Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Life

Sawaki Roshi: Human beings don't seem to wake up unless they are compelled to compete with each other for a prize. It would not be strange to run a race if we were ostriches; it would not be strange to swim a race if we were fur seals; it would not be strange to scramble for a ball if we were kittens.

Uchiyama Roshi: Spectator sports are popular now. Some people watch games all the time and make a big deal out of them. They hardly have any time to reflect on themselves. I wonder about them. If they say that it's just entertainment, I agree with them. But entertaiment, like everything else must be judged must be judged form the perspective of a constant questioning of the value of the content of our lives.

Sawaki Roshi: Because their bored, in order to kill time, people are always agonizing , falling in love, drinking wine, reading novels, or watching sports; they are always doing things randomly and living from hand to mouth. For them this world is ukiyo (floating or transitory world). It is the place were people are always wobbling, window shopping, and going by detours.
Sawaki Roshi: Everywhere in this world, people feel bored, so they go to war brandishing deadly weapons as if they were children's toys, saying, "Right Wing" or "Left Wing." They do so because they think there must be something to it. But there isn't. Only the grave waits for us.
Sawaki Roshi: Human beings boast that Man is the lord of creation, but in fact human beings don't even know how to take care of themselves and watch sports or pursue other vapid forms of entertainment to avoid facing themselves and then justify it all by saying that they are just like everyone else.
Sawaki Roshi: When children nag about something, their parents scold them and tell them they are being unreasonable. These parents are also being unreasonable. This is Mumyo, ignorance of the true nature of existence, one of the twelve links in the chain of dependent origination.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

In the Family

Sawaki Roshi: Too often, the home is nothing more than a place where husband and wife, parents and children, spoil one another and bind each other up in fatal ties.

Uchiyama Roshi: I don't think I'm qualified to give advice to other people, but this world is a strange place. I say that because there are many people who come to me for advice about their familt problems. They open their hearts to me and tell me about their home lives, sometimes travelling a great distance only for that purpose. Since this is a temple, they feel safe here, thinking that what they say will not leak out to others. I have been listening to them one by one for a number of years, frequently hearing the same story. People often get married only out of mutual sexual attraction. Although they reach fifty and their sexual passion diminishes, they treat each other like strangers or even hate each other and share a disordered house. They want to divorce, but cannot, because of the opinions of others, or their children, or their economic situation.

Consider the relationship between parents and children. No matter how much they hate each other, they are "similar figures" and when the corners of similar figures come into contact, there can be trouble: passionate mother and passionate daughter, stubborn father and stubborn son, greedy parent couple and greedy young couple, unfeeling parents and unfeeling children. It would be good if they could realize they have horns pointing in the same direction and sympathize with one another. If they continually butt one another, its just endless trouble. In order to create a home that is truly a place of rest, consideration, and love, we should respect each other's feelings and opinions, reflect upon oursleves, and make an effort to live in harmony with others.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ghosts and the power of suggestion

Sawaki Roshi: People often ask me if ghost exist. Anyone who thinks about such matters is a ghost.

Uchiyama Roshi: Sawaki Roshi always expressed himself unequivocally. As long as you don't believe in ghosts, there are no ghosts, but once you become confused to whether ghost exist or not, you become a ghost yourself because of your confusion.

When someone believes a spiritualist who tells him that he is haunted by an ancestor's soul, or that they can call up the soul of a dead person and solve all his problems, he becomes firghtened, is swindled out of his money, and loses his wits. One who can't walk a straight line in such matters really is a ghost. Moreover, a person who is easily influenced by the power of suggestion is unreliable. When he gets sick he gets sick and his condition deteriorates, he becomes really foolish. Even after his body has recovered from the illness, he still suffers, thinking that his doctor has given up on him. And he can't regain his wits because of the suggestion that he is sick. Under these conditions, he can easily be influenced by a charismatic religious leader and after a mesmerizing prayer, incanation, or laying on of hands believes that he has been cured. Anyone who is easily manipulated is a ghost.

Sawaki Roshi:
People often say that they saw the spirit of a dead person or that they dreamed of so and so when he was dying. It's just another detail in the vast landscape of samasra.