the most official-- the building where the most official ceremonies are held.

And behind the butsuden-- Buddha hall-- we have hatto, where we give lecture or where we observe memorial service-- services for members-- where we recite sutras. This is so-called-it hatto. Hatto means “hall of-- dharma hall,” the place where we spread dharma.

And [on] the left-hand side of the butsuden there is kitchen, kuin or kuri. Kuin or kuri. That is the kitchen. And usually guest room is-- rooms are attached to the [1 word unclear]-- attached to the kitchen building. And [on] the other side of the kitchen-- excuse me, the opposite side of the kitchen-- left-hand side of the Buddha hall, we have sodo or zendo.

So that makes 1-2-3-4 [counting]. And we have 5-- that makes 5: sammon (the main gate), and Buddha hall, hatto, and kitchen, and sodo-- zendo or sodo. And we count two more. The one is restroom. We call it tosu. Usually tosu is built right-hand side of the-- as you enter, right-hand side of the main gate we have tosu. Tosu is rest room. And we have also bath room-- bath room or bathing room, you know [yokushitsu]. That is, you know-- you have bath room and restroom is same, but in zendo we have-- in monastery we have two separate building. And so we have seven important buildings.

And in zendo and bath room and toilet, we do not talk, you know. That is rule. In zendo we don't talk [laughs]. In bath room we shouldn't talk. And in rest- in restroom or toilet we shouldn't talk. That is so “three silent practice-- three silent practice place,” we call it.

And the first, most formally, the first chanting is chanted in butsuden, Buddha hall. And next chant is usually chanted in hatto. [At] Eiheiji, right now we chant all those sutra in hatto. But most fo- -- if it is something very formal for the country, like chanting we have first-- the first of every month, or fifteenth of every month, we chant sutra for the country. In that case, we chant it in Buddha hall. And noon service usually held in Buddha hall too.

And next-- next service or chanting is for arhat. This point, you know-- you may wonder why Mahayana Buddhists chant for Hinayana, you know, arhats [laughs]. You may wonder, but we strictly observe chanting for arhats who is so-called-it, you know, Hinayana Buddhist. Hinayana or Mahayana is, you know, just, you know-- when Mahayana Buddhists arise, they denounced, you know, Theravada Buddhist because of they-- Theravada Buddhists or Hinayana Buddhists just, you know-- their practice is just for themselves and not much for others. And Mahayana Buddhist-- Buddhists' practice is for others too-- for themselves and for others too.

But this is a kind of, you know, discrimination which we should-- as a Buddhist, which we shouldn't [practice]. So in Soto School-- or I think in Rinzai too-- we recite a sutra for arhats, who were the direct disciples of Buddha. And there are many arhats. We count at least sixteen arhats. Many of tho- -- we find-- find many Buddha's disciples which belong to-- which is included ten famous buddhas, outstanding buddhas, and disciple.

There are various kinds of Buddha's disciple, you know: the disciple who was very forgetful, maybe like me [laughs]. He couldn't-- he couldn't remember a single words even. So Buddha didn't know what to do with him. So he taught him to sweep garden only, and he swept the garden always. And at that time he was saying-- sweeping garden and-- and sweep your mind. And he was sweeping the garden, reciting that short words. But he practiced his way so sincere that-- so at last he attained arhatship by sweeping garden. He is very famous, you know. Buddhists, you know, put emphasis in actual, you know, attainment, not wisdom-- not wisdom acquired by intellectual study, but actual experience of renunciation to-- which will go beyond our intellectual understanding of the teaching.

Those arhats-- the arhats, you know-- their practice, of course, you know-- arhats practice for arhats-- or practice of Theravadin Buddhism-- or we call it sometime Hinayana practice-- is, as you know, practice of four stage of meditation. Most teachers who come [from] southern countries or from Tibet talks about four stage of practice which we will attain by our meditation. For-- for us Zen student, it is important to know what is the four stages of zazen.

The first stage is the practice, you know, with various-- with many desires or ignorance. The cause of ignorance is-- cause of-- we count desires maybe four or five. The drowsiness, you know. And ignorance-- so-called-it mumyo-- ignorance. Ignorance of no under- -- ignorance-- ignorance means, you know, has very deep sense. Because of ignorance we came [laughs]-- we appeared in this world. It is more than, you know, ignorance in its intellectual sense. And greed. Those are three important, you know, and anger. The fi- -- in the first stage we shouldn't have, you know, drowsiness [laughs]. If you-- when you are sleepy, even though you are sitting, you are not actually sitting. So drowsiness is the enemy of the practice.

And anger is also the enemy of the practice. If you are angry, you know, you cannot sit, you know. When you sit, you are, you know-- when you start to sit, you are not angry anymore. But as long as you are sitting, you have no anger. You will have some of desires, but controlling somehow the desires, except drowsiness or anger, we can sit pretty well. And when we-- when you sit, your mind become clear, and you can think, you know, in the first stage.

So in the first stage, you will have clear mind-- clear thinking mind, and you will have control of, you know, some control of various desires, and you have no anger. You have no drowsiness. That is the first stage.

[In] the second stage, you have-- you don't think. That is the second stage. But you have, you know, so- -- you have emotional, you know, trouble or desires, but you don't think.

In the third stage, you don't have emotional, you know, problem. Emotionally you are calm in the third stage. And you have joy of calmness of, you know, or calming-- joy of no problem of emotional problem-- problems. So there you have emotionally-- joy of being emotionally very calm.

In the last stage, which is the fourth stage, you [do not?] have even joy of calming down or conquering emotional difficulties. You have no joy of anything. That is the fourth stage. And there, you know, you will attain arhatship. There you have nothing to attain or nothing to study at the fourth stage, which is the highest stage. But later, you know, they-- they put one more stage over it. But actual practice is the four stage is in a form world. And over the form world we have no-- no-form [?] world. And no-- no-form world is-- consist of the meditation in which we experience nothingness of outward object.

And next one is, you know, the nothingness within ourselves, you know. Even though you experience emptiness of outward object, you have some idea of outward object, you know, noth- -- emptiness of outward objects, so your mind is directed to outwards.

But in next stage your mind will be directed inward, like a jewel, you know, shine [by?] itself. And like jewel has nothing, you know, in themselves. That is the second stage.

And [in] the third stage, we have no idea of anything which is inside or outside. That is the third stage. And [in] the fourth stage is-- we don't have any idea of somethingness or nothingness. Or we have no idea of nothingness even. That is the last stage.

So we count eight, you know, dhyana: first to fourth stage, and adding to it four stages. The last stage is the characteristic, you know-- you can see the characteristic of Buddhism.

When you, you know, in usual, you know, Indian meditation-- according to usual meditation-- excluding Buddhist meditation-- those who meditate, you know, [in the] first stage will, you know, accordingly, you will be [re?]born in the first deva or heaven. And when you practice second dhyana, you will be [re?]born-- you will come-- appear in the second heaven. In this way we have, you know, respectively, four heavens.

But, you know, if-- if you-- someone who appeared in heaven, according to Buddhism, should disappear from heaven too, you know [laughs]. Something which appears should disappear, you know. There is nothing which does not disappear. So even, you know, [if] you go to heaven, you know, you appear in the heaven, you should disappear from the heaven. That is, you know, so-called-it “karma.”

You have karma, you know. You create karma to go to, you know, heaven, and as long as you have karma to go to heaven, that karma will continue, and you will eventually, you know [laughs], went down to the bottom of the first or “desire world.” So unless you, you know-- as long as you are depend on karma, your practice is depend on karma activity or karmic practice. That practice is not Buddhist practice, because it is-- the practice is involved in karmic activity.

So Buddhist practice should go beyond karmic practice. That is why we practice shikantaza, which is go beyond the way to go which is-- which do not expect any result from our practice. Just to sit, just to resume our true nature is our practice, without, you know, trying to attain something, without being involved in karmic activity. That is Buddhist practice, you know. Various teachers, so far, from southern countries and Tibet, emphasize this point.

Our practice should start from nothing and end in to nothing [laughs]. That is [laughs] our practice. So that is, you know, the stage arhat, you know, will attain finally. That is arhat. They-- their practice is very-- very much similar to the non-Buddhistic practice, but actually there is clear distinction from non-Buddhistic practice.

[Line 1. Aogi koi negawakuwa shokan, fushite kanno o taretamae.]

In-- in the sutra-- in the eko we say, Aogi koi negawakuwa shokan, fushite kanno o taretamae. Aogi koi negawakuwa. Aogi-- aogi is “to-- to look upward.” Aogi koi negawakuwa. Koi negawakuwa is “we-- what we want-- I want or I ask.” “Looking upward, what we ask is” shokan. Shokan is “Buddha's witness,” you know, or “Buddha's protection.” Fushite kanno o taretamae. Fushite means “to-- to kneel down.” Fushite. Fushite kanno o taretamae-- ”respond.” When we have-- when we kneel down with selfish [selfless?] attitude, with pure mind, then buddha-nature hereby will appear. So kanno means “respond.”

