Monday, April 6, 2009

The Production of Sutras

Sawaki Roshi: The person who has left home must create his own life.

Uchiyama Roshi: This was one of his favorite sayings. The "homeless life" was his creation. Preaching the dharma by using colloquial in profound and inventive ways instead of using Buddhist technical terms was his own uniques style. But as his disciple, if I merely imitate his life or only repeat his sayings, I will not be following his teaching. If I am to be his true disciple, I must go beyond him and create my own way of life and express Buddhism in my own words. So, I can't be satisfied by only repeating or explaining his remarks. He often said, "All Buddhist scriptures are only footnotes to Zazen." I want to continue to practice Zazen even more intensely than I did before his death. I also want to describe the meaning of Zazen in a language that is intelligible to modern mena and women.

Buddhism has become stagnent becuase monks and scholars only expound the old Buddhist scriptures. No one produces sutras for our age. For several centuries around the time of christ, the extensive Mahayana buddhist scriptures were produced by "Zazen-men." they were responsible for the rise of a vivid Mahayana Buddhism. I would like this to be a new age for the production of Mahayan Buddhist scriptures. Religion sinks and loses its vitalty in mere exposition and maintenence of the pre-established religious order. Only when each and everyone of us seeks the reality of ourselves for ourselves and responsibley creates our own life, will religion be a real scource of transformation in this age.


  1. Wow, important message! Thank you, Al!

  2. Where do we find the new sutras? In our blogs!

  3. Thanks gentleman. What really impresses me about Uchiyama is his articulate take on Sawaki's off handed remarks. Uchiyama tends to be extremely humble, but what many people don't know is that he was held a Master's in philosophy before even getting into Zen.

    I highly recommend "Living and Dying in Zazen" by Arthur Braverman. A very motivating read.

    I thought the new sutras comment was fresh as well.

    Thanks for reading.