Inspiration Is Bullshit

Excerpts from
To you
by Sawaki Kôdô Rôshi

Translated from Japanese by Jesse Haasch and Muhô

“They say, “When I hear Sawaki talk, my faith cools down.” Now I’m going to really put their faith on ice: This sort of faith is nothing but superstition.
They say, “Sawaki’s talks don’t awaken any faith in me.” They don’t awaken any superstition, that’s all.

There’s nothing more funny than old women looking for “inspiration”. Everything for them is “inspirational” even if it’s only worth as much as pigeon shit. Anyway, this idea of inspiration is mistaken: isn’t it just personal inspiration they’re talking about? They’re only taking refuge in Buddha because they hope to get something out of it.

Whatever sutra you read, it’s always about devoting your body and life to the Way. Why is it that the whole world believes religion means praying to Buddha for good health and good business?

However much good they do, everything that humans do is bad. If you give, all day long you think, “I gave!” If you do religious practice, you think “I practiced, I practiced!” If you do something good, you never forget, “I did good, I did good!” Does this mean that we should do something bad instead? No, even when we do good, it’s bad. When we do something bad, it’s even worse.

If you do good, you start to work yourself up about everything bad you suddenly see in others. When you have done something bad, you’re quiet, because your own ass itches. People don’t only calculate when it’s a matter of money. In everything they do they try to bargain up or down. That’s because their body and mind haven’t dropped off. Only when body and mind have dropped off does this business not count any more. Dropping off body and mind means immeasurability, limitlessness.

“Do good, leave the bad.” There’s no doubt about that, but is it so clear what’s good and what’s bad? Good and bad go hand-in-hand.

Zazen is beyond good and evil. It’s not moral education. Zazen takes place where Communism and Capitalism finish.”

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