Posts Tagged ‘Windbell’

March 1964

Sunday, March 1st, 1964

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MODEL SUBJECT NO. 49

FROM THE HEKIGAN ROKU

(BLUE CLIFF RECORDS)

With a commentary by Engo-zenji

Translated by Reverend Suzuki, Master of Zen Center

March 1964

San-cho and “The Golden Scales” Escaping from the Net

Introductory Word:

Engo introducing the subject said: Seven piercings and eight holes, snatching the drums and carrying off the banner (in war-time to pierce the enemy’s lines in seven or eight places and to snatch the enemy’s drums and banner is metaphorically compared to the great activity of San-cho in the main subject). A hundred ramparts and a thousand entrenchments, watching the front and guarding the rear (comparisons to Sep-po’s way of attending to San-cho). Or sitting on the tiger’s head and seizing its tail: such is not good enough to compare the great activity of skillful Zen Master (San-cho). Even though an ox-head disappears and a horse-head appears, this would not be miraculous enough (in comparison to the skill of Sep-po). So ponder what you will do, if you come across a man of such surpassingly great activity.

Main Subject:

Attention! San-cho asked Sep-po: “What (Why?) does a mysterious golden-scaled carp escaped from the fishing net cast?” Sep-po said, “I would like to wait for your coming out of the fishing net and then answer you.” San-cho said, “You, who have fifteen hundred disciples do not understand what I say.” Sep-po said: “this old monk is too busy in managing temple affairs to attend to you.”     

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February 1964

Saturday, February 1st, 1964

MODEL SUBJECT NO. 46

FROM BLUE CLIFF RECORDS

Commentary by Reverend Shunryū Suzuki

Master, Zen Center

February 1964

Attention!  Kyo-sei asked a monk, “What is the sound outside the door?”  The monk said, “It is the sound of raindrops.”  Kyo-sei said, “All sentient beings are deluded by the idea of self and by the idea of the world as subjective or objective (as permanent).

Commentary:

Kyo-sei has seen through the monk, who thinks he is not caught by the “objective” sound of the raindrops, but he who actually is caught by the sound of raindrops in his subjective world.

The monk said, “How about yourself?”  (In other words, “I have the raindrops in my clear mind.  How about you?”)  Kyo-sei said, “People may say I am not deluded by myself or by the raindrops.”  (Original text says:  “I am almost not deluded myself.”)

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December 1963

Sunday, December 1st, 1963

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MODEL SUBJECT NO. 40

FROM THE HEKIGAN ROKU

(BLUE CLIFF RECORDS):

RIKKO’S “HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE THE SAME ESSENCE”

December 1963

Rikko is said to have lived from 764-834.  He was a high official of the Tang government in china. He was a disciple of Nansen Fugan.  His writings and biography are in Koji-buntoruko.  There were many famous lay Zen Buddhists during the Tang Dynasty.  The most famous of these lay Buddhists are:

Ho-Koji (Ho-un)–see Model Subject No. 42

Kak Rakten (Hak-Kyoi)–the most famous writer and poet of the Tang Dynasty.

Haikyu–Highest public official of the time. His teacher was Obaku (Huang Po).

Haykyu–Compiler of Obaku’s Denshin Hoyo (a collection of sermons and dialogues).

Riko–a high official and the scholar-author of Fukuseisho

Sai Gun–a high official and scholar

Chinso–see Model Subject No. 33

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November, 1963

Friday, November 1st, 1963

Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

MAIN SUBJECT NO. 36

FROM THE BLUE CLIFF RECORDS

Cho-sha’s “Strolling about Mountains and Waters”

November 1963

Attention! One day Cho-sha went for a walk.  When he returned to the gate, the gate-keeper asked, “Sir, where have you been walking?”  Cho-sha said, “I have been strolling about in the hills.”  “Where did you go?” asked the gatekeeper. “I have walked through the scent of herbs and wandered by the falling flowers.” said Cho-sha.  The gatekeeper said, “Very much like a calm Spring feeling.”  Cho-sha said, “It transcends even the cold autumn dew falling on the lotus stems.”

Setcho, the compiler of the Blue Cliff Records, adds the comment, “I am grateful for Cho-sha’s answer.”

Commentary by Reverend Shunryū Suzuki, Master of Zen Center:

“Strolling about mountains and waters” means in Zen the stage where there are no Buddhas or Patriarchs to follow and no evil desires to stop. Not only climbing up a mountain or wandering about waters, but all activities of Cho-sha are free from rational prejudices and emotional restrictions. His mental activity is free from any trace of previous activity. His thinking is always clear without the shadows of good and evil desires.

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September 1963

Sunday, September 1st, 1963

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MODEL SUBJECT NO. 30

JOSHU’S LARGE RADISHES

Commentary by Reverend Shunryū Suzuki-rōshi

Zen Center

September 1963

There is no Introductory Word to Model Subject No. 30 from the Blue Cliff Records, but I will apply the following statement from a Buddhist Guide for the Layman by Sita Paulickpulla Renfrew [publisher: Cambridge Buddhist Association, Cambridge, Mass.] as an introduction.

According to Buddhist ethics, no person or authority can ever impose upon another any code of conduct lower in morality or humanity than the individual himself wishes. Neither can anyone make another act on a higher plane than the individual himself desires. Each individual can act only according to the level of his state of evolution, and he has to live by the consequences thereof.

Main Subject from the Blue Cliff Records:

Attention! A monk asked Joshu, “I hear by rumor that you were at one time closely associated with Nansen. Is that so, or not?” Joshu replied, “Chin-shu produces very large radishes.”

