Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: What Ru jing said?

  1. #1

    What Ru jing said?

    What would be the closest translation of What Ru jing said, while hitting the sleeping monks, at the time of Dogen's realization ?

    I've read a couple of different versions.


  2. #2

    Re: What Ru jing said?

    Quote Originally Posted by will
    What would be the closest translation of What Ru jing said, while hitting the sleeping monks, at the time of Dogen's realization ?

    I've read a couple of different versions.

    "Quite snoring, you'll wake the baby" ??? :roll:

    No, in all seriousness, Will ... Hmmm. I am not sure what is the best translation.

    I believe the story is from the Hokyoki, which is a diary of Master Dogen's travels in China. Hee-Jin Kim and Taigen Dan Leighton (a pretty reliable pair) have it as "In zazen it is imperative to cast off the body and mind. How could you indulge in sleeping?"

    I know from the Shobogenzo-Zuimonki, that Rujing was a real hardnose on the issue of sleep. Dogen wrote ...

    When staying at Tendo Monastery in China, while the old master Nyojo was abbot there, we sat zazen until about eleven o’clock at night and got up at about half-past two to sit zazen. The abbot sat with the assembly in the sodo, never taking even one night off.

    While sitting, many monks fell asleep. The abbot walked around hitting them with his fist or his slipper, scolding them and encouraging them to wake up. If they continued to sleep, he went to the shodo1, rang the bell, and called his attendants to light the candles. On the spur of the moment he would say such things as; “What is the use of sleeping? Why do you gather in a sodo? Why did you become a monk and enter this monastery?”

    Consider the emperor and officials of the government. Who among them leads an easy life? The emperor governs with justice. The ministers serve with loyalty on down to the commoners. Who leads an easy life without laboring? You have avoided these labors and entered a monastery, but now spend your time wastefully. What on earth for? Life-and-death is the Great Matter. Everything is impermanent and changes swiftly. The teaching-schools and the Zen-schools both emphasize this. This evening or tomorrow morning you may become sick or die. Still you have no idea how your death may come or what kind of sickness you may contract. It is utterly foolish to pass the time you are alive meaninglessly sleeping or lying down while you fail to practice the buddha dharma. Since you are like this, the buddha-dharma is dying. When people devotedly practiced zazen, the buddha-dharma flourished throughout the country. As of late, the buddha-dharma is falling into decay because no one promotes zazen.”

    I personally saw him encourage the monks in his assembly in this way, and I saw him make them sit zazen.

    One time, his immediate attendant said, “The monks in the sodo are tired and sleepy. They may fall ill or lose their aspiration because of the long hours of sitting. Please shorten the time of zazen.”

    Angrily the abbot replied, “We must never do that. People without bodhi-mind who temporarily stay in the sodo would sleep even if we sat for only half an hour or less. Practitioners with bodhi-mind who aspire to practice are happier the longer they are able to sit and therefore, practice much harder. When I was young I visited various teachers in different regions. I was encouraged by an old master among them who said to me, “In the past I used to hit the monks so hard that I almost broke my fist. But since I am now old and weak I cannot beat them so hard. Consequently no good monks develop. Since few teachers encourage sitting, the buddha-dharma is dying. I’ll beat them even harder!” ... 02-25.html
    Gee, you guys sure have it easy with ol' Jundo! :evil: Rujing seems like a heck of a drill sargent at the Dharma boot camp!

    Gassho, J

  3. #3

    Re: What Ru jing said?

    Let me add that Practice need not be about "hard" or "soft" (as the Rujing story might scare some folks). I happened to be reading this famous parable of the Buddha today ...

    Sutra in Forty-Two Sections
    Section 34: By Staying in the Middle, One Attains the Way

    One evening a Shramana was reciting the Sutra of the Teaching Bequeathed by the Buddha Kashyapa. The sound of his voice was mournful as he reflected remorsefully on his wish to retreat in cultivation. The Buddha asked him, "In the past when you were a householder, what did you do? " He replied, "I was fond of playing the lute. " The Buddha said, "What happened when the strings were slack? " He replied, "They didn't sound. " What happened when they were too tight? " He replied, "The sounds were cut short. " What happened when they were tuned just right between slack and tight? " He replied, "The sounds carried. " The Buddha said, "It is the same with a Shramana who studies the Way. If his mind is harmonious, he can attain the Way. If he is impetuous about the Way, his impetuousness will tire out his body; and if his body is tired, his mind will become afflicted. If his mind becomes afflicted, then he will retreat from his practice. If he retreats from his practice, his offenses will certainly increase. You need only be pure, peaceful, and happy, and you will not lose the Way."

  4. #4

    Re: What Ru jing said?

    Thanks Jundo.


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts