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Tanjo-e Sesshin

Quotes, taken out of context to convey the spirit of Tanjo-e Sesshin, from

Kobun's Talks, During Tanjo-e Sesshin

from a forthcoming book
of Kobun's Talks During Sesshins
edited by Judy Cosgrove
See Frequently Asked Questions for more information about sesshins.

Section I: Tanjo-e Sesshin - Assembly on Buddha's Birth

Chapter One: Something Brought You Here.

Avidya ... This conceptual, knowledge-based self is nothing but a game of created self-consciousness, an image of ignorance, so to speak. Life has to be freed and lived, instead of being known.

Buddha Nature ... Trusting your whole presence as Buddha nature is the first step to walk in the Buddha's way.

Silence ... Holy silence is the space where your psyche can be totally free, without hindrance.

Tapas ... In spite of living in this suffering world I continue to believe that nothing can stain the purity of each existence.

Chapter Two: Why Buddha Left Home. ... This refers to the awakening nature of our life, or the alertness required in the insecurity of constant, daily change.

Transiency ... with this awareness of the transiency of life you are driven to seek for what is called enlightenment. You want to recover that feeling of perfection.

Bodhicitta ... This way mind includes an almost painful recognition of independence.

Buddha's Birth ... it is clear he was a very unusual person, a genius, ... still he is unknown to me, full of mystery.

Buddha and Others' Suffering ... in each country, even in Japan, I started to think very similarly, how absurd life is.

Chapter Three: Mara

"All Beings are Nothing but Pain." ... this kind of sitting practice is like the root of a tree, or foundation of a building, very invisible. ... life, itself, is in pain

Personal Problems ... Basically, we have no problem, but having the right attitude to carry on our life is very important ... Even if our highest, deepest intellect reaches to the essence of our life, alas, we feel we cannot reach life, itself.

Dualism ... the recognition of our reality at the same time as we long for perfection ... with purity, dry simplicity comes, where there is almost no life ... "yes or no" and go beyond it, "right or wrong" and go beyond them, that is how to solve the dilemma of two truths.

The Armies of Mara ... Mara dwells in the unknowing being which is you ... The more we try hard, striving toward perfection, or toward a goal, the more the opposite force occurs.

Chapter Four: Finding Yourself ... the fourth day of sesshin. At the same time, you feel kind of lost, and sort of too much loosened up.

Discover Your-Own-Self ... Take absolute refuge in your own self. Depend on your own self.

Dualism as Skillful Means ... it's best to keep light-bodied, light-minded, very close to zero, but before that we want to have everything ... You will never be satisfied until you say, "yes" to yourself.

Sitting Still ... does nothing to you, but it reflects everything you have, not just a shadow of you but what you are. ... Sitting is returning to what you are, actually, and what you are is discovered in sitting by you, nobody else.

Chapter Five: Limitless Trust ... for what purpose our existence is shaped as a human body and mind. Trusting your own self, as well as giving full trust to others, is really, really hard.

Trust ... To forget oneself is, with knowledge, to give up your human way of perceiving things ... When you forget your small self the whole universe appears. ... Trust is certain knowledge, without listening to others, an intuitive field. Without speech you understand others, empathize with others. ... It is immediate understanding of others.

Faith and Confidence ... the first way you identify yourself as a Buddhist is to believe in yourself, utterly. That is the first step. If that doesn't exist, nothing can work out. ... Faith in oneself occurs even in total confusion.

Chapter Six: Buddha Tathagata. ... refers to the one who accomplished the purpose, the one who has ... "thus come and thus gone," at the same time

Tathagata ... The contents of the enlightenment experience are the same as this "Tathagata." ... means it is complete in itself, and no words are able to describe what it is. "Tatha" means "thus," "as," "it," "as a thing is," "as things are."

Buddha is nobody else but each of us. ...

Life Force ... All beings have inborn Buddha nature.

Chapter Seven: Sesshin ... My greatest, most exciting experience is to sense this practice here as something utterly new to me.

Coming Together ... when we sit and live together for a few days, without question we accept each other.

Kensho ... You don't go anywhere from kensho. Seeking to know yourself ends, and time starts. ... But along with that awareness, one's own self, body and mind, and others' own selves, bodies and minds, are cast off.

Embracing Mind ... Whoever is sitting, that person's mind embraces the whole situation, centered in that person. ... Like a treasure box you open, and start to dump out the treasure.

Goodby ... if you become very proud of yourself without any reason, that's the biggest pit you can fall into ... . If practice doesn't touch the key point, the core, this can be an illusory enjoyment ... The key point is confidence within you about your true nature.

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