“there is no one who is not liberated. It is simply a question of whether you realise it or not.”
S: The more I ask, the more it seems as if I don’t understand.
Roshi: No. That not understanding itself is Buddha-nature. The problem is that we’ve been taught we need to change the way we think. For that reason, it’s troublesome. Not understanding is the Dharma. Not being transparent or distinct or certain is also the Dharma as well. These conditions exist as facts, as reality.
That is why we say, ‘Don’t be fooled by others.’ If you are too impressed and inspired by the great teachings of Buddha or in worshipping wonderful images of Buddha, you will lose your self. And that is no good. To be really ordinary is to be a buddha. That is ‘the awakened self’. This is the teaching of Zen.
The following is from a 1993 television programme, ‘The Awakened Self’—an interview with Harada Sekkei, abbot of Hosshinji Training Monastery by Shiratori Motoo, a former NHK-TV presenter.
Mr Shiratori: Excuse me for disturbing you during the middle of sesshin.
Harada Roshi: Thank you for coming.
S: Sesshin is a time when people concentrate on zazen. This is an important thing in Zen, isn’t it?
Roshi: Yes. Going back for quite a long time, sesshin is an important activity which has been strictly practised in Zen temples. Although it may sound a bit strange to say, sesshin is very effective or fruitful for a person’s zazen. It’s definitely a way of expanding a person’s state of mind.
S: You follow quite a strict schedule during sesshin, don’t you?
Roshi: We get up at 4:00 am and until 9:00 pm spend most of our time in the zendo. We, of course, sleep…
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