Tag Archives: bodhisattva

La forma Visible de mi voto / The Visible Form of my Vow

Extracto de Voto ilimitado, práctica sin fin
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En mi caso, mi deseo de asistir al Ango no estaba motivado sólo por el interés en recibir la certificación como enseñante, sino también por mi interés de aprender todo lo que pudiera de la tradición y de los monjes japoneses. Ya había saboreado esta práctica en Shōgōji, y sabía la importancia que el entrenamiento representaba para impregnarse de la esencia del Zen de Dogen. Más aun, estaba motivado por la aspiración de compartir lo que aprendiera con las personas que practicaban conmigo en Colombia. Desde el momento en que asumí la creación de un grupo de práctica en Bogotá, hace años, mi principal motivación ha sido la de despertar en otros la conciencia de que todos formamos parte de una única red llamada vida, y que cualquier cosa que hagamos afecta a los demás. Más aun, estaba convencido de que no importa lo que hagamos, si no incluimos a los demás en nuestra propia práctica, esta carece de sentido. Cuando se me presentó la posibilidad de asistir, sabía que era una oportunidad única, para la misión que junto con mis amigos estábamos tratando de desarrollar en Colombia. Fue muy emocionante regresar a La Gendronnière, el templo donde hacía 21 años había recibido la ordenación por primera vez.

Durante todo este tiempo, el maestro Okumura continuaba concentrado en su labor de traducir con gran cuidado la obra de Dogen y compartirla a través de sus charlas y de sus escritos. A medida que me iba sumergiendo en las enseñanzas del maestro Okumura, cada vez me maravillaba más del profundo conocimiento e intuición que él tenía de la obra de Dogen Zenji y su sorprendente capacidad para compartir y hacer accesible estos difíciles escritos que hasta ahora se me habían presentado insondables. Comprendía paso a paso el privilegio de poder estudiar con alguien que personificaba los dos aspectos de la práctica que para mí eran la esencia: una profunda dedicación al estudio del budismo y el Zen de Dogen, y una práctica ejemplar que continuaba las enseñanzas del maestro Uchiyama.

En marzo de 2009 tuve el enorme privilegio de recibir la transmisión del Dharma del maestro Okumura. Con este ritual privado, cumplía mi voto de años de convertirme en un vehículo de la enseñanza, en puente para que otras personas se puedan beneficiar de este maravilloso camino que guiaba mi vida. Pero en realidad, era el comienzo de una nueva etapa y mi responsabilidad frente al voto que había realizado de compartir mi práctica con los demás. Mi sincera aspiración empezaba a tomar forma gracias al apoyo que había recibido de mi maestro.

Como parte de mi proceso de certificación de la escuela, en agosto de 2009 visité los templos Eiheiji y Sojiji en Japón y realicé la ceremonia Zuise. En esta ceremonia el heredero que acaba de recibir un linaje, oficia como abad honorífico por un día en cada uno de estos dos templos. El primer paso es rendir homenaje a cada uno de los fundadores Eihei Dogen Zenji y Keizan Jokin Zenji, en la sala del fundador. La emoción que sentí en aquel momento fue indescriptible, pues tengo un profundo agradecimiento y admiración por la labor que estos maestros realizaron, y gracias a su dedicación y a que nunca se detuvieron frente a las dificultades, la enseñanza llegó a mí a través de mi maestro. Durante el desayuno de celebración al final de la ceremonia en Eiheiji, pensé en las condiciones auspiciosas que me habían permitido estar ahí. Recordé mis inicios en la práctica, los momentos en los que desde el fondo de mi corazón había pedido poder recorrer el camino, todos los obstáculos que había debido superar, uno a uno, para llegar a este momento. Mi agradecimiento hacia el maestro Okumura y hacia todos los maestros del linaje era inconmensurable. Este momento marcaba el inicio de una nueva etapa en mi camino, un nuevo amanecer para la práctica, un nuevo comienzo.

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Extracto del capítulo 3, “La forma Visible de mi voto” de Densho Quintero
¡Traducción al español recién publicada disponible!

