Good morning!


Suddenly the world changed into white with snow falling during our sittings and service, and we now have a cool clear world like this. The temperature is going down to 3 degrees. On the way here I listened to a program on NPR, on the dog sled race in -70 degree temperatures in Alaska. I remember visiting tombs in the Egyptian desert at 120 degrees. Dogs, bears, the Inuit, Yupik, etc., have adjusted to their environments with bodies, hearts, habits, and functions changed. We can change our karmas and even calm and clear them by cultivation and verification.


Dogs can live in these low temperatures. Dr. Suzuki of Ability Education often talked about two girls raised by a wolf. They were just like wolves, running on all fours, seeing in the darkness, smelling meat at 70 meters away, and howling with other wolves at certain times. They were caught and brought to an orphanage. The younger girl died within a year, and the older one was retrained to stand up on two legs, communicate with human language, etc. Dr. Suzuki said that anyone can become a genius, if educated in a better environment, with better methods and instruction, an earlier start, and more practice.


There are koans on whether dogs have Buddha-nature. Dogen had a great question – if all have Buddha-nature, why do we need to practice? – and he visited China to seek the answer.  He returned home empty-handed, realizing “the eyes horizontal and the nose vertical.” He said that this Dharma is abundantly endowed with everyone, but without cultivation it never develops, and is attained without verification. His first turning of the Dharma-wheel was his Fukanzazengi (Universal Recommendation for Right Zazen). Anyone wanting to solve problems and stop suffering must practice this Zazen.


A disciple asked Tozan (Tong-shan), “Chill and heat come; how can I evade them?”  Tozan replied, “Why don’t you fare where there is neither chill nor heat?”  Why don’t you bid farewell to chill and heat, liking and disliking, gain and loss, birth and death, by faring well in the Awakened Way? Now, here, is the time and place to realize it. The Buddha said that religion means cultivation – cultivation of karma, calming and clearing it. Only practice makes perfect – perfecting Zazen, the Dharma gate of pure peace and bliss in nirvana and awakening (Bodhi).







































Posted in Asankhata (asamskrita: unmade), Zazen | Leave a comment

Samsara Suffering or Supreme Solution



Good morning!


After yesterday’s snowfall with chill, we have now a bright sunny Sunday morning with sittings and service. Interested in the title of “Heaven and Hell,” I took a look at Kurosawa’s film on the Internet World TV. It is the story of a medical intern living in a hellish state (heat and chill) in a low district, who abducts a chauffeur’s son (mistaken as his employer’s, who is a company president living in a heavenly house on a hilltop). This looks like terrorists and imperialists. Heaven and Hell in our ideas and ideologies are all in our karma creations.


Our karmic ideas and actions create all the problems and sufferings in our world, as we seek imaginary heavens and hells based on our karmas, essentially on our triple poison of desire, divisiveness, and delusion. The triple learning of morality, concentration, and prognosis are their solutions. Delusion (nescience, a-vijjhā: a-vidyā or no witness of nirvana: lit. no-wind, of karma) and desire (craving, lit. thirst: taṇhā: tṛṣṇā) are called the two roots of samsara and suffering, respectively. Their two solutions are awakening and nirvana.


The four holy (hagia, ariya) truths (of suffering, source of suffering, cessation of the source of suffering, and path of the cessation of the source of suffering) are the prognosis for our samsara suffering. The holy eightfold path is right (sammā: samyak: lit. comprehensive, total) view, thinking (prognosis limbs), speech, action, livelihood (morality limbs), mindfulness, striving, and concentration (concentration limbs). These are in concrete attention and action and are for the fourfold limitlessness – or fourfold Brahma-viāra (Divine abode) – and the four embracing matters.


The fourfold limitlessness is compassion, friendship, joy, and equanimity (upekhā: upekṣā: lit. throwing away, renunciation). The four embracing matters are giving, loving words, beneficial actions, and sameness (being and doing the same). We are all karma-heirs, karma-owners, karma-machines, and karma-refuged, so can practice the four applications of decreasing, stopping bad karmas, starting and increasing good karmas. Please continue in your four universal vows of saving all, severing all defilements, learning all dharmas, and achieving unsurpassed awakening.






























Posted in Dharma, Karma, Supramundane (loka-uttara) | Leave a comment

Civilization Collapse


Good morning and a happy new year!


We have a bright sunny Sunday morning of the new year. We hope all have a happy new year. We have, however, rather ominous news from the past continuing – global warming, extreme weather, disasters, wars, terrorism, social disorder (poverty, hunger, crimes), refugees (millions from wars, more than a hundred thousand from Fukushima, etc.).


