Recollections of Early Zen

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zen world this is the in three i'm gonna take into it
is made up of married priests
almost entirely
the headquarters temples have little branch temples are all over the country
the reds i had temple of bill shinji has something like sixty thousand branch temples
the headquarters temple of title congee has thirty thousand or so i think nine zingy as around fifteen thousand i used to know those figures
and are those temples or households
ah they raised children and have families
single unmarried zen priests are that you find are generally only the highest ranking or the dedicated roche's that teaching disorders that teaching the monasteries
and i even a pseudo roche's monastery rashi's and i'm distinguishing between teaching role and non-teaching rashi's ah should make that distinction the sodo rashi is a roshi was teaching formerly in a monastery there are of course on are certain
number of people who are have received or
full inca and are are even more than inca have received the title of roshi but don't necessarily teach in a monastery they may have a small circle of personal students that they teach with in their own temple
maybe university students may be professional people there are many cases are from our highly qualified raw she's teaching to small groups of selected personal students some of who will be other priests were priests even after they become after they leave the monastery and go out and take over their research
is for a tuple somebody will continue there's in practice with a teacher by commuting in our to periodically just like by people here do except these are priests keep you up their study but the sodo priest has the grueling schedule ah has the photo roshi has the grueling schedule as
has the responsibility for are running almost was like a boot camp and
for being inspirational in tough and setting a great model and so those are the men are who for the most part still remained single well the reason i bring this up is because
one of the first things that strikes that is striking to the rest of the asian buddhist world about japanese zen buddhism is that the priests barry
that chinese priests and the korean priests i believe the current breeze don't marry still ah and of course tibetan marriage with his sectarian according to the sect or according to the school and of course the telephones aren't supposed to so what are the first questions that comes up when you
start practicing zen in japan
is to try to understand how this fits in the world
i mean there are many other things one would approach but this is you know this is the one that's on a level that concerns us and it's very interesting to us because we are almost uniformly in this country are primarily concerned with what we call a lay practice a practice that can involve our men and women equally
he married as they may be partners as they may be and with children as they most likely will have sooner or later
so how does that caught japan was an interesting question
it's one of the unresolved problems
in the zen buddhism in japan one of their key problems is that they haven't figured out ah how to have married priests gracefully
on and it's getting to be a tougher and tougher nut within the institutional world japanese yen to know how to deal with it
ah the way it came about was
during the tokugawa era ah the tokugawa shogunate going back to the fifteenth century out
ah the the tokugawa shoguns
i've decided to really organize a
and control japanese life to a degree it had not been controlled before
ha and one of the things they did was simply ah
declare buddhism or an agency of the state
ah declared that the temples were like the us forest service or something was one of our agencies and
consider the priesthood ah as regulated and licensed by the government as well as through its own our organizations and institutions and then the government also set up its own set of rules and requirements for buddhist priests it it also
delimited the number and you know required that if you want to become a buddhist priests are you not only got went through the ceremonial law and practice initiations that buddhist priest would go through to get a license from the government as well
of celibacy in the no families or was part of the regulation that was established by the guy regime now this was already customary for get buddhism anyway
but the regime made it law made it actual our secular law
the only exception
how was the school of i should run shoulder and i'll just throw this out because it's a something to think about it i don't know if he'll get back to it or not but it's an important to precedent that should run set
as you know who then discovered that perhaps people could ah resolve their spiritual anxieties and or when ah in a certain sense buddhahood by invoke invoking the name of amitabha or arm
our in his teaching and he left the ten dissect and went down to kyoto and established a following and his teaching of the namo amida buddha to phrase ah involved a kind of montreux like extended residence
ocean practice
now where one would set oneself to reciting are calling the name of amitabha calling amida buddha a million times
as takes a few years
ah and so it was in that context of of an intense and primarily monastic jodo shu practice judo practice i should say jodo pure land
the young shimron also a didn't die priest started studying
chin rod following hold in had his own insight
which was
if invoking the name of amida
accomplishes the grace of the universe brings the grace of the universe instantly do you then why should you have to recite it a lot of times
if you recite it just once with an open heart isn't that enough
and so he left home in and said this is too much this is an understanding how i mean does greece is accomplished
and he also got married and started a family started his own teaching circle and started the first and only lineage of are openly and completely of
established married the only established married priesthood in in a japanese buddhism and maybe the only established married priesthood in all of buddhism except perhaps ran the contract sects
and that was accepted by the other buddhist sects eventually and that was also accepted by the tokugawa government that the jodo shu our lineage or was a married priesthood and they are successfully accomplished the transition into having a married priesthood and carried it down through the said
she's right to this day
so that's the giotto should example is slow to married priesthood
when japan was secularized during the meiji restoration of the tokugawa was so
taken apart and took a gun regulations were cancelled
at that time then all of the buddhist sects in japan found themselves deregulated on their own and no longer part of the government
ah that also met met that are a certain amount of guaranteed government income was also cut off and they are and it coincided with a period of are active hostility towards buddhism the period when buddhist temples started falling apart when
are unscrupulous priests started selling art objects out of the temples and are dodgy got on the market
it's the period when know
our the boston museum the boston me
stir museum of antiquities in boston bought up a lot of it's stuffed in earnest penalosa or the music me in paris are obtained an extraordinary treasury of poorest imagery was during the period when the priests were selling it off and that was only about ten
years get that dog turbulence in confusion in buddhism took place on indian buddhism the buddhist schools began to reconstitute themselves but it turned out that after three or four centuries of government regulation when they were told there is no longer a law against buddhist priest me
