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Harada Roshi

Guidance at the time of Corona #9 and Buddha´s Birthday

Dear All,


The situation changes daily, the number of infected people as well. Does this new corona virus actually influence our life or is it only the talk about it?
Today is the birthday of the Buddha, the Buddha was born and awakened to human´s original mind. Teaching us what it is we can believe in, not as some philosophy to believe in, but he was speaking from his own actual experience. We have been guided by these words, embraced by the love of the Buddha, while we are alive in these uncertain times, we can experience a deep serene state of mind.


The Buddha´s birthday is also called the flower celebration. For this ceremony I wrote a poem in which I express my gratitude.


Flowers a laughing, birds are singing
This is the scenery we are perceiving now, Sakura flower blooming, Birds can be heard singing everywhere, becoming more daily. Singing empty minded, blooming empty minded. If we carefully listen to nature,
 
Completely freed from all doubts.
All those worries of society are being forgotten and let go of.
 
Leaving the womb taking seven steps
Hearing this does not suffice, my own words are needed
It is said that the Buddha walked 7 steps when born, symbolizing walking the whole earth. This of course did not actually take place. It means that the Buddha was born with this huge expansive mind. The Buddha pointed with his right hand to the heavens and with his left hand to the earth and said: Only I exist in this world. There is no God who scares us, neither is there an evil that can affect us. All is created by humans. Nowadays there is so much uncertainty, so many worries which appear as sickness. We see the news about people dying and of course anyone would become worried hearing this. But we need to see clearly at this point. How could we react in such circumstances? How should we look upon it? Carefully see that we do not let those worries become bigger in our mind, we settle within, and bring forth our wisdom, facing this changing reality straight on. We cannot fall into panic and become worried. This is how we as humans need to take responsibility. All 7, 5 billion people on this planet, we all need to awaken to the truth, and from there face the problems and make efforts on the path to resolving these.
 
Losing it all through the six senses
Everyone mistakes these words, not taking them as one´s own truth, but only thinking about oneself, about one´s satisfaction, about one´s own peace of mind – a huge misunderstanding. Don´t get stopped by the interpretation of these words.
 
What can we believe in, each person needs to revise this for himself. In the olden days, Confucius said, “I taught in different ways yet people do not understand me. I will stop teaching now. “His students replied: “You cannot do that. However much you teach, people will not understand. But if you stop teaching, even more so do people not know what to believe in.” Confucius replies: “This world does not speak, spring summer autumn and winter come about, all move naturally without a mistake. The leaves grown and fall again. In winter the whole world is quiet. The heavens do not speak a word, yet nature moves along in its own course.”
 
What makes the flower bloom in spring time? What makes the leaves grow, change color in the autumn? We do not know what moves them, yet without knowing this we can see the changing seasons.
 
There are disasters when many people lose their life, then again new life is born. When we see how nature moves, how the season change, we get a sense for the law which is at work behind it.


When the Buddha was about to die, he said to his students: I taught you the law of impermanence. How about it?” Since no one else replied, Anurda Sonja spoke and said: “You have taught us the eightfold path. We have received your wisdom and know well that humans were born to suffer, that is because we gather. The only way out is to know this immovable state of mind. We do need to make efforts and polish our wisdom. We all have understood this teaching of yours well.” – “If you have understood, then I can enter Nirvana.” Everyone started to cry and because they are crying so much, the Buddha raised his head once more and said: “Did you not just say that you have understood the truth? All who were born will die. This is a law. If we look at it from a personal small view we make mistakes. But looking at the whole picture, this is a law. I will die. I cannot go against the law, but the truth which I have realized is not the body and will live forever. This is what we call Dharma, it cannot be perceived with our eyes, yet people are born and die, this is the law. If we get stopped by the phenomena, we cannot see the whole picture.
 
These words of the Buddha are seen by the monks from South east Asia as being the precepts. The daily life of the Buddha is seen as the teaching, thus living according to the precepts is seen as the truth.
 
Zen has a different view, we need to awaken to the Buddha´s state of mind, to his experience. Not getting fooled by the self, by ideas, if we can taste this huge state of mind, that is where we can find the truth of the Buddha. Not searching for our own happiness only, but as it says in the Vimalakirti sutra, the light of a candle is not shining for itself, but by shining it shares its own light onto the surroundings. And this light is what brings brightness into this world. When it is dark we cannot see much. Only in brightness can our wisdom function. From there we are able to resolve problems. While the candle shines it uses up itself. The candle will burn up but it will give light to another candle, where the same flame will continue to burn and shine wisdom onto the surroundings. A light burning brings light upon others and thus will continue to live through others.
That is what the Buddha said, my body will die, but you can take your experiences and show the truth to others. Taking this truth and letting this world become bright. Thus our own light is what we can pass on. We do not live for the happiness of ourselves, but for all beings, and for this to become reality, we cannot stop making efforts. That is what the Buddha taught us.
 
A student asks Unmon: “What is the Dharma body?” – Unmon replies: “Roppushu”. The words meaning is “it does not settle within six”. If we explain these words, the number 6 stands for our six senses. Seeing Hearing Smelling Tasting Touching Thinking. These six senses connect us to the world outside. We can perceive the seen heard smelled tasted touched thought world. Unmon did not say it that conceptually. He goes beyond concepts and speaks about our own existence, if we look at it from a philosophical point, that would be a big mistake. The seeing life energy, the hearing life energy, the smelling life energy, touching life energy, thinking life energy – roppushu. All day long we encounter many people, many situations, hear many data, our own life energy is this roppushu. From morning until night from night until morning, we become this roppushu. We become it completely, we fill the whole universe with it. There is no need to try and understand our life but simply becoming it. Through this reality we become the seeing and hearing, we become one with our senses. This experience is what matters. Not staying with dualistic ideas, not stopping there, but in society face reality and not getting confused by it, our human value is to be found there. To be able to pass it onto others is our human responsibility.


Please see that is the place where the Buddha and Unmon are alive, letting go of the small perception and facing that which is right in front of us. Our efforts bring forth our wisdom. Shining this wisdom onto others, for this we cannot stop making efforts.
 

 

 



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