Karma & Akarma  業と止業


Good morning!


We have a very bright morning here, though on the east coast, East Asia, and East Europe people are having heavy snowstorms with damage. A month after the winter solstice we have the Great Chill officially due to the time lag in warming up. The temperature difference in one day is smaller than that of a whole year due to the difference between the earth’s spin and its orbit traveling.


Geocentrism came from egocentrism, but heliocentrism comes from egolessness. Nukes and wars come from egocentrism, not from egoless holiness, a wholly wholesome way of truth and ethics. Nuclear war would lead to nuclear winter, bringing the global life system into demise “by a tiny tantrum.” Human karma is the culprit of global problems and sufferings.


The triple poisons of person, personal property, and power poison and perish planetary prognosis and peace. The control key of a keyboard can shift from a simple script to a fine function. Simple sitting can shift the karma world to a nirvana state, shedding skins of karma like the north wind to the south sun removing a traveler’s coat. Anyone can witness it with practice.


One can sit still, stilling karma, seeing nirvana like white snow and black ice melting into emptiness as we realize no forms, feelings, ideas, etc., as we recited the Heart Sutra. Samadhi, concentration like a water jet, can cut even mind metal. Sustained practice, continuity like water drops, can cut through a rock. Both wings are essential to fly from karma conditions.


1/20/18 C.E.




























The above super moon pictures were taken by Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka,

in Shimoda, Shizuoka, Japan


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Samsara (Karma World) & Nirvana (No-karma State)


Due to the extreme cold, heating my car made its windows clouded. Without experience this can make one panicked and involved in an accident. If, however, one knows the causal relations involved, one has no problems. The karma world is that of problems and sufferings blocked of vision. Human karmas are creating world sufferings.

It is easy to see causal relations using the diagram of the Twelvefold Interdependent Co-origination. The Becoming Wheel, that of samsara turned by karma in the center, ends in suffering through stored karma and causes nescience,leading to becoming and thirst,leading in turn to new karma.

By stilling karma one can still stored karma and enter into nirvana (no-wind of karma). It is the world of dharma/Dharma (reality/truth) equanimity and emptiness (no self, no clinging). There for the first time one can attain awakening and prognosis (insight, solution) from the ego-view and ego-clinging.

Cultivation from samsara to nirvana advances like the new moon to the full moon, and further practice (continued cultivation) makes samadhi/nirvana easier and shifts from the conventional truth to the ultimate truth by shifting the samsara mode to nirvana mode, like shifting the shift key of the computer keyboard.

Note 1. Formations (sankhara, from san+karma) are the old or stored (heredity)/new or present (action/habit) three karmas (physical/verbal/mental).

2. Suffering is said to be the universal, fundamental one: Four Sufferings: birth, sickness, aging, death, and the individual secondary Four: not acquiring the desired, parting from the beloved, meeting with the hated, called the Eight Sufferings with the previous Four.

3. Nescience (a-vidya: a-videre) is no-witness of selfless nature of phenomena in the Law of Inter-dependent Co-origination, which is only resolved by stilling karma (nirvana) and awakening from it (beginningless or long night of nescience).

 4. For a further detailed explanation of Twelvefold Interdependent Co-origination, please visit:











註 1. 十二支縁起については下記をご覧ください:
     3. 平成30年1月13日仏法山禅源寺での魯参の法話の要点を同寺ブログの載せたです。
  4. 輪廻は業(行為・習慣・遺伝)の変化世界であり涅槃(無風:業風に吹かれ動揺することのない境地)は誰にでも達成できる(坐禅は新旧の三業:身口意を静止)ことを知ってもらう為にここに転載しました。






















The above Super Moon pictures were taken by Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka,

living in Shimoda, Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan,

who often contribute his pictures here.



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Sitting Striving: Shedding Suffering


Good morning!


We have a bright beautiful morning after a fortnight since the winter solstice, gaining daytime. We usually say, “Happy New Year!” Shall we seek happy happening, desiring brain expansion or discarding this planet as I mentioned last week? Desire, divisiveness, and delusion are the triple poisons that destroy us, individually, socially, and environmentally.


When Dogen was reading a Buddhist scripture in China, a monk with a tattered paper robe asked him, “For what purpose are you reading?” Dogen said, “I want to know the Awakened Way.” He asked, “For what?” Dogen replied, “I want to help people.” “Ultimately for what?” he asked. Dogen stopped reading and devoted himself to sitting in Zazen, witnessing the ultimate goal.


