Zazenshin Class

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Good evening. Good evening. It's interesting. We all seem to have, when we come to class, we take the same seats. Or very close. Not everybody, but... So tonight I'm going to have a little review. of what we've done so far, how far we've gotten. Every translation has so many differences, and reflects the translator's understanding. And the translator's understanding in different ways.


This time, I've got a hold of Mr. Naiman's translation from Shantan. You know, he also translated the Denko Roku of Kena, which we had been studying in our class on Thanksgiving, a long time ago. So, I'm going to read Naiman's, a little bit, the opening. Where, right after Great Master Daxan, Egan had finished a period of meditation. We don't have it. You don't have it? No. I'm sorry you don't have it. Thank you. He said, right after Great Master Thakurasan had finished a period of meditation, a certain monk asked him, as you were sitting there, all still and awesome like a mountain, what was it that you were thinking about?


You know, this is the gist of it. It's a little different. And he includes Mountain in here. And so the Master answers, what I was thinking about was based on not deliberately thinking about any particular thing. He didn't say anything about not thinking. He didn't use that term. But it goes right to the core. He says, I was thinking about, what I was thinking about was based on not deliberately thinking about any particular thing. I think that may be not literally the way it's said, because everybody else states it the other way. And then the monk then asked, well how can anyone, how can what anyone is thinking about be based on not deliberately thinking about something? Not really, yeah. How can what anyone is thinking about be based on not deliberately thinking about something?


In other words, if you're going to think, you're going to think about something, right? You're going to deliberately think about something when you're thinking about something. So how can you not think about something when you're thinking about something? How can what anyone is thinking about be based on not deliberately thinking about something. How can you base what you're thinking about on not thinking about something? Which is basically, you know, the same thing. So the Master replied, it is a matter of what I am thinking about not being the point. In other words, it doesn't matter what I'm thinking about. That's not the point. You're missing the point if you think I'm thinking about something. So having heard about this state described by Great Master Yaksan, we need to investigate through our training what sitting is still as a mountain means and directly transmit this for this is how the thorough exploration of sitting is still as a mountain.


is passed on through the words and ways of Buddhas, even though it is said that the way in which Buddhas think about things, while being all still and awesome like a mountain, differs. Yakasat's way of putting it is certainly one way among many, among them. It is his thinking about not being based on deliberately thinking about any particular thing. It includes thinking about as the skin and flesh, bones and marrow, and it includes not thinking about as the skin and flesh and bones and marrow. The monk asked, how can what anyone is thinking about be based on not deliberately thinking about something? Even though the condition of not thinking about anything in particular, is of ancient vintage, how could one possibly think about it? How can thinking not go on while sitting ever so still? And why did the monk not pierce through to what goes above and beyond simply being ever so still?


Had he not been as befuddled as some are in what are more recent degenerate times, that's the 15th century, He would have had the ability to persist in his inquiry into being ever so still. The Master replied, it is a matter of what I am thinking about not being the point. So this is a kind of different view or different way of thinking about not thinking about what you're thinking about. Thinking about what you're not thinking about. I don't know if I want to open this panel, but I actually am thinking about I'm not sure I hardly ever deliberately think thinking about what I'm thinking about as that deliberate.


You know, when I think about it, it's like, I'm usually just thinking about something that came into my line of vision. I don't know how deliberate it is normally. But if you told me to think about something deliberately, I would be able to do so. Well, I think you do, but you don't see that that's what that is. Because if you think, I'm going to cook dinner tonight, that's a deliberate thought. If you think, I'm going to go shopping, that's a deliberate thought. If you think, I'm going to talk to my child, that's a deliberate thought. If you think, I'm going to sit down then, I'm going to sit down and cross my legs, that's a deliberate thought. And if you think, I'm going to sit down and cross my legs and take this peculiar posture, this normal, actually, posture, this unconditioned posture,


That's a deliberate thought. And then when you establish this natural posture, then what do you do? You don't do something. You don't try to do something, right? So there's something non-deliberate about it. At that point. I agree about that. I'm just wondering. Yeah, I agree that it's not deliberate. I just am not feeling that the other thoughts are all that deliberate either. Okay. But when you're... after you establish the posture, then you think the thought of the thought then. That's a deliberate thought. And if you don't, someone will come around and hit you.


That's what my teacher used to do. If we were not thinking the thought of Zazen, my teacher would come around and hit us with a stick. Wake up! Think the thought of Zazen. Well, if a thought arises that is not deliberate or premeditated, so to speak, is it safe to assume that karmic conditionings have brought that thought to a deliberate fruit? Well, there are deliberate thoughts and there are non-deliberate thoughts. I think Laurie is talking about non-deliberate thoughts, which come up all the time. Suddenly something comes into our mind. Right, but is it possible to trace back what is prompting that so-called non-deliberate thought to arise in this moment? There is. Everything has a reason.