carrying they had sort of forgot that it had been their own custom to begin with
and they said oh yeah really she said all we get married it's legal and so that was the beginning of our that
that rise of buddhist priest and a buddhist priests two marriages throughout almost all of the schools japanese buddhism
ah which comes on down to this day and the problem with it is simply this
even in ordinary japanese family's ah
the role of the wife and the role of women is i ah
i won't say downright or pressed or but also suppressed ah
and as we all know the relative or
power and prestige between men and women in japan it puts a whole lot of weight on the men's side
no it's not quite as simple as that
if there is a a powerful in the house strength enrolled at women and japanese family's have ah and it's not a simple black and white patriarchy matriarchy world ah if you compare a can't say called japan of people were called japan and china patriarch
he's okay then compare that patriarchy to the middle east well that's a different world
the true patriarchy is in the islamic world and even that you know it bears some further examination before you
conclude that women have no power whatsoever
for example in contemporary japan and for a long time in japan not just contemporary japan women run the household budget in the men come home with their salary checks and had it entirely over to the woman and that the women are the investors they do the investing in mutual funds
or whatever aspect to the stock market that they choose to invested so much was only for family investment it's almost all in the hands of the women so there are a number of japanese language investment magazines entirely aimed at women
because they're the ones who do it
ah and they hand out their husbands allowance week by week in back to him for spending money and that's an old all custom
but in the buddhist in the buddhist temple world
the role of tipple wives was even more difficult because ah there was still a trace more than a small trees of complicated feeling among japanese buddhists japanese zen buddhist show he said that they should be celebrate
they really shouldn't have a family
that trace of thought that this isn't quite right ah throws a negative color on the whole institution of married priests in zen
in jodo shu there is none of that because they have totally accepted that they are married priesthood but ah the zim world in japan is still wrestling with the question of how do we gracefully accept being married if that's what we do it so it's been a the wives and children
the have taken the heat for this that have felt somewhat slightly less than first class citizens
ha ah and just as the family part of the temple the children's quarters the bedrooms the television set
the funny kewpie dolls and the goofy looking calendars
isn't half as that his way in the back and that's where the family is and an upfront or the first three or four rooms that have elegant zen style buddhist aesthetics now it's like two totally different aesthetics that are going on parallel at the same time to
ah in the best of situations
the wives of buddhist priests or daughters of other buddhist priests and has stayed maybe that's not the best but it it has worked out to some degree that there has become like an almost occupational family heritage of daughters of priests bearing sorts of priests
and the all know how to be priests and they'll know how to live in temples
and com to give them credit you know the to give them for credit
the daughters of buddhist priests are given an education and part of their education up until recently has included tea ceremony flower arrangement and other aesthetic skills which they of course become very good at ah
and so your village temple of the sixties or seventies as i remember it of was a family operation
in which the priest mediated disputes in town and i mean people would come out from town to ask him to mediate a labor dispute or some argument between two factions where he would give our of course conductor funerals are where he would dumb
maybe give lectures on certain topics he was interested in maybe do a series of dharma lectures and his wife would be regularly giving tea ceremony lessons or flower arrangement lessons are books so the two of them would be using the temple space in a creative way and she would definitely have her role
i'll just as he had his role and they would both worked very hard they would both be doing their gardens and doing the rice field maybe a small tomball ah
and one of the common strategies of buddhist temples and japan to make a living is to run a kindergarten
so a number of them would have a childcare center or kindergarten other side
or maybe a jacuzzi a young after school mathematics and english language course teaching series teaching system of and they might want as they might run a little zazen and hall a once or twice a week of
are sitting session which is advertised in town and maybe a few high school students are college students primarily would come out there and sit maybe one nine or two nights a week so that's the actual life of other japanese buddhist temple
ah and his son their son who's gonna be a priest will be shipped off to a monastery somewhere at some point and will have to spend at least a year in the monastery preferably three years and after that time he will be qualified to be
given are assigned to a temple of his own ah
and the cycle will repeat itself so they these a village buddhist priests play a useful role did play a useful role primarily rural areas this was never will worked out in the big cities
and are a few of the young men that would go into the monasteries would click with the training and really get into it and that they would be the ones who stayed on longer and longer and longer and longer and might eventually become or are fully qualified zen teachers themselves but only a small price
savage and the rest of them would be leading the day day bread and butter buddhist life out there in the community wealth all of this is in trouble ah partly because japan is known an urban nation and ah
the agricultural rural villages on the rocks
and partly because the wives buddhist priests have actually organized the road organizations like labor unions
and are trying to you know they themselves have their own organizing efforts are trying to win are some recognition so writes some understanding in the community some status
and ah
if high time that the wives of priests of be considered full partners and have full status in the world of buddhist practice
ha that will be hammered out one of the questions when that doesn't get hammered out his did the how is this different from my buddhism
because the overlap between lay him down
becomes worthless
so that's an interesting question an interesting little story there yeah
yeah sorry oh yeah a memorial services and cannot serve as the from i mentioned that briefly you know that the big the big gun function and roll the biggest function in role of buddhist temples is funerals
they they sort of has taken over the niche of doing funerals as the shinto shrine to have the niche of doing marriages
although dedicated buddhist families will go to a buddhist temple for a marriage and that is has become a little more common but for many japanese people who otherwise you know rarely go to a temple there will be a family graveyard somewhere in some temple somewhere and they will
have a buddhist ceremony buddhist priests chanting ah or for the ceremony for the funeral many marriages conducted however under the auspices of the shinto shrine

