End of Training period Koryo

Traditionally the rainy season training period ends on the 15th of July and until the 15th of October, the monks in training go home to their families and help with ceremonies there (Obon and Aki Higan). Yet there is also the chance to go on angya, on pilgrimage, encountering other Roshis and training places.

Today is the last day of the last Osesshin of the rainy season training period in Sogenji. The teisho on the Records of Rinzai ends with this formal poem given by Shodo Harada Roshi:

That person of not dividing belief and mind
Neither being tied to dharma in suffering - the original truth
Wearing robes, eating food – where else to go?
In all places - was there ever a bit of dust?

Explanation by Harada Roshi: The mind that believes and what it believes in are one. There is no duality there, that is self confidence,no doubts left, no ambivalence. Because we are self confident, doubts cannot exist. Self confidence is not about knowing things, but about knowing ourselves. As long as we do not know ourselves yet, of course there are doubts. We are believing and thus of course there cannot be anything else suddenly appearing. That is the essence of truth.

That is where the Buddha said to Anan: "Be your own light. Take refuge in yourselves. Let the Dharma be your light, take refuge in the Dharma. Do not take refuge in anything outside of yourselves."

What this means is, that we and Dharma are one. If we see the Dharma outside of ourselves, we get tied to this Dharma. Saying that Dharma is this and that, we lose our freedom. That is why the Buddha said that the light of the Dharma and of the self are one and the same. There are no doubts left. Because our true self is clear. These two first lines of the poem are showing the two sides of the one coin.

With this mind, we put on our clothes. Eat our rice, wash our bowls, drink our tea – there is no dualism there. It simply comes as it is.Everywhere you go, all places are the truth. Whatever happens, no doubts do ever come up again.

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