CM's 2nd pass - see
JG's 1st pass
Devoted in Japan
since Tokugawa... late Tokugawa period or the first part of Meiji period
in Japan, is the study of ... theoretical study or historical study of
Buddhism, stimulated by European scholars who had many... Buddhist who
had... who found many Buddhist literature in India.
And we... Japanese
people realized the necessity of -- the importance of the study of all
literature, because Chinese Zen ??? is from Sanskrit. So, without
understand... without understanding of Sanskrit literature, we thought
it is difficult to know – to figure out the original Buddhism. But ...
so, Japanese scholars devoted themselves to the study of Indian
literature through Pali or Sanskrit. And we have achieved a great
attainment, and we almost completed... to... in... comparing all those
sutras with many commentaries.
Important as those
study is, this is not a true study of Buddhism.
And?? so, there is
no wonder that in America, there is psychologist and scholars started to
study from various angle – like psychology, or philosophy, or
And we also
started how to understand from the viewpoint of modern science.
Scientific viewpoint. But it is fitting that we didn't realize – or
most of people did not realize how important it is to practice Buddhism.
They're?? just try
to apply original teaching of Buddhism to your everyday life through
science ... like comparative religion, or psychology, or ethics.
But this kind of
study, will not help you in its true sense, because in?? Buddhism, the
purpose of Buddhism to attain liberation. So liberation in its true
sense is not just psychological one, or just physiological one. It
should be both psychological and physiological attainment.
So here, there is
reason why we must study Zen. But some Zen masters carefully thought
freedom??, or practice, practice Zen just to attain some psychological
temper?? or attainment. Psychological attainment. But this is not true
understanding, or true Zen.
[So why we??
started Zen – zazen – is because we couldn't satisfy with that
philosophical study ... study of this. And many schools accomplished to
some certain extent to satisfy with their attainment. And each schools
of Buddhism has its own canon. Canon is ... we call it kyoso-hanjaku.
This means why some scripture – some special scripture is so important
among all of our scriptures. And they organized, systematically, our
scriptures from some certain viewpoint.
And after those
effort, Zen appeared, and people started to realize how important it is
to practice Zen. Because Zen... true practice of Zen is contains the
true teaching of Zen, and at the same time it is actual application of
teaching. For true Zen, application of the truth and to?? everyday life
and true ??? teaching ???. ???, it is not different. So, if so, it is
that same application of our practice is not just application of [or is
another teaching?? to everyday life. It is direct experience of the
true teaching. So, our practice is not to attain something, or to some
psychological state, or.... The way, how to apply the true teaching to
our everyday life. It is, of course, the application of the teaching
for our everyday life, but it is not just application, it is.... The
teaching is... it contains teaching itself. The direct experience is...
contains ???. The true teaching itself. So, if we want to know the
meaning of Zen, it is necessary for you to study Buddhist teaching.
But, whether or not you study Buddhist teaching, if you practice our way
there is that direct experience of that teaching. And, that is at the
same time the application of teaching through your everyday life. So in
the study... zazen practice is not just to cross your legs and sit in in
some certain posture. And it is also your everyday, your activity in
your everyday life. Whatever you do, that activity should be Zen.
To... but... Zen... how to sit... but... for... for us, that some
instruction or some approach to... through understanding of Zen or
through experience of Zen, that is why we sit in cross-legged posture.
But, if you think
about – if you understand the true meaning of Zen, you should study our
teachings; like fundamental teaching. Like teaching of Four Noble
Truths, or teaching of interdependency, or teaching of everything
changes, or teaching of emptiness, or teaching of Middle Way.
will give you some intellectual understanding of our practice.
So, practice is
first, and intellectual study is next. But you can be [best person??,
but [in its?? true sense, if you understand directly what is Buddhism,
it is necessary for you to practice Zen path, and study intellectually
some fundamental teaching through various scriptures.
But, in Japan,
stimulated from European study of Buddhism, we were so busy in
theoretical study, some people may say if you... even though you go to
Japan, there's not much study, ??? not many good Zen masters. Maybe
true [laughs]... maybe true, but it does not mean there are no good Zen
master at all. There are many – pretty... many good Zen master.
But if you
understand what you have... we have achieved in the theoretical study,
you'll understand... will understand what we have been doing for 100
morning for this reason... for this reason I want to... I give you some
instruction or suggestions in how to practice zazen.