there was a there is a small xin none world god there always has been
i know of one zero nunnery in kyoto
how there was a china to
the it's numerical representation is tiny ah in the zen world of japan compared to the men
and ah
i visited there with russa saki one time that nunnery saw the none sometimes doing begging on the streets identical robes identical shaved head and my understanding was identical practice or in every regard
but on
the roshi of the literary
was done the last under the authority of the roshi of nuns edgy
and she had not been graded full independent authority and ruth sasaki investigated that a little bit and said well it's because she's a woman they won't grant for rosie authority to a woman
and she was very peeved by that you know ruth was very aware of these questions as a strong and independent and powerful woman in her own right even from the twenties and thirties run so what it stands now that's already twenty five years ago where it stands now i don't know i understand there's a very strong tradition
in korea of nuns are privately and strong can probably in china to
the nuns worse element yeah
oh well i should say on the surface
because in the japanese culture there's always the almonte and the euro
what's in front and what's behind the order means wants it back end of a japanese culture has a remarkable capacity
what we make our social agreements
our social agreements are the priests or celebrate our social agreements is this nurse so forth we all play that game and if we find out for example that there is a roshi who has a girlfriend that visits in once a month or something nobody ever notices it it's in
and it's not even gossiped about there's quite a capacity to if if the surface is what it should be and is running well what happens behind the surface is nobody's business
and that's a very it's a key part of of traditional japanese life and it's been a key part of japanese politics you know for centuries are so what's changing is is that nobody quite respects that as they used to anymore
and now we hear about scandals in the japanese government and of course that was always there the differences that now people are beginning to talk about it
and this is part of the are the emerging and evolving new culture of japan in which are the women's movement the japanese women's movement is playing an absolutely transformative role on all levels
ah and i would venture to say that westernization and industrialisation mechanization of japan did not seriously changed japanese culture
i mean people put on a suit drive a car doesn't mean they're any different inside
ah the traditional family relationships and traditional power relationships remain to say what will transform asia will be the women's group because that transforms family and power relationships and that's what's underway right now

sorry twelve his team
let's have our lunch and continued afterwards

really nice zone here today
so chilly here yesterday
you live in a really special microclimate

how you can be over on the other side you're looking at those hills and just see that bank of clouds right at the top of it you say all near beaches selected new green gulch is often
i was seeing last night at the beginning of mayor reading
how back in the early fifties before i ever went to japan
living in san francisco sometimes berkeley we would come over here i had an old nineteen thirty seven packard
billy creek are you may be that guy yeah
writing somebody wrecked it somebody burned it out on the beach or something
how's after you yeah i've heard about yeah
so we would come over here and come down this road and go down to mere beach where we would get muscles are just to go swimming or little surf fishing or going down this stinson beach and i remember one time writing with claude dalenberg ananda
in looking down in here in those days that was the wheelwright ranch and we looked down here and we say oh well i wouldn't that make a great place for a zen center
had no idea that such a thing would ever come to pass
he used to make jokes like
yeah he runs a little zendo someone outta kansas city
we thought that was really funny
now it turns out they've got these their little sizing groups everywhere in a way you know far surpassing the our expectations that we had in the fifties the circle of us who thought that the buddhism and really made a lot of sense we had expectations but feel
and it quite as quiet as surpassed any of the utopian notions we add i asked

