January 13, 2016, 8:48 pm ~ by Shodo Harada Roshi in news
Last day Osesshin last section of Teisho: The Rohatsu Sesshin followed by the reworking Osesshin and now the January sesshin is bringing this training period to an end. Having been send from Shofuku Sodo to Sogenji , the time that has passed since I started teaching the Dharma is already 36 year. It is said that an abbot usually stays in position for 30 years, and I have already passed that mark by 6 years. During these years I looked after 400 or 500 students. This place is different to the professional dojos places of training, that in Sogenji except during the month of August, every month has at least one osesshin. All people who want to train here need to cross the ocean, and now we are just 20 people. But during the sesshins in Europe, there are 75 people coming for training. In America about 53 people. While still having a waiting list with people who want to attend but there is no room.
To cross the ocean is not an easy thing to do. For doing that, one has to organize one´s daily life and job. That is why the number of people at Sogenji has never been huge. Yet because people feel close to their place of training in India, America and Europe, that is why they can manage to join for a week. It is not that there is no one who wants to train, there are actually so many who want to give it all. But saying it clearly, there are no teachers around. There is no one who can guide in training. It sounds strange, but in order to be able to become a real teacher, you need to give your whole life, need to give everything, and that is not an easy thing to do. Not just for a short time feeling good about the training but studies are needed, efforts cannot be left out, you need to have penetrated the Dharma of the Buddha in order to be able to be a teacher.
Just because you ate a slice of Daikon, you cannot say that you know about the whole daikon. Only the whole daikon is a daikon, looking at a slice alone does not do it. For that you also need to take time aside and study. Those kind of people are not easy to raise.
If there is a true teacher, students will always gather. But if the teacher is not ripe and cannot guide society to liberation, then he will not be able to raise true students who can in return become teachers. Why did all the four schools die out and only the Rinzai school remain? That is why Rinzai had that power to teach. Igyo, Hogen, Soto, Rinzai and Unmon - those five school blossomed, yet all but the Rinzai school vanished. The Soto school which exists nowadays came forth from the Rinzai school, studying the Soto tradition and giving Rinzai state of mind life in that Soto form. Taiyo Gensaku write about this clearly.
In order to leave the teaching behind, these kind of detailed, precise efforts need to be made, this eye that can see beyond is needed. Many students come forth, yet there are not many that take it to the last place. Rinzai is teaching that in training the teacher cannot take his eyes off the student, raising him, training him, until he has become the real thing. Many make efforts yet for a normal person to follow someone of a high state of mind is not an easy thing to do, that is a fact. We do not have enough teachers around nowadays. As for myself, to continue always and forever is not possible, life is not forever. Yet each and every person who need to be raised, I am giving all, and then it is up to everyone to continue these efforts or the Dharma will not remain. It cannot be half done. You need to give your whole life or else it does not work. Wanting to do this and that, that does not reach far. Do not make a mistake about this.