In the Shobogenzo, Dogen wrote, "Do not practice the bad." In the same chapter, he also wrote, "In the beginning we should try to not commit bad actions. But ultimately, this effort prolongs the conflict." Last Sunday, in mondo, a woman said to me, "I want to put an end to my bonnos, but it's very difficult." That approach is useless, the mind carries along its own contradiction.
In the end, even if you want to act badly, unconsciously, naturally, automatically, you cannot. At this moment, genjo, power appears in the practice. If you practice every day, it is no longer necessary to think about practice or to want to practice. Repetition is very important. Dokan, gyoji are very important. In the beginning, conscious will and effort are necessary. But if you repeat this action of practicing everyday for two or three years, it becomes dokan, gyoji. You can practice good things, unconsciously, naturally, automatically.
Even if you want to plunge into the bad current, mingle with bad people, even if you submit to bad situations and a harmful environment; through the power of gyoji and dokan, you cannot commit bad actions. This is a very important point. Unconsciously, naturally, automatically, in spite of bad circumstances, we cannot practice the bad.
Mushotoku, muga: this is the true Way, the Dharma; this is the authentic truth, saintliness. This is an essential point in Zen. Mushotoku doesn't exist in any other religion.