OLD - Using Various Stones

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SR 014 - On this tape: lectures A and B and also first part of D. This is to be known as the A-B lecture tape or #1 ZMC (has been transcribed) Track 1 Roshi's lecture A 9/8/67 - copied

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67-09-08-C (same as SR-00118 per notes) | beginning of 67-09-08-A - marked as problem audio, but this is clearer | 67-09-08-B - #please-transcribe #inaudible


君の知事 仁王のほうは 百千万御祈りをことがたし Tonight, I want to give you


some correct idea of Buddhism or Zen. In a word, Zen is the teaching or practice to see things as it is or to accept things as it is, and to raise things as it goes. This is the fundamental purpose of our practice and meaning of Zen. But it is actually rather difficult to see things as it is.


You may say you are seeing things as it is, but actually, we do not see things as it is. I don't mean that you are distorting sight. You know, if it is something, this shape looks short, but this shape looks longer.


I don't mean that, but when you see something, you already start to intellectualize the things you see. As soon as you intellectualize something, it is not already just what you saw. So, when I was young, I wanted to practice, true practice, and I wanted to know what is the way-seeking mind in its true sense.


The way-seeking mind is, anyway, to do something good is maybe the way-seeking mind. The mind to do something good may be the way-seeking mind. So, I get up very early and wash the toilet and sink before the other students get up. I thought that was a very good thing to do. But first, you know, many ideas pop out to me. When I was doing something, I was afraid something would see me.


I wanted to do it just by myself, without being noticed by anyone else. If someone sees me, that will not be pure practice, I thought. But before they see me, my mind is already going wrong. So, I asked myself whether I like to do it without being noticed by anyone, or I wanted to be seen by, to be known by someone else.


Why do I do something like this? So, in this way, I couldn't assert my way-seeking mind. I couldn't assure. I was not so sure of my purity of my way-seeking mind. So, sometimes, I saw the one room, where I saw one room lit up by a lamp. Of course, I hid myself.


I thought someone may come down, because someone lit up already, so he may come down. So, I hid myself. It seems to me, at least, I'm doing something good and with pure mind, but my mind was not so pure. My mind is wandering about. I couldn't make my mind sure. And, I was at a loss what to do, and I suffered, you know, a little bit. And, I thought and thought and thought what I should do.


One day, when I was listening to the lecture of psychology, the teacher said, It is impossible to catch our mind exactly. Especially, it is impossible to know what we have done. The mind which acted some time ago, the mind which belongs to past, is not possible to catch. And, even the mind which is acting right now, is not possible to catch it, actually, he said.


So, I thought, there is no wonder why it is so difficult for me to understand my mind. So, I gave up to make sure my way-seeking mind. And, since then, I did it, just, you know, without thinking. Just because it is good, I did it. And, at the same time, whether people see me or not, anymore, my problem. So, when you want to see, when you want to make sure your mind, you cannot catch it, but just when you do something,


and just when your mind is acting as it goes, that is how to catch your mind in its true sense. Anyway, it is rather difficult to see things as it is, because to see things is not, how to see things as it is, is not just the activity of our sight or eyes. This is why we put emphasis on practice.


To do something without thinking is the most important point to understand ourselves. Anyway, what I want to say is that it is difficult to see things as it is. And, that is why we should practice our way. People may say, if the purpose of Zen is to see things as it is, then there will be no need to practice. Here is the big problem.


Anyway, I think the most, in your everyday life, the good practice may be to make your flower garden, or raise flowers, or to make a garden. That is, I think, the best practice. You know, when you sow some seed, you have to wait for the seed coming up.


And, if it comes out, you have to take care of it. That is our practice. Just to sow a seed is not enough. To take care of it, day after day, is very important for a good garden. Of course, some other work, like building a house. Once you build a house, hit back, it's finished. If someone writes a book,


if someone has written a book, that is enough. But for a gardener, it is necessary to take care of it every day. Even though you make a rough garden, it is necessary to take care of it. So, I think, our way is to make a garden, nearly the same as to make your own garden, or to raise some vegetables or flowers. And, each seed or each plant has its own character,


and has its own color, and has its own color. And, if it is stone, each stone has its own character. Long one has some solemn, profound feeling. And, round stone has some perfect symbol, or express perfection. And, square one expresses some rigidness, or austerity, or austere feeling.


And, each stone has its own character. And, if it has moss on it, it has some deep, profound, mystical feeling to it. Those are the character of each material you use in your garden. But, people may say, if people say, whatever we do, that is Zen. No, I am seeing things as it is. People may see, you know, individually, one by one.


But, that is not enough. You see, actually you see. Maybe you see things as it is, you may say. But, you are just seeing each material, and each character of the material. But, for a gardener, it is necessary to make garden beautiful. If possible, the gardener should express some meaning, or some particular beauty, according to order. If someone wants him to build some calm garden,


he must make the garden accordingly. If he wants some solemn feeling, or austere feeling, he makes the garden something austere. Then, he has to choose the material, and he has to make it more austere, by contrast, or by association, or by harmony. There, there should be some rules, where there is harmony. How to make harmony is the rule.