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July 1963

Monday, July 1st, 1963

BLUE CLIFF RECORDS

MODEL SUBJECT NO. 25

TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY BY REV. SUZUKI

ZEN MASTER OF ZEN CENTER

July 1963

Introductory Word:

Engo introducing the subject said, “If a man comes to a standstill at some stage, feeling spiritual pride in his enlightenment; he will find himself in a sea of poison. If he finds his words unable to astonish men of lofty spirit, then what he says is quite pointless.

If one can discern the relative and the absolute in the spark of a flint stone, and can apply the positive and negative way in right order, then one is said to have acquired the stage that is as stable as fathomless cliffs.

Main Subject:

Attention! The hermit of Lotus Peak took up his staff and said to the crowds, “Look at my old staff, What was the intention of the Patriarchs of former days in using their staffs?”

Since the crowds had no answer, he himself answered, “They did not have to depend on their staffs.”

Then asking them what the supreme goal was, he answered for them again, “Carrying my palm-staff on my shoulder, without any compassion, I immediately enter the thousand, ten thousand peaks of the mountains.”

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April 1963

Monday, April 1st, 1963

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COMMENTARY BY MASTER SHUNRYŪ SUZUKI

ON MODEL SUBJECT NO. 20

FROM THE BLUE CLIFF RECORDS

April 1963

Zen may be said to be the practice of cultivating our mind to make it deep and open enough to accept the various seeds of ideas and thoughts as they are. When this kind of perfect acceptance takes place, everything will orient itself according to its own nature and the circumstances. We call this activity the Great Activity. Reality can be said to be the bed that is deep and soft enough to accept everything as it is.

When you accept everything, everything is beyond dimensions. The earth is not great nor a grain of sand small. In the realm of Great Activity picking up a grain of sand is the same as taking up the whole universe. To save one sentient being is to save all sentient beings. Your efforts of this moment to save one person is the same as the eternal merit of Buddha. (more…)

March 1963

Friday, March 1st, 1963

COMMENTARY BY MASTER SHUNRYŪ SUZUKI

ON MODEL SUBJECT NO. 19

FROM THE “BLUE CLIFF RECORDS

March 1963

Gutei’s lifting up one finger:

Gutei lived in a small hermitage to be free from the fierce persecution of the first part of the ninth century A.D. in China.

One day a nun named Jissai came to visit him, entering with her hat on her head and her pilgrim staff in her hand. She looked around the seat where Gutei was sitting and said, “I will take off my pilgrimage hat, if you give me a satisfactory statement.” When he could say nothing, she started to leave. He tried to stop her, because it was late and dark out. Then she said, “If you can offer one word good enough to stop me, I will be happy to stay.”

When he could not, he became quite ashamed of himself and decided to leave his hermitage on a pilgrimage in order to study Buddhism some more. That night he dreamed a Bodhisattva visited him and said that an incarnate Bodhisattva was coming to teach him.

The next day the famous Zen Master Tenryu came. Gutei told him Jissai’s visit and about the dream. Tenryu, in answer, lifted up one finger. Gutei was enlightened at that moment, and he said, “I have acquired Tenryu’s ‘one finger zen’ as an inexhaustible treasure for the rest of my life.”

From that time on, he answered innumerable questions by lifting up one finger.

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February 13, 1963

Wednesday, February 13th, 1963

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From when the Wind Bell was still one page and came out once a month.  An edited summary of a lecture.

63-02-13

Commentary on Blue Cliff Records Case Number Eighteen by Suzuki-roshi, February 13, 1963

Commentary

Nanyo Echu Kokushi was a famous disciple of the Sixth Patriarch, a very good Zen Master, and quite a scholar of Buddhism in general.  It is unfortunate for us that he did not have many good descendants, because as a result we do not know him so well.  But he himself was a great Zen Master.  After receiving transmission from the Sixth Patriarch, he practiced for forty years on Mount Hakugai without ever leaving the mountain.

Main Subject

Attention!  The Emperor Shukuso asked Nanyo Echu Kokushi, who was sick, “A hundred years from now what kind of memorial do you want?”  Nanyo replied,”For this old monk an untiered seamless mound will do.”  The Emperor asked, “Master, please tell me what design you would like?”  Nanyo was silent for a while, and then he said, “Do you understand?”  The Emperor replied, “No, I do not understand.”  Nanyo answered, “This poor monk has an attendant (jisha) who will be my publicly appointed successor, please ask him after I am gone.”

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January 1963

Tuesday, January 1st, 1963

COMMENTARY BY MASTER SUZUKI ON MODEL SUBJECTS NO. 14 & 15 FROM THE BLUE CLIFF RECORD, UMMON ZENGI AND THE TEACHING GIVEN BY SHĀKYAMUNI DURING HIS LIFETIME

January 1963

First Question:

A traveling monk asked Ummon-zenji:  “What is this first teaching [the Teaching told by Buddha during Buddha’s own lifetime]?”

Ummon replied: The teaching confronts each.

(Model Subject No. 14.)

Commentary:

The teaching given by Shākyamuni Buddha during his lifetime was accommodated to each disciple’s particular temperament, and to each occasion’s particular circumstances. For each case there should be a special remedy. According to the circumstances there should even be teaching other than the teachings which were told by Buddha. In the light of this, how is it possible to interpret and pass down an essential teaching which can be applied to every possible occasion and individual temperament?

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