So even though it's not imperative or deliberate, in some sense there are causing conditions that bring these thoughts. Yeah, causing conditions bring these thoughts up, even if it's a dream. that you can't just dream this, you know. There's just some reason for that. And our karmic, in our karmic resultant are those seemingly random thoughts, or disconnected thoughts. But inside of that, yeah. Okay. If when you're sitting in Satsang, you Do things like, you think things like, you used to say, or you have said, teach yourself something, you know, while you're doing something. Instruction, give yourself instruction. Yeah, exactly, yeah. So you're checking your posture and so forth.


Do you consider that deliberate thought, those kinds of things? Absolutely. Well, so then you're intentionally doing deliberate thought while doing zazen. Well, yes. Right. This is an interesting point. Because sitting zazen is a deliberate act. So if it's a deliberate act, then all the associated acts within that deliberate act are deliberate. except what this person, the way Gehrman interprets this writing, he's talking about the possibility of non-deliberate. Right. So, this is why


I'm not happy with the translation saying, what are you thinking about? So you're not thinking about something in zazen, even if you use that term. That's the way he says, you're not thinking about something in zazen, and you're not not thinking about something in zazen. But when you're thinking about something, it's not zazen. In zazen, when the thought and the actions are one. So when you think the thought is us, then it's not something outside of what you're doing. So it's not about something. You're thinking the thought of this now. There's no separation between thought and action. It's all one piece. So that's why we keep bringing ourselves, we keep dreaming. And that's what we call thinking, in this case, is our dream.


The mind floats away, and then we wake up and bring it back. And then the mind floats away, and then we wake up and bring it back. Sometimes we never wake up. But waking up is Zazen. So we sit in Zazen, and we give ourselves Zazen instruction, which is purposeful. And then the mind floats. And then as soon as we wake up, we come back to posture breathing. So the waking up is Zazen. So that's why we say, as long as the effort is there, it's Zazen. It's true Zazen, as long as the effort is there. But if we don't make the effort, then it's just dreaming. So the effort is to wake up, wake up, wake up a thousand times in 40 minutes.


When I'm learning a skill, when I'm learning a new skill, let's say I'm driving. Could that be Zazen? You're thinking about the things you're doing. So is there a difference between that and sitting zazen? Difference? No, that's what zazen is. Yeah. Or dancing? Well, yes, you know, dancing. When you're one with your activities. That's our, you know, Suzukiro, she's constantly saying, When you're one with your activity, when you are you completely, Zen is Zen. And that comes out in the fascicle Kokyo that I was talking about, the ancient mirror, which is related to this fascicle.


I talked about that. we have time. Because it's an important point because that comes up in the tile polishing part. Are you polishing the tile to make a mirror? Why are you polishing? What are you rubbing that tile for? I'm trying to make a mirror. Well, how can you make a mirror by polishing a tile? So usually this is thought of as course, you know, that's stupid. Why would anybody do that? And so why are you sitting Zazen to become a Buddha? And so, normally, people would just pass that off as saying, yeah, so there's no need to sit Zazen, you know. Why are you doing that? But Dogen turns it around and said, polishing a tile is making a mirror. Without tile polishing, there's no practice.


Tile polishing is not practice to make a mirror. Otherwise, we wouldn't be studying this. It's just the ordinary way of looking at that. So, we're investigating Dōgen's understanding where he turns everything around. This is one of his characteristics. He'll take a historical saying or historical understanding and turn it around to use it as its opposite. So that's what we have to, you have to get that to begin with, otherwise we can't understand what's going on here. So, you know, but I appreciate your questions and I would like you to keep asking questions. I was thinking that what Dugan is saying is similar to the saying, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.


Much positive entirely. He's saying something like, don't throw the heart practice out with the delusion of wanting to be a Buddha. But he uses, what he does when he talks about not practicing to become a Buddha, he talks about the positive side of practicing to become a Buddha, and he also talks about the other side which is not practicing to become a Buddha. He doesn't leave anything hanging. He covers everything. He just goes beyond your rational thinking. He just takes our rational thinking.


But his thinking also has its own rationality, has its own logic. But it's a different logic. It's a non-dual logic. So that's why it's so hard to grasp. Because we think in dualistic terms. And the Dogon takes our dualistic terms and uses them to describe non-duality. Like not thinking. That's crazy, right? It's a koan. He said, this is the art of zazen. Think not thinking is the art of zazen. Art of zazen, when he says art, he really means koan. The koan of zazen. And not to be attached to thinking or not thinking, basically.