and yeah
well yeah that that that was replicated in many forms
we ended of this is a lot of fun i hope that you're enjoying this as much as i
in down
as we get into just don't hesitate if you feel like it to ask some questions directed fairly personally at me
and we don't have to keep this are totally in the abstract
but as we were closing we were talking about the rule are in the problems with her family are zen temples zen temples that had entered into family life but hadn't really incorporated that into their own psychology didn't know how to deal with it and in which the up
the then family the family members and somehow were somehow not able to have the same status
as the quote priest who represents the temple to the world had and the moment had some very interesting comments on that the people were all gone at that point is just a few of us that we're following up on that and i asked him and if he would you go without a little bit again let's just sit up years and you
why i was saying that career as good as
i was saying that there
the problem the gary pinpoint with is exactly the same problem that we have now with this business of the year married priests and how that works out and in the beginning of like the first ten or fifteen years we inherited this attitude that it was okay for people to be married but the for
families didn't really count
and so that was very tough and the first crop of priests had terrible families divorces and messed up kids for the first group of people and then the next group of people who are and married
times change or just see what had happened or what i don't quite know why but that next group of people decided that if you're gonna be married you you you should be married you don't take care of it and and deal with it an affair rain in a good way and so we took it on more
but as i all often say so you try to be a priest to do all the things you're supposed to do and you try to be a husband or wife or mother or father and you fail at all of it but at least it's a noble failure and it sort of i think if far preferable to the previous where it worked
however it's obvious that it's not a sustainable situation and so been we have an elders council of zen center and we've been working for about the last year and half on kind of defining for us and our time in our location what
being a priest could be a should be or can be and we're kind of try to revert we revive it and revise it and look at it in different ways and basically what we're trying to say is that that
if you have a tradition as we do where there is this thing about being a priest in there is such a thing is that they married an ending a priest and it seems like a viable thing to offer cause it works somehow it is worth doing
you need to look look at it differently and maybe it's something that you do want to offer the people in various situations so what we're doing is we're defining russia opening up the possibility that there can be lots of different kinds of priests and that there can be different tracks for training in different ways of completing the process of training as a priest
for example there can be a priest who specializes in service who doesn't learn the ceremonies and doesn't do memorial services and so on so forth but actually goes out and helps homeless people are sir soup in a kitchen somebody else who might be a crafts person and that's their path in the dharma
certainly people who will do the traditional training and teach traditional ways but different ways of doing it and different relationships with teachers and different relationships with sanga and not necessarily being resident and so on and so we're working on them and where it's gonna be a very slow process and it's and then at the same time
time i think we also need to define within zen center attract for celibate priests which we don't really have no there isn't a vow of celibacy and an honoring somebody who says i want to be single and i want to practice quietly as a single person or teachers a single person so maybe we would have a house where
are people would could be monks at tassajara know when the guesses season comes they move into a house and they continue to live monastic schedule monastic lifestyle and then returned at tassajara and the for so i think we needed you know have a wide sense of of the benefit of the commitment of being a priest and then within that why
since different tracks and different pass and we're working on it will you know you can't this the type of thing that you can't really figure out it's all gonna depend on an actual people coming forward and doing these things
but we're going to try to maybe make a space of permission and see what people really do and see what actually happens so anyway i it's it's exactly i've been thinking about this problem for many years and living it out
myself for about fifteen twenty years so yeah

