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Buddhadharma : Winter 2010
31 winter 2 01 0 buddhadharma: the practitioner’s quarterly a kind of divine cunning in the interaction. The partici- pants are separate individuals, but at the same time they are members of the same nose-hole society, as Nakagawa Soen Roshi has said. When the three poisons are paramount in our minds, this sense of fundamental kinship is only an abstraction. Recently two men circled the earth for a week at the rate of one circum- navigation every ninety minutes. They encompassed the whole world many times, but they were very high in the air, playing the Marine Hymn and the Air Force Hymn on their hi-fi. In their act of encompassing the world they remained locked in their group, class, and nation—denying the Net of Indra. Such limited understanding finds its extreme form in the paranoiac who says, “There’s a communist in that high-rise spying on me with binoculars.” But even people with rela- tively healthy psyches fall into delusion, and so we scheme about defending ourselves and mastering all beings with our sophisticated intellectual, political, economic, and techno- logical weapons. We advance and confirm the ten thousand things and thus compound delusion and bring the world to an unprecedented crisis. Like all human institutions, like all humanity and all life and all inanimate things of our world, the buddhadharma itself is hostage to our reckless exploitation of the future. There won’t be any more buddhadharma when our earth is destroyed by nuclear war, or by biological holocaust. Be clear about this. Distinguish between the buddha- dharma as Buddhist teachings, and the dharmakaya as the pure and clear law-body. Wu-men wrote, “When the world is destroyed, it is not destroyed.” “It” is the dharmakaya, infinite emptiness that is charged with possibilities. It is nei- ther born nor destroyed. Once when I raised the possibility of nuclear annihilation with Yamada Koun Roshi, he said, “Well, even if the whole earth is utterly destroyed, something, I don’t know what, will emerge from essential nature.” This is true, and it is truly an inspiring solace, but in the course of the destruction, the buddhadharma, the teachings of the Buddha and all his successors, will be lost. Can you hear Dogen Zenji objecting? I certainly can. Historically, Zen people nurtured their temples with samu, sutras of work, maintaining buildings and grounds. They sup- ported their religious life with takuhatsu, showing the bowl of the buddha in villages, towns, and cities, while accepting money and food. We have samu and takuhatsu with main- tenance work, fundraising, and publications at our Western Zen centers, but maintenance in our present era of great dan- ger means nurturing the temple earth with the same careful planning we give to our assignments on sangha workdays. Showing the bowl of the buddha must convey the dharma, but our unprecedented times demand that it present the ten grave precepts in particular. There is no killing and no stealing in the original mind. When we play games of expedience and compromise, feeding our own ego needs at the expense of oth- ers, maintaining our national standards of living at the expense of other countries, then we are neglecting the law of the uni- verse. The universe will find its equilibrium before long. Coming forth with power for guidance does not mean exactly the same thing for us that it did for the Hermit of Lotus Peak. We have the same responsibility, the same ability to respond, as bodhisattvas, but our upayas, our compassionate means, will be much different. Today the buddhadharma itself must be sprung from its sectarian position to show people everywhere that peace and right action, which they already know in their own hearts, which they learned at mother’s breast, is the universal teach- ing of no-name that can bring decency We must save the world, but we can only save it by saving little pieces of it, each of us using his or her own small, partial ability. The task is clear, and very difficult. ➤ FrAnCiShAAr ➤ continued page 91 photogrApherunKnown Aitken Roshi, 1985