To Study The Self
Tape operator: Sesshin afternoon lecture
SR: Once a candle starts to burn it will continue to burn on the altar (?)-- but when the centre of the candle is covered by wax it is rather difficult to catch fire. How to save your life (?) [laughs] We hope (?) your practice continues to burn [laughs]. It is safer to catch fire - the fire of Buddha (?) this is it (?) - it does not burn, it is even difficult to set fire. You have to take fire to start it ?? ??
(1:49) Originally candle is -- is like ?? paper (?) but sometimes it is not. When the centre is covered by wax it doesn't catch. I try to, but it is very difficult. [laughs] to set fire to ?? So unfortunately it is the same, exactly the same with our practice. But you cannot say it is difficult. No-one can say it is difficult to understand it, and that is why (?). I have never -- I haven't heard of such a thing before. But actually I found it very difficult, [laughs - putting on another voice] what has happened here? I think it is difficult. It is difficult to understand why.
(3:49) Dogen Zenji says to study Buddhism is -- is forget -- to study -- to study Buddhism is to study time (?). To study something is to forget something. To study Buddhism is to study ourselves. To study ourselves is to forget ourselves. If we forget -- if we forget ourselves, candle will ?? And the candle will lit up your room. ?? people are ?? the candle has a candle - that was what he said. To study Buddhism is to study yourself. To study yourself is to forget yourself. If you forget yourselves you will be awake but with the truth that is self-identity.
(6:05) But this self-identity is not just self-identity. It is absolutely contradictory self-identity. Candle has contradictory absolute existence, because it has its -- in its center it has something which is not candle. But actual candle, if it is only once, it is not candle. So for a candle to have cotton in the centre of it is absolutely necessary for a candle. But when you find candle candle, that's self-identity. When it catch fire (?) candle becomes candle.
(7:24) As long as you find zazen difficult, because of your -- because the difficulties of your practice, that is not zazen. The difficulty you have will make candle candle. You should understand: you have to be -- to be encouraged by the difficulties. Don't lean over, then Zen is alright. The pain you have on your legs is constant ?? but I enjoy it (?) [laughs] - that is your teacher. You have always your teacher [laughs] on your legs and ?? When you have something, you can chant ?? If you want to try to get rid of pain, it is difficult. Problems of practice, it is the same thing. To pull out cotton from the wax [laughs]. It is full of (?) the centre -- cotton centre from the candle [laughs] your legs and -- they have served its own purpose. It's ridiculous (?) that you -- . So there is no secret in our practice.
(10:45) Our practice is based on the traditional understanding of actual being - how everything exists. This understanding was taught by Buddha, and patriarch after patriarch, we developed ?? practice. And we actualize this understanding. Because of this understanding we could develop our practice. Because of our practice we could preserve this essential teaching for more than two thousand years. This teaching is based on actual truth of how we exist here. That is why Buddhism did not die, and continuous development took place on our past wisdom (?)
(13:28) The development of Buddhist systems will be realized in your own life, and in your everyday life there is no difference between historical development of Buddhism and actual development of your life - there is no difference at all. That is -- for us it is helpful to develop our way. Before you understand, how will you accept the truth (?). You may feel that Buddhism is one of religion among many religions, but actually it is not so. For Buddhism there is -- there should not be even name of Buddhism. This actual way of life ?? something, something quite different, something quite different from your understanding of life.
In this point there is no difference between Japanese way of life and your way of life. How candle burns - in Japan candle burns same way as in America. Even though your candles -- difference of our candles (?). [laughter] We have enormous candles, [laughs] but it burns the same way. When fire is the same, there's no difference, so there's nothing new to us. We are studying what we -- what we know. Even though you know something ??, you don't know [laughs] (that) you know something. That is all. So you have to know in its true sense. When you know what you know, that is enlightenment.
(17:35) So there is a day you will know something you knew, that is enlightenment. Enlightement is not to find out something quite new. Very soon when that is -- that is some ?? and with a ?? how do you call it ?? there is -- in the water there is nothing but food. But it is- that is fish's food. But before it eats the food -- that food, they don't know what to call it. So [laughs] ?? food in front. "Oh, this is food." [laughs] "So this is enlightenment." [laughs] Those food. [laughs] It is new to -- it looks like new to you, but it is the truth Buddha found out more than two thousand years ago. And you think, "Oh [laughs] This is the food, the result (?)" Long, long before, many people found out [laughs] that will happen, just you. That is enlightenment.
(19:55) When people is waiting for your enlightenment [laughs] at least many people who found ?? Fish waiting for [laughs] -- it's biting (?) catching (?) the food. ?? fish's food. Everyone is waiting for -- for you [laughs] -- Buddha is waiting for your enlightenment. Not only Buddha, everyone is waiting for your enlightenment. Even your ?? [laughs] is waiting for your enlightenment. If you find enlightenment, ?? ?? [laughter] enlightenment ?? very soon. Everyone is waiting for ?? So nothing happens, but something happens to you. That is enlightenment. So that is not whether become aware of it or not ?? just do it (?) ????
(22:16) And it is necessary to do it -- or to confront it through the practice. That is -- actually that is ?? Just ??, you know [laughs], that is not what I mean. I want to confront it ????? When you confront it, through the practice, through the ?? practice, you obtain ??. You find the same point as Buddha. You are trying to ?? Buddha nature. Buddha is you. Buddha ?? is not true (?)
At ?? value, it is absurd, but complete ?? it is ?? Actually abstract value ???? Actually it is the same ????? The teacher will say what is missing (?) But our way of accepting ourselves so-called escape (?) absolute self-identity ?? idealistic. But it is not so. Our teaching is based on actual experience. So when you practice our practice with full ?? you are already Buddha. Your pain is -- it is ?? If you cannot practice from your ?? understanding it ?? try to understand our ?? way more intellectually, but it is not necessary. Just do it. ?? You are Buddha (?) ????
(27:40) You cannot be anything without managing yourself. Before you ?? practice our way it is no problem, you cannot do anything. You will not settled, you will not be satisfied with what you think (?) This is why we practice zazen.
(29:15) So whatever ?? you have to continue ?? your teacher ?? will not be always your teacher. So you have to think by yourself (?) If you have -- try to have ?? practice you cannot anything in your everyday life. It is quite ?? quite ?? If you can sit in our way, you can do anything. Our practice has -- is not you can do anything. If you want to die -- [laughs] but it is more difficult to