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Taking refuge; our true place; funzo; placing robe on the head; story from vinaya about silk.

AI Summary: 



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Within this degenerated age of the last dharma, people are not ashamed that they do not have the authentic transmission. They must be companions of demons. Their present possessions are activated by their past karma and are not demons. Only taking refuge and venerating Buddha dharma authentically can be their true place to return, for the sake of studying the Buddha way. So again Dogen Zenji criticizes some people, and that might be made trouble for him and


for his Sangha. To show a true place to return. A true place to return is a transmission of Jitsuhi. Jitsuhi is true, or genuine. The key is to return. And this key is the same key with the key in Namu Kiebutsu, Kie, that means take refuge. To take refuge means to return to the place


we really belong to. We can really settle down in peace and harmony. So as a Buddhist student, we should return to the place where we can really settle down in peace and harmony. That is what Kie, or taking refuge, means. In that case, that means we take refuge in Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. We need to find a genuine place to return instead of our creation, depending upon our idea or desire. So that is true Dharma, that


is true Buddha, that is true Sangha. In the case of Okesa, Okesa is a kind of costume. One of the, one of the, one of the, one of the point of criticism, I think, from Dogen, is since the Tang Dynasty in China, and also in the very beginning of the history of Buddhism in Japan, Buddhism was supported by emperors, government, aristocrats, and rich people. And in their, you know, imperial court, they were, depending upon the status within the court, you know, the people's color of their costume or uniform is, you know, different. And because they, I mean, Buddhist priests


or monks were supported and sometimes visited the imperial court, they were not allowed to enter the imperial court. They kind of invented the kind of a status symbol using the color of Okesa, or Koromon, and that continues today, until today. So Okesa became a kind of a costume or a uniform. You know, uniform and no form is completely almost opposite. I think, you know, Buddha's robe should be a robe without form, but uniform is opposite idea, to make it into one form, and within this one form, like a military uniform, there are, you know, status, hierarchies. And Buddhism in Japan, you know, is a kind of a symbol


of the history of Buddhism. And I think, you know, in Japan, at the time of Dogen, it was almost like that way. I don't have much time about the situation in 13th century Japan, in order to finish this text. But if you are interested in the history of Buddhism at that time in Japan, is there any Japanese, English book on the history of Japanese Buddhism? I hope there are some. First of all, we should know that Kashaya, or Okesa, is what all Buddhas venerate and take refuge in. So this Okesa is, according to Dogen, this is Buddha Dharma itself. And


next sentence he said, Kashaya is Buddha's body and Buddha's mind. So this is Buddha. So we should not change depending upon our idea or conventional evaluation. That is his point. Okesa is really precious. This is Buddha's mind and Buddha's body. And this is a symbol of shoho jitso, or the reality of all beings. That is the entire network of interdependent ordination itself. So we should not change the design of Okesa depending upon our personal preferences and ideas. That is the point of Dogen. So we should study further.


What is the original or genuine Okesa? Can we find it? Difficult to find it around us. It is called the rope of liberation. Here he lists out nine names of this rope. The first three are very familiar with us because those are the part of the rope chant. It is called the rope of liberation, the rope of the field of happiness, the rope of no form, the rope of no form. The unsurpassable rope, unsurpassable is mujo, translation of mujo, mujo is unsurpassable, complete, perfect enlightenment. So unsurpassable rope means there is nothing


to compare with this. The rope of patience. Patience is of course one of the six essential parameters of bodhisattva. And the rope of tathagata, the rope of great compassion, the rope of the victory banner. Victory banner means the sign of victory when Buddha in a sense fought against Mara under the Bodhicitta. When he attained Buddhahood that means he had a victory against the delusions or delusive desires, but Mara is a symbol of those delusions. So this Okesa is a symbol of victory of Buddha against the false delusions.