Simply stated, not being attached to thinking or not thinking. Well, thinking comes out. There's a difference between thought and thinking. Thought is just something that happens. Thinking, in this case, is more deliberate. You say, I'm thinking. Then that's deliberate. If you say thoughts are arising, that's not deliberate. Because thoughts will always arise. And so he criticizes these people who think that... He talks about people he met in China who wrote treatises on Zazen. He said none of them really hit the mark because sometimes they would talk about having a blank mind, which is not Zazen. It's not the goal of meditation.


He talks about these various goals of meditation which fall short of the mark. So he talks about, well, this is what Zazen really is. And he talks about it in non-dualistic terms. And having a blank mind is off the mark. But people often think that we're supposed to have a blank mind in Zazen. Eliminate all thoughts from your mind. That's not Zazen. Zazen is to allow the non-deliberate thoughts to arise without grasping them. And the deliberate thought... There are non-deliberate thoughts, deliberate thoughts, and kind of in-between thoughts, which are kind of deliberate, non-deliberate. When you start thinking about something in a dream, you pursue the dream in a deliberate way, even though the thought came up in a non-deliberate way.


And then you continue it. You make a fantasy out of something that came up, non-deliberately. And that's deliberate thinking. And then you realize, well, I'm fantasizing. But this is normal. This is to be expected. We all do this. But not to be attached to the fantasy. To wake up from the fantasy. And that's Buddhism. Buddhism is just simply to wake up from the fantasy. And Sanzen puts us in a position where that's all we have to do. Our active life doesn't always give us that opportunity, but Zazen does. Somebody else? Can I say something? Sure.


In the Jhana states, in the progression of Jhana states, there, first of all, is letting go. There's two kinds of thinking. Pichaka, which is when you're saying the thought just arises, like when you say thoughts just bubble up. But in Jhana states, they say, Jhana states you can let go of both. You can also let go of even the arising thoughts. Yes, but we don't try to stop them. We don't try to stop them because trying to stop a thought is a thought itself. So just substituting one thought for another. So, zazen is a more natural activity. It's not a special activity to stop thoughts or to create something or get something. It's simply the most natural, non-dualistic activity.


I was going to say that it seems like it's the best expression of making art and making music. But something is being awakened. Yeah, making art, making music, skiing, you know, athletics, you know, when you're just doing something, you know, and your whole body, mind is attuned to the activity. And it's intuitive. You know, it's beyond thinking. beyond extra thinking. It's not about thoughts at all. No, it's not about thoughts. That's right. It can be, but it's best when it's not. It's total when it's not. We're saying it in different ways, but it seems like it's when there's no I in the activity.


There's no self. It's just, as you can say over and over again, the activity. There's no awareness of self or self-centeredness in what's happening. Well, that's right. It's not self-centered activity. We're not watching anymore. Well, that's what no gain means. No gaining idea means no self. activity without being self-centered. And no subject or object? Well, no separation between subject and object. Because it takes an object to make a subject and a subject to make an object. So, is that it? Did I see a hand? Yes. Well, I'm still confused about, we've talked about, and you've mentioned, thoughts just arising. It sounds to me, when people say that, as if these thoughts are just kind of randomly occurring.


Whereas, when we talk about, for example, many other things we could talk about, but if we talk about, for example, doing zazen, in which you give yourself zazen instructions, then you're intentionally checking certain things or thinking certain things, these thoughts aren't just arising randomly. Well, thoughts can still arise randomly. Well, but these aren't. Those are not random thoughts, no. And yet, we're not saying those are... What are we saying those are? We're saying that's thought in. No, we're saying that's deliberate. That's focused activity. So there's focused activity and unfocused activity, but I just want to say that zazen has two sides. One is the deliberate side of giving yourself zazen instruction, sitting up straight and maintaining your effort.


The other side is letting go. And letting go, when people think about meditation, mostly they think about letting go. And there are various schools of Buddhism that do sitting meditation, but they're only focused on letting go. They're not focused on maintaining the structure or maintaining the positive side. It's not exactly Zazen the way we think about Zazen, because Zazen is both intentional and letting go at the same time. That's why the structure of Zazen, which is very strict, looks like stiff, being stiff, but it's actually very loose.


totally at the same time. I don't do this anymore, you know, when I go around adjusting posture. It's like moving a mountain. That's a bad metaphor for Zazen. It's better to think of yourself as a puppet or a ragdoll that somebody's got a string from your head to the ceiling. And then the body falls into place. Pinocchio! That's really it. There's no strain. You're sitting up really straight. Your back is straight. I mean, you can do this. But there's no effort. It's effort. Total effort. Total effort. But there's no strain. There's no muscular But if you can maintain that oneness of those two sides, then we call it riding the wave and driving the wave.