If you want to
practice zazen, the most important thing is to do things – to practice
it with your whole mind and body. You should be involved in that
practice completely. [laughs]??. You practice zazen just to practice
zazen – not to attain something. You should be completely involved in
it: in the posture you take, the way you take breathing, and with your
calm, friend, well-concentrated mind.
The posture we
take – there is two kinds, or three kinds. One is true?? lotus, in
which we drop our legs perfectly – like this. Right foot on your left
thigh, and left foot on your right thigh. ???. And this is full, but
it may be difficult for most of you to sit in cross-legged position, so
maybe better to cross in half-lotus posture??. Half-lotus is you cross
... or to put your left foot on your right thigh. Or you can sit in
this way if it is impossible to trust?? this way.
This is, you know,
my sit... you sit just like this, or whatever?? way, whichever you like.
At first, for
everyone, for even Japanese, most... most of Japanese, it is difficult
to sit in half-lotus position, even. This is very difficult. And, in
this case, your... ankle?... Japanese?? ?
SR: Knee! [Small
laughter]. Knee should touch to the floor [laughs]. Okay? This way.
If it is difficult, you put something underneath, like this.
Can you hear me?
And if you do for
one or two months every day, for about ... more than thirty minutes,
eventually your knees get closer to the floor. This is how you cross
The more important
thing is to put strength here ... to have power here. And to ... if you
want to have power here, you have to bring your hip as far back as you
can. Most... most of you, you know, sit on your seat like this
[laughs]. Like when you are driving your car. [Laughter]. A very bad
posture for Zen students, because you have no strength here. So even
though, but?? even when you drive your car, you should take this
posture, because your legs are long enough to reach your brake. But??
please take this posture.
you read... if you read in this posture you will be tired... get tired
quite soon. If you take this posture, it is not better ??? which
better, you know. To put some strength here, and to keep your back
straight, and pull your hips as far back as you can, like this. Even
when you sit in your chair, or even when you eat, you should be careful
not to lose your nice posture. This is very, very important.
And your mind
should be concentrated on your breathing. This is to [attain or obtain]
oneness?? of physical and mental activity.
or exercise is both mental and physical. So if you take hold of this
point, you can control both mind and body. And that is why this is the
best way to [attain or obtain] oneness of physical and mental good
state. Even so... even though you have – your mind is on your
breathing, you may hear the sounds and you may see something, because
we... mostly we sit with our eyes open. And we... we, you know, so
you'll see something, and you'll hear something, and sometimes sounds,
image will come.
But don't be
bothered by them, you know. Just let them [come in??, and let them go
out. If you do not entertain them, it will not stay. But not, in the
most case, you, you know, you give them a cup of tea [laughs] or
encourage them to stay. That is why they stay and bother you. So,
don't be bothered by it. Let them [come in?? and let them go out.
That is a kind of
thing which you'll gain by your stomach here. When your mind is here or
here, you know, it means you are entertaining ???. If your mind is
here, you are not concerning – concerned too much about the image you
have in your mind.
So, try to keep
right posture, with some power in your stomach.
And when you sit,
your practice should be bound?? with the spirit. Like, if someone, you
know, tell you to stand up, you shouldn't stand up, forever??. Until
someone, you know, say, "Stand up".
confidence is necessary.
It means you sit
right in the center of the... of... of the world, or universe – whatever
it is. And?? you are right in the point of zazen, in [karma or dharma]
time. If you have some idea of space or time, that practice is not true
practice. You should be always sitting in cross point of time and
space. That is true practice. And this is very important. Because
this practice of ... this practice, it?? is beyond the idea of time and
Accord with the
true teaching of Buddhism, to reach on this moment, on this point,
moment after moment, is ??? to actualize our teaching. So when you sit
in this way, there you have the true teaching of Buddhism.
??? teaching. The
fundamental teaching. Here you have the oneness of teaching and
practice; and oneness of enlightenment and practice.
So, this much, at
least, this much confidence is necessary. When you fix your mind, and
practice our way, there you have renunciation. You have the true
teaching of Zen. This practice, when you practice this.. in this way,
we say you remove your original face or original nature.
I already started,
you know, to explain the direct experience... experience of Zen, in
our... in the... a way of understanding of the original teaching. But
the purpose of my lecture today is not to talk about our fundamental
teachings. But just to explain how to sit.