parallel consideration
yes course

of course here
yeah well he had a short answer is a life is hard
life is very cottage
i was going to re coffin
was in the title gigi monastery shortly after i had been in the title gigi monsters so this some years ago
he was one of the first of get you know younger generation right after me to be in the monastery he was detected after about five years or so ray wrote me a letter i was living in japan did and he said just zip practice life he says i really love it but what do you do about the celibacy
i wrote him a postcard enjoy while you kill
after he came back to texas yeah he got touch with me wants and he said you are right
ah i didn't mean to cut you off
i'm wondering if it is possible to hackers
becoming involved in our asian culture
theoretically but why would you please point out of that
it seems to me that there's
yeah it's very difficult to understand culture that you haven't been worn out
and so there's so much concern us in terms of or teachings from the east
are early days are rather them
spiritual things for based in spiritual or how are we going to know that
ah this is a very good question said
an hour
breaking the bank
and and there's another question which actually is a more contemporary ah a line of thought which is maybe you shouldn't even try
oh who are we to say what baggage and what isn't baggage secondly so what is american culture
what is it that you bring it to and are you so sure i mean do any of us know what it is that is going to be right for this
are currently totally in flux multicultural culture ah an alternative approach to that would be to say and i think this is the direction we're going to find ourselves going
are we have committed ourselves so to speak as a nation now
are quite consciously whereas it was somewhat unconscious before are only semi conscious to be a multicultural society
if we're going to be a multicultural society we're going to have
gain the capacity
to understand incorporate become comfortable with live with a variety of cultural traditions there is no one single american cultural tradition that you can invoke and so we might look on bringing our r buddhism with without worrying a whole lot of
what might be asian in it
in figuring that as part of our cultural education as well as our dharma education
and that ultimately they will sell out one way or another yes made this may be up for our it seems to me that order the things that really derived from arrived as the road race space practice
there has been realized that i was working in a rare will situated right here in this price with these beings the sometimes the cultural forms that grow on any kind world particularly british practical and would i think of precepts of broccoli and i think of agricultural farming
this are rare what's essential thing over here certain how how do i actually live that out of this time around and those are two i've grappled with the sort of incorporating the ideas of her sort of animals differences between animals and crafts
and it thinks ipad and if participated in them industrial agriculture is the way in which i feel like i'm filing certain precepts which may or may not be an issue between animal pregnant as just a very small example but i guess what i'm picking appears that the issue for me is that certain culture
forms sometimes seem to be a challenge to really regret my practice we will derive from this right from this price of this time to me that seems like the road
i think i'm finally what you're seeing and ah
it's go back to the very beginning of what you said certain cultural forms run might run counter to being in this place is that what you're suggesting i mean it is the nub of it
i'm making distracted from what's actually year even would what would a for doesn't send practice look right here google to this fact that's a better way of phrasing it i mean the way to phrase it is i think is to say
but in any case regardless we need to be grounded aware fully present here and where we are that's practice and for be called practice right there if we do that and if we give full acknowledgement to that
what cultural form is going to stand in the way that
because you're giving credence to it for the beginning you're practicing it if you practice that this doesn't have to be buddhism mean i will challenge christians or anybody else to do the same be here now and what do you think here means will come to that in a little bit
and what is now mean
i think i will come to get back to that in a little bit but i just say that i don't think that culture a cultural form of disorder that he's going to stand in the way of that unless it is like obviously right up against it is truly against it in which case then you have to make a choice
ah but the question is i think i'll just go into it for a moment is well what is asian buddhism like what is it gets cultural or let's not even say what is it that cultural just say what is it like what is it do what were you going to say
a capital madison china synagogues
paxton fears
is there
don't have ended a great king down there and sat activated the blue scholars i mean ah what piece of the history repeating your competitor gone through any manliness yeah it all flows and pretty amazed by how is it is interesting that of strange already woven together
no in general and then maybe a few specifics oh get in you know some of this applies across the board all buddhism most of the best one is that it is not monotheistic
i notice i didn't say it's not theistic i said it's not monotheistic
it does not rely on invoke are pays regards to one single centralized deity
ah and that in the great breakdown of religions in the world between religions of faith and devotion on the one side and religions of practice and insight or wisdom traditions on the other side what is it was clearly a wisdom and practice religion
it does not have creed it does not have it does not call on you to recite what your faith is
ah if in the the christian world
you're asked well what is your creed what is your faith that's a common question what do you believe in what is your face and you might be able to recite something pretty precise about what your faith is where you're treated
that's not a buddhist question and buddhism they asked traditionally
who is your teacher and what does your practice
how it gets right down to the practical and practice side of it and doesn't invoke a central single deity but it's also forced to say that buddhism is atheistic
what is it believes in the spirits i'm talking about asian buddhism our traditional asian buddhism it accepts the possibility that a variety of sentient being which is not quite so commonly perceived as our birds and animals or is still around some of them an angelic some of them are demonic some of
very interesting some of them aren't
there may be a huge variety of them this is the the realm of deities and spirits if you if any of you have read the it the first third of the why and sutra
cleary's translation of the other times like a at the high end g you've led the first third of that you will have noticed that the entire first third of it is dedicated to invoking all the varieties of spirits in the universe and what their individual qualities are and what the nature of their various understanding is ch
so charming invocation of what is an invocation of is simply a larger ecosystem
it's the realm of sentient beings gods and demons are sentient beings are in in the traditional asian view which is also the view that buddhism took on
how do you work with god's intention or gods and demons and other beings that order in the traditional buddhist way
one thing is you assume that they need to practice to
that don't even the most powerful and elegant and beautiful of gods are still ah in samsara or even though they're so i'm sorry is a lot longer so timespan maybe dinars they live a long time billions of years maybe but they have problems with ego
and they're still in the we'll also interestingly in the buddhist stone in it buddhists own self as buddhism's own self assessment it says of of the of the varieties of things that are in the six realms and these are all be extent
the human realm is the realm from which you can best achieve insight and realization
ah that is the advantage of the he would be
that's the only advantage me me
is that you have a better chance to see the whole picture and how it works why is this while the gods have too much power and their two beautiful
and so that stands in the way now you can translate the metaphor of god's into a aristocrats and the ruling class if you like or whoever it is that to beautiful and too powerful to pay attention
you don't know what's going on in their lives
but the buddhist tradition doesn't necessarily metaphor eyes that
it just accepts it accepts these realms of other sorts of deities as part of what may well be out there and so you see it woven into the sutras and woven into the ceremonies and just outside of the entrance to the or zendo a date or where i did most of
my formal zen practice in japan is a little are stone shrine to the earth goddess
the shrine to the goddess of the place once a month we did a tour once every everyday of course you do your such as but once a month we did a tour around the whole eight or nine acres of the data on je monastery to a number of of less visited tiny shrines that was shrines to deities of the place including the deity of the bay
bath and the deities the kitchen in the beauty of the outhouse nor the coming so that has always been accepted as metaphor as practice in asian buddhism
and as you said the asian of the asian world do quite a bit about the occident so much so that dumb
they knew about a lot and jehovah are they receive plenty of news about those folks and are in a seventh or eighth century a d mahayana cosmology there is a commentary one of those cosmologies has a commentary on in
in in the matter of describing where the gods live what their particular habitats are because not all of them are in the realm of form on some of them are in the foremost realm
it says it in the thirty third heaven of some category or another
there is a powerful deity cauchy hoover
it is highly regarded by the people to the west
this interesting and powerful deity is unfortunately under the delusion that he created the universe
over desk the buddhist way of dealing with that

what what's fun about it just thought that it all does come down to them in a sense seeing or
demons angels and so forth strong
they can be converted to buddhism they can still learn they're not hopeless cases either
and a little point about that was and you can see this in tibet night are there are some pretty horrific demonic figures in tibet not doing some pretty scary things
these have all been converted to buddhism they are all supporters of the dharma they are dharma protectors so little point there is this if a demon becomes enlightened and becomes converted to buddhism is still much like a demon
and it's still going to be fierce how it goes

