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Shobogenzo Chapter 2, MAKA-HANNYA-HARAMITSU: The Great Wisdom of One Gone to the Far Shore

 

When the Bodhisattva Spontaneous in Listening gets deeply in the groove of the wisdom of one who has gone, her whole body reflects the five aggregates, as totally empty. The five aggregates, the five constituent elements of being, are: material forms; feelings; ideas; doings; and consciousness. They are the quintessence of the wisdom. BUT THE REFLECTING IS THE WISDOM ITSELF. When this principle is expounded, and made real, it is expressed like this: matter is just emptiness; emptiness is just matter; matter is matter, and emptiness just emptiness -- hundreds of things and myriad phenomena. Wisdom on the far shore, distilled into twelve, is the twelve ways in; or, again, there are eighteen distillations of the wisdom. The twelve are the six senses -- eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and proprioceptive system; and their six objects -- forms, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations, and how the whole thing is. The eighteen are, along with those twelve, the six kinds of sensory consciousness -- looking through the eyes, listening through the ears, smelling through the nose, tasting through the tongue, feeling through the body, and being mindful through the compound sense of proprioception. Again, the wisdom exists in four distillations: suffering, accumulation, inhibition, and the Way. Again, the wisdom exists in six distillations: generosity, discipline, patience, persistence, contemplation, and wisdom. Again, the wisdom of one gone to the far shore, realized here and now, in one go, is the supreme enlightenment of the Buddha -- full, integral awakening. Another three instances of the wisdom gone to the far shore are the past, the present, and the future. Still another six distillations of the wisdom are earth, water, fire, wind, space, and consciousness. Again, four distillations of the wisdom constantly practised in everyday life are walking, standing up, sitting, and lying down.


One of the beggars in the order of Sakyamuni, the Thus-Come, is secretly thinking to himself: "I must bow in veneration of the accomplishment of the profound wisdom, in which nothing arises or vanishes -- notwithstanding all the possible explanations that there are of precepts, stillness, and wisdom, of coming undone, and of views; or explanations of stream-entering, being subject to one return, being beyond return, and arhathood;  or explanations of the awakening of the solitary naturalist versus the awakening of Buddha; or explanations of the awakening of Buddha as supreme, full and integrated; or explanations of the treasures of Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha; or explanations of turning the wonderful wheel of Dharma in order to deliver sentient beings to the far shore...." The Buddha, knowing what he is thinking, tells this beggar: "That's it! That's it! The profound wisdom gone to the far shore is too subtle to fathom."

What one beggar is secretly thinking here and now, in his reverence for everything in Sitting, is the wisdom -- notwithstanding no arising or vanishing. This is true reverence. Just at this very moment of bowing in reverence, the wisdom has been realized as explanation being possible -- that is, as explanations from precepts, stillness, and wisdom through to delivering sentient beings, and the rest -- and it is called nothing. Explaining as nothing is possible like this. Such is the profound, subtle, and unfathomable wisdom gone to the far shore.


The god Indra asks the Buddha's disciple Subhuti: "Great do-gooder! When a bodhisattva wishes to learn the profound wisdom of one gone to the far shore, how should he go about it?" Subhuti answers: "Son of the Kusika clan! If a bodhisattva wishes to learn the profound wisdom of one gone to the far shore, he should learn it as space."

So learning the wisdom is space, and space is learning the wisdom.


The god Indra subsequently addresses the Buddha: "One honored by the world! When your good sons and good daughters receive this profound wisdom which you expound, and make it their own accomplishment, when they read and recite it, think it out according to reason, and expound it for others, how then am I to guard it? I ask only, World-honored One, that out of compassion you will teach me this."

Then Subhuti says to the god Indra, "Son of the Kusika clan! Do you see something that you might guard, or not?" 

The god Indra says, "No, great do-gooder, I do not see anything here that I might guard."

Subhuti says, "Son of the Kusika clan! When good sons and good daughters inhabit the profound wisdom, as thus expounded, they are just guarding it. As long as they inhabit the profound wisdom, as thus expounded, of one gone to the far shore, they never go astray. You should know that even if all human and nonhuman beings were out to harm them, that would be impossible. Son of the Kusika clan! If you want to guard bodhisattvas who inhabit the profound wisdom, as thus expounded, of one gone to the far shore, that is no different from wanting to guard space."

Remember, to receive it and make it our own, to read and recite it, and to think it out according to reason, is just to guard the wisdom. And really to want to guard it, is to receive it and make it our own, to read and recite it, and so on. 


My late Master, the old Buddha, says:

Its whole body is like a mouth, hanging in space.
Not asking the wind east, west, south or north,
For all others equally it chatters the wisdom:
(The sound of a windbell...)  tinkling

This is the wisdom chattered between direct successors of the buddha-ancestors. It is the wisdom of the whole body,  it is the wisdom of the whole other, it is the wisdom of the whole self, and it is the wisdom of the whole east, west, south and north.


Sakyamuni Buddha says: "Sariputra! These many sentient beings should inhabit this wisdom gone to the far shore, just as buddha inhabits it.  In serving offerings and bowing in reverence to this wisdom gone to the far shore, and in thinking it out for themselves, they should be as if serving offerings and bowing in reverence to the buddha-beautiful itself. Why? Because the wisdom gone to the far shore is no different from the buddha-beautiful, and the buddha-beautiful is no different from the wisdom gone to the far shore. The wisdom is the buddha-beautiful itself, and the buddha-beautiful is the wisdom itself. Why? Because, Sariputra, the apt, fully integrated awakening of all the thus-come, is able to emerge, in every case, out of that wisdom gone to the far shore. Because, Sariputra, the attainments of all bodhisattvas and all great beings -- such as the independently awakened, the arhat, those beyond returning, those who will return once, those received into the stream, and so on -- all are able to emerge, in every case, out of that wisdom gone to the far shore. Because, Sariputra, the ten paths of wholesome conduct in the world, the four stages of contemplation, the four kinds of formless stillness, the five mystical powers, are all able to emerge, in every case, out of that wisdom gone to the far shore."

So the buddha-beautiful is the wisdom gone to the far shore, and the wisdom gone to the far shore is these real things in Sitting. Everything in Sitting, here and now, is an empty form -- a manifestation that is raw, bare, naked, as it is, devoid of me --  neither arising nor vanishing, neither soiled nor pure, neither expanding nor contracting. That this wisdom has been realized means that the buddha-beautiful has been realized. We should inquire into it, and we should get into it. To serve offerings and bow in reverence to it, is to serve and wait upon the buddha-beautiful itself, and it is the buddha-beautiful doing the serving and waiting.

Treasury of the Eye of True Sitting;
The Great Wisdom of One Gone to the Far Shore

Delivered to the assembly at Kannon-dori-in temple on a day of the summer retreat in the 1st year of Tenpuku [1233].

Copied in the attendant monk's quarters at Kippo temple in Fukui prefecture on the 21st day of the 3rd lunar month in spring of the 2nd year of Kangen [1243].






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