The following quotations are from Sekkei Harada, abbot of Hosshinji-monastery, Obama, Japan.
Seeing one’s own true nature just means to see that we consist of the four elements - earth, water,
fire and wind. That is, what the universe is made from - earth, water, fire and wind. That’s your own
nature. Our true nature is just these elements. It’s maybe easy to believe that for somebody who
has become empty or who has entered nirvana, everything is completely clear or so. But, using
the words of Nanyue, it is just a matter of “everyday mind is the way”. Our everyday mind - that is
to hate something, to like something else, to suffer - all kinds of emotions - all that is within
“everyday mind”. Whatever thought, emotion or consciousness - it is all everyday mind. All of that
is the Way of Buddha. But the more you practice, the more you start thinking that enlightenment is
like this or like that. You become an expert knowing all those words of the old masters that you
remember. But that is not the real thing. “Enlightenment” is just an explanation or description within
human thinking. In fact, everyday mind, being completely entangled in confusion, is just as it is
what is called enlightenment or nirvana.
Once after Shakyamuni had climbed onto the lecturing-seat, one of the Bodhisattvas said:
“Carefully watch the king of the Dharma. The Dharma of the king of the Dharma is this.”
Shakyamuni came down again and the sermon was finished.
This means, that whatever thought comes up - it is the Dharma of Shakyamuni. All the different
kinds of thought that come and go - it’s all Zen. It means you must not look for Zen outside of
yourself. Everything is done. It’s all finished here. Maybe you think: “I have to do this.” Or “My
practice is not good enough.” Including everything your condition right now - whatever you do - it’s
all Zen. It’s all the Dharma of the king of the Dharma. So stop using Zen-practice as a means or a
method to try to get or understand something. You are already completely stuffed with it. You are
already totally filled up with it. But unfortunately you don’t clearly see it for yourself. And therefore
you keep thinking that Zen is somewhere outside of you. Stop creating this delusion.
I would like you to understand deeply, that at all times - whatever you do - it is the Dharma of
Shakyamuni Buddha. So please always try to completely become the condition you are in now.
It is definitely possible that all dualistic viewpoints like cold and hot, suffering and ease completely
disappear. There is such a world. I say there is such a world, but actually you are already always
within that world. You just don’t become aware of it. You don’t realize it. That’s all. You already
have that treasure. Unfortunately you just don’t notice for yourself, that it is the final point of
Buddhism, also called emptiness.
Whatever good or nice person somebody becomes, this is something that exists only within the
ego-consciousness - subject to change.
Buddhism is not a matter of understanding some theories, it is about your own problem.
Unavoidably it is necessary to listen to the Buddha’s teaching first. But then, how do you know,
weather the teaching is true or false? Why is the teaching of impermanence true? This must really
become your own problem. You think there is no mistake about the teaching, but why is there no
mistake about it? Why is it, that all the ancient masters started to practice and then finally were
able to make it clear for themselves? It is, because in the beginning they had a doubt. If you just
end up to believe in the Buddhas’ teaching, there is something strange about it. To earnestly
practice to make it your own thing is most essential.
There is no need for the classical Koans of the ancient masters.You can just use whatever
dualistic consciousness coming up during the day as a Koan. It is not a matter of understanding a
Koan. To solve a Koan means to become the Koan. Some people try to understand a Koan. That
is a terrible mistake. If you understand something, then something else that you don’t understand
will appear. And then you will try to understand that, too, but there is no end to it. So you have to
inquire about now.