When you get to the crest of the wave, you're driving the wave, but at the same time you're riding the wave, and there's no difference. It's just one thing. So driving the wave is your effort, and riding the wave is letting the wave take you. I think Linda had a question, but I'm not sure that she wants to say it. Yeah, it's a little question. You said that Dogen turned around and got a little story about the tile in the mirror. About the what? You said that Dogen took that little story about the tile in the mirror and he turned it around and he said, we are polishing a tile. And I wanted to say, he might have said we are polishing a tile, but He couldn't have said we're polishing a tile to turn it into a mirror. Are you claiming that he said that? Yeah, he did. He said we're polishing the tile because the tile is already a mirror.


Oh, that's different. That's not. It's to turn it into a mirror. The tile becomes a mirror. The tile is itself a mirror. That's not so different from the way the old story is said. But he says it in a lot of different ways. So let's see how he says it. The tile is already a mirror. The tile is already not dirty. We don't need to clean it up. This is a lot, but we haven't gotten to that point yet. But let's go to the tile and mirror. So I'm going to continue reading from this, and you can read from that.


So while Baso was training under meditation master Nangako Eijo, he privately received a mind seal. We talked about that last time. One day while Baso was sitting in meditation, Nangako came to where he was sitting and asked him, Oh, great virtuous one, what is the aim of your sitting in meditation? So this question needs to be calmly, yet diligently investigated, because we need to look in detail at what Nagarjuna might be asking. Does he have in mind that there is something above and beyond sitting in meditation? We talked about that last time, I think. Yeah. So, Bhasin responded, my aim is to become a Buddha. We need to arrive at a clear understanding of what Bhasin is saying here. When he speaks of becoming a Buddha, what exactly does he mean? Is he asserting that becoming a Buddha means being made into a Buddha by a Buddha?


Or is he asserting that becoming a Buddha means making a Buddha into a Buddha? Or is he asserting that becoming a Buddha is the emergence of one or two aspects of a Buddha? Is the aiming to become a Buddha the result of it having dropped off a bodily mind? Or is the aiming at becoming a Buddha itself the dropping off of a bodily mind? Or is he asserting that aiming at becoming a Buddha is tangled up in one's aims? Remember we talked about Kato, about pointing lines? That translator used the pointing. He emphasized that more. by saying Tangled up with one's own aims despite the fact that becoming a Buddha applies to all things. So here he is talking about keep in mind that what Vassa was saying is that his sitting and meditation is certainly done with the goal of becoming a Buddha which is different than what he usually says which is


You should not have the goal of becoming a Buddha when you sit sadhana. You should not sit sadhana with the idea of becoming Buddha. But here, he's saying the opposite. He says, keep in mind that what Baso is saying is that his sitting and meditation is simply done with the goal of becoming a Buddha. This is Baso, right? It's not... Baso is talking about... I mean, Doge is talking about what Baso is thinking. Certainly done with the goal of becoming a Buddha. That is sitting in meditation is certainly done with the wish to become a Buddha. Such a wish can precede becoming a Buddha. And it can arise after becoming a Buddha. And it can arise in the very moment of becoming a Buddha. To question a bit further, how many instances of becoming a Buddha has this single wish entangled? can become entwined with other entanglements.


At such a time, the entanglements involved in cases of completely becoming a Buddha are, beyond doubt, directly related to completely becoming a Buddha. In every single case we are due to a goal, we should try to avoid having a purpose. I'm sorry, we should not try to avoid having a purpose. When we try to avoid having a purpose, we grieve for ourselves, and lose our very life. And when we grieve for ourselves and lose our very life, it is due to our entanglement with having a goal. It's really strange. But, you know, when we say no gaining mind, it sounds like you shouldn't have a goal. But having a goal and not having a gaining mind are not the same. We can't exist without having a goal. we have to have a goal. But having a goal is not the same as having a gaining mind.


Having a gaining mind means having another head on top of our own. The only thing that we have to gain is ourself. So that's not the same. Our goal should That's not gaining mind. Gaining mind is having something else besides yourself that you think is yourself. Trying to get something out of... Trying to get... The goal is not to get something out of what you're doing other than what you're doing. It's time to take about 30 seconds. Like Elvis, don't leave the building.


I don't like Elvis. OK. So I'm going to stick here to Egypt. Kim, do you have. Yes. Something along the lines of. that Zazen is for practices in order to understand ourselves?


To be ourselves. To be ourselves. Could you elaborate on that? No, not right now. I'll do that later. It'll come out. I'd rather wait for it to appear. OK. So if we turn to page 160, We don't have your copy. It's in Kim's. It's in Kim's. It's called Flowers of Emptiness. Flowers of Emptiness. It's only three pages. I think it's the only one we have that has three pages. OK. I'm going to start with the second paragraph. It's just after the dots, which are just after never ceases.


