Teisho on Obaku Records

"People are often hindered by environmental phenomena from perceiving Mind, and by individual events from perceiving underlying principles; so they often try to escape from environmental phenomena in order to still their minds, or to obscure events in order to retain their grasp of principles. They do not realize that this is merely to obscure phenomena with Mind, events with principles. Just let your minds become void and environmental phenomena will void themselves; let principles cease to stir and events will cease stirring of themselves. Do not employ Mind in this perverted way." Obaku Records section 21.

Teisho by Harada Roshi:

Most people of training seek truth and make efforts, but only seeking we forget to purify our minds. Yet we make these efforts for a conscious idea about truth, and it is not about reaching the source of all of that. While following a doctrine we search for the truth, forgetting to purify our minds. In order to realize that all is actually without ego, we need to let go of all the things that fill us with impurities. We need to extinguish that greed, need to extinguish that anger, extinguish that ignorance. Realizing that to have no extraneous thinking is the truth, not chasing after an idea, a concept of what truth is. When we have purified our mind we experience that the truth is not something separate. 

Continuing mind moments, ongoing, in every instant, clear mind moments, from morning until night from night until morning. Or else it is not the actual truth. Our mind and the Dharma are one. Yet knowing Dharma does not mean we know mind. In order to know Mind, we need to let go of every last spot of anything. That is why seeking a quiet space does not make our mind necessarily quiet. Even while sitting in the zendo, we can get distracted by our noisy thoughts and by other people around us. So we have to align our state of mind. We live in a world where we think it is our cities that are filled with noise and clutter, we blame our environment and we hold a quiet mind as being most precious and necessary. We believe that we can quieten our mind by controlling the world around us. We have to do Tenzo and get stuck on the idea: how can we possibly have a quiet mind while we need to do so many things? While actually it is just the opposite. Our eyes that are clearly able to see the truth can not be deceived by environment. If we are without extraneous thoughts, than no matter how noisy it might be around you, we can enter it and it is no obstruction. If our eyes can see clearly, then there is nothing that can obstruct us. It is not that our environment is noisy, but our thoughts and conditioning. The problem is not in the things that are happening around us, but the problem lies in our ability to be able to truly see them. 

Like the Sixth Patriarch has said: "If we make our minds not move at all, that is not the teaching of the Buddha." This is a big misunderstanding.  The Zen of our patriarchs is to be moving all day long in accordance with circumstances, while not being moved around by these circumstances. If we say we have to sit quietly in order to practice zazen, how then can we function in society ? Our mind is always moving. To make it not move is unnatural. In Japanese the word for mind is "kokoro" which at the same time in an onomatopoeia for "rolling along". The word in Japanese for path is "Do" or it can be read as "Michi" which actually means "to be fulfilled". 

If we try to sit so that our mind does not move at all, that is not correct zazen. Our mind has no form, no substance, just like the waves of a lake´s surface. In Zen we never close our senses, yet we know that our mind is deeper than those waves. Our mind seems to exist, like a shadow, yet if we get caught on this shadow being real, then we stay attached to this shadow forever. Our mind has no form, it cannot even be thought about being pure. We have all kinds of thoughts about what we perceive, which can clutter our awareness, yet if we do not get moved around by them, then there is nothing noisy in it. That noisiness in our awareness though cannot be left that way, we need to purify that. Not adding on anything to our mind, not holding on to any concerns. Do not give it any attention at all. Yet this is exactly what our habit is, and we need to learn to not continuously being engaged in it. Staying only with the experience and cutting away all added on judgement of good and bad. We constantly need to purify our mind.

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