We have many colors, but color, the color may be sometimes, two colors may be sometimes colorless, or may be in harmony, or may be in contrast. If you use red to green, that is the contrast. If you use red and orange, that is harmony. Or that is, may be not harmony, may be the order, color order. Blue, starting from red, orange, and yellow,


and blue, green, and blue, and violet. Those six colors, if you arrange it in this order, that is color order. But if you arrange red and yellow, that is harmony. And if you use red and green, that is the contrast. So, by using those rules, you will accomplish. You will accomplish, and you will have the beautiful garden. So, just to live, whatever you like, that is not the way to live.


If you want to live, you should follow some rules. If it is stone, if there is sharp, straight, narrow stone, it expresses some mystical feeling. And if the stone is this way, you know, like this, it expresses calmness, or peacefulness. And this and this is contrast, in contrast. But the round one will be harmonious to every stone, round stone.


It goes perfectly with any kinds of forms. And stone which has wide base, like this, expresses some stable feeling. And this stone is in contrast with some massive stone, like this. And round standing stone and this kind of massive stone is in order.


So, just to arrange stone in order, you cannot make a beautiful garden, if you arrange the stone just in order. So, in contrast to advancement, you should use some stone which is in contrast with the stone you use. In this way, there must be some rules. So, if you want to live, in its true sense, in relationship with others, and in relationship, the you which lives, which has been living in past,


and which will live tomorrow, there must be some rules. And the rules, although it looks like no rules, but actually there is some rules, some strict rules in it. So, to live day by day, in its true sense, means to live in some perfect rules. This point, in Zen, this point is also emphasized. Zen is not just personal practice, and our enlightenment is not just personal attainment.


When we attain enlightenment, everything should be enlightened. That is the rules, that is the rule of enlightenment. When we find our position, in this moment, we say we attained enlightenment. When we live with others, and when we live with other beings, we say we attained enlightenment. So, if you think that enlightenment is something, some personal, just personal experience, this idea of enlightenment is to correct just square stuff, or just round stuff.


If someone likes beautiful stone, in which you see something blue and something white, that is, if that is enlightenment, here you have, here you correct the same stone, but with the same stone you cannot build any interesting garden. You should use various stones. Enlightenment is the same thing. If you attach to some particular enlightenment, that is not true enlightenment. You should have various enlightenments, and you should experience various experiences,


and you should put emphasis more in relationship between person and person. And in this way, we should practice back and forth. According to the position you have, you find yourself in. This is the outline of our practice, and how you attain. If the enlightenment is just to correct, or just to be proud of some kind of experience,


that kind of experience will not help you at all. And if that is enlightenment, there will be no need for Buddha to strive hard to save people after he attains enlightenment. What is the purpose of wandering about the dusty road in India? If to attain enlightenment is the purpose of the way, why Bodhidharma came to China from India and sit for nine years in Shurin Mountain?


The point is to find our position moment after moment, and to live with people moment after moment, according to the phrase, is the purpose of our practice. I wonder if I could express myself, if you understood what I said. But I think we have some more time. Do we have some more time? And will you ask me a question? Can you put too many stones in your garden?


Maybe better to give them after we enjoy. Some more questions? Hi. Could you please try to summarize again the idea of the true teaching of the Buddha? Summarize? Is that possible? Summarize. Summarize. In Japanese, summarize. Summarize. Make a short statement. Zen? No, just pretend you are making it up. About the true teaching. About the true teaching. Say again what you said about the true teaching.


True teaching is to accept things as they are, and to let it grow as it goes. As things go, I understand you. The purpose of our practice. And how we do it is to live on each moment, and in the right position. It means to give some nourishment day by day.


When they want it, that is the purpose. And to understand what they want it. So you should be able to talk with them. I should not talk too much. I should summarize. Sorry. All right? Thank you. Thank you. And at the same time I wanted to correct the misunderstanding of Zen.


Just to do something, whatever you like, is not Zen. And is not Buddhism. We call it Jin'en Ken Gedo. Jin'en Ken Gedo means view of life of natural things. Like the song. You said after you plant the seed, then you have to wait for the seed to come up.


Does the gardener do anything while the seed is coming up, or before it sprouts? Yeah, gardener gives some water, and we go and watch it every day. He or she is very busy. Day by day. Should the gardener build one's garden the way one wants it, or the way other people would like it to be built? Yeah, some gardeners should build according to the order. But he may build the garden just for himself. Why did you choose a garden as an example?


Because I like it. What happens if you don't follow the rules of order? Actually it is not possible not to follow order or rules. But if you do not follow how to follow the order, you will not be successful in your work.


You cannot do anything actually. You will waste your time. The more you work on it, the more you will have intuition to how to follow the rules. Actually it is not possible for us not to follow any rules. Even though you look like following any rules, actually you are following these. If we are always following rules, can we pick which ones?