so all of asian buddhism has incorporated these previous animistic local deities and spirits are effortlessly
and there's a kind of an interesting point because in the occidental tradition there is really a watershed divide a hard line that was drawn and was drawn with fire and blood between pig in history in christian history
ah the pagan connections
the local roots the respect paid to local deities and gods and the local shrines are as far as as the church could possibly do it that connection was shattered
and ah
how are we have on a christian tradition that dumb is for of wonderful and remarkable and useful teachings but i get caused a split in our occidental psyche
in a sprint in the occidental in the historical and psychological mind of the west ah so that
even today to put yourself into the position of of wanting to be a neo pagan or wanting to study the with got our craft or witchcraft tradition
which is a ancient agrarian and maybe even paleolithic religious tradition that was part of the lives of our occidental or caucus old ancestors and was still alive and well in some parts of europe up until a few centuries ago you put yourself at risk though
for been called a satanist or if you are or try to pursue these studies in some quarters of is no joke i mean i have four ah there's a person here today who teaches poetry and the schools more stable ah
it has taught a lot of poetry in the schools who has found that he had to be very careful about mythologies in imageries that he taught in poetry or because of the potential charge of satan as teachings for right wing christian families in the school district and so did this
this painful split is still in our culture they didn't have that in asia in china and japan tibet in india
the archaic are animistic religious roots that go back to the paleolithic that are part of our oldest psychological and spiritual heritage oh we're never been cut off they were never hit with pesticides and herbicides
but they are allowed to have a place in the religious life into the psyche of of the people of all those cultures ah and that takes the form in japan of the long interaction between shinto and buddhism or the comfortable play between
shinto and buddhism
so much so that of
up until maybe up until the restoration of and the beginning of modern japan are they had a hard time separating in their own minds even i should do in buddhism out that that the division of buddhism and shipped all that is so clear or is more clear in japan today was not a hard and fast division
in now previous centuries i certainly wasn't a psychological division that in both are impelled to make and there was a whole are the three jakku a religious theories are from medieval japan which actually went out of their way to demonstrate how every way
one of the major shinto deities was just another form of a well-known bodhisattva or buddha and so they actually tried to overlap them
oh allah grow apart are very interesting scholar of of buddhism and taoism who teaches at uc santa barbara
has a book out on corfu coogee one of the big nora temples and the end it done
ah it's a book on how corfu coogee was both temple in shinto shrine for centuries
and how those are two roles are played back and forth seamlessly are all those centuries
as very interesting
of so what does that tell us about you know buddhism coming to north america
it tells us that good it will be very comfortable with coyote and reason
that the whatever local spirits are still around i definitely going to be acceptable
or you
what carl young
carl young local spirits carl young twentieth century middle-class german coyote

another thing about asian buddhism is done it's not puritanical
ah and that's a very puritanical puritanism has to be understood in a fairly specific light
the term means are highly internalised degree of guilt
and a half case
rather highly developed
dualistic sense of the split between spirit and matter
almost manichaean now the severe dualism of men of the mannequin etiology is such that it totally separate spirit from matter and that is extreme dualism and as what dualism as what what is meant sometimes when they talk about the duelist heresy in the early days of the church
ah extreme dualism are but a christianity although officially the roman catholic church declared extreme dollars in a heresy
and i in doing so re asserts that christ ascended in the flesh not in some spiritual form but in the flesh and this is like a major the incarnation it's like a major theological point the puritans fudged on that and
are not so sure that the flashes okay
buddhism is not historically puritanical it has it has its precepts
and it has reasons for which our practice reasons for trying to keep us all in moderation but that is not a metaphysical rejection
of the material world or of the world desire as such or a foolishness or of desire
or of mischief
samsara is a mischievous creation
ah not an evil creation of some mischievous creation
is neighbor choose which are has try to cultivate rocket skates behind
centura going through and not trying to around seems to be like inside discuss for on perfectly normal in actually getting the radicals from the bar and so since i picked it up i mean i haven't been to asia so on you know i'm glad to hear that you don't find a culture with transmitted that i can lock problems with
is traditional our scriptures and teachings suitable area you know i'm i'm sire
you know and silence and kind of distaste for inclusion
the there was a pretty extreme the all there was a pretty street images and metaphors
of to inspire of
a sense of how impermanent our bodies are yeah that's true it's true i would still say that it a this they are not dualistic this is just an extreme way of making you look at the body of make you look at it again and again looking at it in all its asp
and then you can go beyond that
there is also you know align between india and china japan
a big cultural line
it's been argued i in one of my professors berkley said the accident it doesn't start on the line between asian the accident or starts in burma
an india belongs with the west
well it also it is highly intellectual they have a great tradition of dialectic and debate the great tradition of philological and linguistic analysis
a philosophical systems which are seamlessly can seamlessly fitted with occidental philosophical systems
ah linguistically we share the indo-european language family or a lot of india does anyway and so forth
whereas china and japan look at it differently
now the some of the early japanese commentaries on the vinaya are quite interesting
the vinaya ready to say the the trip into at the jupiter car volumes on discipline and rules and the stories about how the rules came into existence because every one of the rules in the vinaya has a story that goes with it
there are a number of rules the nya that you wouldn't think of unless you read the zinnia haley like you should not make love to corpses
and don't have sexual relations with monkeys
well there's some story behind every one of those
yeah so here at the japanese said
doesn't twelfth century or so they said the people in india must have been really bad
have to have girls like that
that they drew the conclusion that yeah i mean actually said this we have japan are far more virtuous we don't need nearly so many rules