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Extract from Boundless Vows, Endless Practice

As for me, my desire to attend the ango was not motivated solely by interest in acquiring certification as a teacher, but also by my interest in learning everything I could about the tradition and about Japanese monks. I had already tasted this practice at Shōgōji and I knew how important training was for becoming imbued with the essence of Dōgen ‘s Zen. I was driven even more by the aspiration to share what I would learn with the people who were practicing with me in Colombia. From the moment I took on the setting up of a practice group in Bogota years ago, my chief motivation has been to awaken in others awareness that we all form part of one network called life and that whatever we do affects others. I was even more convinced that no matter what we do, if we fail to include others in our own practice, this practice will be meaningless. When the chance to attend the ango came up for me, I knew it was a unique opportunity for the mission that my friends and I together were trying to develop in Colombia. For me it was very thrilling to return to La Gendronniére, the temple where I had taken ordination for the first time 21 years earlier.

All during this period, Okumura Rōshi continued to focus on bis work of carefully translating Dōgen’s teachings and sharing them through his talks and writings. The more I delved into Okumura Rōshi’s teachings, the more wonderstruck I was by the deep knowledge and intuition he had of Dōgen Zenji’s work and by bis surprising ability to share and make accessible these difficult writings that until then had seemed unfathomable to me. Gradually I carne to understand the privilege of being able to study with someone who personified the two aspects of practice that far me constituted the essence: a pro­ found devotion to the study of Buddhism and Dōgen’s Zen, and an exemplary practice that was carrying on Uchiyama Rōshi ‘s teachings.

In March 2009 I had the enormous privilege of receiving dharma transmission from Okumura Rōshi. Through this private ritual I was fulfilling my longtime vow to become a vehicle of the teaching, a bridge for other people to be able to benefit from this wondrous Way that was guiding my life. Actually, however, it was the start of a new phase in my responsibility towards the vow I had made to share my practice with others. My earnest aspiration was beginning to take shape thanks to the backing I had received from my teacher.

As part of my certification process by the Sōtō School, in August 2009 I visited Eiheiji and Sojiji in Japan and completed the zuise ceremony. In this ritual the dharma heir who has just received a lineage officiates as honorary abbot for a day in each of these two temples. The first step is to pay homage to each of the founders, Eihei Dōgen Zenji (at Eiheiji) and Keizan Jōkin Zenji (at Sōjiji) in the Founder’s Halls. The emotion I felt at that moment was indescribable, for 1 have a profound gratitude and admiration for the work that these masters accomplished. Thanks to their dedication and the fact that they were never stymied in the face of difficulties, the teaching reached down in time to me through my teacher. During the celebratory breakfast at the end of the ceremony at Eiheiji, I reflected on the auspicious conditions that had allowed me to find myself there. I recalled my first steps in practice, the times when from the bottom of my heart I had asked to be able to walk the Path, and all the obstacles I had had to surmount, one by one, to reach this moment. My gratitude toward Okumura Rōshi and toward all the masters of the transmission was boundless. This moment marked the beginning of a new stage in my path, a new dawn, a new beginning for practice.

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From Chapter 3, The Visible Form of my Vow by Densho Quintero.

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The hotel bodhisattva

Photographer: User:Justinc {{cc-by-sa-2.0}} This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

 

The entire world is completely free of all objective dust; right here and now there is no second person![1]

Student:
When something wrong happens in my life, instead of looking at it negatively, which I normally would like to do, is a there way of seeing it in which it is really assisting me?

Okumura Roshi:
In this line from Shōbōgenzō Busshō, “objective dust” is a translation of the expression kyakujin or kakujin (客塵). Kaku means visiting or visitor; jin is dust. Dōgen is referring to the traditional idea of Buddha nature: precious Buddha nature is covered with dust, like a jewel or diamond covered with dust, but this dust is a visitor. There is another analogy of Buddha nature – that we are like a hotel, Buddha nature is like the owner of that hotel, and delusions are like visitors – they come and stay one night, and leave. So all that delusive thinking is like kyakujin. They are like visitors; they stay here for a while but sooner or later leave, and Buddha nature is like a host or owner of the hotel where they stay. One of the ideas of Buddhist practice based on the Buddha nature theory is conveyed by the analogy of a diamond covered with rock and dust or dirt. We need to discover that there is a diamond in the dirt, and then we take the diamond out. These expressions imply that it is possible for us to take these delusions out, because these are visitors, not the owner. When those visitors all leave, then the owner can remain.