Nan Rui said, by polishing it, I am making a mirror. We must understand the importance of this utterance. The statement, by polishing it, I am making a mirror, has its unambiguous truth. The realization, so on. It cannot be a fabrication. Even if a tile is no more than a tile, a mirror is no more than a mirror. In endeavoring to penetrate the essence of polishing, we will find that there are a good many examples of this truth. The primordial mirror of Shui Feng, Yizun, and the luminous mirror of Hui Neng were both made by tile polishing. Unless we understand that all mirrors are a product of tile polishing, there are no Buddha ancestors' expressions, there are no Buddha ancestors' discourses, nor do we see or hear any of the Buddha ancestors' utterances. Doc Cher said, how can you make a mirror by polishing a tile?


Being truly an iron willed person of tile polishing, one does not seek the help of others yet. Tile polishing is not mirror making. Although mirror making is nothing but mirror making, tile polishing itself is instantaneous mirror making. So, we can't take all of this literally. If you take it literally, you'll suck. I'm going to read something to you from Suzuki Roshin. Somehow I got a hold of Suzuki Roshin's commentary a little bit. And this is from which I said was related to this vesicle.


So, Tolkien talks about the mirror. He says, clearly, in truth, when polishing a tile becomes a mirror. Baso becomes Buddha. When Baso becomes Buddha, Buddha immediately becomes Baso. When Baso becomes Baso, Zazen immediately becomes Zazen. Suzuki Roshi echoes this a lot. When you become you, when you become you, Zazen. When Zazen is Zazen, you are you. When you are you, Zazen is Zazen. So he uses that a lot. This is why the making of mirrors through the polishing of tiles has been dwelt in and retained in the bones and marrow of eternal Buddhas. And this being so, the eternal mirror exists having been made from a tile.


While we have been polishing this mirror in the past also, it has never been tainted. Tiles are not dirty. We just polish a tile as a tile. In this state, the virtue of making a mirror is realized, and this is just the effort of Buddha patriarchs. If polishing a tile does not make a mirror, polishing a mirror cannot make a mirror. We would suppose that in this making, there is both becoming Buddha and making a mirror. Further, to express the doubt, it is possible when polishing the eternal mirror. that the polishing is making a tile. The real state at the time of polishing is, at other times, beyond comprehension. Nevertheless, because Nangaku's words must exactly express the expression of the truth, it may be, in conclusion, simply that polishing a tile makes a mirror.


People today also should take up tiles of the present and polishing them and they will certainly become mirrors. If tiles did not become mirrors, people could not become Buddhists. If we despise tiles as lumps of mud, then we might also despise people as lumps of mud. If people have mind, tiles must also have mind. Who can recognize that there are mirrors in which when tiles come, tiles appear? And who can recognize that there are mirrors in which when mirrors come, mirrors appear? This is Kokyo. This is not Suzuki Roshi. This is Dogen's Kokyo. So, you know, when you just do something for the sake of doing something, whether it's polishing a tile or polishing the floor or brushing your teeth or whatever, that's


polishing a mirror. The whole world is mirrors. Everything is a mirror. But mirror in a sense, like the ancient mirror, you know, it's like the mirror which has no self-centeredness. It's a non-self-centered reality. And it reflects everything as it is, as it passes in front of the mirror. Whatever passes in front of the mirror. If an American passes in front of the mirror, it reflects an American. If a Japanese walks in front of the mirror, it reflects a Japanese. If a carrot walks in front of the mirror, it reflects a carrot walking. But the mirror doesn't distort anything.


It's the undistorted reality. So without going into the fascination, which is fascinating, there's the ancient mirror and the clear mirror. And the ancient mirror is like absolute reality. And the clear mirror is like the reality that faces each one of us in this world. Polishing the tile is like the clear mirror. And Zazen is like the ancient mirror. So when we sit in Zazen, that's the clear mirror, which merges with the ancient mirror.


It's just one thing. In order to clarify or talk about it, there are these two mirrors. One is the mirror of our activity, of our pure activity, and the absolute reality. So they're not two things, but because of our discriminating way of dealing with things, we divide them. That's called discriminating mind. Well, the mirror also sounds like the observer. But you don't quite mean it that way. Yeah, I understand. Right, but it's sort of when you say that whatever passes in front, it just reflects back. Yeah, well that is the observer. There's still dualism there. But it's not, there's no duality.


Right now we're talking to each other and you're reflecting me and I'm reflecting you, right? So everything is reflecting, you know, our situation that we have. in the way we relate to everything. Do you really see me and do I really see you? Yeah, maybe. I hope so. It's just the word that's confusing. Yeah, I know. It can be confusing. It's just that it may not be used in a passive way, although it is passive. It is passive. But it's not passivity which excludes activity.


So is it pure awareness? Yeah, pure awareness. Pure awareness. Pure awareness is awareness without discrimination. Because as soon as we discriminate, then discrimination brings forth partiality. And so it makes it impossible to see things in their entirety. Partiality, no matter how much we try to see it accurately, some things we can't. Ultimately, it's hard to see totally with a discriminating mind or partiality. That's why Dogen is talking about and is going beyond partiality and discriminating mind.