Dogen wrote: “To learn the Awakened Way is to learn the self. To learn the self is to forget the self. To forget the self is to be verified by all dharmas. To be verified by all dharmas is to drop off body and mind of the self and of others. There is the trace of awakening ceased and at rest. Traceless awakening is furthered on and on.” Awakening in nirvana goes on, calm and constant.


Someone said, “Abolish the word war, instead use mass killing.” There is no “holy” killing. Abolish “populism” for “egoism.” Abolish “prime minister” for “prime public servant.” Abolish “commander-in-chief” for “servant-in-chief.” In nirvana the triple poisons, all evil karmas, all sins and sufferings, fall away. So, we may say for all, “Nirvana New Year!”















Mt. Fuji from Iwamotoyama Park by Fuji City

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Primordial Peace Prognosis Practice


Good morning!


We had a nice, clear, cool sitting despite severe weather at the end of the year. Yesterday I watched an NHK Educational TV program on “Man and AI, the Future at Hand Now.” Raymond Kurzweil mentioned connecting human brains with computers to expand their intelligence. Hawking talked about emigrating to another planet. How about the costs and complications of those things, while we have a lot of hungry and angry people here now?


Aren’t they boxed-in, karma-caught thinking patterns – egocentric speculation? All humans have the problems of the Four Sufferings (birth, sickness, aging, death) and Eight Sufferings (the previous four plus not acquiring the desired, parting from the beloved, meeting with the hated, and in short the five aggregates rampant). Actually the last noted includes all sufferings as one and its world is conditioned by the five aggregates.


The Buddha said that we cannot reach the end of the world by walking. Only by stopping, sitting, and stilling karma, can we reach, reorient, renounce it, thus reaching nirvana and bodhi (awakening) there. Nirvana was often equated with nirodha (cessation), which can be a-nimitta, markless, a-panihita, desireless, or suňňa, emptiness.  So, nirvana can be markless, desireless, or emptiness as we witness in samādhi or samāpatti.


We have the Holy Eightfold Path, Seven Awakening Limbs, and Six Perfections as practice paths, all of which can be put into the Three Learnings, whose essential part is the Samādhi Limb of striving, mindfulness, and samādhi, or the One Practice of the Buddha Dharma or Buddha Seal, i.e, sitting meditation, by which the Buddha attained unsurpassed awakening in unconditioned peace, awakening all, and attained Parinirvana, Complete Peace.






Note 1: Samādhi is concentration (single-pointedness of mind with forms: rūpa-jhāna), which can be of four different stages and quality as in the following:


2: Samāpatt(absorption without forms: arūpa- jhāna ) is usually listed as follows:

5th jhāna: infinite space (Pali ākāsānaňcāyatana,Skt.ākāśānantyāyatana)

6th jhāna: infinite consciousness (viňňāṇaňcāyatana, vijňānāntyāyatana)

     7th jhāna: no possession (ākiňcaňňāyatana, ākiṃcanyātana)

     8th jhāna: neither ideation nor non-ideation (nevasaňňānāsaňňāyatana,





























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From Karma to Nirvana

Good morning!


Yesterday was the winter solstice. Since last night the rain changed to snow, and we saw the white world this morning. All things are covered by snow into white, without colors and forms. At the summer solstice rain changes to green grass and plants. Moisture in the air can become water for life or ice for death. Empty space can cause monochrome or variegated worlds.


Fifty years ago I saw the snow world all white in a dim snow light, when I went back home from Tokyo on my winter vacation, to the snow country the Nobel prizer Kawabata describes in his Snow Country. It was a blackout, and I was walking a few miles without phone or car at the time. The cold wind from Siberia over the Japan Sea dumped snow on its side, blocked by the Japan Alps.


We recited the Heart Sutra, which tells us that form is emptiness and vice versa. We as karma machines living in the karma world perceive a variegated world colored by karma, and as nirvana witness we can perceive absolute emptiness like a snow world, where there is no discrimination, distractions, or dissatisfactions, but a constant calmness and clearness.


We, as karma machines, carry the body-possessing view or conviction, so cannot witness the shedding and falling away of the body and mind. Only the practice of sitting, stilling karma, can penetrate through the five aggregates of form, feeling, idea, formation, and consciousness, or the phenomenal world as emptiness (śūnyatā) with prognosis (awakening) in nirvana.


































The following pictures were taken by Mr. Katsuhiro Otsuka,

relative of Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka who forwarded them




View of Mt. Tateyama from the top of Tsurugi-dake, Mt. Sword

taken on July 22, 2015 C.E.