But without visitors, the owner of a hotel has no business, so to me, this doesn’t work so well. It implies that there is kind of a duality within our self or our life. It implies that essentially, we are Buddha nature, which doesn’t change and stays, but accidental, dirty things – delusive thinking – come toward us. The idea is that when delusive thinking is taken away, then Buddha nature reveals its beauty.

In this line of logic, there is a separation within our skandhas; one separate thing is Buddha nature – that is the essence. But all other things coming afterward can be taken away, so this Buddha nature can exist. This idea is basically: our life is buddha nature plus this visiting dust, so when we wipe away all visiting dust, then Buddha nature stays. This is a very simple calculation: our life is A + B, so if A is positive, a precious thing, and B is negative, delusion – then when we take this B out, only Buddha nature remains.

According to Dōgen’s view, this analogy doesn’t work. According to Dōgen’s view, without these visitors Buddha nature cannot work. He is saying that these are not really visitors. Even the negative part or karmic consciousness is not really a visitor. Buddha nature and karmic consciousness are one thing, so we sometimes make mistakes, but mistakes are not a waste. A mistake can be a really good – and strict – teacher. We can study more from mistakes than successful things. When we are successful, we don’t learn, we just enjoy it, we just remain happy. But when we make a mistake, and have some sadness and pain, then we have to think and try to find the cause of this mistake, this pain. Then we learn about our life. When we find how we can exit from this problem, then because of that experience we can teach or help others who are in the same trouble. I think this is why Uchiyama Rōshi said that our mistakes are a kind of capital fund to start business as a bodhisattva.

If we have no experience of mistakes and pain and suffering or sadness, we cannot be sympathetic with other people. If we go through our painful and sad experiences with a certain wisdom and practice, then we can share our experience with others. That is how we can work on bodhisattva practice. If we have no painful experience and mistakes, and we are always happy, we cannot help people with troubles, so we are lucky we have some painful experiences. But we need wisdom to use the negative experience as prajñā.

That is what this expression kyakujin means. What Dōgen is saying here is that the entire world is completely free of all objective dust, it is free from this visiting dust. That means there is no such duality within our life. And when Dōgen says, “…right here and now there is no second person!” he means there is no duality, no first and second. It’s not that our life is this first person, and our deluded mind is a visitor, or a second person. If we think in that way then we miss Dōgen’s point. There’s no such duality in our life – it is all-inclusive. Our life is exactly one thing.

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[1] Norman Waddell and Masao Abe, trans., The Heart of Dogen’s Shobogenzo (Albany: State University of New York Press, 2002), p. 62.

 

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Commentary by Shōhaku Okumura Rōshi

The Dōgen Institute offers an occasional series of questions from students with responses from Okumura Roshi  about practice and study. These questions and responses are from Okumura Roshi’s recorded lectures, and are lightly edited.

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Das Bodhisattva – Herz

Extrahiert aus Grenzenlose Gelübde, Endlose Praxis

English version of this post

 

Ich bin fest davon überzeugt, dass das Herz der Welt ein Bodhisattva-Herz ist. Ich bin überzeugt, dass wir sowohl in den drei Zeiten und in den zehntausend Richtungen als auch in jeder spirituellen und religiösen Tradition Bodhisattvas finden. Ich bin überzeugt, dass Bodhisattvas still und freudig gelassen und vielleicht zu anderen Zeiten auch etwas lauter, alle gemäß ihrer Lebensumstände, ihrer Kultur, Zeit und gemäß der Ursachen und Bedingungen zum Wohle aller Existenzen jenseits von Raum und Zeit gewirkt haben, gerade wirken und wirken werden, bis in die Unendlichkeit. Ich bin überzeugt, dass das gesamte Universum, das unendlich kleine genauso wie das makroskopisch bislang noch nicht erforschte große, mit dem Herz aller Bodhisattvas schlägt. Das drückt aus wie stark und grenzenlos dieses Vertrauen in meinem Körper/Geist unerschütterlich verwurzelt ist, eins mit den fünf Skandhas, die mich in die Lage versetzen, zu fühlen, zu denken und diesen wundervollen Weg, der mir durch wundersames Karma gegeben wurde, zu teilen.

