Word "jaku." "Jaku"
is nirvana, harmony, respect, and calmness and nirvana. That is four . .
. three. O.k. Begging by order, and amount of the food, and how often
once or twice each day. In scriptures it's once. Once, not twice.
Student: They begged
once a day?
S: Once a day. And
amount. One is, you know, always you should support yourself by begging.
That is one. When you beg, you should do it in order to . . . without
choosing good family or wealthy family, by order, one
one by one. You
should change. You should not change your order with some greedy
feelings. So it means that you should not be greedy. So, to support
yourself by, only by begging and by order, you should do it and . . .
you should not do it more than once a day. And you should not have it
more than you want. You should think how much you want. That's four
already about food.
The wearing is
should be this robe or that kind or more . . . this is seven. Seven
pieces robe. But you can . . . you will have robe made of more than
seven: nine or thirty. But you should always live on it. And the
material is . . . should be the material which you collected from city.
(In low voice says something in Japanese.)
And where you live
is under the tree. Or if you become attached to the feeling, good
feeling under the tree, you should go to cemetery. (Laughter.) You know,
this is the spirit, you know. You should be very strict with yourself.
You should not develop your . . .. You should not spare yourself. You
should have always renunciation. So, if under the tree, is so . . . if
you become attached to it you should go to cemetery. Or you should go to
some place, open(?) , where nothing, where you have nothing to protect
you. Everyone see if you're lying down. Everyone see you lying down.
"Oh, he is there, lazy monk." People may say, so you have to be always
And you should not
lie down, even though you sleep. This is not asceticism, you know. This
is how to keep up your good spirit. And you should always live . . . the
first . . . the first one was, you know, you should always live in "arranya"
(sp) . . . forest or wood, like many religious people who give up, who
retire from life.
Something like that.
I don't know how many you have. Nine or ten. (Student says we have nine
now.) Very interesting.
Student: Roshi, if
that's not asceticism, then how do we understand just the . . . our
practice is to live everyday life? That our practice is to live in the
S: Live in the world
. . . even though you live in the world you may live, you know,
according to Bodhisattva's way. To help people you should live in the
world, in the city. And you should help them. But way you help them is
the same way, same spirit. You can practice this kind of practice in the
city too. Not literally, but modifying your practice. With same spirit
you can do it.
Student: Seems like
we'd have to modify those twelve entirely.
S: Yeah! There's no
need to attach to those things literally. You will find some way to . .
. if you have this kind of feeling, you will know this is, you know,
whether you are spoiling yourself or encouraging your spirit. You see.
So at that time you can change your attitude a little bit. Just a little
bit works very strong. To buy a lot of vegetables . . . just a little
bit . . . this much. When they are interested in, you know, they are . .
. they won't . . . even they drive one mile or ten blocks . . . after
ten blocks work . . . walk, they may go to the vegetable store and
vegetable . . . .When they are doing so and someone choose most
vegetable. But . . . no sense to . . .. This is just, you know, not much
practice . . . just . . . little bit change. Little bit different from
usual way, but it works. And it helps you, yourself, and it will give
people some teaching. You can do that.
on the town trip at one of the large grocery stores we shop at, there
were, kind of in the back where we buy our vegetables, there were three
very big cardboard boxes full of sort of like you've been describing of
what they were going to throw away
of lettuce and old oranges and
apples and so forth. What would you think if, if we were actually, to ,
to take that. I mean to ask the manager if we could use that food, say
on the next town trip, and bring it back to Tassajara? Would you think
that would be practicing the spirit of these?
S: But for the, you
know, head of the kitchen to buy . . . worst one will not be so good.
But if we have that kind of spirit, you know, I think a grocery store
and farmers will help you a lot, you know. They may give you, even
though you don't expect them to give you. But if your real spirit is
there . . .
Student: I don't
understand what you mean.
S: Well, what was
your point of question?
Student: My question
was, do you feel we should bring back to Tassajara those three large
boxes of food which the grocery store didn't feel it wanted to have on
its shelves but which was still, you know, quite edible.
S: Yeah, I think so.
Student: We should
bring it back to Tassajara?
S: Yeah. And we
should make best use of it. If it is possible to eat. If it is not then
we can't take it.
