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Buddhadharma : Winter 2006
winter 2006| 36 |buddhadharma private and try to turn it into our own personal thing. In the teachings of Bodhidharma, one point of entry is through sila, or precepts. Does kensho necessarily encompass right action in accordance with the precepts? We must keep in mind that the precepts are basi- cally social. They are not necessary in any primal sense. An infant has no need of the precepts. One expression of the precepts is living a clear, orderly life on an individual level. The precepts become necessary when we start to deal with other people in society. The Isshinkaimon, or “The Precepts of One- Mind,” attributed to Bodhidharma, discusses the precepts from the standpoint of jishou reimyou, “original mind, mysterious and beyond all human understanding.” This is our very essence, the mind of kensho. In this original spiritual essence, there is no urge to kill, to steal, to lie, or to injure, and thus no necessity for the precepts. Our behavior is naturally in accordance with the precepts. In the context of ordinary human relationships, the ten major precepts help us to know the right state of mind. When we live in a confused and harmful manner, the precepts signal us, through our lack of harmony with them, that we are mis- taken in our views and actions and have not yet awakened to our own true nature. The precepts are not a system of “rights” and “wrongs”; they are guidelines providing the illumination that enables us to see where we truly stand. I would imagine, then, that one could have insight short of complete awakening, in which case one would still need to be mindful of the precepts as rules. Yes. That is why we work backwards from the precepts, so to speak. Let me explain. With com- plete awakening, we naturally live our everyday lives in accordance with the truth. However, we live in association with other people, each of us with our own tastes, preferences, and inclinations. Individual differences inevitably give rise to fric- tion between people. This is not a matter of one Student watches a video of Harada Roshi during a day off at Sogenji. RolAndScHmid