OLD - Each One Of Us Is A Cook

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70 #5 - Sesshin 2-1-70

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70-02-01-B; 70-04-12


I vow to taste the truth of the Tathāgata's words. Session is almost, session has almost concluded. In this session, we have learned many things. I want to, can you hear me? I want to, you know, say something about what I noticed.


Here, we are, each one of us is a cook. In turn, we work in the kitchen. And here, in zendo, we take care of this zendo by ourselves, mostly. Right now, we carry our stick in turn. And I want, I explain, you know, how to eat brown rice.


The more you chew it, you will have the taste of the brown rice. And in zendo, you are food. You are rice and vegetables from various states. And we must cook ourselves in some way. That is what actually we are doing. I haven't realized how important to carry the stick is.


I think that is actually not only carrying the stick, but carrying the stick is, you know, how to cook ourselves. It is actually to chew ourselves. But the effect is stronger than just to chew. And as a, you know, at the moment you get slapped, you know, you die, you know, in past life. And appears in new world.


So we say, you know, form is emptiness, and emptiness is form. And Yoshihiro sensei, the other day, explained about sokuze. On sokuze, ku. Sokuze means, he explained, that is conversion. Conversion, you know, without changing anything, to convert one to the other. Another thing is sokuze. When you get slapped, at that moment, big, you know, conversion takes place in your practice.


You will be, your experience of practice, your practice will change at that moment. You have, anyway, you have that kind of feeling. You know, when, before, when you get stick, when you are sleepy, you wake up. That is, you know, conversion. By repeating this kind of, you know, conversion, many and many times, we can practice our way. That is to realize, you know, our teaching of form of emptiness, and emptiness is form.


Form is emptiness, is, you know, when you get slapped and awaken in nothing, nothingness. Where there is no you, or no zento, or no black cushion, that is emptiness. And from that emptiness, you know, you will have, you will start new practice. Your practice will be renewed by that. Our life should be like this. Whatever happens to us, on that occasion, you must turn a new leaf for the quite refreshed life.


Even though, you know, cook is good, firewood cannot be a good dish, you know. If you stick to too much idea of yourself, that is firewood, a rug, or pencil, or stone in miso soup. So when you, you know, forget about yourself, or when you are ready to be, you know, cooked, then practice will, real practice will take place. So, the moment you enter zento, you should forget everything, you know.


Everything you have, and ready to start, or ready to start new life. That is, you know, how, this is how various teachers in China, or in Japan, explain what is emptiness is form, and form is emptiness. You are you, you know, even though you, you know, wake up, without changing yourself, to have new meaning of life,


and to be involved in a new life, a new life completely. It's, you know, how form becomes emptiness. And when we become very grateful for the emptiness, you know, we don't know what it is, you know. Emptiness is something which happened to us, not because of someone who carries stick, not because of your sincerity. We don't know why, but anyway, something that kind of great experience, great thing happened to us.


If you say, this is because of this or that, that understanding is already dead understanding of vivid, real understanding of emptiness. That kind of, you know, in this way, you know, the old teachers explained emptiness. Emptiness is something like, and from that emptiness, like a flash, everything quite new will appear. The flash of, you know, emptiness is, you know, you or I, or grain or vegetables from various state.


That's just a flash of emptiness. This kind of clear vivid understanding will happen under the slap. It is something which happens to you, even though you don't expect it, it happens. When you put your hand together, you know, you are like this. And when you get it, all of a sudden, you become refreshed and you become new person.


Maybe, in that way, I think, in turn, it will be very good idea if we carry stick in turn. And, you know, give ourselves chance to, you know, to make conversion. Conversion, by conversion, I don't mean from Christianity to Buddhism. From Buddhism to Christianity. And that is, you know, especially this period when, you know, I listen to the slap and I saw you, you know, quite refreshed.


Oh, this is, you know, form is emptiness. And at the same time, emptiness is form. And new, you know, form appears under the slap. Slap. So, we are doing very good job. Kitchen is extended, you know, to zendo. And we eat brown rice by our own kitchen. And zendo practice is extended to kitchen. And I think practice, you know, is almost complete.


Complete. I'm so happy to find out this point in practice. I hope you will continue our practice without being caught by some elusive idea of practice. Thank you very much. Thank you.