Sawaki Roshi: You can't exchange farts with anyone, right? everyone has to live his own self. Who is good looking? Who is smart? You or I? There is no need to compare yourself with others.
Uchiyama Roshi: Sawaki Roshi devoted his whole life to Zazen. How did he describe it? In his early teaching, he often said, "Zazen makes the self into the self," and "To do Zazen is to become familar with the self." To do Zazen is to cast off everything and just sit, making "the self into the self."
Soon, final and entrance exams will be given in the schools. Some students will attempt suicide because of their poor grades on exams. Today's educational system only teaches competition. It does not teach how to return to the self. That's why such tragedies occur.
Whether you defeat others or are defeated by them, you live out the self which is only the self.
You never become someone else. Without being concerned about success or failure, go back to the self. Zazen is the practice in which you, "Let go of all associations, and put all affairs aside."(Dogen Zenji's Fukanzazengi). In the Sutta-Nipata, Buddha said, "Make yourself your refuge, walk in the world and be unchained from everything." Dogen wrote in Genjokoan, "To study Buddhism is to study the self." Without being pulled every which way through comparing yourself with others, settle down to the true self. According to Buddha's teaching, this is the essential way of pacifiying the mind. It is the purest zazen.
Sawaki Roshi: Sit firmly in the place beyond any question of whether you are great or not.