Objectively speaking, you know-- subjectively speaking, our buddha-nature arise from our innate nature, but objectively speaking, buddha-nature will come to us when we kneel down with pure mind. The buddha-nature will come to us. So fushite-- ”kneeling down, we ask respond-- response of buddha-nature.” It means that, you know, “we, looking upward, seeing respectively many arhats, we ask for their protection, and, looking-- kneeling down, we ask arhats to join our practice.” That is what it means.

[Line 2. Jorai, Maka Hannyaharamita Shingyo o fujusu, atsumuru
tokoro no kudoku wa]

Jorai, you know, “so far-- why we recite it-- this sutra.” Jorai. Jo is “up.” Rai is “come.” So “until now we recited Prajna Paramita Sutra.” And why we recite it, the Prajna Paramita Sutra, was-- the merit-- atsumuru tokoro no kudoko wa. Atsumuru is “to-- we concentrate” or “gather up,” you know, the merit of reciting sutra.

[Line 3. jippo joju no sambo, kakai muryo no kensho]

We recite the sutra for-- jippo joju no sambo. Jippo joju no sambo kakai muryo no kenjo, we say. I-- I didn't put in-- eyes-- my eyes [laughs]. [Probably referring to eyeglasses.] Jippo joju no sambo. Jippo is ten-- okay-- it's-- it is okay-- jippo joju is-- jippo means “ten directions.” Joju means “always present.” Joju. Ju is “dwell” or “live” or “is.” “Which exist in ten direction.” Jo is “always.” Ju is “dwell” or “live.” So the sambo is “three treasures.” So jippo-- ”three treasures which is-- which present-- which is present in ten directions always.”

And kakai muryo no kenjo. Kakai is-- ka is “seed”-- oh no, “fruits,” and kai is “ocean.” Muryo is “limitless.” Mu is “no.” Ryo is “limit” or “measure.” “Beyond measurement.” So innumerous or incalculable or limitless.

Kensho means like sages and arhats. So ka-- why we say “fruit” words is if you practice our way, that will be a-- a seed of, you know, attainment, or seed of the merit. So practice-- if practice is seed, the-- what you will have by it is the result or fruit. But here, you know, we shouldn't understand fruit is next and seed is first. Fruit and seed is result in the same time in our practice. We should understand in that way, but rhetorically [?] we should say kakai muryo no kensho: “All the sages and arhats, which are in the limitless sea of the attainment, especially sixteen arhats-- sixteen arhats.”

[Line 4. juroku dai arakan, issai no ogu burui kenzoku ni eko su.]

Juroku. Juroku is “sixteen.” Dai arakan: “the great arhats.” And issai-- ”all.” Issai is “all.” Ogu-- ogu is another name of arhats, “who is worthy for offering,” you know. O means “respond,” and gu is “offering”: “who is worthy for receive offering.” That is arhat. “All the arhats.”

Burui kenzoku. “And the arhats who belongs to each sixteen arhats,” you know. There are sixteen arhats, and many arhats, you know-- under each of sixteen arhats there were many arhats. That is kenzoku. Kenzoku is “the family,” you know. Sixteen arhats were the head of [each of] the family of arhats. So [laughs]-- many arhats. So some-- in some temple, we say juroku dai arakan-- gohyaku [corrects juroku to gohyaku] dai arakan. Sometime we say-- we count five hundred [arhats].

Some people say why we say five hundred arhats is in the first assembly after Buddha, seventy-- about one hundred years after Buddha passed away, they had big meeting to, you know, to-- we say ketsuju. Ketsuju means to-- to have meeting and discuss about the teaching Buddha left and recited-- someone recited the teaching, what Buddha told them, and the rest of the people, you know, corrected if there is some correction. And it is okay they-- all of them said that was what Buddha said. They agreed. In this way, scripture was transmitted to us. So there were supposed to be five hundred disciples, so we say “five h-” -- gohyaku dai arakan, “five hundred arhats.” But anyway, we count sixteen arhats or more.

Issai no ogu. Issai no, or “all [of].” Ogu-- ogu is another name of arhats. Arhats has many names. Arhats has, you know, because-- according to the attainment, they have so many names, like “no-return sage.” “No-return sage” is after, you know, extinguishing all his karma. They do not come back to, you know, to this world anymore [laughs] because he has no karma to come back. That is a kind of stage he will attain. [Sentence finished. Tape turned over. Rest of original tape is extremely slow.]

