OLD -Ignorance

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SR-67-09-08 (-B-1 - is crossed out) - G (start) (finish)

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67-09-08-C - duplicate


So, this is a rather difficult question, because this question covers quite a good part of our teaching. So, this evening, I want to make it clear as much as possible, according to our teaching. Not only Zen Buddhist teaching, but also Buddhism in general.


In Prajnaparamita Sutra, there was a statement, that there is no ignorance till it comes to birth and death. No ignorance and no birth and death. It means, there are links of the teaching of interdependency. This teaching, if I explain it more clearly, you will have a pretty good understanding of it.


And if that is enough, I must explain it from viewpoints of Zen. But at first, I will try to explain it as a teaching of Buddhism in general, not only Zen. The twelve links of the teaching start from ignorance. This teaching is the explanation of our life from various angles. It starts from ignorance, and our karmic activity, and our result of the karmic activity.


And activity itself. If we do not understand our life properly, we call it ignorance. So ignorance will result in the karmic life. And karmic life will result in some activity. And some activity will accelerate by our six senses.


And the six senses will result in the material and spiritual world, which is a phenomenal world. And that is the first one, spiritual and material or physical world, which is a phenomenal world. And a phenomenal world will be received from our six sense organs and mind, five sense organs and mind.


And this activity will result in some idea of good or bad, or agreeable or disagreeable. And that is the sixth one. And you will attach to something good and something bad. Or you will attach to the objective world, which is good or bad to you. That is attachment, the world of attachment.


And that is the seventh one. So many sounds. That is the eighth one. And you will have the desire for this world and for the future world. The attachment will result in desires. We call this thirsty desire, you know, desire as if you want water when you are thirsty.


This kind of desire is very intense, strong desire, more than attachment. And this attachment, you will attach to something which you see in this world and which you will see in next world or in future. And sometimes we attach to non-desire, because you in vain try to gain something in this world and in future world.


And result will be in vain. In vain you strive to gain something. But that is not possible, because it is originally yours. Or if you think that is not yours, that is the way you try to reach it is wrong, so it is impossible to. Eventually you will find out that is impossible. So you will be tired of trying to reach to what you want in this moment and in future.


So you will attach to no desire. It is much better not to want anything, then I shall be very happy. This kind of desire, the three desires, are the desires we have. Desire of annihilating our desires, or desire to stop our desires, or desire for something which is here or which will be in future. Those desires are called u, or that is nice one.


And, oh no, that is, ah, I mixed up. And the last one is the desire for to get, to attain freedom from birth and death. Those desires, those are the, how we become, how we suffer in this world, and how this world become the world of suffering for us. And this twelve links, or twelve elements of idea, are the explanation of how we suffer in this world, starting from ignorance.


And the ignorance is, ignorance is the most basic cause of suffering. And then, what is ignorance? Ignorance is the Buddha nature itself. When we misunderstand it, it becomes ignorance. But when you have right understanding of our life, that is, those twelve links are nothing but the way to attain enlightenment. This is how we understand our life and why we suffer in this world.


So, once you have some misunderstanding in those, among those thirds, you will get into a misunderstanding of the rest of eleven. So, one misunderstanding will create, will result, will result in suffering. So, you should have clear understanding of those twelve links of teachings. This is the teaching of how we suffer, teaching about how we suffer in this world.


This is too, maybe too literal explanation to understand it completely, but I explain it as much as possible. Then, what is ignorance? How ignorance comes to us, will be your question when you have Buddha nature. Why we have, you know, ignorance? And definition of ignorance is something which appears all of a sudden without any reason.


That is ignorance. Our wisdom is something which is permanent, which exists always, and which is rare always. So, ignorance is some misunderstanding which happens to us by some chance. That is definition of ignorance. So, ignorance has no reason why it appears. It means, the question why we have ignorance is, cannot be answered in other words. Something which comes up, happens to us without any reason.


