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.

An authentic and just life requires faith. In Buddhism, faith is not faith in something. It is not faith in beliefs or superstitions. It is not believing that an outside power can save us or solve the problem of life and death for us. We ought to stop living like beggars… Faith is strength and wisdom – both are necessary. The strength of the spirit, which cuts short all digressions. Wisdom, which brings us to the other shore, the shore of compassion.
This pandemic demonstrates to us that our life is infinitely fragile, that our future is uncertain.

We have had the extraordinary, unique opportunity to take human form. This life is like the drop of water suspended from the beak of an aquatic bird, ready to slip away at any moment, to return to the original ocean.
Faced with this inescapable reality, some people choose a materialistic life that comes down to entertaining themselves, to experiencing a maximum of pleasures. This egotistical life, without light, cannot satisfy the human being.

Even if our life flashes through eternity like lightning, it is marvellous. Marvelous, provided that we live it in truth, without telling ourselves stories.
Our life is the life of the universe, without separation from all existences. In accordance with this truth, with our hearts open to all existences, we benefit from the generosity of the Buddha.
One day it’s over… One day the world we have in our minds will be extinguished, forever. It’s a law of the universe: all that is born, dies one day. Perhaps the human race will end sooner than we imagined; perhaps because of a virus, perhaps because of our mistakes. Who knows?

Confronted with this reality, the Buddhas ask us to reflect carefully about how we live. The Buddhas’ way of life is to live with all one’s heart, that is to say with faith: with strength and wisdom.
What the human being must cherish more than anything is the present moment, because it is in this moment that we receive the life of the universe. To cherish the present moment is to maintain benevolent attention to all that arises, to respect all forms of life, to be in service to all existences. This is true Love.

The crisis of the coronavirus is a salutary existential crisis that asks us to abandon the frivolous, the superfluous, and the illusory, and to devote ourselves to the essential: to live awake to all aspects of life — and this, at every moment. There is no room for daydreaming, for delaying, for lack of attententiveness.

What human beings must cherish more than anything is the present moment: open, in the service of life. This requires strength and wisdom.

Taiun JP Faure, may 2020

Free of Self

In the morning, when we don the kesa, we bring to mind what our practice is by singing : O great garment of liberation Field of happiness beyond all forms. The kesa represents the Buddha's teaching, that is, the teaching of the universe.…
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The mind of the morning of the world

The mind of zazen is the mind of the morning of the world, before the passions, before the flames rise. To awaken with the day which is dawning. Be careful not to let your mind take hold of the usual preoccupations. Maintain the calm of the…

Putting out the fire in our heads

Shakyamuni Buddha already said in his time: The world is in flames. So we must put out the fire in our heads, the flames of passions. In 2002, at a world conference, a head of state said: Our house is burning and we are looking elsewhere.  Master…

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)