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True Zen Teachings

Furyumonji

Kusen by Taisen Deshimaru Roshi

Theological and spiritual speeches and theories (which exist as much in Buddhism as in Christianity) express nothing more than a total loss of wisdom.

There are no fewer than 15,000 existing sutras. Certain masters boast about the number of sutras they've read or even reread. These people are crazy. Reading just a third of all these sutras is largely sufficient. Even that's difficult.

Hearing them count their sutras, you'd think you were in a bank or in a company during their profitability review. If a bank employee counts thousands of francs every day, he is not going to get a raise at the end of the month as a consequence. Accumulating large quantities of sutras is no more effective. When it comes to true Buddhism, if you have deep understanding of the Hannya Shingyo, that's enough.

Nowadays, government and educational leaders base everything on intellect and rationalism. Intuition, being in harmony with the cosmic order and the meaning of real values have been lost. Either robotic, heartless logic governs the world, or there is too much piety, too much leniency, and too much indulgence. We have completely lost the sense of the right path, the right practice.

In Zen, there's the expression furyumonji. Fu: negation; ryu: hold on to; mon: words; ji: writings. "Don't depend on words and writings." Don't rely on anything, don't depend on anything. Here and now, you are Buddha or God.

The insane don't know they're insane. In the same way, you don't know that you're God or Buddha. You can only understand this from within yourself, not from outside. You are aware of the fundamental cosmic power. You make yourself aware of yourself. You unconsciously understand your own inner nature. Dogen criticized teachers who sought awareness and satori outside themselves. This can only lead to idolatry and other similar heresies.

Statues are important for ceremonies and rituals. However, you must not consider a statue of Buddha as the real Buddha. There's no objective Buddha or outside God on the other side. There is a subjective Buddha or God inside of ourselves.

We are not born, nor do we die. If we never felt doubt, it wouldn't be necessary to have satori. Complete understanding with the entire body is objective satori. The essence of Buddha's teaching explains that you don't have to think about where you were born or where you go when you die. The past and the future are not important. The true Buddha is there, inside yourself, close by.

Everyone thinks about their life in the future and what it will be like. They cut themselves off from the reality of their present life. What is real in our lives? Existence is here and now. The past and future do not exist now, but the present moment includes the past and future.

Our lives are not just material. They have no form. They don't exist in a set place. They freely evolve everywhere. They are not attached to a place or a period of time. They are an existence which goes beyond time and space.

Real life exists, but sometimes it doesn't exist. It goes beyond our common sense and thought. Neither material, science, intellect, nor economics can grasp it.

Your zazen doesn't permit any language, only silence. It doesn't allow assumptions, only (surprisingly enough) faith.

Source: Bulletin Zen. AZI Paris. Assembled by Raphaël Triet.


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