by Sawaki Kôdô Rôshi
Translated from Japanese by Jesse Haasch and Muhô
““Rest awhile and everything will be fine.”
We simply need to take a short break. Being buddha means taking a short break from being a human. Being buddha doesn’t mean working your way up as a human.
What makes Ryōkan so refreshing is that he doesn’t fondle things.
In everything, people follow their feelings of joy, anger, sadness and comfort. But that’s something different from everyday mind. Everyday mind means cease-fire. Without preferences, without animosity, without winner and loser, without good and evil, without joy and pain – that’s everyday mind.
“What sort of person stands on the ground where there’s neither coming nor going?”
Kyūhō answered, “The stone sheep versus the stone tiger: sooner or later they’ll get tired of staring each other in the eyes.” The stone sheep won’t flinch. The stone tiger won’t jump out of hunger. That’s the point – encountering things beyond thinking.
What do we have when we truly have a grip on things as they are? Beyond-thinking [ hishiryō ]. Beyond-thinking doesn’t allow itself to be thought. No matter if you think so or not: things are simply as they are.
“All things are empty” means there’s nothing we can run into, because nothing is really happening. We only think something’s happening because we are intoxicated by something.
Nothing is ever happening, no matter what seems to be going on – that’s the natural condition. Illusion means losing this natural condition. Normally we don’t recognize this natural condition. Normally we cover it with something else, so it’s not natural anymore.
The buddha-dharma means the normal condition. Yet in the world everything is unnatural. Domineering, succumbing and discussing everything to death are unnatural.
Each place fills heaven and earth, every instant is eternal.
To practice the way of Buddha means to completely live out this present moment – which is our whole life – here and now.
Don’t squeeze the way of Buddha into any frame.”