the stations around the work
white space little overlap
drivers will
and as a
in some cases
our work is kind of eternal you on the other
is that and
and i find it was for a while as place where as then
dangerously emerged suddenly looks like they're in our culture
oh and exactly one of the points that i want to touch on
asia has for the far east as not india
the far east as china japan has a strong work ethic
i highly organized
ah highly motivated
hard working
and materialistic in the sense of wanting to get ahead cultures wanting to have property wanting to have status
and one could say well this is the the confusion inheritance on certainly it has been institutionalized in neil in confucianism and a neo confucianism but quite possibly belongs to the archaic village culture of the far east a belongs to
the village culture of wet rice agriculture and the high degree of organization that's required to manage irrigation ditches and labor sharing that is necessary among the villagers to keep up large water projects this has been speculated about china you know they're saying that the chinese village systems well prior to
civilization eight or nine thousand years b c had these fantastically well organized water systems that mid a high degree of cooperation and perhaps some suppression of individual nuttiness so that they can keep all is going well sort of worker and the japanese
work hard to
that does not mean the appearance in the same way it doesn't mean that that is the protestant work ethic the protestant work as it comes way over here with its own metaphysics the far eastern work ethic comes with its own metaphysics which are quite different i'm sure and so what your point is very well taken that there are and you know this is also true
of japan itself it has been pointed out that for reasons that are fascinating and complicated japan was ready to fall into being a industrial capitalist power it had preconditions that come from a very different history
that but included such things as paper money large-scale banking systems large premodern feudal era corporations with a big trading networks
a large powerful families who knew how to raise capital a sense of what capital was even though they never heard of capitalism
ah and the capacity to r motivate large populations of people to work and so that when japan entered the twentieth century it took to capitalism like a duck to water
even though it did not have the same history and it had to do with something that comes out of china and one of those two things is confucianism the other thing is complex banking and money systems which the which go back to about the eighth or ninth century a d in china so you can fall into it with a different history
there's a sense in which japan also has a protestant looking culture
but it's not a protestant culture
so we are in danger
in accepting are these are ah
the things that we like about zen buddhism for example it's apparent directness it's appearance and felicity its cleanliness it's high degree of organization ah
it's focus its ability to work hard
we accept that in part because it is exactly what our secular protestant
anglo world it also are liberal jewish world feels comfortable with so there is a danger in that and as you are suggesting there's a danger that we end up working hard because we're still protestants and puritans inside should had not because we're working hard in what way as practice as for
focus as as energy
hold the met the measure of it in part is the ability to quit working and goof off
ah that is to to be as free with stopping it as we are free with starting it
and you don't practice for all of us period is how to make space and time in our lives because as everyone testifies we are all busy now than we were five years ago
right in the back man with beard
my son a
when asked her problems we have a rat
getting braces a promise that cream from here
did you if you can

waterhouse grandview grass of them were are being good isn't it would have been to be primers and he says
real problem we're we're christians and jews
just to some degree true but unequally so ill for individuals
and so i would refine that response a little bit
to the point of simply saying we really have to be aware of this

that's a good question
oh yeah lack of you here
judaism sense of being a chosen people

