Posts Tagged ‘Robe’

June 20th, 1971

Sunday, June 20th, 1971
Service at City Center

Service at City Center

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sunday, June 20, 1971


San Francisco


This sesshin—we call it “sewing sesshin“—sesshin and, actually, rakusu sewing—okesa-sewing sesshin.  Our okesa is not just—just symbol of our teaching, but it is actually dharma itself.  But unless you have proper understanding of it, the rakusu is something which you wear as a symbol of Buddhist.  But that is not proper understanding.


The proper understanding of our zazen or rakusu is same, not different.  Proper understanding of zazen is, at the same time, proper understanding of rakusu.  So unless you have real experience of zazen—zazen experience, rakusu is not actually rakusu; it is just something which you wear.  It is not dharma itself.


You may think I told you yesterday[1]  about rakusuokesa, and okesa Buddha made—okesa.  Gathering various material and sewed together and design it in this way after the shape of paddy field.  But here[2]  Dōgen-zenji says, refer to the ten—ten names of okesa.


By the way, Dōgen-zenji wrote more than 95 fascicles of teaching about transmitted teaching.  And two of them is about okesa, two of—two fascicles about okesa.  “Kesa-kudoku” nomaki and “Den-e” nomaki.[3]   So you may understand how important okesa is for us, you know, and those two fascicles are very long in comparison to other fascicles.


June 19th, 1971

Saturday, June 19th, 1971

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Sewing and Wearing the Buddhist Robes and

How It Relates to Our Practice

19 June 1971

San Francisco Zendō


Last Sunday I told you that, whatever religion you belong to, it doesn’t matter when you to come and sit with us.  That is because our way of sitting, of practice, is for you to become yourself.  Katagiri-rōshi always says, “to settle oneself on oneself.”  To be yourself.  When you become you, yourself, at that moment your practice includes everything.  Whatever there is, it is a part of you.  So you practice with Buddha, you practice with Bodhidharma and you practice with Jesus.  You practice with everyone in the future or in past.  That is our practice.  But when you do not become yourself, it doesn’t happen in that way.


So if you come here and sit with us, you’re not only sitting with us, but you are also sitting with everything, including animate and inanimate beings.  Dogen Zenji said, if your practice doesn’t include everything, that is not real practice.


It is not that after practicing for long time, you attain enlightenment and your practice includes everything, and you can practice with everyone.  When you join our practice, your practice includes everything.  And if you think that in two or three years, after your practice improves, that your practice will be perfect enough to include everything, that is a mistake.  Something is missing in that practice.  The sincerity is missing.


June 6th, 1971

Sunday, June 6th, 1971

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi


Saturday, June 6, 1971

San Francisco 

Listen to this talk: Suzuki-roshi 71-06-06

[The tape begins with Tenshin-sensei Reb Anderson reciting the verse attributed by Shākyamuni Buddha, quoted in the fascicle “Kesa-kudoku,” in Dōgen-zenji’s Shōbōgenzō.  The translation may have been by Suzuki-rōshi.]

Tenshin-sensei:  I will read now a translation of the sūtra we just chanted:

Listen carefully, Chiko Bisshu,[1]  to the ten precious virtues intrinsic to the garment of the great field of blessedness.  While common clothing encourages the growth of delusion, the Buddha’s garment of the dharma, the okesa, is by no means like that. 

          The okesa enables one, first of all, to achieve the completion of clear conscience.  The okesa covers the dishonorable conduct.  It is worthy to be called “the field where perpetual blessedness grows.” 

          Secondly, the okesa enables one to rest in the ultimate repose, eliminating discomfort from cold and heat or a poisonous insect with the preserving way-seeking mind. 

          Thirdly, the okesa enables one to be free from greed in the homeless life of a monk and eradicates the five false views.  It directs one’s effort towards the right practice. 

          Fourthly, the okesa enables one to elicit the same blessedness as King Brahmā by paying homage on one’s knees to the okesa like a banner woven with gems. 

          Fifthly, the okesa enables one to enjoy happiness in heavenly and human worlds under no influence of sinfulness, always in the belief that wearing the okesa identifies itself with the worship of a stūpa

          Sixthly, the okesa enables one to realize that as a true monk wears and reveres the okesa, made by the three proper methods and arrangement of its materials, color, and measurement, all his conduct is uncontaminated by upward attraction. 

          Seventhly, the okesa enables one to realize that all the buddhas admire its virtues and call it the fertile field, because to wear it is the best way to confer benefit on all beings. 

          Eighthly, the okesa enables one to cultivate the root of the enlightened mind and to practice under the inspiring influence of the okesa.

          Ninthly, the okesa enables one to realize that the germ of the religious awakening is like a spring seedling—that it is growing, and the surpassing result of the enlightened mind is like an autumn fruit. 

          Tenthly, the okesa enables one to be unspoiled by the poisonous arrow of delusion due to wearing the indestructible armor. 

          The Buddha has, as mentioned briefly above, admired the ten precious virtues of the okesa which surpass all description, even if one were to spend an incredible time to describe it. 

          A dragon with even a thread of the okesa is able to escape the hazard of falling prey to the garuda,[2] king of birds.