Sekkei Harada Roshi

‘I think there are many of you who think, “I must not think,” so you suppress thought. This is the worst thing to do. You are suppressing the natural flow of the Dharma itself. Don’t think of trying to suppress thought. By thinking, “Don’t think, don’t think,” your essential nature is lost. Without any freedom or comfort, you only end up sitting and thinking of trying to get rid of suffering. This is the sickness of not knowing that the thought of getting rid of suffering is suffering.
In order to have you understand this really well, I will say it one more time. Zen is neither thinking nor not thinking. “When there is thinking, there is only thinking, and while thinking, there is liberation.” And “When not thinking, there is only not thinking, and while not thinking, there is liberation.”
Zazen is not something to be learned from a teacher. Zazen is something learned by means of zazen itself. That is why we say, “zazen is zazen.” I would like you to verify this yourselves through “real practice and real inquiry.”‘ (The Essence of Zen)

I have been trying to come up with a good commentary on the lines from the Fukanzazengi that Harada Roshi is dealing with here  (‘Think of not-thinking. How do you think of not-thinking? Nonthinking. This in itself is the essential art of zazen’), and this is obviously way  better than anything I might have said. He also translated ‘nonthinking’ as ‘leaving thinking as-it-is’, which is less mystifying, and brings to mind Suzuki Roshi’s repeated mentions of ‘things as-it-is’. Internally or externally, letting things be as they are is the gate of liberation.

 

Advertisements

One thought on “Sekkei Harada Roshi

  1. “‘I think there are many of you who think, “I must not think,” so you suppress thought. This is the worst thing to do. You are suppressing the natural flow of the Dharma itself.”

    I think we need to focus on this a bit in teaching Zen/Zazen or Theravada styled Samatha.

    Often instead of an alert/open awareness or a discerning absorbed awareness we get people fighting inside for 45 minutes Lol

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s