The Ceasing of Notions: An Early Zen Text from the Dunhuang Caves with Selected Comments
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Among the writings from the Dunhuang Caves, discovered in the mid-twentieth Century, are the Zen equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls--ancient texts unknown for centuries. The Ceasing of Notions is one such text. It takes a unique form: a dialogue between two imaginary figures, a master and his disciple, in which the disciple tenaciously pursues the master's pity utterances with follow-up questions that propel the dialogue toward ever more profound insights. And these questions prove to be the reader's very own. Soko Morinaga brings alive this compact and brilliant text with his own vivid commentary.
This volume also includes a generous selection from Morinaga's acclaimed autobiography, Novice to Master: An Ongoing Lesson in the Extent of my Own Stupidity.
this accords with the teachings, then all sentient beings are from the beginning already enlightened tathagatas.” Nyuri: “Since there are no bonds, how can there be liberated beings?” Doshin (in Chinese, Daoxin; 580–651), the fourth Chinese Zen patriarch, came to the third patriarch, Sosan (in Chinese, Sengcan; died 606), and asked to be liberated. Sosan responded, “Who put you under restraint?” Doshin replied, “No one.” Sosan asked, “Then why are you seeking to be liberated?” At that, Doshin
education. High school students had been granted formal reprieve from military duty until after graduation from university. When the war escalated, however, the order came down that students of letters were to depart for the front. Presumably students of science would go on to pursue courses of study in medicine or the natural sciences and thereby provide constructive cooperation in the war effort; students of literature, on the other hand, would merely read books, design arguments, and generally
of the Rinzai School in Japan. As his reputation as a Zen master grew within Japan, he traveled to Hokkaido and other parts of the country to lead meditation retreats for monks and laypeople. Morinaga Roshi had a number of Western students, among them Thomas Minick (Shaku Daijo) and Ursula Jarand (Myotsu Daishi), both students of his for many years at Daishuin. Shaku Daijo was ordained there as a Zen monk in 1979. Thomas and Ursula were married by Roshi, then came to the United States, and
and the Way is the truth. 4 Emmon: “Do all sentient beings have this heart or not?” Nyuri: “That all sentient beings really have this heart is a mistaken view. To set up a heart within no-heart, in empty heart, only serves to create erroneous ideas.” It is obvious that one of Emmon’s deep-rooted delusions is the notion of a heart as a constant, permanent, and unchanging entity. This is one of the four erroneous views of phenomena, or shitendo in Japanese: 1 The view that what is in constant
“Now you are saying that ordinary beings have something to attain but that buddhas do not. What then is the difference between attaining and not-attaining?” Nyuri: “Delusion arises because ordinary beings want to attain something. Buddhas are free from delusions because they do not wish to attain anything. Within delusion arises at once division into same and not same. Without delusion there is neither difference nor nondifference.” For Emmon, attaining or not-attaining is a problem, because he