And the rope of unsurpassable supreme awakening, this is Anuttara Samyak Sambhogi. In this way we should truly receive, maintain, kashaya, and venerate it by placing it on the head. Placing it on the head is what we do when we do rope chant in the morning. The Japanese word is chodai. Chodai means the top, or pinnacle, or peak. That means top of the head. And dying to put


on, to place. So chodai literally means put something on above your head. This is in the ancient times when someone is given something from the emperor or someone higher than the person, we receive like this. Then we receive Okesa during the ordination ceremony, Okesa Uwarakusu, we receive like this. This is chodai. So chodai means to receive, is respect. And that is what we do with Okesa when we chant. And we do the same thing with Oryoki in the beginning of Oryoki meal. And Japanese more, Japanese colloquial word for chodai is itadakimasu. And before each meal, when we start to eat, each meal we say itadakimasu.


Not only within this community, but as in all Japanese society, society we say itadakimasu. Many people still do gassho, but not all, but everyone say itadakimasu. That means we receive this. And in our zendo, instead of saying itadakimasu, we actually say itadakimasu. We actually show it with our attitude or gesture. So this is the expression itadakimasu, a very common Japanese expression. Itadakimasu came from Buddhist practice. And also when we finish eating, in Japanese we say gochisousama, or gochisousama. So we say gochisousama. And this is a funny expression. Go is the same as O, a kind of a term to make the word


honorific. And chisou means to run about, running around. And this means, is there Ida-ten here? Ida-ten is a god of teaching. And Ida-ten is a god of teaching. Ida-ten is well known for his running fast. So he was a fast runner. That means the teaching of Ida-ten, run around the world and collect the good material, ingredients. So gochisousama means we appreciate or thank to the Ida-ten. For his running around and collect the food for us. So that expression, gochisousama, also came from Buddhist practice. And it influenced the entire Japanese culture.


So we should, you know, liberate at least this orchestra. Because this is a symbol of Buddha's awakening. So because of this, we should not change it according to our preferences. So we should really liberate this orchestra and try to keep the genuine form. And of course, genuine spirit of soul, not only desire, but soul. So when we sow and when we receive and when we put on every day, we should keep the same attitude as we receive Buddha's teaching or something very important. That's how we liberate actually our own lives. Liberate and appreciate and express our gratitude


for the people and all the network of interdependent origination that support us, support our practice. From next paragraph, he discusses about the material of the role of orchestra. So paragraph 19, as for the material of the role, we use either silk or cotton, according to conditions. This English word, cotton, is some explanation. Does it work? Hello?


Hello? Does it work? Okay, the word I translated as cotton is not really cotton. Here, Dogenzenji pick up two, kinu or silk and silk is kinu. And the word Dogenzenji uses is fu or nuno. And this fu, according to the Chinese, Japanese dictionary, this fu means cotton. But in this case, it's not only cotton. In the Vinaya, in the Chinese Vinaya, there are


ten fabric materials listed, and one of them is silk, and others including cotton, hemp, and wool, wool from silk, all other things. Here, Dogenzenji discusses about silk and other materials. So this is not only cotton, but I don't know how to say, you know, other different materials in one English word. So I use the word cotton, but this only refers to the particular material cotton, which includes all other materials except silk, because silk is a problem, not


a question among the Buddhist Vinaya masters. So as for the material of the robe, I'm going to try something with the PA. So Dogen's point is whether silk or other materials are OK. So Dogen's point is whether silk or other materials are OK.


OK. As I said yesterday, the founder of Chinese Vinaya school, Nanzang Dosen, Chinese pronunciation, this is Nang, and Xiang, Dao, Xuan, X-U-A-N, and his date, 596-6, 667, so he lived in the 7th century, around the same time with Genjo or Han Shuang, the famous translator.


This person, because he was the founder of Vinaya school, he had most authority about Vinaya, and Okesa is a part of Vinaya study. And this person, in his writings, he said silk should not be used, because silk is made by or through killing silkworm. So it has something to do with the precept of killing or not killing. But in the Indian Vinaya, it says silk can be used, but there's one precept in the Vinaya that many people,


not many, but again a group of six monks, visited silk makers and asked them to donate silk to make their Okesa. And the silkworms were still alive, so that means the silk makers had to kill the silk. And when Buddha heard that incident, he said monks should not ask the silk makers to donate the silk, and for that, in order to do so, they had to kill the still-alive silkworm.


So that was prohibited. But the silk fabric already, how can I say, abandoned, used, and abandoned can be used in the Vinaya. But this person, Nangan Dosen, was against that idea, and he changed the rule and said silk should never be used as the material of Okesa. That was the point of discussion of Dogen here. Dogen is against that idea, silk should not be used. So that's why he's saying it is never true that cotton is pure and silk is impure.


So silk can be used. The point of pure and impure is not a matter of cotton or silk, but the point or yardstick of pure or not pure, impure, according to Dogen, not only Dogen but Buddha, is whether the material is still with desire or attachment or craving, or if someone still has some attachment to that silk, either silk or cotton or any material, monks should not take it, because that is stealing. Monks should not take anything that is not given. That is the precept. So if the fabric has some attachment to someone,


the monks should not take it. That is the precept. So it is never true that cotton is pure and silk is impure. And yet we never see people disliking cotton in favor of choosing silk. This is laughable. So don't make discrimination between cotton and silk. This is the same as in the story of Vimalakirti Sutra. Vimalakirti criticized Mahakasyapa and Subhuti. They don't prefer to receive food from poor neighborhood. But if we really understand the equality of all things, monks should receive any food from poor people and rich people


without making discrimination. This is the same thing. If we prefer cotton and dislike silk, that is another discrimination. That is Dogen's point. As the everlasting Dharma of all Buddhas, the law made with, as I said before, I use Japanese word, Funzō, or Funzō-e, instead of excrement cleaning rags. Funzō-e is considered to be most superior. Funzō-e is... Funzō-e literally means excrement or shit.


And Zō or Sō means clean. You know, I think you use the word Sōji for clean, I think. That Sō is this Sō, same kanji, to clean, to sweep. And E is robe. And this word, Funzō-e, is used in both the material monks find in the garbage heap, the material to make the robe, and also the robe made from that material is also called Funzō-e. So both material and the robe are called Funzō-e. And according to Sanskrit, this Fun really means excrement.


But Funzō-e is a word for the garbage heap, like a junkyard. So that means people discard the materials they don't use anymore. Those are free from their attachment or desire. So those are free to take. That is what Funzō means. And an important point is he used this expression, Funzō, in this writing, not only as a robe material, but he said, We are Funzō. And this entire network of interdependent origination is Funzō.


That means there is no market value. And yet, this is most valuable. Market value means conventional value, valid only within human society. But ultimate value is not only within human society, but this entire network of interdependent origination, or Shokō-ji, is beyond human evaluation. It supports human society or human beings, but it's not only for human beings. So the value we should, or measurement of value we should use


is not something only valid for human beings. Or in a sense, human's central value. But because we are living with other living beings, and not only living, but all other beings together, and we are supported by all beings, we should use another measurement of valuing things. And then Sawakirō said, Zazen is good for nothing. This is very well-known teaching of Sawakirō, my teacher's teacher. That means good for nothing. I really like the word good for nothing. That means it has no market value within the human conventional society. But this is much broader or boundless value.


But for human beings, it has no value. We cannot sell this Zazen, and we cannot sell this law, and we cannot sell our life. But those are more important or precious than something we can buy. I think that is the meaning of priceless. We cannot put a price. We cannot trade. We cannot buy. We cannot sell. But this is the only thing we have, so beyond duality. No evaluation. No judgment. That is the value of this life we are living in, and this network of living, not only living, network of being, or inter-being. That should be the true kind of measurement of value.


How can we make or keep this network of interdependent relations in better shape, or healthy, wholesome shape? I think it should be the measurement of our value. I think now, especially in this modern world, our value is so much self-centered for human beings. We think we can use anything in this world as a material for making us, human beings, happy, or satisfy our desires. That is the basic, I think, delusion for us.


We think we are the center of the world, we are the most important beings, and we are the owner of this planet, and everything within this world can be used for our satisfaction. I think that is the basic view we have in this modern world. But that is basic delusion. It's almost upside down. We are tiny part of this nature, and yet we use anything in this nature that is interdependent with each other. We think those are our possessions, and we can use them. We have the authority or power to use them as our will. So, you know, this kind of transformation of measurement of value is really important.