Die Wahrheit ist, dass all dieses Vertrauen und tiefsitzende Gefühl jenseits von Worten ist, aber auch Worte sind kostbare Instrumente. Sie sind nützlich, weil sie es uns erlauben, in unserem Leben in der Gemeinschaft eine gemeinsame Basis zu finden und miteinander zu teilen. Wie hätten wir ohne Worte durch die Lehren und Beispiele von Şākyamuni Buddha, Dōgen-Zenji und all den Vorfahren, die das Licht des Dharmas durch Worte und Schrift übermittelt haben, erreicht und berührt werden können?

Ich denke und fühle, dass, wenn wir uns auf diesen Weg begeben – und ich bin mir nicht sicher, ob wir wirklich wissen, wann er für jeden von uns beginnt (Kein-Anfang und Kein-Ende) –, die Praxis und das Hören der Lehren Schwierigkeiten bereiten können und wir verstehen sie vielleicht auf eine naive Art und Weise. Auch das Herz braucht Schulung. Ein Bodhisattva zu sein bedeutet nicht nur Gutes tun zu wollen und anderen Priorität einzuräumen, es erfordert genauso, in kleinen Schritten zu lernen, Erfahrung für Erfahrung, Lehrer für Lehrer, wie, wo und wann Gutes zu tun ist – oder einfach gesagt, wie und wann zum Wohle anderer, als unserer Hauptmotivation, angemessen gehandelt wird. Da Avalokiteśhvara eine Hand für jeden und jedwede Lebensumstände hat, muss der Bodhisattva mit seinem ganzen Herzen und Körper erfahren und erlernen, wann zu sprechen, zu handeln oder ruhig zu bleiben und nichts zu tun ist, wenn es zum Wohle aller Wesen geschehen soll. Als Bodhisattvas beschreiten wir diesen Weg und erwachen auf diesem Weg. Einen Schritt nach dem anderen bewegen wir uns in kinhin in einem endlosen Kreis, endlose Kalpas den Schritten Buddhas und der Vorfahren folgend.

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Aus Kapitel 10 Das Bodhisattva – Herz von Kaikyō Roby

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The Bodhisattva Heart

Extract from Boundless Vows, Endless Practice
German version of this post

 

I firmly believe that the heart of the world is a bodhisattva heart. I believe that we find bodhisattvas in the three times and in the ten thousand directions as well as in every spiritual and religious tradition. I believe that bodhisattvas quietly and serenely, and maybe some other times more noisily, all according to their lives, culture, time, and causes and conditions, have worked, are working and will continue to work for the sake of all existences beyond space and time into infinity. I believe that the whole universe, the infinitesimal one as well as the macrocosmic one not yet discovered, pulsates with the heart of all bodhisattvas. That is how strong and boundless this faith is ingrained in my body/mind, one with the five skandhas allowing me to feel, think, and share this wonderful path in this life given by wondrous
karma.

The truth is that this faith and profound feeling are beyond words, but words are as well precious instruments, useful because they allow us to share and find common ground in our life in community. Without words, how could we have been reached and touched by the teachings and examples of Shakyamuni Buddha, Dōgen Zenji and all the ancestors who have transmitted the light of dharma through words and writings?

I think and feel that when we enter this path-and I am not sure if we really know when it starts for each one of us (no-beginning and no-end)-the practice and listening to the teachings can present difficulties, and maybe we have a naive way of comprehending them. The heart too needs to be trained. Being a bodhisattva is not only wanting to do good and putting others first; it requires as well learning little by little, experience after experience, teacher after teacher, how to, where to, and when to do good-or, simply put, how and when to act appropriately for the benefit of others as our main motivation. As Avalokitesvara has a hand for everyone and for every circumstance, the bodhisattva with all his heart and body needs to experience and learn when to talk, act or remain quiet and do nothing, if this is for the benefit of all beings. As bodhisattvas, we walk and awake in this path. One step at a time, we move in kinhin in an infinite circle, following the steps of Buddha and ancestors for kalpas without end.

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From Chapter 10 The Bodhisattva Heart by Kaikyo Roby

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