Now, we have
crossed our legs and to... we understood how to keep our spines
straight. Now we have to pull our neck... neck, like this – so that
your spine could be straight any?? case. And your tongue should be on
your upper jaw and your... your upper... your teeth support with each
And your hands
fold; cosmic mudra. It should not be like this or like that. Here you
have one ??? with your, you know– what do you call it? Joint?
[Answered]. You have joint here, ??? to join neck, third right. Then
there you have perfect mudra. And your both thumbs support each... each
other. Not to... don't press, actually, or don't leave loose, like
this. It should be just support with each other, as if you have a piece
of paper in-between. And if you, you know ... there's some circle
between first electricity and [laughs] ... mine?? has electricity. You
know, it is not like this. If your, if it is like this, there will be
no circuit??. Spark ???! No spark. If it is like this, you will not
have no spark, either. ???.
(Richard??): With?? naturally touch.
SR: [Yeah, touch??.
Actually it's ???. It should be supported with each other.
This is very true
in your everyday life, you know, you?? should be observed?? in what you
do, you know? But you should not be too much attached to ???.
Buddhist, you know, keeping?? of way of life. You should not be ???,
like this. And you should not be too much attached to your everyday
activity, or whatever you see or you do. Not??, you know, to have
interdependence with ???. ???. You have good?? ??? between your
thumbs??. [And this is?? [very true?? to what you hear, or to what you
see, in sitting.
And your arms ...
your arms should not be too tight to your body or should not be too
loose. And your ??? touch to your stomach??. So naturally, your arm
opens – this way. Your arms... arms stand?? outward – little bit. ???
this is just seeing??, it should be, you know, exactly right, but out...
or... this is... maybe this is according to the personality. You know,
someone who is too open should be this way, and someone who [laughs] ...
who?? – what do you call it? Inward nature... [Interrupted]. ??? I...
I don't remember this word. Person who is too open, and person who...
(Richard??): Introvert and extrovert.
SR: Oh yes,
extrovert. Or introvert. The mind is always working into yourself, you
know. Too... too... too much critical with yourself. This kind of
nature or character. ... He has the opposite.
But anyway, if you
stand your arms this way, and keep your [vertical line?? with your ...
someone pointing to ???...
Voice: The tape
was turned here.
SR: Just to have focus
in some area four or five feet feet ahead. In this way you practice
seven, and it is necessary for you to practice it with strong
confidence, and it is necessary to continue the practice, to spend forty
minutes a day for the practice is not at all waste of time for you.
So whether you are
Buddhist or not, it is better to practice in this way. And if you want
to study Buddhism, you know, with this experience, you will understand
the meaning of our practice intellectually. And it will help your
intellectual understanding of ... the philosophical study of Buddhism,
or understanding from very... various angles. Now Buddhism is open to
science, and philosophy, and intellectual study, and emotional
activity. So from various angles you can study Buddhism. This is one
of the characteristic of Buddhism.
We do not say,
“This is not the right practice.” Or, “That is right practice.”
You know, we say,
“Gateless gate.” [laughs]. Gateless gate is our gate. That we have no
gate is true gate. We have no special gate.
So... from various
angles you can study Buddhism, but it is necessary to practice Zen, you
know. The practice is not easy like this. It is center of the
teaching. Not gate. So, from the center you may go out, you now, from
So we say,
practice is first, and understanding is next.
So, for usual
study, there may be some approach, and some people may attach to some
special way for the investigate??. [laughs]. That is not our way.
So, Zen practice
should not be compared with some other approach.
??? if you want to
practice Zen, it is necessary for you to do it. Even without teacher,
at home, we can do it. But if you understand what does it mean by
practice, or what usual?? attained by practice, you must have some...
some... you must have teacher. And with teacher, or with friend, you
will?? have deeper and deeper understanding of our practice.
you encourage in your practice. And your practice will promote your
Thank you very
Source: 67-09-08A digital audio archive from DC. Problem set.
Thanks to audio work by AW, transcribed March 2012 by Judy Gilbert. Work in progress. Further
preparation to post by DC. More editing and
transcription by CM beginning of October 2012 using the enhanced audio.
Only slightly worsens temporarily around the last
fourth. 90-95% is clear, bad audio or muddledness is usually only
single words or short phrases, and the talk is straightforward. Around
six minutes from the end of the recording a voice announces that the
tape was turned.
??? denotes at
least one muddled word, or just a stretch of bad audio. ?? denotes a
guessed word, with an added open bracket meaning a guessed phrase or
sentence. Ambiguous words (such as homonyms or where an "a" might be an
"un-") stated in closed brackets.