Figure on Matsute-yama, Mt. Matsute (Pine Hand)

from Tairatsupyou-yama, Mt. Tairapyou (Flat Sign)

Taken on April 23, 2017 C.E.





View of Mae-makihata-yama, Mt. Mae-Makiyata (Front Weaver)

taken on May 2, 2017 C.E.





Hiuchi-yama, Mt. Hiuchi (Flintstone)  Kouyaike Huette (Mtn. Hut) and Ponds

Taken on August 27, 2017 C.E.



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Awakening above Karma Clouds



Good morning!


Yesterday I received pictures of mountains from Mr. Otsuka taken by our friend, Mr. Hirasawa. Like the picture of mountain ranges above clouds, we can come above the clouds of karma or the karma world. When we see from mountains, we see the human world far below, and we cannot see it when we are above clouds. We can be separated from the human karma world.


The Buddha said that we cannot reach the end of the world by walking. This does not mean we can reach it by rockets, but it means that we must sit and still our karma to reach the end of our karma world. We may be able to shut off our social karma world by climbing mountains, but we cannot separate from our own karma however much we walk.


By sitting still we can still our karma (past/present physical/verbal/mental actions/habits/heredities: volitions/emotions/conceptions/perceptions) and see dharmas/Dharma of Dependent Co-origination. Then, we can resort to and take refuge in the Dharma and deal with the karma world not caught by karma kinetics – conventions, conflicts, confusions, etc.


Dogen said that we attain awakening with our bodies. Karma is set in the body (brain/bones/blood, etc.), which must be stilled and seen. He called the zazen posture Buddha-seal, as all buddhas attain awakening in this most stable still posture. As he said in the Fukanzazengi, we must find the right form with proper alignment and subtle adjustment of bones, muscles, etc.





The following pictures were taken by Mr. Masayoshi Hirasawa

sent by Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka, frequent contributor


Japan Alps





























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Awakening and Action


Good morning!


We are in Rohatsu (12/8) sesshin, commemorating the Buddha’s awakening on this day, usually with a week sesshin from 12/1. Sesshin is touching and embracing mind/heart through sitting, stilling karma, seeing the Dharma. Dogen said, “without cultivation it never develops: without verification it is never attained.” Only practice makes perfect. Individually, inaction only intensifies inclination (instinct, triple poisons, i.e., karma).


Socially, inaction institutionalizes injustice. The Dharma of Dependent Co-origination informs us that all things are interdependent, i.e., related and relative. The history of life tells us that all living beings are 4 billion years old and equal. However, institutionalized violence allows inequality and selfishness. Buddhas, Ashoka, Shotoku, Gandhi, King, et al showed us how to be awakened, active, equal, free, truthful, peaceful at the same time.


The triple crimes of killing, stealing, and lying, the first three of the Five Precepts or the Global Ethic are rampant in this world, often allowed by our sinful (selfish, sick, suffering) karma. One person can wipe out all living beings on earth in 12 minutes or so and drag into wars, warming, extinction, etc. The triple crimes are against truth and the ethic of equality, freedom, peace, beauty, goodness, holiness (wholly wholesome way).


Mahayana tells the triple vehicles of Hearers’(Śrāvaka), Personal Buddhas’ (Pratyeka Buddha, prati-eka is to-each, not pratyaya, interpreted as conditions for Dependent Origination, thus misconstrued as Buddhas who understand the Dharma of Dependent Origination), Great-way (Mahāyāna or Bhodhisattva, Awakening-beings who vow to save all before oneself) Vehicles. “Bodhisattva” was first used for the Buddha in his striving (for awakening).




N.B. Bodhisattva was first used for the Buddha before his striving for awakening, and later on it was used for anyone striving for awakening in unconditioned peace (nirvana, no-wind of karma). The Buddha’s awakening was in the Dharma of Dependent Co-origination, interdependence of all in time and space, so he strived to save and serve all by sharing his awakening/unconditioned peace, even after he attained awakening/unconditioned peace, despite his inclination to remain in the forest, enjoying his attainment, due to the difficulties of the world deeply sunken in laya (layer: stored) karma (Brahma’s beseeching of him to go into the world lest the world should be destroyed informs us of this process). He dedicated his life after his awakening, spending no time for his personal interests but for all, for forty-five years.  This aspiration/action is the ideal of Bodhisattvas, any awakening beings and awakened beings, which way is called the Mahayana, Great Vehicle or Way. Dogen said that if it is not all, it is not Mahayana.