And it's not exactly observing, it's more like It's like I'm discriminating. It's not discriminated. It's beyond thinking and words and impartiality. You get to the place where you can't describe it. Somebody said experiencing. Yeah, that's about, you know, close. But it's beyond experience, actually. It's beyond our experiencing. Because experiencing is still in the realm of Is reflecting or mirror quality beyond consciousness?


I would say it's beyond a feeling of separation. Well, beyond consciousness. I would say, well, I don't know, I don't know if I can deal with that. Because we're talking in this rarefied realm, you know, where we're talking about consciousness and beyond consciousness, and we're talking about knowing something. So, knowing something is in the realm of consciousness, in the usual sense. So, we're talking about beyond the realm of knowing. which is knowing, it's intuition. Basically, intuition is knowledge beyond thinking mind.


So, it's intuition. It seems like it circles back to the same point as beyond self-consciousness, the same when we're talking about an artistic process. Well, that's right. So the mirror, the ancient mirror is beyond self-consciousness. It's not involved with self-consciousness. And it's intuition. Yeah. So I thought I was getting what you meant by, and what Jogen meant by, polishing, turning it around and saying, we are polishing the mirror. And then I put together some things. And I was going to explain what I got. Then I noticed that I was really busy trying to remember all the thoughts that I had. Because I got this thing and I wanted it.


But I had a purpose. I wanted to make you think that I understood. So I couldn't really enact the thing that I was understanding, which was, we're polishing a mirror. We're polishing a tile. But as you just said, We polish a towel to make a mirror, but we also cut carrots to make a mirror. We also arrange flowers to make a mirror. It's all that activity. And I was connecting that to thinking and not thinking. Ordinary thinking is like when I'm thinking to get a result. Yeah. That's one side of ordinary thinking.


The other side of ordinary thinking is to not get a result. That's more ordinary than the other ordinary. That will be non-thinking, right? Yes, non-thinking. That will be having a thought like polishing a tile, to make a mirror, to not have a job you're trying to get done. Oh, last step. So even though we don't sit zazen to become Buddha, how do we get to that non-thinking? You keep saying, let him go, let him go. But we don't know how to let go. We don't understand that. So sitting zazen is like putting yourself in a laboratory, a space, a cage, someplace that's


propitious to investigate letting go. Yes, that's right. It's about investigating letting go. Would it be true to say that we don't want to sit Zazen in order to become a Buddha? The reality is that when we sit Zazen we become a Buddha. We already are a Buddha. We sit Zazen to Because when we sit, we're Buddha. We're not just ordinary persons. We're Buddha at that point. This is Buddha's activity. Dazen is Buddha's activity. But we don't sit to become Buddha, but we sit to polish our


In the Platform Sutra, there are these two mirrors. One is Huineng's mirror, which has no stand. There is no mirror upon a stand and so forth. This is the ancient mirror. And Hsuan Hsu, who wrote the Gatha on the Wall, Right? Well, both is true. If we simply, like the ancient mirror is Hui Neng's mirror, and Hsinchu's mirror is the bright mirror, which is the mirror of practice. And Hui Neng's mirror is the mirror of absolute reality. But they're not two different mirrors. So for Dogen, practice


illuminates the mirror. How come we never won the contest? Well, that's in the story. This is the problem with the story. The story is not in the original transcription. It's a later edition. But the two, the whole thing turned into a political I don't want to go into it, it's too much to do now, but this story was promoted by one of Hui Neng's disciples, for political purposes.


If you were the teacher and those two poems were presented, what would you say? I would say, write on. Write on, because they totally complement each other. Yeah, they do complement each other. Yeah. When you see a mirror, you see yourself. So if you polish a tile, completely polish a tile, become a mirror and polish a tile, you realize yourself. Yes, you actualize yourself. You actualize yourself, which is what you get when you become a mirror. Yes. You know, you just finished sewing your rock suit, right? Yes. There it is. You see, no matter how careful or how whatever you are, you always look at your rock suit Here I am. Here I am. This is me.


No. The Roxanne is the mirror, definitely. No. I'm getting into the word instantaneous in this version. Oh, yeah. Instantaneous, yeah. And immediately in this version. Well, yeah. Instantaneous, immediately. Not the difference. They mean the same thing. They're just two different things. When I first hear that he's polishing a tile to make a mirror, I think, OK, that'll take a hundred million years. And then the text says that you can never polish it into a mirror, and you will instantaneously polish it into a mirror. Someone's bouncing back and forth to make me not think it'll take a hundred million years. It doesn't take a hundred million years. Well, a hundred million years is right now. We just think it takes a long time. Everything takes some duration. Everything takes duration. Everything takes some duration.


