Dharma in August, 2017

Dear zen friend
1)   September sesshin:      from  09/08 to 09/12
      October Sesshin:    from  10/06 to 10/10
2) Zendo is on vacation mood in August. We enjoyed Summer Lecture and Zazenkai at Shantigar.
Somehow it has been rainier and cooler than usual.
We almost needed heating on 27th.
3) I presented the Eight Awareness at the Zazenkai. It was excerpts from Shobogenzo Eight Awareness written by Dogen Zenji. It also was based on the record of the last days of Shakyamuni in The Great Nirvana Sutra. Shakyamuni left guidance on how to live for his students. In it he said ‘Live according to not others but the Self and the Dharma.’
‘The eighth Awareness is not to be engaged in hollow discussions.
(It is to be free from conjecture by realization. To thoroughly study real forms of all dharma is named no hollow discussions.)
About the line above (the eighth of eight awareness), endless discussions were spoken, however. Is awareness better suited than awakening? Isn’t it free from realization by conjecture instead? What is dharma? What is hollow discussion?
When I came to the eighth awareness, I became silent and sat, it was clear and simple.
Here is America, language and experiences are different. Things are not simple.
I used to love arguing ideas like emptiness, impermanence, Buddha nature, enlightenment, or nirvana. Looked back those days, they were hollow discussions for me.
In the meantime, I noticed perfect logic was not powerful enough to bring enlightenment, and abstract words ignored both a fact of physical body and a matter of good and bad.
My suggestion was bow and respect would be necessary for studying the all dharma.
We should discuss Buddhism until we know what is hollow.
Eishin Ikeda
Valley Zendo

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