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Harada Roshi

Harada Roshi´s Guiding words for the New Year
GREAT EFFORTS WITHOUT FAIL BRING GREAT LIGHT

In the old days, the monk Jimyo would strengthen his training by holding a pointed awl directly above his thigh when he did zazen so that it would pierce the leg and wake him up if he fell asleep while sitting.

“To live in this world and have no positive influence on it, and then to die without anyone knowing it, and having made no difference to anyone…” with these words the monk Jimyo urged himself on with great determination and did not give in to the devils of sleepiness. He eventually realized his training with a complete awakening.”

One day Hakuin Zenji read this passage and saw deeply that he must let go of everything and offer his whole life in order to fulfill his practice. He became determined to live and practice in this way and at the age of 24 he deeply realized the truth of the Buddha Dharma. From then on he polished and polished  his realization to become a person with a truly excellent human character, just as he had envisioned and vowed.

He never had a moment to sit down and even warm a seat!  He travelled every place giving Dharma talks rich with sweet Dharma nectar, like Dharma rain assuaging the thirsty  people everywhere, he taught to all different kinds of people continuously until he was 84 years old. He offered his whole life in this way, never regretting a single offered moment and opportunity to share and teach.

He wrote calligraphies and a huge number of books and writings and when we read and see them, we can see the depth of his studies and profound understanding of all of the many kinds of Zen expressions. From the very abstruse and difficult Zen records of the ancients with the clearest simplest expressions that every person would be able to comprehend, he taught and wrote, even using a most elementary alphabet that everyone could read and understand.

He gave of his life energy ongoingly to all the people of his time, and in all the things he did he gave with great love and compassion.

Master Hakuin Zenji is considered the greatest and most excellent Japanese Zen teacher in 500 years, not only in his own country of Japan but all over the world. People everywhere see his paintings and calligraphy, read his written words and are able to feel his wisdom and teaching very deeply and directly.

The huge number of his sumi painted calligraphies that he painted and left behind not only expressed zazen but Hakuin’s excellent human character, his Path Power and profound inner essence. All of these strengths came through all he created. His state of mind of  Zen without fail brings us great amazement, and his work never loses that quality.

From our innate Bodhisattva state of mind, when we realize and give rise to its vow, we find the ability to realize the paradise we see right within our own mind. For this everyone must once, with all of the body and the mind give rise to the deep vow to live the life of the Bodhisattva which is to live our life for all beings,  giving rise to and realizing this vow.

When we do live from this vow there is no difference between ordained and nonordained person. We offer our whole body and mind and all of our possessions,  to all people’s realization. We live then in the life of the way of the Mahayana. This is what is called a Bodhisattva.



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