Uchiyama Roshi

‘Sometimes I imagine myself being sent to prison. I don’t know what society will be like in the future. If a leader like Hitler, Stalin or Mao Tse-Tund gained control, I could be sent to prison if the authorities were to find some fault with me.
I read somewhere, “To imprison a minority is to set a majority at ease with the thought, ‘I am not as bad as they are.'” I doubt that only the people in prison are bad. Personally, when I sincerely evaluate my life and expose myself to the absolute light of religion, I can’t help thinking that I will doubtless go to hell because of my absurd conduct. Do I have any excuses? No! In the absolute world I don’t have a single excuse. In a sutra it is said, “If you wish to repent, sit properly [in zazen posture] and see the real form.”
I always despair of myself. But I make it a rule to do zazen, telling myself that it is only the despair of an ordinary person. Can you see that despair is nutrition for the Absolute?’ (The Zen Teaching of Homeless Kodo)

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