So, if there is no reason, we cannot explain why it appears to us. But anyway, it is the other side of the wisdom. So, if we know that is ignorance, that is wisdom. That is not ignorance anymore. But when you don't know that this is ignorance, or when you accept your life of suffering, when you do not realize, or when you enjoy your life of suffering,


that is sheer ignorance. Because you do not know that you are in a midst of suffering. But when you realize that you are doing something wrong, that is wisdom. That is not ignorance anymore. The difference is, whether you arise basic mind, finding yourself in a midst of suffering, that is wisdom, but if you do not realize that you are in a midst of suffering,


and you enjoy the life of suffering, that is ignorance. So, in true understanding, there is always ignorance and wisdom, as two sides of one coin. Before Buddha, while Buddha talks about the world of suffering, our ignorance is to encourage people to seek for truth. It is impossible to teach them when they have no problem in a midst of suffering,


and enjoying their life. This is wrong way. Even Buddha cannot do anything with those people. They may find out what they have done someday, when it is too late. But until they find out they have been doing something wrong, it is very difficult to teach them. So that is why Buddha talked about ignorance, and we were so ignorant of the truth and the reality. And for him pointed out how ignorant we are. So, ignorance, the teaching of ignorance,


is the teaching which was provided by Buddha for us, who sometimes enjoy suffering, and create many confusions. Confusions for ourselves and for others. So the question, why we have to do something bad, is realizing when he realized that, what he was doing, that is wisdom.


That is Buddha nature itself. As long as he has Buddha nature, we understand our life from both ways. Ignorance and wisdom. When he said why we suffer, why we are so ignorant, that is wisdom. And when he made some excuse, excuse for seek for something elusive, that is Buddha. In this way we should understand our life, and in this way we should understand Buddha's teaching. And how we actually have the power


to control both sides of our life. It doesn't matter. That is the goal of interpretation of ignorance and Buddha nature. Thank you. I'm sure you have some questions. Please ask me. How do we unravel all of ignorance from the fall of ignorance? How? How do we unravel a ball of ignorance?


Like string. Like string, all cut up. Ignorant string. Ignorant string. Ignorant string is a very good expression. And we have something, clearly the same expression. We say ignorance, not ignorance, not exactly ignorance, but something similar to ignorance, is delusion or wrong view. There is emotional one and intellectual one. This intellectual and emotional one will be solved


by the teaching of or view point of non-existence. That is not real existence, that is just something looks like so, but that is not reality. This teaching will solve this conflict. And that is that even though you serve it, something emotional, and intellectually too,


of course intellectually, but if you do not start to calculate your mind and strengthen your character, it is not possible to be completely free from it. Tentatively it may be all right, but we should have more strength. In that case, we should practice Zen. And that, if you rely, try to rely on teaching, you should use the teaching of everything is not all. Has two sides. Tentatively it may be good,


but some other time it may be right, wrong. Good and bad is one side of the two coins. It's the deeper teaching of Zen, the teaching of non-existence, view, teaching from viewpoint of non-existence. This is deeper. This is the teaching of both so-called middle way. By this teaching of middle way, and when you practice accordingly,


you will acquire the power to live in this world. And in another world, that is Zen. This is our teaching. So, first of all, we have to cut off. We have to not cut off, but we have to train ourselves from emotional side and intellectual side. And we have to strengthen our character. And we have to strengthen our character by practice and teaching, and teaching of


existence and non-existence. Back and forth. This is training of your emotions, emotional. This is emotional and intellectual practice. And by continuing, not by just practice one by one, piece by piece, but practicing as one teaching, one teaching of middle way, you will have the power. So, when you practice middle way, ah, that practice is


not anymore practice of existence or practice of non-existence, or practice of suppressing your emotional power, or controlling your intellectual power. Do you understand? So, then practice or middle way is the way which will be which you can do it without any ah, idea of suppressing or idea of negative or positive giving or taking.


This is then practice. This is so-called middle way, which can be both. And which is, which has ah, validity in each moment, which is just right, you know, in that moment, on that occasion. Ah, well, so let's say, ah, tomorrow afternoon, ah, I find myself in the midst of ignorance, and I can't, you know, I don't understand what training is, so I look around for training and I don't find anything, all I find is ignorance, so tell me what is training, so I can find it tomorrow afternoon.


You see, you are trying to, you know, some way, that some way, which you are ah, trying to find out or which you want to understand is you know, some way which will be you know, giving or taking or negative or positive. But the true way is not just ah, negative or positive or giving or taking. So if you notice it, how important it is to sit, you know, which is not negative or positive, to find yourself right there. In each moment.


