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Shu Iwaku “MU!”

Once the Tang Dynasty great Master Joshu was asked by a monk,

“The Buddha has said that all beings are endowed with a clear bright Balways uddha Nature but where is there any such Buddha Nature in some one like me who is a person who is always roaming around ,digging into trash bins?”

Master Joshu only answered, “MU.”

This “MU, was it saying that the foolish monk had NO Buddha Nature?

If that was the case then that would go against what the Buddha taught.

But this monk had been looking at this question well.

To know this meaning of Joshu you have to understand it deeply, what is your Zen teaching?

These two men were coming at this “mu” from slightly different angles. Joshu's MU was a place where Joshu was concealed, disguising himself. The monk was probably stunned and surprised at this answer!!

The founder of Myoshinji, Muso Daishi, the disciple of Daito Kokushi, in order to work on ripening the true nature he went to work in the rural area of Ibukawa, in the daytime helping the farmers and at night time deepening his sitting in the mountains.

Eventually after eight years had gone by, Daito Kokushi died and he left a message with his last words. His message was that that they must go to Ibukawa and find Muso Daishi and tell him that he now must go back to the capital immediately, no matter what.

The village people were surprised and sadly said good bye to him. There were two old people who had taken such good care of him always, they asked him to please teach them, two ignorant old people, his understanding, for their final teaching.

At this Muso Daishi told them to come close to him and stand in front of him and he said,” Grandmother, Grandfather! come over here!” When they came close he banged the old man’s pony tail and grandmothers hair and banged together their foreheads. “Smack, right there it is ! “ He said to them. “Don’t forget that! right there!”

That unexpected pain right there that you sudddenly felt, THAT was the Buddha Nature, your very Buddha which is not something which you receive from outside of you, not something learned from school-just in sayng OUCH!

our true mind is empty and still for that,with that comes the OUCH!

Our Buddha Nature is absolutely mu, that mu has no form, no shape, never was born, never will die and is called MU only for wanting of something better to call it.

The Buddha sees everything as Buddha Nautre, our body and the universe are one and the same but that is so hard to grasp.

We so easily get caught in greed, anger and delusion that we have a hard time comprehending, what we should we do then?? We need to to to see clearly and objectively that the person who is a deluded person can also be a Buddha Nature.

The Buddha was called the one of Great Alignment. He gave short phrases to his disciples to repeat over and over, continually, all day long. He taught them if they did this ongoingly, they would be able to enter the same state of mind as the Buddha

These phrases we repeat become our bones and our flesh, and then we realize that wide open state of mind that is equal in each and every person, We CAN DO this if we sit and repeat these phrases until they come spontaneously. We will then enter this state of mind where we are not thinking about anything at all. Then truly that wisdom with which each of us is endowed from birth gives us a radiance which can illuminate all others from within ourselves, equally, from ourself to others.

This is the same state of mind as the Buddha and we see that all beings are in this state of mind, and that we must become this state of mind and know the deep way of living that is held equally by all beings. From there we can liberate people from their delusions, awaken them to their Buddha Nature. and awaken their minds.

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