According to Master Dogen's account of his time in China, one
morning his teacher Ju-Ching found a monk dozing during Zazen. Dogen heard his teacher scold the sleeping monk, "The practice of zazen is the dropping
away of body and mind. What do you expect to accomplish by dozing? When Dogen heard this, he had a realization and went to Ju-Ching's room, offered incense and bowed.
Dogen said to his teacher, "Body and mind have been dropped, that is why I
Ju-Ching approved saying, "Body and mind have been dropped;
you have dropped body and mind!"
And so ... just what is this "dropping away of body and mind" ?
In China, although scriptures were
continuously introduced and spread since the later Han dynasty (first century
BCE), still no one could determine which was most essential. After the First
Ancestor came from the West, the roots of the entanglements were cut, and the
one buddha-dharma pervaded. We cannot help but yearn for this to happen in our
country as well. For all ancestors and buddhas who have been dwelling in and
maintaining buddha-dharma, practicing upright sitting in jijuyu zanmai [the samadhi, the still
abiding taste of the self in self-fulfillment]
true path for opening up enlightenment. Both in India and in China, those who have
attained enlightenment have followed this way. This is because each teacher and
each disciple has been intimately and correctly transmitting this subtle method
and receiving and maintaining its true spirit. According to the unmistakenly
handed-down tradition, the straightforward buddha-dharma that has been simply
transmitted is supreme among the supreme.From the time you begin practicing
with a teacher, the practices of incense burning, bowing, nembutsu, repentance,
and reading sutras are not at all essential; just sit, dropping off body and
From:Talk on the Wholehearted Practice of the Way -
Kosho Uchiyama (with Shohaku Okumura, Taigen Daniel Leighton)
(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)
About this Entry
This page contains a single entry by Jundo published on March 20, 2009 12:19 PM.