It kind of makes sense that every mirror exists because someone polished the top. Yeah, but what he's saying is that the moment you do that, the mirror is there. You don't have to rub very hard. It's instantaneous. I'm going to read a little bit of Suzuki Roshi. After talking about the story of this poem, it's a very famous story, and so he says, to polish a tile, that is our practice. Even though you polish a tile, a tile is a tile, but to polish it, to polish is our practice.


Whether it doesn't matter, after his language, it doesn't matter whether It doesn't matter whether I make a mirror or not. To polish it, just to polish it is our practice. So that's the true nature. Our true nature makes us polish it. So whether it will be a mirror or not is not the point. It doesn't make any difference. Just polishing the tile is enough. Without thinking about turning it into a mirror. And this is really the important part. We just sit Zazen, not to polish the mirror. Don't think I sit Zazen to polish the mirror. I just sit Zazen to sit Zazen. And a mirror is polished. But if you think, I sit Zazen to polish the mirror, the mirror's got a stain on it. So we're always staying in the mirror.


And we think, I'm sitting Zazen to become a good boy. or to become a good girl, or something, or to get enlightened, or something, you know. We just sit Zazen, just sit Zazen. I remember thinking, the reason I could always trust my teacher was because he never promised anything. He said, if you sit Zazen, you will sit Zazen. Your reward for sitting Zazen is sitting Zazen. And then we peek behind the curtain. But all these nice things happen when I sit zazen. Those are secondary benefits. But we don't do zazen for those benefits. We just sit zazen. That's the hardest thing for people to do, is simply to sit zazen for the sake of zazen.


Because we always have some Nothing happened. Nothing happened because we're not focusing in the right place. What place would that be? Just sitting in Zazen for the sake of Zazen. What's supposed to happen if you do that? What's supposed to happen if you do that? It's supposed to happen if you do it. What will happen? So if nothing happens, you've done it wrong. Is that right? If something happens, you've done it wrong. Yes. Well, if something happens, you've done it wrong, and if nothing happens, you've done it wrong. So, we're always sitting in the midst of delusion. You should understand that.


We're always sitting in the midst of delusion. So this is from the Ancient Myrrh Tokyo, which also includes the story. And here's how Dogen concludes the story. He says, We must understand that when the polished tile is the mirror, Baso is Buddha. When Baso is Buddha, Baso directly becomes Baso. When Baso is Baso, his Zazen directly becomes Zazen. So polishing the tile to make the mirror is the essence of the Buddhism patriarchs. Accordingly, the tile becomes the ancient mirror.


And when we polish the mirror, we will find untainted and pure practice. This is done not because there is dust on the tile, but simply to polish the tile for its own sake. In this, the virtue of becoming the mirror will be realized. This is the basis of the practice and observation of the Buddhas and Patriarchs. If we cannot make the mirror by polishing a tile, we cannot make the mirror even by polishing the mirror. Who understands this? In the action itself of polishing is the realization of Buddha and the actualization of the mirror. If we doubt this, are we not, when we polish the mirror, mistakenly polishing as a tile? The situation when he was polishing the tile was not the same as any other situation. Accordingly, Nangaka's teaching was exactly the right one. In other words, polishing the tiles in itself makes the mirror.


People nowadays should pick up tiles and polish them in order to make the mirror. If the tile does not become the mirror, people will not become Buddha. If they frivolously think that a tile is basically a cloud of earth, they too are basically clouds of earth. If a human being has mind, then a tile also has mind. Who else knows that when a tile appears, there is a mirror to reflect it? And when a mirror appears, there is a mirror to reflect it. So Nankaku continued the explanation of the practice. In short, I cannot translate it literally, but what he said was, if you only talk about ripping the cart.


We did talk about that, but we didn't get right to it. Ripping the cart is the same, similar thing. So practice without being caught by some idea, some selfish understanding of practice or teaching, to follow the right practice is our way.


This kind of practice is called polishing tile practice. To polish tile practice, usually people may polish a mirror, you know, because if you polish it, it will be a clear, good mirror, but to have a clear surface of a mirror. But if someone starts to polish a tile, for those who understand why we polish a mirror, is to have a mirror-like, complete, shiny surface. So if someone starts to polish a tile, you may laugh at him, So the policy title is to make good use of our time. To make good use of our time is the policy title. And to polish a mirror is to have an actual mirror. And that's why we polish a mirror. So someone may say, oh, this is just a tile, it can't be a mirror. You know, that is the practice of those who easily give up because they think, anyway, I can't be a good Zen student.


