Kobun Chino

‘The question comes, “Is it important to have a lot of interviews with a teacher, or can practice be left up to zazen?” The answer is that the two biggest elements of our practice are zazen practice and “man po,” learning. If a teacher sees all practitioners as imperfect, he stands up as the direct teacher, and endlessly practices with the student to complete the pratice. But in zazen there is already “man po”; in shikantaza there is complete “man po.” This means there is no teaching in the perfecr world, no teacher or student. With complete understanding of what is the enlightened one, Buddha can speak and all Buddhas listen without any sense of “He’s teaching me,” or “We are listening to him.” Speaking and listening have the same quality as many of the sounds around us. (A duck is quacking outside.) That voice you can understand even if it is not a human word. That sound of kitchen (chopping, ringing of pans) you can understand even if it is not formal human language. Even when there are no words, there is teaching, so it is a little awkward to take the opportunity to speak. The whole thing is a little dusty. Without human language, all trees and all grasses know each other completely and they are saying, “Let’s not think whether we know each other or not. We already do.”‘ (Embracing Mind)

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