Student: We should .
. . we should pay them for it, though, shouldn't we? The regular price?
S: No I don't think
so. Will . . . they for in . . .
Student: No, they
would give them to us.
S: (laughing): We
will not pay for that. As a head of . . . as . . . you are working for
Tassajara so at that time it is not just your practice.
There is this kind
of story from Zuimonki. You know. What Dogen teach and what Dogen said
was described by his disciple and we have still that record called
Zuimonki. There are many stories something like that. Some of them is
very difficult to understand. Why did he say so is very difficult.
S: Some more
back to the question of asceticism . . . with the cold coming on, I was
thinking about putting a heater in my cabin
small heater. And a
question that came to my mind was . . . I knew that the people that were
here through the last winter . . . a lot of them didn't have heaters in
their rooms, and they, they, they're here now . . . but. I wonder if you
think it will be, you know, I guess it's hard to make a general rule,
but do you, do you think it would hurt your practice too much to . . .
to . . . you know, have a warm room to go to? (Laughing.)
S: I . . . I think
in this way. We have, we are tendency, some tendency . . . we will be
more and more luxurious and you will be more and more spoiled. And we
are finding some excuse for it. Always, you know, we are . . . our minds
working in that direction. (Laughter.) So it is necessary to know that
İİ what is our tendency. So not to be . . . we should remember some
word, like liable to . . . apt to. We should remember that two words: we
are "apt to" do something. So, not to fall into the same hole is very
In Japan we have,
there is some, what do you call that, spider-like animal, small animal
who dig big, oh not big . . . for him it is big. (People say, "ant
lion.") Ant killer? (They say, "lion" again and all laugh.) Good name!
Ant lion. You know, all the ant may fall into same hole, and we human
being fall into the same hole. We have some . . . we are on the edge of
the hole of ant lion, so if you fall into the same hole like ant it may
be very silly. . . . So, so this kind of . . . when we, you know, if you
want to protect, try to protect human being, you know, we should be . .
. we should be guard of the hole . . . you may fall. You may be eaten by
ant lion. (Laughing.) And at the same time you should be very careful
for yourself, too. But still, we should not be afraid of our nature. We
should develop our nature as much as we can. But we should . . . if you
want to develop your , then you should know the tendency you have.
So, this kind of
practice is absolutely necessary if you, when you want to help yourself
and help others. This point should be . . . this word, you know, "apt
to" or "liable to" should be remembered, always. Or else you cannot do
anything. And you should be always, you know . . . you will be always
rigid and afraid of something may happen to you, or scared of something
which someone will do to you. Why you have no this kind of practice; you
don't know how to protect yourself and protect others and how to help
others. If you know you are . . . if you know the word "apt to"
completely, then you are quite safe and you have always confidence in
yourself and . . and helping others. So without this kind of practice
Mahakasapa could not manage Buddha's disciples. This is very important
point, and with this spirit I think we should practice zazen. Just to
practice zazen to, to acquire something is not our way. O.k.? Do you
Student: Where do we
find the determination and the perseverance to continue to live a life
or to carry on in a way to keep ourselves from wanting to spoil
ourselves? Where does this determination come from?
comes from zazen. Even though you are painful, you know. We are apt to,
you know, give up zazen when you are painful. Always you have, you
should train yourself in that way, with our practice, until you have
full confidence in yourself. Not to fall into ant lion's hole. And with
determination you see edge of the hole. Without complaining, "Oh, this
is dangerous!" That is not zazen. In that way you should always make
yourself strong, strong enough to go to city, and strong enough to help
people, and strong enough to have some candy if, when you want it,
sometime, not always. But you should know if I eat candy I may want one
more. "NO!" Okay? That kind of point if very important point. In your
zazen and in your everyday life. Not, don't try to find out where, but
try to strengthen yourself maybe stronger. So that you can do it quite
This transcript found in the
nineties and put on disc by Bill Redican. There are notes about it
between him and DC - one of us found it. It didn't get into the digital
archive back then.
It's at the end of 68-10-00-J
problem tape transcribed 4-12 by JG.
Need to compare versions..
[68-10-00-X - entered into digital
archive as separate lecture 12-20-12 by DC]