The teaching in Kanshoji

In Sôtô Zen, the teaching is transmitted from person to person.

At Kanshoji, it is given by Taiun Jean-Pierre Faure, who received the Dharma transmission from Dônin Minamisawa Roshi, vice-zenji of Eiheiji zen temple.

 Taiun Jean-Pierre Faure’s teaching is based on that of Shakyamuni Bouddha rewritten at each period. It takes the different traditional forms of sôtô zen (see page Sôtô zen buddhism). All the teachings are translated into English.

Kusen

Oral teaching given during zazen

Kusen is the oral teaching given by the teacher during zazen.

It is not literature. Sentences are simple, short and straightforward. The kusen speaks to the deep part of the brain, to the heart of the disciple, who should not try to grasp it intellectually.

Everything is the Mind

Master Dogen said: “The mountains and valleys are the true spirit”.

It is this same spirit that manifested itself billions of years ago in the form of the Big Bang. It is this same spirit that has been unfolding ever since. Each existence is a manifestation of the original spirit. The mind is the root of all things.

It is important not to trample, ignore, despise this spirit. Not trampling on it is protecting it, not defiling it. To maintain at every moment of our lives a mind cleansed of all defilement – and this at every moment, even when no one sees us, especially when no one sees us: in the way we get up, go to the toilet, get dressed, ascend to the hall of clouds *… It is very important! The way we listen to each other is very important! The way we receive our food, the way we work…

It is from this pure mind that our behaviors must spring. How could we help the world without being demanding of the root, of our deep mind? It is not enough to just wave words…. Politicians do not understand that. They stop at words, at the facade. They do not understand that the root of all things is the mind.

“We do not understand” says Dogen, “that mountains and valleys are the true mind.”

Everything is a manifestation of the original mind. Mountains, like our thoughts, are the manifestation of the unique mind.

Pure mind… difficult to understand intellectually, but easy to practice.

Dogen says: “Practice like clouds, like mountains and valleys…” Body and mind abandoned: when it rains, it rains in the abandonment of the ego.

Taiun JP Faure, December 2018

* Undo, in Japanese: “The Hall of the Clouds”, the room where meditation, zazen, is practiced.

Respect all forms of life

At Eiheiji, the monastery founded by Master Dogen, flows a river that descends from the mountain. It is said that Master Dogen, when he took water from the river with his ladle, used the quantity he needed and returned to the river what was…

"Religion of Awakening"

Many people wonder what Buddhism is. Buddhism is a word invented by Westerners. It's something very abstract. We should rather speak of the Way of the Buddha - Buddha meaning the awakened one, that which is awakened. One could also say, to…

All waters return to the great ocean

"All the waters return to the great ocean" : this sentence reflects an absolute truth.Rain, streams, rivers, all waters, whatever their flavours, whatever their tastes, return to the great ocean whose taste is one, unique. All the rivers…

Shosan

Meeting with the abbot

The teacher expounds the Dharma freely in the presence of his disciples, around a cup of tea.
The teaching relates to real-life situations.

A monastery is not great because of its many disciples.
It is great because shosan is practiced daily.
Master Dôgen

Shôsan on engaged Buddhism

The premise of this shôsan is a film, The Venerable W, about a Burmese monk who encourages racism towards Islam.I have reservations about engaged Buddhism that shifts towards politics. That monk, pointing the finger at crimes committed…

Zen and psychoanalysis

" [...] Zen is different: its purpose is not to fix the ego, to make it compatible with society or the others. Zen deals with issues having to do with a whole other nature [...]"

Mondo

Questions and Answers

The mondo is the opportunity, for the disciple, to ask the teacher a question on some aspects of the teaching and how to realise them in daily life.

Teisho

Lectures

The commitment of a nun in the city (Hosetsu Laure Scemama - IZA seminar)

The commitment of a nun in the city (Hosetsu Laure Scemama)There exits several styles of life for a Zen monk or nun. I would like here to present an account of the style of life of a nun who is totally engaged in city life.In Japan,…

Personal experience: the monastic life (Yashô Valérie Guéneau - IZA seminar)

 As you can see, it is possible to live in a monastery for a number of years and remain quite normal! In our Sangha of the AZI certain members imagine that monks and nuns live in a monastery like “extra-terrestrial” beings – austere,…

Zen Monk, Bodhisattva : The Vows of the Candidate for Awakening (Taiun JP Faure - IZA seminar)

Human beings are religious animals. The Absolute is present at the heart of all phenomena of the universe. The entire universe practises the Way, naturally, unconsciously, and automatically.That gives rise to the question that Master…

Poems

Sagesses Bouddhistes TV broadcast

  • Which place and meaning should monastic life have? (French)
  • The Master-Disciple relation (French)
  • Understanding of Buddhism by Westerners, difficulties and traps (French)
  • The resonance in the Buddha Way (French)
  • The desire of appropriation, source of all the sufferings (French)