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Lions Roar : January 2009
57 SHAMBHALA SUN JANUARY 2009 ing her self-ness, alone, on her own. When the daughter is clearly separated from the father, she does not need to call him. She is manifesting her completeness by herself. The father could also be aware that the daughter does not really require him, so he can remain in the “at ease” state. In this state of independence, though they are oppositions, without opposing, they coexist in one space, together. But looking at the same situation from the broader vantage point, we can also define it as opposition. Though seemingly oppos- ing, they are not really in opposition. That is the state in which it is not necessary for anyone to insist on his or her “I am” self. There, father and child exist separately in one state, and they don’t bother each other. Each is complete in herself or himself. This state we are talking about inevitably appears, but without failing, it will break through and manifest unification. Then all will disappear. Inevitably, the state in which you no longer claim yourself will be manifested. Buddhism concludes that this is the true self, true love, and the ultimate truth. Zen’s view is that words cannot point out the ultimate truth. It is utterly, completely zero. If true love exists as such, it is the ultimate truth. Nyo is also gotoshi in Japanese, meaning, “As such,” or “Like that.” The state of nyorai is the state where one transcends the human condition. It is the complete manifestation of “Thus coming.” You are no longer mother, father, and child, and the great cosmos all becomes one. When you are able to directly experi- ence the activity of “Thus coming,” you are “at ease” and in a tranquil state. No matter how much we talk, it will not bring us satisfaction or true happiness. Only when we reach the state of transcendence, “Thus com- ing,” can we be satisfied and “at ease,” which is true love, the ultimate truth. Father is satisfied. Mother is satisfied. Child is satisfied. They are not satisfied individually, but the whole universe is satisfied. It is a totally tranquil state, the zero state. Whenever we teach Zen, direct expression and directly pointing out is critical. If you cannot promptly respond to the teacher, you cannot say that you are practicing Zen. When you gaze at the sky, what kind of direct pointing would be manifested? What direct expression can you make by looking straight up at the sky? When the daughter’s un- cle visits the family, the mother, father, and child bow to him and say hello to him, manifesting the basics of Buddhist realization. In America or Europe, people use the direct expression, “Amen.” Isn’t that the same thing? ♦ hurts,” he said. And yet, I reflected, he spends an hour a day in teisho and at least six hours a day sitting in sanzen. That tremen- dous effort in the face of pain inspired me. Two days after sesshin ends, a translator and I would sit down for an interview with Roshi in his apartment. Wearing a white kimono and reclining in an upholstered chair, Roshi was in a relaxed mood. At one point he teasingly pinched the translator’s earlobe to make a point. “How are you this morning? “Tired,” he says. “After sesshins I need two days of rest. I used to not need anything. One day is not good enough—I need two days. By the third day I become vital again.” “You call your teaching Tathagata Zen. Where did the teaching of Tathagata Zen originate?” “Chinese Zen defined tathagata and tatha-agata. One is ‘Thus- coming,’ and the other is ‘Thus-going.’ It originated in India—Indi- an Buddhism already had this concept. It’s a moving activity, so it is ‘Thus-coming, Thus-going.’ Even we contemporary people are asked how we define this moving activity. It is a very essential thing. “This moving activity never stops. And then, all the time it’s smoothly proceeding. Though it is moving all the time, when it proceeds forward, it’s the activity of forward moving, and when it comes back, it demonstrates the activity of coming back. Here, we have to understand the concept of difference or discrimination. What is the concept of difference or discrimination? That is called kyo and rai. Kyo is ‘to leave.’ Rai is ‘to come.’” “Will Roshi find American successors?” I ask. “I don’t know about that,” he says. “It’s not in my consideration. It does not help me to know who it would be. Some might say, ‘I have received your Tathagata Zen teaching, and I will continue your activity,’ but that can be a lie. If someone comes around say- ing, ‘I’m going to throw my whole body into continuing your activ- ity of Tathagata Zen,’ then I would say, “Oh, is that so?’” The seventh day dawned clear and cool, and I enjoyed spacious sitting in the zendo. Late in the afternoon it was announced that we would end a little early and then go to see Roshi for a final interview—a formal goodbye. It was then that I finally got what Roshi had been driving at all week. It had literally been staring me in the face all along. Roshi smiled and rang the bell. ♦