Teisho on Rinzai Roku

Joshu Sasaki Roshi

From a Teisho by Kyozan Joshu, Roshi. February 14, 1993, at MBZC Translated by Shinzen Young © 1994

Then the Master said: "Nowadays he who studIes Buddhadharma must seek true insight. Gaining true insight, he is not affected by birth-and-death, but freely goes or stays. He need not seek that which is excellent - that which is excellent will come of itself.

"Followers of the way, the eminent predecessors we have had from of old all had their own ways of saving people. As for me, what I want to point out to you is that you must not accept the deludeu views of others. If you want to act, then act. Don't hesitate.

"Students today can't get anywhere: what ails you? Lack offaith In yourself is what ails you."

(Rinzai Roku, Discourse X) Translated by Ruth F. Sasaki

The usual way that people are educated, however, is into a conquest mentality. They're educated to conquer the world and put It all Inside their hip pocket, to get it all for themselves. That's why we ask you to very carefully contemplate what this self Is. Consider carefully: am I working from a fixated self or am I working from a state of self-faith, self-extension from an unfixated self? If you fixate the self, then you'll have to flurry around, rush from here and there, to use the phrase of Rinzai.

This state of tumbling along in a bewildered way, this is what comes about through fixating the self, so you'll always feel that you missed the bus, that somebody else made it and that (you) didn't, that there's something wrong with the world, (you) just can't make it. But a person that understands self-extension, self-faith, a person that understands not fixating the self is too busy to be flurried. As soon asthey see a nail they become the nail, as soon as they see the bamboo, they become the bamboo. Whatever they see, they become. They're too busy to be in a hurry...

In any event, it is the situation of the self to have to make relationship with inside and outside. Inevitably, connection is made. So one cannot escape from this activity called making a connection, making relationship with father and mother. Inevitably one is at the mercy of the working, the activity of the father and mother. But if one is able to enter into complete relationship, then one will no longer be at the father and mother's mercy. In other words, one won't have to be under the control of life and death if one has completely made life and death one's content, what one is.

What Rinzai means by the phrase myriad of circumstances: circumstance means environment. The environment is inside and outside. in other words, life and death. As long as one is fixating oneself, one is under the control of life and death, at the mercy of life and death. If you don't freeze. if you don't solidify the self, then you no longer need to be at the mercy of the world of circumstances. So one will be led around by the myriad of circumstances because one is fixating the self, one is at the mercy of life and death. Then one starts to think, "Why can't I be free?' Freedom cannot happen as long as a person is solidifying a self. As I mentioned before, when one makes relationship, makes connection with father and mother, one has dissolved oneself and one is growing. This is what is meant by transformation. Transformation means to evolve. As long as one is continuing to fixate the self, one will always be at the mercy of life and death and one will never be able to experience freedom.

So if one wants to win for oneself the state called freedom. one has to do the activity called self-dissolution. You will be able to dissolve the self. Dissolving the self, you 'will manifest yourself as the world that you have been thinking about. So we cannot neglect this thing called making connection. making relationship:this is what we have to do to dissolve the self.