Given by Suzuki Roshi on Saturday, August 15, 1970
About this talk
This is the second part of 71-08-15 after tape turned over.
Transcript:We say, if you fell down by [on] the ground, you will stand up, you know, by the ground. Do you understand? If you fell-- if you, you know, lose your practice because of the annoyance you have with flies, you will stand up [by the] same annoyance. Because when you say “I was annoyed by flies and that was not good practice,” then already you stand-- stood up, because you have big mind already. Do you understand? So it is okay, even [laughs] you don't have to be concerned about it so much-- about your bad practice so much. But to-- to be concerned about it is good, because it is a practice of big mind. So [loud mike noise] those who-- you cannot say this has [6-8 words unclear]. If you fell on the ground you will stand up by the same old ground. If you say “My practice is not good,” [5-6 words], you are not standing already like this. So that-- because of this, you know, same old problem, you can stand up. So if you enlighten with delusion-- about delusion, you are enlightened person, you know. If you are deluded as your enlightened mind, that is delusion. Do you understand? If you say “My practice was not good,” then that is enlightenment. It is not problem of what you did is good or bad, but problem of actual practice you have right now-- actual mind you have right now. If the actual mind you have right now is big mind, that is enlightenment. Okay? You-- you don't have to [be] concerned about what you did before, but you have to [laughs] because you have to stand up. But when you think that was wrong, that is already cleared up. You could cut off the delusion you have. You have not delusion any more. You are not deluded any more. Ahhh. Does it make sense? Okay? Hai. Student D: If you're being bitten-- SR: Hmm? Student D: If you're being bitten, say, by a fly or whatever it is, and you smack that fly you just think that-- you don't think about it-- the fly is on the ground dead [laughter]. [2 words] the way you are. SR: Hmm? Student D: Don't think about it. Go right on with whatever you're doing. You don't inflict upon it the anguish of something [?]. [4-5 words.] SR: Different? Student D: You don't think about it any way at all. SR: You will think-- you will feel [in] some way, you know. It is not possible not to feel-- not to have any feeling about it. But what kind of feeling you have is the point. Student D: Well, when I-- when I did this I didn't-- [3-4 words]-- whatever it was just died, and afterwards I thought, well maybe it just died that way [1-2 words] [laughter, comments by other students]. SR: Is it true with almost everyone? Do you agree [laughs] with his way [?]? Student E: Let's kill Alan. [Laughter.] SR: Huh? Student F: Roshi, what if we smack him and then stomp on him? [Laughter.] SR: What kind of reaction do you have? [Laughter.] Student F: Like a blade of grass to become a buddha. SR: Hmm? Student F: Grass-- blade of grass to become a buddha. SR: Ohh. [Laughs.] Even though, you know, at last-- This is famous statement of Dogen: Even though you do not like grass, grass will grow quite easily. Even though you like flower, life will-- flower will fall [laughs]. That is actual reality. Even though it is so, if-- if some-- you are stinged by-- by mosquito or horse-- horsefly, you know, you will do this [gesturing?] [laughs]. You will do this, maybe. But when you are involved in very serious practice, you wouldn't, you know. Even though mosquito comes, you will be sitting, and until you-- you may have many mosquitoes, you know, like small [1-2 words] [laughs]-- big [1-2 words]. They, you know, they will [3-4 words] sting us, but not only sting, but also they suck blood, you know, from us. More and more they will become like small, you know, fruits or something [laughs, laughter]. They cannot fly any more [laughs, laughter-- maybe gesturing]. But you will still-- you will be still sitting. And then you have to be careful when you-- you stand up, not-- not to step on mosquitoes [laughs]. So you feel calm to [1 word]. “Oh, he came.” And as soon as he came with his legs [1 word] and his-- what do you call it-- his pipe or something [laughs, laughter]-- needle [laughs]-- Student: Straw. SR: Hmm? Student: Straw. SR: Straw. [Laughs, laughter.] -- you-- you feel his straw, you know, coming. Straw. Mouth. Straw. First, you know, legs; next straw; and straw, you know, [laughs] come in and come out like this [probably gestures], and while they are continue this for several moments, they stop and start to suck, until they become like this [probably gestures]. And they cannot fly because they are so heavy. So you don't-- when your practice is completely involved in bad [?]-- big mind, you don't care. But, you know, but usually, for an instance, when a bug or big horsefly come [slaps self], I will-- I will do [?] like this. But what I feel is different. But whatever feeling I have, if something has happened already, you know, you cannot do anything. Even though it was bad-- it is not okay, but [laughs] we cannot do anything about it, so you have to think on it [?]