-- maybe tomorrow.

They have five powers. One of the five power is to-- power to be sure that he will not come back, you know, in desire world again. That is one of the power of arhats or confidence of arhats. So we say arhats is fugenka: “no-return stage” or “no-return sage.” Or “slaying-enemy sage.” “Enemy” means, you know, enemy of mortality. So he has no enemy like [such as] mortality-- like, you know, physical and mental desires.

So sometime we call him-- we translate, you know-- Chinese people translated arhats in many ways: fugen-no sage or setsuzoku-no sage-- setsuzoku is “slaying enemy sage.” Ogu is the one of the name of, or one of the translation of “arhats.” Issai no ogu burui kenzoku. Kenzoku is “family.” Burui is something like “tribe,” you know. Bu is “group.” [The suffix] -zoku is also “group.” They-- there were various group of arhats.

[Line 5. Koinego tokoro wa,
Line 6. sanmyo rokutsu, mappo o shobo ni kaeshi goriki hachige,
gunjo o musho ni michibiki.
Line 7. Sammon no nirin tsuneni tenji, kokudo no sansai nagaku sho
sen koto o.]

Koinego tokoro wa,
sanmyo rokutsu, mappo o shobo ni kaeshi goriki hachige,
gunjo o musho ni michibiki.
Sammon no nirin tsuneni tenji, kokudo no sansai nagaku sho
sen koto o.

Maybe better to explain this part-- to leave it for next-- tomorrow's lecture.

If we, you know, if you call-- if you-- if you say them [then?], you may think there [them?] is something quite different from Hinayana practice, but it is not actually so, especially for Soto school. Hinayana practice is-- is very important. We do not discriminate [against] Hinayana practice at all. We respect arhats, and we respect their effort. And we ask arhats to join our practice, or we, you know, we-- our desire, our wish is to practice hard as arhats practice. That is why we recite sutra for arhats every morning.

Do you have some question? Hai.

Questions and Answers

Student A: I read in Zen Notes Sokeian said that the arhat in the final stage liberates himself by his intellect--

SR: Yeah.

Student A: -- liberates himself by his intellect.

SR: Intellect? Intellect.

Student : Does that mean by thinking?

SR: Oh. Thinking. That is not last stage, you know. It is the second-- third stage they have no intellectual thinking. But they have joy of, you know, conquering our desires. That is the third stage. And last stage, we have no desire-- no joy of anything but [1 word]. That is the last step. Maybe you--

Student A: Well, you said it was the last stage. And it made me think that when you use the word “intellect,” it didn't mean that--

SR: Maybe so.

Student B: -- it didn't mean that [6-8 words].

SR: Maybe so. The difference is, you know, we have clear thinking. And they has [?] went without desires. But they are with-- what we don't have is [1 word] and anger. We don't have. [Laughs.] Because you don't have it [laughs], you will not seek it. So, you know-- interesting-- more interesting point is, you know, everyone can, you know, go further. So final step is similar to arhats-- last stage for arhats. [Tape ends, apparently before the question/answer session is finished.]

Appendix A: The Second Morning Eko

“Suzuki's Revised Translation of Morning EKO II”

Line 1. May Buddha observe our practice and give us his response to
our sincerity.
Line 2. Thus, as we chant the Maha Prajna Paramita Hridaya Sutra,
we dedicate the collected merit to:
Line 3. the Three Treasures in the Ten Directions, past, present, and
future, the innumerable wise men and sages who are in
the Sea of the Fruit of Practice, and
Line 4. the sixteen great arhats and their followers who attained the
supreme attainment of arhatship.
Line 5. What we aspire to is that
Line 6. the Three Powers the Six Unrestricted Ways of the arhats
may be always with us in our unceasing effort to renew
Buddha's way, to save all sentient beings from the world
of suffering and confusion,
Line 7. to keep the Two Wheels of the dharma turning forever,
and to avert the Three Calamities forever.

[Note: This translation, with minor grammatical revisions by the present transcriber, was reprinted from DC's Eko Study Book, 1970, p. 82. According to DC (10/8/99), he may have reviewed the translation with Suzuki, but, if so, only briefly. It does not follow the text of the transcript as Suzuki translated this eko. (See, e.g., the end of SR-70-07-12.)]
Sources: Contemporaneous transcript and Eko Study Book by DC; transcript entered onto disk by Jose Escobar, 1997; transcript checked and corrected against tape by Bill Redican 11/18/99.

File name: 70-07-10: Ekō Lecture 2 (Verbatim) very low at end

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