The round of talks on the Gakudoyojinshu has finishes, and since yesterday we take turns lecturing on Bendowa. Here is today’s talk by Gusho. He tries to explain “jijuyuzanmai”, a central term that is translated as “self-joyous meditation” in the text below. Unfortunately the battery ran out before Gusho could give his final answer…
Translation by Prof. Masunaga Reiho (original found here: http://www.zenki.com/index.php?lang=en&page=bendo01)
The various Buddhas and Tathagatas have a most enlightened way of realizing superior wisdom and transmitting the supreme law. When transmitted from Buddha to Buddha, its mark is self-joyous meditation. To enter this meditation naturally, right sitting is the true gate. Though each man has Buddha-nature in abundance, he cannot make it appear without practice or live it without enlightenment. If you let it go, it fills your hand; it transcends the one and many. If you talk about it, it fills your mouth; it is beyond measurement by height and width. All Buddhas eternally have their abode here without becoming attached to one-sided recognition. All beings are working here without attachment to sides in each recognition. The devices and training that I teach now manifest all things in original enlightenment and express unity in action. And when you thoroughly understand, why cling to such trifles as these?
On awakening of the desire to seek the way, I visited Buddhist masters in all parts of the country. Finally I met Zenko (Myozen, disciple of Eisai) at Kennin temple. The nine years that If served as his follower passed quickly. From him I heard about the Rinzai style. Zenko, as the leading disciple of Eisai, truly transmitted the highest Buddhism. Other disciples could not compare with him. I also went to China, visited Zen masters of both Cheh-chiang (Chekiang, formerly divided into east and west), and heard about the styles of the five schools. Finally I studied with Zen master Ju-sting (Nyojo) on Ta-p’ein (Taihaku) peak. In this was I completed the valuable training for my life.
After that at the beginning of the Shotei period (1227), I returned to Japan. Because I had the idea of spreading the Law and saving all beings, I was like a man carrying a heavy burden. Then I thought of abandoning this idea of spreading the Law and wait for a more propitious time. I wandered here and there for some time sincerely trying to teach the style of the former Zen master. There are true trainees who deliberately shun fame and profit and concentrate on the search for the way. But unfortunately they are misled by false masters, so real understanding is veiled and the trainees uselessly become drunk with self- madness and drown for long years in the world of delusion. How can the right seed of wisdom sprout and the chance for enlightenment be grasped?
I am now wandering here and there like a cloud or water grass – what mountain or river shall I visit?
Because I sympathize with such seekers, I went to China, saw the form and style of the monasteries, and received the essence of the Zen teaching. Gathering and recording all this, I am leaving it for the trainees so that they may be helped toward knowing the essence of Buddhism. Isn’t this the core of Zen? Buddha Sakyamuni transmitted the right law to Mahakasyapa on Grdhrakuta Mountain, and a long line of patriarchs handed it down to Bodhidharma. And Bodhidharma went to China and transmitted the right law to Hui-k’o (Eka).
This started the transmission of Zen Buddhism to the East. Transmitted thus in its essential purity, it came down by a natural route to the Sixth Patriarch, Hui-neng. At this time true Buddhism was transmitted to China, and it expressed a meaning free from trivialities. The Sixth Patriarch had two outstanding disciples- Nan-yueh Huai-jang and Ch’ing-yuan Hsing-ssu. Together they transmitted the Buddha seal; they were leaders of man and heaven. These two schools spread, and five styles of Zen appeared. They were the schools of Fa-yen, Wei-yang, Ts’ao-tung, Yun-men, and Lin-chi. In present-day China only the Lin-chi (Rinzai) school is flourishing. Although the five schools differ, they are all based on the single seal of the Buddha Mind. From the later Han period to the present in China, the scriptures of the other teachings were propagated, but it was impossible to determine which was best. With the coming of Bodhidharma from India the root of the conflict was abruptly cut, and pure Buddhism spread. We must also try to do the same in our country. All the Buddhas and patriarchs who transmitted Buddhism considered sitting and practicing self-joyous meditation the true way of enlightenment. The enlightened ones in both the East and West followed this style. This is because the masters and their disciples correctly transmitted this superior method from person to person and received the uncorrupted truth.