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Harada Roshi

KIKAN

In accordance with tradition, today the KIKAN (Inzan lineage) the exemplars of training are being read at Sogenji Monastery Japan, before the KOKUHO, opening speech for the first Osesshin of the New Rainy training period.

Long ago, Jimyo was among the six or seven disciples practicing under Master Funnyo Zensho, together with Taigu and Goya. There, east of the village, it was so bitterly cold, that the students were unable to bear it. Only Jimyo sat awake through the night, saying to himself: With strenuous efforts of the ancients always resulted in great illumination. What of me? Useless while alive, quickly forgotten when dead. Of what benefit have I been to the Dharma? To spur himself on he kept an awl and jabbed himself in the thigh with it. Later he succeeded Master Funnyo Zensho and greatly revitalized the Zen school. We was called the lion of West River.

One morning not so many years ago, master Hakuin came across the story and after reading it he sighed deeply and said: How true this is. If one doesn`t practice in this way, he cannot be called a genuine person of training. Spiring his determination, he investigated perfectly day and night, never stopping to rest. He persevered till he penetrated to the very limits of the way. Later he hastened the dragon and the elephant of the world along the way, and its virtue inspired emperors, nobles and virtuous people everywhere. He thoroughly revived the teachings of our school. It is said that in 500 years only one life like him appears. If we arouse the same spirit and practice in the same way, what path can we not complete, what virtue can we not realize? Students, do your best. I will not trouble you with further words.

I have described these two exemplars. Let us make of them our models. If the assembly is guided in accordance with their spirit, then it is well lead indeed. If someone turns again these, they must be expelled. There is an old saying: the law is without bias. Consider this well, consider this well.

As it is read according to tradition, we have now finished reading the exemplars of training. 

These arethe traditional verses, yet who does really understand these words? Readingsuch inspiring words that are not being understood – there is not much point inreading them. What effect does this have on our training? This we need to chewfor ourselves, and it needs to be taught on each person`s level.

What reallymatters to us? We see the world`s situation, and there are continuous disputesand fights in many places. Economic changes, political stupor, killing revolutingpeople – thus it is the truth that we cannot know what to believe and trust in.And we have no clue as to how to proceed I our life. Many high idols can betalked about, but if they are far away from reality, what is the point in them?

So we needto ask ourselves: what is it that we can do with our efforts, with our ownhands? Here it is the building of Buddha Lands, joining our hearts and minds,gathering people around us of the same intention.

10 % of theworld`s population has all the wealth and power to make decisions in theirhands. Yet in the midst of this situation, we might not have a lot, yet we havethe honest question: How can we respect each life in society, what is the trueway of living – we need to sincerely look at this question. That is thebuilding of Buddha Lands.

BuddhaLands are not some special Buddha country somewhere, but using wisdom to createa life together where we can respect each other. We can borrow the wisdom ofthe Buddha and the ancient sages for clarifying this.


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