Yesterday I watched two National Geographic Channel movies, titled Mankind from Space and 2210: The Collapse? The former surveys the brief development of human civilization, mapping historical geographic points and networks, and the latter discusses the possible collapse of modern civilization, as dug and seen in 2210, referring to the Pueblo, Mayan, and Roman civilizations.


The former showed the dramatic technological development into globalization, with mass mobilization and communication. The latter showed the maladjustment to nature and mismanagement of society, saying that how we manage technology and globalization will lead to either to collapse or survival. We cannot simply promote them for more division, disorder, and devastation.


We must stop the triple poisons of desire, divisiveness, and delusion, which make materialism, militarism, and me-ism, manifested in a pyramidal (金:money-shaped) civilization (= urbanization). We need a paradigm shift from the artificial pyramidal civilization (of matter & power) to a natural Indra-net culture (of heart & life), from karma to dharma, from ego to eco.


We must add profound prognosis in pure peace to glocal (=global-local), thinking and acting to promote holiness (wholly wholesomeness), harmony, and happiness. We must share all resources for this purpose and cultivate the threefold learning (sīla, samādhi, prajňā: morality, concentration, prognosis), not the triple poisons of desire, divisiveness, and delusion.






























Posted in Civilization, Cultivation: culture, Paradigm shift | Leave a comment

Beautiful Bright Full Moon: Buddha Hearet



Good morning!



We could see the beautiful bright full moon on Christmas morning and evening. The round

clear full moon represents the Buddha’s heart – round meaning perfect, without lack or

edge, and clear meaning bright and pure – unsurpassed awakening (bodhi) in

unconditioned peace (nirvana) or prognosis (prajňā) in perfect peace.  People may not

care about it, or they may care but can’t see it due to different reasons.



Nib-bāna (Pali for Sanskrit nirvana) or ni-vāta etymologically means no-wind, as in the

stock phrase “nivāte padīpa” (lamp-light in no-wind). This is the state of nirvana, of the

candle flame burning still and straight, illuminating the room without flickering or moving

shadows, as you see on the altar. It is not blowing off light or fire in pitch darkness, but

brightly and clearly illuminating the world in pure peace.



Kanchi Sosan (Seng Can) says the following in his “Faith Mind Maxim:”


The perfect way is not difficult.

It only avoids discrimination.

If only there is no love or hate,

Completely clean and clear is it.


It is not easy, however, to become completely clean and clear, because living beings,

especially humans, as karma-heirs and karma-machines, add on.



Gensha Shibi (Xuansha Shibei), on leaving a monastery to visit other places, stubbed his

toe on a stone. The pain penetrated through his body, mind, and world. He reflected on

where it came from and stopped going around (hensan).  On the master’s questioning why

he returned, he said, “I’ll never be deluded.” He later said that the entire world in ten

directions is a clear crystal ball. Dogen loved this able expression and wrote Shobogenzo

Hensan, which is not going around, but exhaustive pursuit.



It is echoed in his Fukan-zazen-gi (Universal Recommendation for True Zazen). Zazen is

the exhaustive pursuit of the Buddha’s heart in sitting, stilling karma-wind, seeing

dharma, settling in nirvana, serving and saving all in prognosis. The full moon is always

there, but we see only its aspects, or we do not even see such a beautiful bright moon with

a beautiful story (of a hare sent there to pound rice cake for all beings, like the Buddha’s

feeding of hungry lion cubs.) *





*Ryokan’s poem on the story of the hare in the moon:


“The Hare in the Moon”


Long, long time ago

there lived in the world

Monkey, Hare and Fox

bound in friendship

playing in the morn

in field and on mount,

returning in the evening

into forest.

Thusly as years passed,

the Lord of Heaven,

hearing it, wanted

to know if it’s true.

Becoming an old man,

he tottered along

to where they lived,

and asked them,

“I have heard that

you are different

in species, but are

playing in the same

mind among yourselves.

If it is as I heard,

please help this old man

of his hunger.”

So saying he rested,

throwing his staff aside:

Having said, “It is easy,”

and after a while,

Monkey came collecting nuts,

from the woods behind.

Fox gave fish to him

brought from a stream in front.

Hare hopped and jumped,

but nothing to gain.

Being abused of the mind,

different, poor indeed,

the Hare plotted and said,

“Monkey, bring firewood.

Fox, please set fire!”

As they did as asked,

the Hare threw herself

into the smoke, and gave

herself to the old stranger.