-- you have-- you were-- how do you say?-- you have to make reflection. How you feel is the point. If you feel bad, that is good. And it is not always possible-- it is not impossible not to feel good or bad if you-- unless you make some excuse. But to-- to make some excuse is very small mind. So don't make any excuse. Don't try to make any excuse [for] what you have done. If it is wrong, “I am sorry.” If it is good, then you will say “maybe so,” but you shouldn't feel completely satisfied with your practice. You should go on and on. Hai. Student G: What about if you know it's wrong and you do it anyway? SR: Huh? Student G: What about if you know it's wrong and you do it anyway? SR: When you do it anyway? Student G: Yeah. You did so in a way that you know it in a minute [?]. SR: Uh-huh. Student G: But you-- SR: You did it anyway. Student G: -- you do it anyway. SR: Uh-huh. Do you mean you did it because you have to-- had to? Student G: I don't live in [1-2 words.] SR: Anyway, it is very-- very difficult to understand exactly. Without thinking, do you mean? Anyway-- Student G: No, with thinking. SR: Hmm? Student G: -- with thinking. SR: With thinking-- Student G: Yes. SR: -- and not completely. “Anyway, I will do it.” That is not so serious. That is, I don't think, serious if-- not serious now. In your practice, yeah, we shouldn't do things just anyway, you know. “Okay, I will do it anyway.” Sometime it is good, you know. Without giving responsibility of doing to some-- somebody, taking resp-- -- the responsibility of doing to-- for yourself. “I will do it anyway,” you know. You don't have to say this way or that way. If it is bad, “that is my, you know, fault”; if it is good, you know, “because you helped me, I did it.” “But anyway I did it.” This kind of “anyway” is very good [?]. “But I don't know what we should do. Anyway I will do it”-- that is not so good [?]. But when you-- you are in some situation where you should do something, you know, then you will do it anyway. “Whether it is good or bad, someone must do it. So anyway I will do it.” That is also “anyway.” “I don't know what will happen to-- to us, but anyway I will go and find out.” That is also “anyway.” There must be many “anyways.” [Laughs, laughter.] As you are mostly young, so I think you-- your practice should not be old man's practice. You should be confront with problem-- problems you have, you know, for you. Do you have some questions, some more question? One more please. Hai. Student H: [6-10 sentences unclear.] SR: Hmm. Actually, you know, that is not-- cannot be, you know, serious question [laughs]. You know, you know, the answer already, perhaps, but you don't know what to do. That is why you ask me, isn't that so? You know, you know. Student H: Well, I know-- I know that I [1-2 sentences unclear], but I [rest of sentence unclear]. SR: I-- I maybe-- I have some good answer? [Laughs, laughter.] No, I am sorry I haven't [laughs]. I don't have so good answer for that. But my answer will be, you know, if it's good chance for you to have that kind of problem. You know, because of that kind of problem, we can practice our way. It is good to have some problem. If it, you know-- this-- this is too much to say, but if we are cats or dog we have no problem, so we don't have to practice [laughs] [1 word]. We are happy in our problem. So that is not problem just for you. Everyone has same problems, actually. So as-- as long as you are-- you live in this land of Shakyamuni Buddha you have that problem-- or [living in the] human world, you have that problem. In Buddhist traditionally [?], land of-- this world is Nansenbushu, the south side of the Mount Sumeru. On the opposite side there is Hokkuroshu, where there is no problem [laughs]. There is enough water to drink, and no cold and similar things, and enough juice [?] and various foods you enjoy; there is no problem. People [live] long time-- people do not die. If you are born in that kind of place, you know, you have more pleasure, and we have no Buddhism or no practice. That is very, you know-- But it suggest some truth. So your question is based on the idea of understanding of our life. “If our life is full of happiness and joy, that is good life; if our life is full of suffering and problem, that is not good life.” That is a very superficial understanding of life. And most people-- people's view of life is based on that kind of idea of good or bad, which is not deep enough, which is not real enough. So when you have that kind of problem, you should think of, you know, why you have-- when you have problem [?], you know, when you are able to think about it. When you are angry you cannot think, of course. But when you are not-- when your mind is calm, you should think about the foundation of your-- of your view of life-- understanding of life. And it is good to listen to some teaching like Buddhism. We do not talk about sin, but we talk about suffering and problem of life. And it is not possible to leave-- to get out of suffering and to, you know, to have life of no problem, according to our understanding of-- of human life. Thank you very much.