the originally running the universe
oh heather and this is a serious one hitherto so far no demonstrated ability to recognize that nonhuman beings are part of the same spiritual universe
one of the greatest failings that the judeo-christian tradition is that it has limited it's spiritual and ethical scope entirely to the human realm
ah and to give them plenty of credit or the chris the there are ecological minded christians and ecological mind to jews now who are wrestling with a question of how to enlarge their spiritual school and their ethical scope to include nature but there's nothing in their truck
addition to to force them to do it so this is the you know who's forcing them to do it we are
as buddhist environmentalist types are forcing them to do that st francis is wonderful but boy is an exception or he's a special case you know is a special case
pardon me
well yes that another interesting point the descents that that we only have one lifetime to work it out in
now that might lead of just leave us with the that does lives with the question was what about reincarnation do we take it literally could do we take it as a metaphor
ah different schools of buddhism will do a different ways and the tibetans are pretty literal or at least they seem to be pretty literal about reincarnation
but in any case taken as a metaphor
but it implies that we have lots of selves to go through
in lots of mistakes that can be made and be played again and lot of learning is possible and maybe the best thing about it all is there's lots of space and time to work it out him
ah and what buddhism and to that is the suggestion that you're never going to totally block
there's always another chance that it comes around again that you are going to stumble and fall in collapse and goof off and make mistakes but does not the end your your chances to learn are infinite you know which isn't very optimistic world it is all way
somebody else yes
a misconception among welcomes that asian societies or something fundamentally ever about the a second
i want to catch her i don't believe that's rather than asian myself on ten years as channels
i'm in asia as my right or i am the raft which is you can trace back western conference was awful conditions prior to find the of people
pretty right on and rather during that time and temperature conditions about in the west and team provided by
sort of the contrast in society is own oil and the church he hasn't been recognized animals are not even sentient so or has a pretty critical struggle mistakes but you can have been an asian people pretty much at the same is
are the same sorts of lies cycle same sort of when and and to me
princeton and even photos i think even the church churches rife with amnesia
i recently read a translation for a update temple and title on a pure lines that the end of it the after that temples and great priest he took forty nine thousand and pay something i'm working on the i need a about stealing our species
and allows i translated broyles said
although over this if i warning about email body and i aspire to liberation know in my next life i'll be able to get out i mean when you arrive
so it doesn't seem to me that the east as an admirable not wisdom boy has any particular and lot
and love i'm lucky and coast all right there it has never struck me a living around those prices that the people the seven and by either cultured and the last visit
us to revisit you live listening to any less delusive influence here probably not
or what the east has provided us with though
are some traditions of practice like the teaching of meditation there is no teaching meditation in the west that is so clear so consistent so highly developed that has been carried forward for so many generations
in fact weekend the christian church even they will teach you how to pray
there's no teaching at least in modern times of prayer
and so i think that the difference the distinctions that i made earlier between religions of belief and religions of our wisdom and practice is a very valid distinction and that tells us you know what buddhism is i did not say that buddhism has had great success in asia
and that it has made those societies more ideal
or that a huge number of people in those societies are far more enlightened than people in this society
hard to see hard to tell what you say is true people are pretty much people everywhere
ah but still there are little enclaves are very funny teaching and there are some cultural features are some cultural practices that one cannot help but admire some of it is in their art the art of the far east is quite remarkable
the painting in the literature and some of the most remarkable of that art can be traced to a doused buddhist influence
ah the
combination of dullest thought with buddhist thought and what i take to be the basic sanity of far eastern village culture from very early times
has given i would argue a slight quotient of more sanity to the far east a slight quotient
well it makes it a little less crazy than occidental history but it could be argued
stand i said
for said
norma's ukraine has type of an operation as very important to for people to rest were to i was worth time said my saying where a cultural in
the context for police or counseling got me into this enemy
i is any significance of away
except the new article for foreigners
some cases of liberation private beyond that was not
i don't like to say that insects radically
we our discussion did start with the question no
of how are we going to feel about what would be asian qualities to the buddha dharma and is are there some parts of the buddhist teachings that we can call quote baggage
oh and frankly at this point i don't see how we're going to see what's baggage and if there is baggage is not much
and in any case we have so much other kinds of baggage laying around in the united states the what's a little more package
ah ha
okay her for the transmission your says started out at a bot you've gotta
thursday as early is
uganda spirit on reflection i
why zen buddhism
we begin with the interaction between two and united states and
zen good a zen buddhism as i understand it is that the most dominant form of buddhism air truth but a really had a very important back during that time of a threat us
quite equal and that's why we're here in this part for lies in
the former was due to accident and it's partner as a truly connects a little bit with what i was saying earlier
in responding to this joel was question
that there are some qualities in our ah
predominantly as it were twenty five thirty years ago waspish somewhat puritanical are somewhat not pure ten was somewhat protestant liberal and cosmopolitan
that left a little opening for xin
my a degree or two
it has a literature of a fascinating quality
ah and
the historical accident is that it overlaps with the as the interest in the aesthetics of immediacy
with the aesthetics of abstract expressionism
ha of jazz ah combined with our a secular spirit that wants to get away from abstraction metaphysics and mythologies
ah so that's only one little picture but it it helped you know it contributed to this particular opening and then the other it'll big historical contribution is dying days as suzuki
ah a very unique figure who are
absorbed a great deal of western culture
our turn of the century japanese philosophical studies and hegel and kant a very intellectual pretty far reaching lived in america for seven or eight years are in chicago went back to japan refined his knowledge of chinese little local knowledge of so
sanskrit and together with a few of his colleagues constructed virtually a buddhism that westerners would like
now there's an interesting studies of this right now ah of as to how suzuki and
kg disha patani and that circle of of japanese buddhist philosophers kind of made up of buddhism that we would like have you read about this yeah
it wasn't entirely an accident you know they they wanted to make something that the west would respect and they hit it and they got it right
two degree are you also should know that that is all under critical attack right now by postmodern advanced buddhist scholars at the university of wisconsin not immersed in michigan yeah
what to get it
was russia

it's used that
it it doesn't have a value or worth until you've done it for a while though that makes people even try it
he the reason it seems to have used value to go back to what i saying is that you read d t suzuki
and thought gee this would have use value

tag is in a very very real sense right from the properties are no chronicle latter
the reasons for writing will embrace
running again it's back with back and useful that
back when he hasn't established lives as my wife
the school of buddhism
because americans sitting around chatting on product is going to city a real value that ethos get the signal work part be good christians and jews from answering my question
yeah when the the answer still is that to way xin was presented initially in the literal d t suzuki was sympathetic or or or vibrated in harmony with what were some proceed psychological needs in occidental culture as of nineteen whenever you know
now that was just a little window but that started it
what then happened that that becomes concrete is as egyptian real comes to boosting
and other individuals' independent of d t suzuki and independent of reading those books set themselves up here and began teaching and people begin practicing and it turns out yes this is something you can do
and so it only and but suzuki and sense soften people up for it and created a large circle of of readers and thinkers and halfway practices who really were thirsty to have an opportunity to do some kind of zen practice amazing i am
a he went to and early buddhism and and said it's essence for or the rest of but of course that's you
with the critique actually that has been dismisses on this the critique of intellectualized japanese buddhism is that they've gotta vocabulary from german philosophy
well before that and on the for heidegger they were a hit gilead's yeah and then and and that they themselves abstracted and i kind of idea of a pure essential intellectual or not exactly intellectual but and essential buddhism
oh which could be abstracted from the buddhist tradition
oh where is it turns out it has since get a
the idea of a pure essential buddhism without baggage is the ethnic buddhism of educated white people
as our ethnic buddhism
that's what our culture tells us to look for
whereas it does not exist in the real world
okay now let me let me take this just a little farther because there's an important point in there's a
a little mini controversy this book been around the norman knows about that connects with this
if you have allowed yourself and i think we have all done at one time or another at least for a few minutes if you have allowed yourself to think that there is a true pure buddhism
and that perhaps it is our virtue as american our it's to our advantage as americans are who are not deeply embedded in any traditional culture to be able to appreciate and perceive that pure essential buddhism better and quicker than people who had the misfortune to
be embedded in some backward traditional culture