The old man, upon seeing this,

cried bitterly looking up

the high heaven, and

fell down to the ground.

In a while, beating his bosom,

he said, “You three friends

are inferior to none of you,

but the Hare is specially

kind-hearted,” and

resuming the heavenly body,

picked up the dead body, and

sent it to the moon palace.

The “Hare in the moon”

is because of this –

thus up until the present time

it has been told, and

hearing this I also

drenched thoroughly

the sleeves of my robe.

























The above pictures of flowers he grew are recently taken by Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka in his garden in Shimoda, Izu Peninsla, Japan





Posted in Moon (Full = Buddha heart | Leave a comment

Free Full Form Function




Good morning!


Last night I forwarded to our listserv my translation of the Fukanzazengi (A Universal

Recommendation for True Zazen) now available in free pdf format from the Bukkyo

Dendo Kyokai (Association for the Promotion of Buddhism), which provides Buddhist

Bibles in hotels worldwide and publishes the English Tripitaka Series. It contains my

translation published decades ago.



The text consists of four parts: essence, form, function, and existence. The true “essence”

or root (本: moto/hon/ben, indicating the tree root) of the true way or the awakened way

is characterized by four hallmarks: penetration, freedom, purity, and locus. The original

word for “exhaustive pursuit” is source (原: gen/yuan, spring under a rock) or sourcing

(to nirvana, wherefrom all flow out and return – appear and disappear).


The true “form” is the true Zazen, or the Buddha form, or the Buddha-mind seal (Buddha-

mind is sealed in this form and all Buddhas are alike like sealed/stamped), which is the

shikantaza (wholly sitting) that stills all karmas (past/present, bodily/verbal/mental:

formations: functions: habits/heredities) and leads to samādhi and nirvana (nir-vāṇa/

vāta, no-wind > no-wind of karmas: no karma-wind: 業風:goppū).



The true “function” is free and full function based on awakening (bodhi) and prognosis

(prajňā) in nirvana (from the supra-mundane), without mental fabrications (triple

poisons, four defilements, five coverings, etc., cf. the four stages of zen/chan/jhāna/

dhyāna) and with Bodhisattva aspirations (four universal vows, four limitlessness, four

embracing matters, six prajňāpāramitās, etc.) in the mundane realms.



The true “existence” is in the true “essence” of constantly learning the right or holy (wholly

wholesome) “forms and functions” with awakening and concentration, here and now, to

aspire to and appreciate the treasure house of all and for all. Otherwise we are lost in

confusions and condemnations, as we are in the karma world, in endless transmigration

through the six paths (samsara, hell-being, etc.) and suffering.




























Above pictures of Mt. Fuji were contributed by Mr. Noriyuki Otsuka

taken a few days ago near his home

Posted in Awakened Way (Buddhism), Shikan-taza (只管打坐), Zazen | Leave a comment

Wholly Wholesome Way World



Good morning!


We have a warm winter now with a window opened. Yesterday it was over 70. This is part

of global warming. The COP21 had some success in tackling this. Paris had this meeting

and a terror attack, so the French president said that these are the two biggest problems in

the world. More imminent and devastating would be the nuclear holocaust and radiation

disasters that could accompany natural or human disasters, like terrorism. A news report

yesterday said that West Lake, the nuclear waste site in St. Louis, may become a

Fukushima with its underground fire 1,000 feet away.1



Malala Yousafiai, the youngest Nobel prize winner, said, “With guns, you can kill

terrorists, with education you can kill terrorism.” We could say, “With meditation you

can terminate terror.” All the problems and sufferings we have now with the sixth man-

made mass extinction as well as the inevitable eternal/universal sufferings of birth,

sickness, aging, death, loss, separation, meeting with the hated – in short, the rampant

raging of the five aggregates – come from the triple poisons of desire, divisiveness,

and the delusion of ego, which ultimately come from karmas.



So, the Buddha at around this time of year, twenty five centuries ago, for the first time in

the history, found that all living beings are karma-heirs, -owners, -machines, -refuged,

and provided us with the practical way to still karmas in sitting, settling in unconditioned

peace (nirvana, lit. no-wind of karmas), and attaining unsurpassed awakening (bodhi)

of the Dharma of dependent co-origination/cessation. We can witness nirvana or the

supra-mundane (loka-uttara), and bodhi by constant cultivation of sitting and seeing the

Dharma (Norm) of all dharmas (forms), not by walking, as the Buddha said.



