After the rain we have now the refreshed air and plants with the new moon high in the sky. The solar and lunar New Year’s days have already passed. But it looks like a New Year’s day evening. Whenever we sit, we come to this refreshed pure world prior to all delusions, desires, and divisiveness. Bankei mentioned “Buddha mind of no birth (fushô-no busshin:不生の仏心).” Before the birth of all karmas we become completely liberated.
The thirty first patriarch Daii (大医) said at his passing away, “All dharmas are entirely liberated. Protect your minds and propagate the dharma in the future.” Emperor Taiso (大宗) summoned him, out of admiration and adoration, but he declined three times. At the fourth time he ordered his messenger to bring him or his head. When the messenger told this to him, he offered his neck to the sword. Taiso admired him more.
Dogen commented on this that Daii was not taking life trifle, but considered time dear. Most people would want to meet emperors and dignitaries due to their karmas and enslavement by them and the mundane distinctions. If we sit completely and continuously, we will not become slaves of anything, and will be able to be totally liberated in unconditioned peace and unsurpassed awakening.
Bankei Yotaku/Eitaku （盤珪永啄）