I mean, you said that even though it doesn't look like it, we are always following rules whether we know it or not. Do we get to a point where we can pick which rules we are following? More than we can now? Yeah. That is practice. So that is why we should practice our way back and forth. My practice should not be just to give a lecture. I should sometimes listen to you. So we have to change our position in our practice.


That is very important. If you start eating up a gun, or if there is a hailstorm or a frost, what do you do then? You see, there it is necessary for you to follow some rules, and you should have some purpose. We say gan. Gan means to purpose, to have some purpose. For Buddhists to save all sentient beings, even though it is not possible to save them all, is our final desire.


Our effort should be directed to that direction. So if the purpose of raising a garden is to help hungry people, you see, you should protect the planet from hail and misery. So there should be some purpose, or else we cannot live. To live means to have some purpose, and that purpose sometimes is not complete or not wide enough. Everyone works for someone else at the same time.


Even a thief will be kind to his wife, at least to himself. But he is not kind enough to be kind to his neighbor. That is why he steals something from neighbor. So we should have some ultimate desire. For which we strive. We say even though the truth is incomprehensible, we have to study it completely.


That is not possible anymore. One after another we will find some new theory or new truth, even in scientific or physics. Science or physics. So it is not possible to reach the final ultimate truth. Even so, we continue our effort. Even though to be friendly with each other will not be possible. But we should strive to be friendly with each other.


Even though our evil desire is limited, one after another we have some evil desire. But we should strive for the renunciation from it. Those are Buddhist, our desires. Not our final desires. Before you do not practice our way, knowing this truth, knowing the reality. Whatever you see looks like absurd. But once you start something with those four noble desires,


you will understand everything is practicing our way. Even insects or animals or ghosts in the ground are striving for our way, to attain our way. What is the relationship of what you are saying to Maitreya? To the phrase in the chant, the natural order of mind. Oh, natural order of mind. If you understand that, you are the master.


Natural order of mind. But even though you don't understand it, as long as you are striving for it, to keep the natural order of your mind, that's good enough. Thank you. What do you say to a person who says, who says that I'm happy in the world and I don't want to do Zazen because it's painful, and I would rather stay asleep if I'm speaking out all the way because it's so painful, and I'm happy, why should I become unhappy? Thank you.


When they find themselves quite happy enough to survive, they will not have a chance to study Buddhism. When they have some problem, they will start our way. And when they have a true understanding of life, which is full of suffering and full of problems, they will start studying our way. So, the best way may be to suggest something, or to make them understand what they are doing actually. That is the best way, I think.


Thank you. Some more questions. A guest asked me tonight what the meaning behind the tradition of shaving heads was, and I didn't know. To explain it. If I explain it, I don't want to explain it. You... You have another... some more questions about... question after question. You...


not understand what really it means. Anyway, it means, you know, this, I say always, this is fundamental hair style. Ha ha ha ha ha... If you are very strong, you can do it. I will give you your, maybe, you know, your best, you can do it. Best of the bad, you can do it. If you want to be calm, you can do it. This is the fundamental clear state. I'm very much proud of it. Some other questions?


You seem to be making a discussion between arbitrary order, irrational order, and one more, as opposed to organic order. It's not a mathematical order of rules, or a logical order of rules that we're discussing. It seems to me it's an organic order. There's some white and organic look that is according to the nature of science. It's a different kind of order. There's a real natural to life, rather than arbitrary and imposed. Yes, rational. We are both emotional and rational beings. So if you want to follow rational order, we cannot survive.


And we should be emotional too. And emotional and rational order sometimes does not go together. But the purpose of the order is the same, to survive. Because the emotional order is based on protecting our activity, which we have in this moment. We don't want to change our situation. While rational order encourages us to take new steps. In this case, rational order may tell you, if you do this, the result will be this.


This is rational reason. So rational order will suggest next step for you, by reason. So it encourages you to go one step ahead. But the emotional tendency does not like to change our situation. And if we change our situation, always we cannot survive. Even though rationally it is possible. But actually we cannot change our position so quickly.


So in this case, emotional order may say, don't do that. So emotional one is more, nature is more positive or conservative like religion. It is almost impossible to change Buddhism into Christianity. Religion is very emotional activity. But when you find it really emotional, when it is impossible to support your emotional life anymore,


then big change will occur, will happen to you. Emotionally you don't want to change your husband. But if it is impossible for you to maintain the relationship between you and your husband, emotional, all of a sudden big change will happen to you and you will be divorced or you will divorce your husband. This kind of entanglement is there. But purpose is to support our life activity.


So women are more emotional than men. Women, the purpose or motto of a man is to work. And your responsibility is to raise your descendants, your children. So you should be more emotional and more conservative. So that is why you don't want to change your home so often, while men mostly like to change their home. This kind of difference, but purpose is one, to support our life activity.


To support our life is the purpose. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.