The holy (wholly wholesome) truth, justice, and way must come from nirvana and bodhi,

beyond sinful (separate sick) truth, justice, and way – thus the Four Holy Truths

(cattāri-ariya-saccāni) and the Eightfold Holy Ways (aṭṭhagika-ariya-magga)Selfish

truth, justice, and way are not “wholly wholesome.” Right view, thinking, speaking, acting,

livelihood, mindfulness, striving, and concentration must be truthful (sacca, satya)2 and

holy, based on nirvana and bodhi. So, the Buddha said, “Enmity is never appeased by

enmity,” and “Conquer one-self not thousands in wars.”3






2. “Right (sammā)in “right view (sammā-diṭṭhi),” etc. is from truth (Sanskrit:sat-ya: 

being-ness: real-ity: being/real as it isPali: sac-ca) observed (witnessed/withheld:

truth/ethic) from the “wholly wholesome way and world in nirvana/bodhi (ultimate

truth realm) and provided to the conventional world (conventional truth realm).


3.Endless tit for tat is neither truthful nor ethical. We must reach the wholly wholesome

way world to observe the Dharma of dependent co-origination and cessation for the

fundamental and ultimate solutions.


                                    Enmity is never appeased by enmity here,
                                    But by non-enmity. This is the truth forever.  

                                                                                                         – The Dhammapada 5                                                                                          


                               Better than the one conquering thousands upon thousands in wars 

                               Is the one conquering oneself. He is the greatest of war conquerors. 

                                                                                                          – The Dhammapada 103




























































Posted in Nirvana (windless: asankhata, Wholly Wholesome Way/World | Leave a comment

Thicket Doctor or True Doctor


Good morning!



We have a calm, cool, and clear Sunday morning after sittings and service, especially after

yesterday morning’s snow. Yesterday I watched a TV program from Japan featuring Dr.

Yoshiharu Sekino that traced back the Great Journey of humans from Africa to South

America, starting from the southern tip of South America, through Salar de Uyuni (Salt

Flat at Uyuni), Siberia at -120 degree, Gobi Desert caught in sand storm for 5 hours, back

to where the footprints of an adult and a child (Australpithecus afarensis) fossilized 3.6

million years ago.



The Yanomamis accepted him as a medical doctor smoothly, even though he first hesitated

to interfere with the shaman doctor’s authority, because the shaman doctor himself asked

him about his headache. It actually came from an overdose of intoxicants, which usually

made him say that spirits were causing the sickness. We must distinguish a true doctor

from a thicket doctor (yabu-isha in Japanese) who cannot see through the thicket or find a

way out. There are a lot of thicket doctors in our political, economic, social, and cultural

fields who cannot see far enough through the thicket or find the way out.



The Buddha found that all living beings are caught in a thicket or jungle of karmas and

prognosticated the way out of it. This sitting is stilling karmas and seeing the Dharma of

Dependent Co-origination. Nirvana is stilling the karma-wind (goppū業風; formations:

saǹkhāra: new and old three karmas: bodily, verbal, and mental as the prime mover of the

12-limbed Dependent Co-origination for consciousness, suffering, and samsara; “the

rampant Five Aggregates – karmas – in short are all sufferings”). “The right Dharma-

eye is in the exquisite heart of nirvana.”



Anyone can witness nirvana-awakening in solid sitting, shift societies to change artificial

uni-directional pyramidal civilizations fighting for money, matter, and militarism to a

natural cyclical Indra-net culture for life, heart, and peace. Anyone can save ecology-

environment in systemic, sustainable, saving, safe, and simple ways. The true cause of

wars, terrorism, global warming, mass extinction, etc., is our fivefold karma calamity of

delusion, bondage, discrimination, exploitation, and extermination. We are saved by the

fivefold dharma bliss of awakening, freedom, equality, love, and peace.

























Posted in Dharma, Karma | Leave a comment

Endless Enmity or Perpetual Peace



Good morning!



We have a bright sunny Sunday morning in peace and truth after our sittings and service.

All over the world, however, we have dark days of death tolls – 129 killed and more than

a few hundred injured by the terrorists’ bombs and shootings in Paris. We may see

vengeance after vengeance – an endless tit for tat, by all means.



The Buddha said, “enmity is never appeased by enmity, but by non-enmity. This is the

eternal truth here.” So long as we remain in the karma realm, we want to conquer the

enemy – enmity endures for eternity. He said, “Better than conquering thousands upon

thousands is conquering one-self. This is the true conqueror.”