And I think that is what Dogen is saying, we should not change depending upon our preferences, our like and dislike, our judgment of value, valuable or not valuable, or meaningful or not meaningful. We should see much deeper or much fundamental ground in which everything is living together. Let me go further. There are ten kinds of, or four kinds of funzoe used to make kashaya. So there are four kinds of abandoned rug. Here, Dogenzenji only lists four kinds. That is, they are burned clothes,


clothes chewed by oxen, clothes chewed by rats, clothes used to cover corpse, and so on. And he lists up another kind of funzoe in, let's see, page 55. Around the middle of page 55, I put the number. Let me read those things. Clothes chewed by cows. You know, there are still many cows in India, and cows are holy, sacred animals. So people don't chase cows even they chew their clothes, maybe.


Clothes chewed by rats, clothes burned by fire, clothes soiled by menstruation, clothes soiled by childbirth, clothes used as an offering at a shrine. Shrine is in the forest, and when some people do some prayer, they offer clothes or something, and they leave the clothes there, and those clothes are free of desire or attachment. So monks could take those clothes left at the shrine. Seven, clothes left at a cemetery. That is, the clothes used to cover the dead person. And clothes used as an offering with a prayer.


These are the same things. And clothes discarded by king's officers. According to the commentary, this means, you know, king's officers kind of change their status. They get new uniform, and the old one is not necessary anymore. Then they change their position. In such occasion, they throw the old uniform, and they get new uniform for the highest position, and those old ones are discarded. And clothes brought back from a funeral. This is also used for covering a dead person.


Those kind of clothes are abandoned. So in the next sentence, page 55, it says, these ten kinds of clothes are discarded by people and not used within human society. So this has no market value. And that is important point. So good for nothing. That monks pick them up and use them as pure material for kashaya, those are pure, even though they are, you know, soiled. So in this case, pure or purity means without defilement of human desires or attachment or clinging.


That is the yardstick of judging whether this is pure or impure. So I go back to page 18. People of the five parts of India discarded these kind of clothes on street or field. Since it is the same as funzo, he is funzo, the robe made of funzo is called an funzo-e or funzo robe. So practitioners pick up such rugs, wash them, sew them together, and use them to cover their bodies.


Discarded rugs can include various kinds of silk or cotton. So sometimes we cannot make this distinction whether this is cotton or other kind of fabric or silk. We should discard this view that discriminates between silk and cotton and study what funzo means, so the discrimination between cotton and silk. It is not valid to make judgment whether this is pure or not pure. So we should really study what funzo means. In ancient times, when a monk washed a funzo robe


in Lake Anabatapta. Lake Anabatapta is kind of a lake in the center of the world, near Mount Sumeru. And all the four great rivers in India originated from that pond or lake. Four rivers, like Ganges, Indus, and I forget the names of two other rivers. But all those originate from this lake. So the water in this lake is very pure, no defilement, no human defilement. But this is a story about a person whose name was Shuna. Shuna. He was not a monk.


He was a shaman. He didn't receive the Vinaya. But this person, Shuna, was Shariputra's youngest brother. He tried to wash the discarded rug, funzo, in that pond with that pure water. Then the dragon king praised it with a rain of flowers and made prostrations. So the dragon king here is kind of a guardian god of the Dharma. He praised the discarded rugs this person, Shuna, picked up from the garbage heap. That is purity.


And some Hinayana teachers, this again refers to the teachers in the Vinaya school in China and Japan, particularly Nanzan Dosen. Some Hinayana teachers have a theory about transformed fabric, which must be without ground. A person of Mahayana might laugh at this. This Nandan and Vinaya, it said Buddha had a robe with silk. So he had to make some excuse or reasoning why Buddha used silk okesa. It said in his dream he went to heaven and had a conversation with one of the heavenly beings.


And the heavenly beings taught him that the silk used for Buddha's okesa was not really silk made by silkworms. But it was made, it was a transformed fabric. And according to that text, this means some kind of heavenly being produced this transformed fabric. So it's not really a silk. That is a kind of excuse. That is what Dogen is laughing at. And his counter-argument is, fat is not transformed fabric. That means everything is a transformed fabric. You know, today we make fabric from oil or coal or tree.


So everything is really transformed. So Dogen's discussion is not only that kind of strange transformed material, but everything, even cotton or hemp or all the other, not only fabric, but everything, including this body and mind, are transformed material. So although they trust their ears that hear of the transformation, they doubt their eyes that see the transformation. That means their discussion is only intellectual, only the discussion for the sake of discussion. They don't see the real, actual transformation that is happening always in front of our eyes.


