Rempo Niwa

‘In Shakyamuni’s Teachings there is found the words “Turning the self, Turning the Dharma.” “Turning the self” means that one’s little self turns the Dharma, and that when one’s sense of self is strong, the Dharma is weak. On the other hand, when the Dharma turns the self, then the Dharma is strong and the little self is weak. By this strength, heaven and earth become full of one or the other. By this weakness, there is not left room for even one hair. So, when the little self turns the Dharma, the self is strong and the Dharma is weak. Heaven and earth become full of small self views such that, in that instant, the world is flooded with [greed, anger, ignorance and such] evil, and even a hair’s worth of good cannot remain. But when the Dharma turns the self, and the Dharma is strong while the self is weak, then the world of “being experienced by millions of things and phenomena” is truly a pure and wonderful world that becomes true for anyone, and manifests the Way. That is how I understand. …

Through the generations from Shakyamuni Buddha to Master Bodhidharma and onward, the Ancestors have spoken of “the Samadhi of One Practice.” Through Zazen, we balance and settle the body while facing the wall, our form of sitting. When we have taken the posture of Zazen, the Dharma turns the self. Zazen is just such Practice. In actuality, with this body, when with the whole body one sits Zazen, the world instantaneously is Dharma and the self turns, and the world becomes a Great Purity whereby no difficulties remain. Because body and mind are one, when the body is made straight and true, the heart responds accordingly and becomes the straightness of Great Purity. Thus, when one person sits one minute of Zazen, the whole world changes to Great Purity.’ (On Zen Practice)


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