It may be better to give up without polishing it, without sitting Zazen, without realizing that the tile is valuable, sometimes much more valuable than a mirror. too expensive for roofing. No one, you know, can afford to make a roof of mirrors. Tiles are very good to make our roof. So tile is also important, and a mirror is important. You can see or to look into, to look at yourself. So that is tile practicing. Baso asked whether it was possible to make a mirror in Nangaku or Kodokoro. You said your practice was to be a Buddha, but Buddha is not always someone who attains enlightenment. Everyone is Buddha, whether you attain enlightenment or not. This is called Hangaku in Japanese, which is the idea that everyone is Buddha.


intrinsically Buddha. And this is a controversial thing in the past. So, Vicky Rathee says, when you have Zazen, Zazen becomes Zazen. When you have Zazen, Zazen makes sense. So when you become you yourself, Zazen becomes true Zazen. When you are omitted from Zazen, Zazen does not become Zazen. So Zazen is not some way to make a tile a jewel. When you polish a tile, that is Zazen. So how you polish a tile is the most important point. Whether it is a tile or a jewel is not the point. What kind of attainment you will have is not the point. The way you face confronting your problems is the point. how to confront the problem in our practice is to open up ourselves and to see and accept things just the way it is, the fundamental way.


Do you understand that? So Nangako answered the question and Baso says, I want to be a Buddha by practicing Zazen. Nangako responds, you said practice in sitting position. But Zen is not always in sitting position. It's not always Zen. Whatever you do, that would be Zazen. So he was lost. Basa was lost. Then what would be the appropriate practice, he asked. So Nagarjuna asked about hitting the cart or the horse. So that brings us up to the cart and the horse. I don't think we have much time for that, do we? How much do we have? Five minutes. So, Nangarku brings up this example of the cart and the horse. Usually, I'll read some of Suzuki Roshi's.


He says, when the cart driver When the cart driven by a horse does not go, which do you whip? A cart or a horse? If the cart does not go, if the cart can be driven by a horse, which is the root term horse and changes it to ox, but here he uses a horse. If the cart pulled by a horse does not go, which do you do? Which do you whip? The cart or the horse? And he said, this is a tricky question. Of course you may whip or give a whip to a horse, but to give the whip to the horse is also to give a whip to the cart, because the cart and the horse are not different. The practice in enlightenment is not different. So the practice is the cart in that sense, and enlightenment is the horse. So practice and enlightenment are not different.


But sometimes you think that practice and the cart and enlightenment are a different thing. That the practice is some means to attain enlightenment. So if you think in this way, enlightenment is something different from you. So you want to be something else, because we are so stupid. But stupid ones should be stupid. If a stupid one is stupid, he is, you know, youthful. He's using youthful to mean stupid, but I think he means ignorant. But even though he is ignorant, It is his nature to make his effort to become, to be better. So that is his nature. And actually he's trying to be satisfied with himself. So it looks like he wants to be something else. But usually he wants to be satisfied, actually he wants to be satisfied with himself.


That is the true understanding. But if you think that he wants to be something else, and if you try to help him, if you try to encourage him to be something else, you'll kill him. This kind of understanding is very important. It is rather hard for you especially to accept this truth, especially when you are young and you are quite stupid. If you are stupid, you should be stupid. We should appreciate our stupidity. So he is using this as a, you know, he is being very radical in saying this. Whatever our nature is, that is what we should be, instead of trying to be something else. So, and when we sit Zazen, we become ourself. We're not trying to be something else. We're not trying to get something else. But we're always wanting to be, I didn't say we all are, but it's the tendency of human nature to want to be something else. I'm not satisfied with myself.


Well, what we want then is not to be something else, but to be satisfied. That's what he's saying. What we really want is to be satisfied with ourself. not to be something else, but we try to be something else because we think that then we'll be satisfied with ourselves. If I was only somebody else, I would be satisfied with myself. If I only had these things, I would be satisfied with myself. Or if I only had better grades, or if I wasn't so stupid, you know. That's very hard. That's what makes practice difficult. You know, it's really hard to be yourself. I mean, if someone asks you why do Siddhartha make an answer to be stupid? Well, that is one answer, but I wouldn't recommend it. It's kind of generous, and so it goes in, you know, you should be a little bit stupid. You know, it's not trying to be the brilliant


you know, stand out in some way. It easily corrupts our nature, you know, when we over-achieve or achieve all that. We can't help but feel superior in some way. It's very hard to be humble, but I'm without thinking too little of yourself or without thinking too much of yourself. But just to be exactly yourself and have satisfaction, be just yourself. That's what makes it hard. But we're driven to achieve. Achieving is fine, but it has pitfalls. So we should be able to appreciate everybody.


If we appreciate ourselves, we can appreciate everybody. Yes? We say it's hard to be ourselves, but is it so much harder to try to be somebody else? Is that misery? You can find, if you go online and plug into Zazen Chin, it's Shasta Abbey version, but the information is there, and you can download it.