The following pictures were taken by Mr. Katsuhiro Otsuka, relative

of Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka who sent them.

Hiuchi-yama (Mt. Hiuchi, Fire-striking, Flintstone?), 2,462m,

highest mountain among Kubiki-yama-gun, Mts. Kubiki,

located in Joetsu District of Niigata Prefecture,

with marshes, reflections of mountains

and flowers blooming in

profusion is 


Paradise on Earth 

Three Scenes of Mt. Hiuchi





Taken Aug. 27, 2017 C.E.







Taken Oct. 10, 2012 C.E.






Taken May 2, 2016 C.E.



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Mt. Fuji and Super Moon


The following photos were sent taken and sent by Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka,

in Shimoda, Shizuoka, Japan and by Rosan Osamu Yoshida (last four):























































































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Paradigm Shift from Selfish Delusion/War to Universal Truth/Peace


Good morning!


We have a serene sunny Saturday after sittings and service. It may, however, turn into a suffering sinister Satan day due to nuclear winter. Sin (separation) has created sick selves, societies, states, species, and symbolism as Francis Bacon partially pointed out in his four idola, idols, of cave, market place, theatre, and species. The Buddha told us that we are all karma-heirs, -owners, -machines, which causes all our problems and suffering.


Human karma has created human-heredity, -habit, -hierarchy, -hubris, and -hysteria with sinful self, sick society, selfish states, Satanic species, and sinister symbolism such as crimes, climate change, war, mass extinction, and nukes. So long as we remain karma-machines, we remain in the five calamities of delusion, bondage, discrimination, exploitation, and extermination, eventually exterminating all including us.


The Buddha showed us how to solve our problems and suffering by sitting still, stilling karma, seeing Dharma, serving and saving all. As Dogen said that without cultivation it never develops and that without verification it is never attained, we must continue practice to realize it here, now, with all beings, with the five blisses of awakening, freedom, equality, love, and peace. We can enjoy bright sunlight, beautiful foliage, falling leaves, and so forth.


The concrete way lies in the Five Precepts of no killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, and intoxication, partly employed by the Global Ethic as dedication to the culture of life, love, truth, and equal partnership between men and women, which we may reinterpret as equal partnership of all, and add fundamental awakening in nirvana. We must make the paradigm change from selfish tribal delusion and war to universal global truth and peace.
























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Selfish Sick System to Wholly Wholesome World


Good morning!


We’re having a splendid Sunday morning of sesshin (接心・摂心). Sesshin means touching and embracing the heart-mind. Yajňavalkya, the famous Upanishadic thinker, said, “Veena sounds, once produced, cannot be caught, but by catching the veena player, they can be caught.” The world we perceive and produce cannot be caught, once produced, but by catching the heart-mind, it can be caught. The Buddha said, “Better than conquering thousands upon thousands in the battlefield is conquering oneself. This is the true conqueror.” Such a conqueror cannot be conquered by anyone or anything.


King Ashoka regretted his campaign against Kalinga, which killed 300,000, and changed his heart-mind to follow the Buddha Dharma, building rock edicts, stone pillars, sending envoys to Syria, Macedonia, etc. Prince Regent Shotoku rescinded clans’ feuds and made the Seventeen Article Constitution to found the national character, deeming harmony precious (1st article) and respecting the triple treasures (2nd article), because we are all commoners of divided beings (Pali: putthu-jana: Sanskrit: pṛthū-jana: masses, pṛthag-jana: divided born). These are great examples demonstrating karma to dharma.


The Buddha foresaw the destruction of the world due to karma and taught that the Dharma could forestall it. All living beings are now on the verge of total annihilation due to human hubris and hysteria with nukes, climate change, mass extinction, etc. Hitler incinerated 6 million Jews. Nixon at the Watergate complex said that he could kill 60 million people with nuclear weapons. One man can wipe out 6 billion people or all living beings. The century of nationalism and wars must be conquered by the century of globalism and peace – the truth and ethic of the holy (wholly wholesome) global system and ethic.


Selfish sinful (separated sick) systems and karma (pyramidal civilization, nationalism, mamonism:moneyism, militarism, materialism, meism) must be changed to universal holy (wholly wholesome) systems and Dharma (Indra-net culture, global heart-harmony-health-happiness). A Zen koan says, “Great people, why can’t you lift your legs?” Everyone must conquer oneself and cooperate in the Indra-network. The Buddha said, “Take refuge in one’s own self, not others. Take refuge in the Dharma, not others.” Only practice makes perfect. Only action makes actuality.
































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