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Thread: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

  1. #1

    Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    Link to article: http://antaiji.dogen-zen.de/eng/adult01.shtml

    Muhô
    Present Abbot of Antaiji:

    What is zazen, what is practice?"
    "Just sitting, just doing."
    "What for?"
    "For nothing. Just do it. Practice the dharma for the sake of the dharma. There is no goal to reach, nothing to long for and nothing to attain. Just follow life in this one single instant, right here, right now - the life that you are presently living. Be one with reality, that is all."

    The theory is really simple. The only problem is that theory alone will not help us to be content with our practice. Although practice of the buddha way is supposed to be the easiest thing in the world, I think it is a fact that we are never quite content with our practice. Why?
    About Antaiji:
    During the second worldwar Antaiji was vacated until in 1949 Sawaki Kodo and Uchiyama Kosho, teacher and disciple on the buddha way, moved into Antaiji and made it a place for the pure and simple practice of sitting Zazen.

    Gassho Will

  2. #2

    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    Hey Will,

    Thanks for posting this. I've really liked reading some of his articles; good to be reminded that they're there.

    --Charles

  3. #3
    Senior Member kirkmc's Avatar
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    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    Practice the dharma for the sake of the dharma. There is no goal to reach, nothing to long for and nothing to attain.
    Every time someone says this, I can't help think that there is a disconnect in their logic. If there is no goal to reach and nothing to attain, what does "Practice the dharma for the sake of the dharma" mean? That's a goal; at least an objective...

    Kirk

  4. #4

    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    Thanks a lot Will....
    I really like it...

    Gassho, Shui Di

  5. #5

    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    Quote Originally Posted by kirkmc
    Quote Originally Posted by will
    Practice the dharma for the sake of the dharma. There is no goal to reach, nothing to long for and nothing to attain.
    Every time someone says this, I can't help think that there is a disconnect in their logic. If there is no goal to reach and nothing to attain, what does "Practice the dharma for the sake of the dharma" mean? That's a goal; at least an objective...

    Kirk
    I think you are correct in that it is an objective (a task or target) without a goal. Like maybe tossing rocks into a stream for no other reason than to toss rocks into the stream. The objective is to hit the water, but there is no underlying goal involved.

    Bill

    PS--Thanks for the link Will.

  6. #6

    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    I should probably add just because: Antaiji's a bit different fromTreeleaf, but tied to the same lineage (Kodo Sawaki through Nishijima Roshi).



    Gassho Will

  7. #7

    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    kirkmc wrote:
    will wrote:
    Practice the dharma for the sake of the dharma. There is no goal to reach, nothing to long for and nothing to attain.


    Every time someone says this, I can't help think that there is a disconnect in their logic. If there is no goal to reach and nothing to attain, what does "Practice the dharma for the sake of the dharma" mean? That's a goal; at least an objective...

    Kirk
    there is an aim but not a goal. The problem with going after a goal/attainable-something is that the only possible reason we could want such a thing is to feed Mr Ego, and that's inevitably a blind alley.

    It does sound illogical. How could you do something without a goal in mind? But such logic assumes that only what obeys to the laws of logic and can be grasped from a cognoscitive standpoint is real. Reality is here right before us, and the bastard does not pay attention to whether we see it, understand it, care about it, etc

    Having said that, it is pretty healthy to see the "logic disconnect" rather than pretending it ain't there. It's just that logic sees things from a limited view, and taking a step in any direction can show us another aspect of the phrase.

    What does "practice the dharma for the sake of the dharma mean"? All of us can give you our impression, but only you can find your answer 'cause our realities will always be different.

    Last, there ain't nothing fancy about practicing the dharma. When I wipe my ass I'm practicing the dharma; so the phrase might as well go "wipe your ass for the sake of wiping your ass". You can argue all day about how you wipe it to keep it clean, to avoid dingleberries, etc. but then you realize that indeed it is easy to wipe it for the sake of wiping it. "Eat for the sake of eating"; you can be thinking all along of how you're eating to get rid of that hunger, or you can just eat. Yeah, you will be equally taken care of, without the anguish of "darn, what if this is not enough and I need to eat again in 2 hours when there's nothing around. This ice cream is good but I don't care for the arugula, blah, blah, blah"

    I'm a verbal cripple, Kirk, so I don't think I'm helping here; but beyond sitting I think the best approach to this problem can be found in "How to cook your life" from Uchiyama.

    Gassho

  8. #8
    Stephanie
    Guest

    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    I don't understand - what is "adult" practice? Or should I even ask? :wink:

  9. #9

    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    Stephanie
    I don't understand - what is "adult" practice? Or should I even ask?
    For Muhô's complete meaning of adult practice, you'd have to read the article.

    Gassho Will

    This year is also the twentieth year of my own zazen practice. I myself encountered many questions during these two decades, and doubts and difficulties would sometimes pile up like walls in front of me. I can not recount how often I got stuck in my practice, but starting from this month I would like to reflect on my own experience and sufferings, trying to make clear to myself and others what practicing the buddha way means in the first place.

  10. #10

    Re: Muhô (Abbot of Antaiji) Adult Practice

    Hi,

    Quote Originally Posted by Will
    For Muhô's complete meaning of adult practice, you'd have to read the article.
    He goes into this in depth in his book, "Zazen oder der Weg zum Glück" (engl. "Zazen or the way to happiness"), as well. However, like 3 of Muho's 4 books of translations of Sawaki Roshi which aren't available in English, you'll have to learn German to read them... Hopefully they'll be translated some day to reach a wider audience of Soto Zen practitioners, as I've found them all to be very inspirational for my own practice.

    Gassho
    Ken

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