Then, on that moment you are not good, you are bad. What you are doing is not good, you are bad. You cannot you cannot have the idea of annihilation in your practice. So you cannot have any desire in the future. And you are, you have everything. So you cannot desire anything. That is our practice. To obstruct already


heavy something. You are sitting very well, you know. Just you are recently especially, you are just, you are sitting just you are just sitting. That is the way. But each time you are sitting just there for for pretty long time, you start to wonder whether this practice is good or bad. That is what you are you are thinking about right now. But you have to continue that practice. Ok.


All right. You become conditioned to sitting. And the more you become conditioned to sitting, it will seem that that would be a hindrance to freedom. What is freedom? Freedom. That is not freedom. Freedom is in in some conditions. Under some conditions there is freedom. That is very true. You are you are we have some scripture called small easy way. Small easy way. To find ourselves in


small way. Push it. Not too deep. Not too deep. But not too deep. This is very easy for instance to obtain freedom. This is not you know means to obtain some freedom. Not too deep. But not too deep. This kind of freedom provides you complete freedom. That is not freedom.


If you understand the secret. That is to obtain freedom. You should be confident in this word. To obtain freedom. If you do not, if you change your place always you have no freedom. You have no time to have freedom. But you are complete. And you should find out freedom on some point of this earth. So if you ignore


the place you are there is no real freedom. That is just ideal freedom. Not actual. If you want to have actual freedom you should have it at certain under some condition. What condition will be improved or will be changed of course will not be the same. But moment after moment we should know what we are doing. And we should accept the condition under which we live. There is no other way to


obtain actual freedom. Is trying to make oneself happy is that an example of ignorance? Is that a form of ignorance? It is. What is one of the three kinds of ignorance? Well in your daily life there are various things that have to be done. Things just normally that you do. Various things you decide to do. And it seems to me very hard to tell exactly what you are doing in the form of whether you are trying to make yourself happy or what. You were talking


of contemplating yourself or of understanding yourself. And it is hard to tell for me where that line is drawn. Exactly what your purpose is. Whether it is an ignorant purpose or whether it is realizing that you live in suffering. It is anyway as long as you understand your life in that way. Whether it is right or wrong. That is not anymore complete. But you should know when you know that that is not complete. That is not ignorance anymore. Of course


we are trying to achieve something. We cannot be indifferent. We cannot be indifferent to what we will achieve. But we should know that that is not absolutely true. Absolutely right. If you do it because you think that is absolutely true that is a big, big mistake. If you do it with that idea you are already creating some trouble for you and for others. Because your


effort is already dead. Not alive. When you are always trying to be right then you will be right. But when you think this is right if I continue our effort in this way what we achieve is what we do is right. That is wrong. Moment after moment we should do our best to adjust


ourselves, our effort in more possible and easier way. Anyway, you should even though it is impossible to do it something perfectly right but you should try to be perfect moment after moment. That is true activity. We are emphasizing at this point but we do not say we do not


create activity. Even though the idea of good or bad but put the emphasis on not to be caused by idea, good or bad. Not to make some excuse for you for your activity. How do we understand our life rightly? How do we understand our life rightly? What would be the right understanding of our life? Our understanding of life. What would be the right understanding of life? The right understanding of life is as I said


the understanding of life of existence is not right. Non-existence is not right. And both existence and non-existence is right. Something which is good and something which is bad. There is nothing which is completely right. There is nothing


which is completely wrong. What is the place of self-discipline on the one hand and say like rules that everyone follows on the other? Too far. In monastery the most important rule is to do things in the table. When they get up, they get up. When they sleep, they sleep. This is the golden rule. This is in monastery. And this is the best way to get rid of


self-centered ideas. So if you are doing something special you should be very careful. This is a funny thing we have talked about. This is very very important thing. So if you go to monastery, you will see this. Be very careful. Dojo daichi ni ichi. Dojo daichi ni ichi. It looks like very simple and


straight rules, it means it's very thick. So dojo daichi ni ichi. He added after the chanting. In a monastery, there is no rule you can depend on. You just have to do your best.