Katagiri Roshi

‘This morning during breakfast I noticed that your way with utensils was careless. There was too much noise while we ate. These utensils are easy to make noise with and so we must pay particular attention to no-noise — to not making too much noise. You may think this is a small thing in your training, but lt is very important in the study of Zen Buddhism to watch with care. It is within the domain of small things that you will find the Buddha Nature which you manifest, and which you should manifest, whether you recognize this nature or not.

Anyone may enter a Zen Monastery to train. The door of a Zen church Is always open. There is a familiar saying: if you knock the door will open. But with Zen Buddhism there is no door on which to knock. Anyone may enter. That is why it is important to watch your activity with care based on sinceclty. 

Dogen Zenji said that those who want to train by Buddhism should first have a sincere mind, the so-called way-seeking mind. The way-seeking mind is not a particular mind outside your life. When you use your utensils with care the way-seeking mind exists at that time. ln a Zen Monastery monks are always advised by the Master not to make too much noise ln whatever they do. When a monk’s utensils fall on the floor, he must bow nine times to the Image of Buddha. In the Zendo, all events, no matter how insignificant they seem, are important for you. Every effort of your mind and body should be centered on your activity. At this time your way-seeking mind, your Buddha Nature, should be aroused.’ (from Wind Bell)  

This talk was given during a one-day sitting at the end of 1965 (we will be studying Suzuki Roshi’s talk from the same evening in the first class of the series tomorrow, and I am curious why the Wind Bell transcript for that talk included a few paragraphs that were not on the tape), and it seems like a good example of Katagiri’s style, perhaps a little more direct than Suzuki Roshi.


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 )

Connecting to %s