Posts Tagged ‘Bodhisattva Vows’

July 6th, 1970

Monday, July 6th, 1970

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

SANDŌKAI  LECTURE XIII:  “Don’t Spend Your Time in Vain”

Monday, July 6, 1970

Tassajara

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 70-07-06

 

[This lecture is concerned with the following lines of the Sandōkai:

 

Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu,

mayōte senga no ko wo hedatsu.

Tsutsushin de sangen no hito ni mōsu,

kōin munashiku wataru koto nakare.

(Transliteration by Kazuaki Tanahashi.)

 

The goal is neither far nor near.

If you stick to the idea of good or bad,

you will be separated from the way

by high mountains or big rivers.

Seekers of the truth,

don’t spend your time in vain.

(Translation by Suzuki-rōshi.)]

 

Here it says:

 

Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu,

mayōte senga no ko wo hedatsu.

Tsutsushin de sangen no hito ni mōsu,

kōin munashiku wataru koto nakare.

 

Ayumi wo susumure baAyumi is “foot” or “step.”  Susumure ba:  “to carry on.” Susumure ba gonnon ni ara zuGon is “near”; on is “far away.”  Ayumi wo susumure ba.  Ayumi is actually “practice,” you know.  Ayumi wo susumure ba gonnon ni ara zu.

 

“There is no idea of far away from the goal or nearer to the goal.”  This is very important.  When you [are] involved in selfish practice, there is, you know—you have some idea of attainment.  And when you have—you strive for to attain enlightenment or to reach the goal, you have naturally, “We are far away”—you know, idea of, “We are far away from the goal.”  Or, “We are almost there,” you know.  Gonnon:  “near” or “far away.”
But if you really practice our way, enlightenment is there.  Mmm.  Maybe this is rather difficult to accept [laughs], you know.  When you practice zazen without any idea of attainment, there is actually enlightenment.  Or you may understand in this way like Dōgen-zenji explained:  In our selfish practice there is enlightenment and there is practice.  Practice and enlightenment is two—a pair of opposite idea.  But when we realize—when we understand our practice and enlightenment as an event in realm of great dharma world, enlightenment and practice is two event which appears in a great dharma world.  The both practice and enlightenment is also events, you know, which will have—which many events in our life or in our dharma world.  When we understand in that way, enlightenment is one of the event which symbolize the dharma world, and practice is also an event which symbolize our big dharma world.  So there is—if both symbolize or express or suggest the big dharma world, you know, actually we sh- [partial word], there is no need for us to be discouraged because we do not attain enlightenment or why we should be extremely happy with our enlightenment.  Actually there is no difference.  Both has equal value.

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April 29th, 1969

Tuesday, April 29th, 1969

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Tuesday Morning, April 29, 1969

San Francisco

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 69-04-29

This morning I want to—to explain how to take our bodhisattva’s vow.  We say “bodhisattva’s vow,” but actually this is not only Mahāyāna Buddhist vow but also all the Buddhist vow.  When we say Mahāyāna, we also—it means that something—usually it means that the something superior teaching in contrast with Hinayāna.  But this is—may not be real understanding.  According to Dōgen-zenji, this is not right understanding, to say “Hīnayāna” or “Mahāyāna.”

From the beginning of—the Āgama-sūtra[1] is supposed to be the oldest sūtra—Buddhist sūtra, but even in Āgama-sūtra this kind of thought is there.  [It] says, Shujō muhen—“Sentient beings are numberless.  I vow to save them.”[2] Why Buddha, you know, come to this—came to this world is to save sentient beings.  Usually those who do not believe in Buddhism comes to come to this world because of karma.  But for Buddhist—for Buddha, he did not come to this world because of the karma.

In Āgama-sūtra, they say Buddha passed away by his own choice.  And because he finished his task, he—because he has nothing to do more in this world, he took nirvāna, it says.  When he finished, you know, his task he took nirvāna.  It means that already [the] purpose of his coming to this world is to save sentient beings or to help others.  So if that is, you know, the reason why he come to this world if he finish his task—when he finished his task, there is no reason why he should stay in this world.  So he took nirvāna.

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December 2 1965

Thursday, December 2nd, 1965

Suzuki-roshi bowing (outdoor ceremony)

Suzuki-roshi bowing (outdoor ceremony)

December 2, 1965

Rev. S. Suzuki

Thursday morning lecture

(After demonstration of Buddhist bow)  To bow is very important—one of the important practice.  By bow we can eliminate our selfish, self-centered idea.  My teacher had hard skin on his forehead because he bowed and bowed and bowed so many times and he knew that he was very obstinate, stubborn fellow, so he bowed and bowed and bowed and he always heard his master’s scolding voice.  That is why he bowed.  And he joined our order when he was thirty.  For Japanese priest to join the order at the age of thirty is not early.  So his master always called him ‘You lately-joined fellow’.  He said, …… ‘[Japanese phrase missing in transcript]’….  It means priest who joined our order when he is old.  When we join order when we are young we have little….it is easy to get rid of our selfishness.  But when we have very stubborn, selfish idea it is rather hard to get rid of it.  So he was always scolded because he joined our order so late.  To scold does not mean slight people, or it does not mean to…actually his teacher was not actually scolding him.  His master loved him very much because of his stubborn character.

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