He provided the way to still our karmas and see the dharmas of unconditioned peace

(nirvana) and unsurpassed awakening (bodhi) in perpetual peace and total truth. It is this

sitting and stilling bodily, verbal, and mental karmas (actions, functions, habits,

heredities). Anyone can cultivate and verify it.



Karma creates me-ism, materialism, militarism, and money-ism, causing wars, warming,

extinction, etc. with delusion, bondage, discrimination, exploitation, and extermination.

Dharma donates limitless life, light, liberation, and love, delivering peace, prosperity, etc.,

with awakening, freedom, equality, love, and peace.








































Posted in Dharma, Karma, Peace | Leave a comment

From Karma to Dharma


Good morning!


I had a rather long, busy trip to Japan. I joined the Soto Pilgrimage, visiting Sojiji for

the 650th Anniversary of its second abbot, Gasan Zenji, as well as Sojiji Soin (the

original temple), Yokoji, Hokyoji, and Eiheiji. I also attended the annual meeting of

the Global System Ethic Association. When Gasan Zenji was abbot of both Yokoji and

Sojiji, he rushed 52 kilometers between the two temples, along the mountain path

named Gasan Way, so that he could attend services at Sojiji. Ever since, the Great

Compassionate Heart Dharani has been chanted slowly to wait for him. His disciples

propagated the Awakened Way all over Japan.


Yokoji and Sojiji were built by Keizan Zenji, fourth in Dogen Zenji linage. Dogen

Zenji visited China and transmitted Zen to Japan. Bodhidharma transmitted Zen

from India to China. Gotama became buddha, awakened, in the Dharma of

Dependent Origination and Cessation (nirvana), and transmitted the Awakened Way.

For the rest of his life he wandered, staying at a place for only one night before

moving on. The Dharma, Truth, was expressed by the bo(dhi) tree, which embodies

truth and peace. The Buddha himself was expressed by an engraving of his footprint,

representing his itinerant life. The Dharma Wheel expresses his spreading of the



The Awakened Way has been spread by wandering, walking over mountains and

travelling over the ocean, by the aspiring practitioners of Zen or Zazen, sitting Zen,

which is stilling or ceasing karmas, settling in nirvana, and awakening by it. Zazen is

returning to the original state (face), reuniting with holiness, the wholesome whole,

and reorienting karmas from sinfulness to holiness, from separation to integration,

from bad karmas to good karmas. It is not only returning, reuniting, and

reconditioning, but unconditioning all karmas, going beyond birth and death, the five

aggregates, and six senses, as described in the Heart Sutra.


It is going beyond samsara (the Six Paths of hell beings, hungry ghosts, fighting

devils, beastly beings, human beings, and celestial beings) and all its sufferings,

which originate from the triple poisons of desire, divisiveness, and delusion. Human

beings are now causing the global problematique, the interrelated problems of global

warming, wars, weapons, waste, pollution, population explosion, resource depletion,

environmental deterioration, ecological devastation, and mass extinction. The

paradigm shift from karma to dharma and from nescience to awakening is the only

fundamental solution for the karma of selfish samsara suffering and sundering.






























































Posted in Asankhata (asamskrita: unmade), Dharma, Karma | Leave a comment

High Heaven, Holy Harvest


Good morning!


We have a beautiful autumn Sunday morning with calm, clear, cool, and sunny

weather. People say “autumn with high heaven and hulky horses.” We say “high

heaven and holy harvest,” because there is neither heat nor chill, neither vapor nor

wind, and all enjoy calm, clear, cool, sunny, and still weather, all can enjoy an

abundant amount of wholly wholesome harvest.


We also have bountiful beatitude after Sunday sittings and service with a calm, clear,

cool, and serene world. People say sitting still is stilling stresses. We say sitting still is

stilling senses and sprits, without perceptions, conceptions, emotions, and volitions

– all karmas, physical, verbal, and mental – like a settled bowl of still water, without

turbulence and turbidity.


The Awakened One was awakened to the Dharma of dependent co-origination of all

and all beings – karma-heirs, -owners, -machines, -refuged – being in dependent co-

origination and co-cessation. So, all can cease cravings, karmas, samsaras, and

sufferings, settling in nirvana and awakening, stopping demise, destruction, and

death of oneself and others.


Let’s continue this core practice of the Awakened Way, stilling karmas, seeing

Dharma/dharmas (twelvefold dependent origination, four stages of zen/jhāna/

meditation, etc.), serving all (fourfold embracing matters, sixfold perfections, etc.),

and saving all (fourfold application, four holy truths, eightfold holy path, etc.),

sharing limitless life, light, liberation, and love.



























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