And yet they try to create certain kind of a theory or a doctrine. We should know that among the funzo we pick up, there might be cotton that seems like silk, and there might be silk that seems like cotton. There are 10,000 differences in local customs, and nature's creation is immeasurable for us. We cannot make a judgment with our fresh eyes. Fresh eyes is the opposition of dharma eyes. So if we see each and every material with our fresh eyes, we cannot make judgment.


We cannot really see what they are. So we should see things with our dharma eyes. When we get such material, we should not discuss whether it is silk or cotton. We just call it funzo-e. So this funzo is important point of this okesa. And not only this robe, but he says, even if there are human or heavenly beings that turn into funzo-e, funzo rugs, they are not sentient beings, but they are simply funzo-e, or he used funzo without e. And even if there are pine trees or chrysanthemums that turn into funzo-e,


they are not insentient beings, but they are simply funzo-e. Human and heavenly beings are living beings, and here pine trees and chrysanthemums are commonly considered to be non-living beings, but not sentient beings. But both are funzo, that means without human evaluation, free from human attachment. These are not nama-rupa for human beings. These are, as Dogen Rinzai said in Shobo Genzo Bussho, these are buddha nature. When we believe and accept the principle that funzo is not either silk or cotton,


neither gold, silver, pearl, nor jewel, or even broken tile from the polishing tile store, whether it's a precious thing or not precious, depending upon our human evaluation, we should accept this funzo is neither variable nor not variable. But this is just, everything is funzo. Then the principle of funzo manifests itself. This manifest is genjo. You know genjo in genjo koan. So this is important expression in Dogen. When we discuss about Zazen, we use this genjo koan.


So he used the same word here. And next sentence is the same. Until the view that discriminates between silk and cotton is dropped off. This dropped off is a translation of Datsuraku in Shinjin Datsuraku, dropping off body and mind. So when we become free from this discrimination, based on human evaluation, then we drop off our clinging to the material or to the evaluation or judgment. And we see only funzo, the being free from any attachment. So that means if we really receive okesa,


we should see the reality of all beings and drop off our discriminating mind. Once a monk asked the ancient Buddha, in this case Huinan, the sixth ancestor of China. Is the robe you received in the middle of the night of monk Huanmei or Obai cotton or silk? Ultimately speaking, what is it? So someone asked to the Huinan. What is the material of the okesa he received when he received dharma transmission from the fifth ancestor as a kind of a symbol of dharma?


Then the ancient Buddha, that is Huinan, said, It is neither cotton nor silk. We should know that kashaya or okesa is neither silk nor cotton. This is the profound teaching of the Buddha Huinan. This is not only about okesa, the material of okesa, but this is also same as sangha. Sangha is called great ocean assembly. That means into the ocean, many different kinds of water enter from different rivers. And yet, any water from different rivers, once it gets into the ocean,


there is no separation, no discrimination. There is only one ocean. So, not only in India, but in Buddhist sangha, there are many people come from different backgrounds, came in, and this becomes just salty water in the ocean. And salty water is the taste of dharma. So there is no separation or discrimination whether this is from a great river or from a small tiny river. But this is one great ocean. So, whether some people are very well educated, like Dogen,


from a very high class family, some people are from humble families, some people are very brilliant, intellectual, some people are not very educated, like Sawakiroshi. Sawakiroshi only graduated from elementary school, but somehow he became a professor at Kumazawa University. And Uchagoroshi studied western philosophy, and he finished master's degree. So he had a master's degree, but he never taught anything. If he wanted, he could, but he didn't want to. He just wanted to practice in a very poor life. So all that kind of individuality, individual conditions,


karmas, are still there. Even though I'm living in America and speaking in English, and trying to share the Dharma with American people, still, I'm Japanese. And I cannot speak and think in the same way as American people do. And yet, once we are within a sangha, we are all Buddha's children. So this kunzo is the same as Buddha's children. That individuality, or personality, or condition, is still there. But still, we are all Buddha's children. Same as, you know, even if it becomes a part of orchestra,


silk is silk, and cotton is cotton. And yet, this is just a piece of orchestra. So, any one of us came from all different kinds of backgrounds, still, when we become, or enter a Buddhist sangha, this is just one sangha, like an ocean. And yet, we are still different. Next, I want to go until page 24, today. Venerable Shonabasa, in Japanese pronunciation, Shonawashi, is the third ancestor who transmitted the Dharma, Dharma treasury. He was born wearing a robe.


