ODZ Seattle

2016 Calendar text

The 2016 calendars are at the printer. Here is the entire teisho for the 2016 calligraphy calendar phrase:

萬⾥里無雲萬⾥里天 Banri kumo nashi banri no ten

千江有⽔水千江⽉月 Senko mizu ari sen ko no tsuki

A thousand rivers of water, a thousand moons
A million miles without a cloud, a million miles of sky
From the sutras we read:
“Great indeed is the Mind!
Heaven's height is immeasurable, but Mind rises above Heaven.
The earth's depth is also unfathomable, but Mind reaches below the earth
The light of the sun and moon cannot be outdistanced,
yet Mind passes beyond the light of the sun and moon.
The universe is limitless, yet Mind travels beyond the universe.
Though referred to as Space, or Primal Energy that gives rise to Myriad Existence,
Mind encompasses Space and generates Primal Energy.
Because of it, the sky shelters from above and the earth supports from below.
Because of it, the sun and moon rotate, the seasons change and all things are generated. Great indeed is Mind!”

Thus, Mind encompasses every corner of the earth, just like the great sky and vast space. Each day on earth has different weather - rain, sun, snow, clouds, fog, or hail. But all these phenomena happen under the one huge blue sky.
We may experience transient joy, sadness, or suffering. But, while our thoughts are always changing, our Mind is actually empty, like the great sky above above every type of weather. Even while living the weather of everyday, we know deeply that we are always pure, clear, profound.

Sentient beings are essentially Buddhas. This is true of each and every person. The pure essence which exists prior to any thinking has no name. It is spoken of in many ways - ”the true person of no rank" , "only emptiness, no holiness”, ”from the origin not one single thing", "Mu" - but all these words are borrowed. Even the very name of Buddha is borrowed. There are no precepts there; this experienced is the Buddha dharma. When we try to articulate that experience, we might say “we enter God and God enters us.” We enter It, It enters us. As we dive into the world, the world simultaneously jumps into us; the subjective and objective are undivided. In this way, when time and space are not separated, true Mind is realized.

Our original Mind is without a small “me” or “myself”; there is no ego to be big or little, alive or dead, beautiful or ugly, increasing or decreasing. To think of oneself as an “I”, an individual, is egoistic. Without dualistic, egoistic thinking, nothing that comes to us can be an obstruction. When the Buddha was awakened he exclaimed, "How wondrous, how wondrous!! All beings, without exception, are endowed from birth with the same clear bright mind to which I have just awakened! Only because of attachments and extraneous thought do we not realize this!” The Buddha awakened to that which is prior to the ego, and taught that the human mind is like a mirror.

We are all born as what we are - but, in truth, that is no different from the Buddha; we are the same compassionate Mind. Because we get stuck thinking we are special, unique and adorable, we fail to realize our true being and true Mind. Buddha was amazed when he realized this!The Buddha's wisdom is all-seeing. Without a mind-moment brought into being, everyone's Mind is equal, endowed with this same wisdom and state of mind.

When there are dark clouds, do not become unsettled. Rather, see the clear sky above the clouds. If you look there, above the clouds, the moon always shines brightly. Realizing that the moon and clear Mind have always been there, the waves of disturbance and distraction are calmed. We are returned to the mirror-like Mind of Buddha Nature, bright and round, with nothing in it.
Water has no ideas about the clouds, the clouds do not think about the water. In the same way, there is no concept when a mirror reflects everything exactly as it is

Still water, dirty or clean, will always reflect the moon. When anyone, even a murderer or criminal, returns to original Mind, it differs not one bit from the Mind of the Buddha; it is endowed with the very same wisdom. Though its shape changes, water's basic elements do not vary. Whether a vast ocean, water in a bowl, in a bucket, barrel, or teacup, whether filling a well, or as dew on a blade of grass, the water itself is always the same. When water is still, it reflects like a mirror. We do zazen to quiet our minds in order to reflect the Mind, as calm water reflects the moon.

Doing zazen, realizing our empty-minded state of Mind, we can go on, to merge and become one with all things and all people. This state of Mind is the same as that of the Buddha. We do not invent this; what is reflecting and what is reflected are one, the same. To realize this we need to enter samadhi.

A thousand rivers of water, a thousand moons
A million miles without a cloud, a million miles of sky

...just this Mind. Above and below, these words join to form a circle, uniting to become one: the truth of joining our hands in this world. 

Due to Roshi's busy schedule this year, we are currently not accepting any new questions at this time

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