Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Master Yakusan Igan was asked by a layperson: "Tell me, what is the essence of Buddhism?"
Master Yakusan replied: "Don't do wrong, do right."
The layperson said "That's stupid. A child of two could understand that."
Master Yakusan replied: "A child of two could understand it but this man of 80 years cannot practise it."
When Master Yakusan speaks about right and wrong he doesn't mean anything that we might infer from our Greek Classical/Judaeo-Christian moral notions. There is some element of faith when we begin practising zazen and learning what our life is that if we practise zazen we do not do wrong but very soon we start to realise that it's true. Avoiding the many kinds of wrong we find that right does itself.
Practising zazen, the whole of experience practises zazen, everything manifests the state of zazen. We can chant the sutra, make our vows but they are already true - we are in the real act of making it true, reciting our verse, after practising zazen.
Zazen as the pure lack of trying to gain, practising without an improving idea, whether it be 'to act right' around people or whatever, is a practise of shedding, endlessly shedding, beliefs, words, ideas, loves and hates.
NEGAWAKUWA KONO KUDOKU
O MOTTE AMANEKU ISSAI NI OYOBOSHI,
WARERA TO SHUJO TO MINA TOMO NI
BUTSUDO O JOZEN KOTO O