This, you know, in our lineage, Shakyamuni Buddha Daigosho, Makakasho Daigosho, Ananda Daigosho, and Shonawashi Daigosho, this person. And it's said this person was born with a robe, if you believe or not. And this robe was a secular garment when he was a layperson. When he left home and became a monk, it became a kashaya. And not only Shonawashi, but there's another example of the same. Also, Rikushuni Sakura. I'm not sure what's the Sanskrit or Pali name of this Rikushuni. In Japanese, this is Senbyaku Rikushuni.


Senbyaku means bright white. Bright white. But somehow, in Nishijima's translation, it says Sakura, S-U-K-R-A. And in Yokoi's translation, the name is, I'm sorry, Nishijima and Yokoi's translation, this Rikushuni's name is Sakura. And in Tanahashi's translation, her name is Pundarika. I don't know. I couldn't find the Sanskrit name of this person. Anyway, after arousing the body-mind and offering... I don't know if this is really a carpet or not.


The Chinese character is very unusual. And when I looked up the dictionary, it said carpet. But I don't think it's a carpet. Some kind of fabric. To the Buddha, in her past life, has always been born with a robe. Life after life, and within the middle existence between lives. So she was always wearing the bright white robe. In life after life, even between these lives. In the present lifetime, when she met Shakyamuni Buddha, and became a home leaver, the robe she was born with immediately transformed into a kashaya. This is the same as the venerable Sarnabasa, or Shonawashi.


So those two people were born with a robe. And when they are at home, their robe was laid clothing. But when they become a bhikkhu or bhikshuni, their original robe they were born with became the robe, or the okesa. In Shobo Genzo Shijuuhichi Hon Bodai, I hope I have the correct translation. This is the English translation. Sanjuuhichi Hon Bodai Bunpo. This is a title of a chapter of Shobo Genzo.


English translation in Nishijima is 37 elements of body. 37 elements of body. And in this one section of this chapter, Dogen Zenji said as follows. Here he discusses about the impurity of body. This is one of the four, how do you say in English, four foundations of mindfulness. And one of them is seeing the impurity of body. And about impurity of body, Dogen says, the point of the present reflection, that the body is not pure, is also like this. He discussed something before.


And on this basis, the totality of body, the entire body, the totality of reflection, this is kan, and the totality of not being pure, are just the kashaya, to which a mother gives birth. If a kashaya or okesa is not the kashaya or okesa to which a mother gives birth, Buddhist patriarchs or ancestors never use it. How could Sarnabasa or Shonawashu be the only one? This means not only Shonawashu and this Senryaku Bikuni, but all of us were born with okesa.


We should carefully apply our minds to this truth, learning it in practice and perfectly realizing it. It means the kashaya to which a mother gives birth, we. That means all of us, when we are born, all of us are born with kashaya. We can see this kashaya also means Buddha nature. It's really kind of complicated. He is discussing certain forms of love, but suddenly he is discussing about Buddha nature. So he is always back and forth between form and no form.


Always, so we are confused. We are always confused when we read Dogen. So we have to be very careful what he is discussing about. These stories about Shonawashu and this Senryaku Bikuni, it's kind of a, how can I say, just a story. We don't pay so much attention, just a story. But when he reads this with his dharma eye, these loves they were born with are Buddha nature. And that Buddha nature, when we are a lay person, manifests itself as a lay clothing or garment. And when we become a monk or a priest, that becomes okesa.


So okesa is not something outside of our body and mind. This is our life. But actually he is discussing about how to pick up the material of okesa. That is a particular form of love. So we are always confused by his, you know, kind of a back and forth between certain particular form or certain particular thing. And the reality beyond any form is always back and forth. And if we try to grasp this side, Dogen says that is not right. And yet we try to cling to that side, Dogen says that is not right. So we are always confused. And this confusion is a very good way of letting go of thought.


Whatever way or side we cling to, Dogen says don't do it. And we should actually do both without clinging to any side. That is in Dogen Zenji's expression, just do it. Or shikantaza, just sitting. Just sit without clinging to this particular form of sitting. And also this particular form of sitting, as I said yesterday, is a form that expresses no form. But if we cling to the side of no form, we are in trouble. So we have to sit actually with this body and this mind. And particularly on certain cushions, in certain places in the zendo, in certain time of the day, we have to follow the schedule.


We cannot sit whenever we want. If we practice together, we have to sit in certain place with certain form, with certain procedure, together with other people. And that is a form. And sometimes we feel this is nothing, this is meaningless. I can sit on the mountain, I can sit at my room, and I can sit anytime I want. So we think the Dharma should be something homeless, we should be free from any form. So we can do whatever we want. That is another extreme. But if we cling to certain forms at certain place, that is another extreme. So we should just do, right now, right here,


following the situation where we are in. For now, this practice place, this sangha, is our sangha. Even though we are visitors, we are not really a member of this sangha. But still, as far as we practice within this building, we are part of this sangha. So we have to follow the harmony, the order and harmony of this sangha. That is our practice, even if we think my form is much better than this one. I can say in such a way, because I knew how we practice in Japan, and we can say that is much more authentic or traditional, but to discuss in such a way is very meaningless.


When we practice together with people in this sangha, we need to practice letting go of our clinging to our own forms. Then our practice becomes free from attachment or defilement of our discriminating mind. So when Dogen quotes this kind of stories, we have to be really careful what he is trying to say. So we should clearly know that kashaya is neither silk nor cotton, and so on. According to Sawaki Kodo Roshi, about this story of being born with a robe,


in his teisho on kesakudoku he said, I'm not sure in India, but in Japan, some babies were born with, what is the English word, placenta. The baby who was born with placenta looks like wearing a robe. So those babies are named, in Japanese, kesa, in the case of boy, kesa-o, something using this kesa. People consider placenta as a robe, or kesa. So probably this story, these people were born with placenta. That makes sense. But I'm not sure it's true or not. But circular sense.


So, moreover in this way, the virtue of buddhadharma is able to transform body, mind, and all myriad things. When we leave home and receive the precepts, our body and mind, and also our environment, are immediately transformed. Although this truth is very evident, simply because of our foolishness, we don't know it. It cannot be the case that the everlasting dharma of all Buddhas applies only to Sarnabasa, or Shonawashu, and to Sakura, or Senryaku Bikuni, and not to us. We should not doubt that we receive benefit according to our lot. So not only Shonawashu and Senryaku Bikuni,


we are all being born with okesa. That is what he's saying. So we are already wearing okesa, whether we enter particular form of okesa, transmitted in particular tradition, so-called Zen Buddhism. And yet, when we meet and encounter certain teachers, and become a number of certain sangha, we also receive the okesa as a certain form. But we should not forget, this okesa is not just a collection of pieces of fabric, but this okesa and our life, our Buddha nature, we are born with, is the same thing.


And about the transformation of our life, both our lives and our environment, Sawakiroshi, in 1110, let me speak a few minutes more. Sawakiroshi said, when we wear okesa, our selves and our environment are already completely transformed. And he said, to wear okesa, to put on our okesa and just speak, is itself liberation. It's not a matter of, you know, as Dogen said, this is a talisman of, you know, attaining the Buddha's awakening, but Sawakiroshi said, when we receive


and liberate this okesa and put on okesa and sit and let go of our thoughts, then we are already, not only we, but our environment is also completely transformed and completely liberated. Of course, this came from Dogen Zen's teaching of practice and enlightenment are one. And we need to, how can I say, we need faith to practice with such an attitude. So, when we read this particular chapter of Sho Dogen about okesa, Dogen Zenji is talking about our faith. And when we read, you know, Dogen Zenji, several stories from Buddhist scriptures,


these are about Dogen Zenji's faith. And if we are students of Dogen Zenji, we have to clearly understand what this means and whether this faith is meaningful or not to us. I think that is what we need to study. The second half of this writing is really long quotations. Dogen put only short comments. So probably, you know, this kesakudoku is still in the stage of working draft. You know, the order of the writings is still some confusion. So probably he didn't really complete this writing. I think that is my guess.