Kobun Quotes

Quotes from Kobun extracted from his various talks with students.

“We sit to make life meaningful. The significance of our life is not experienced in striving to create some perfect thing. We must simply start with accepting ourselves. Sitting brings us back to actually who and where we are. This can be very painful. Self-acceptance is the hardest thing to do. If we can’t accept ourselves, we are living in ignorance, this darkest night. We may still be awake, but we don’t know where we are. We cannot see. The mind has no light. Practice is this candle in our very darkest room.”

"Whoever sits, that person's mind embraces the whole situation , centered by that person. So each person has full responsibility and full understanding by themselves for what sitting means to them. The teaching is within that person. Each person's sitting includes how they live, how they think things, where they came from. Nothing is missed, nothing is needed to change from how you are actually living to how it should be. There is no "should be" kind of thing." 

"It's impossible to teach the meaning of sitting. Until you really experience and confirm it by yourself, you cannot believe it. It has tremendous depth, and year after year this gorgeous world of shikan-taza appears. It's up to you to cultivate it."

"The time of sitting is timeless, actually. When you take the right position you have nothing to think about anymore, nothing to bring up from any place, past or future. That which can be call the present moment, where you are and what you are, actually is there." 

"It is very important to experience the complete negation of yourself which brings you to the other side of nothing. People experience that in many ways. You go to the other side of nothing, and you are held by the hand of the absolute. You see yourself as part of the absolute, so you have no more insistence of self as yourself. You can speak of self as no-self upon the absolute. Real existence is only absolute."

"We experience some kind of dying in sitting, which relates with what's true and what's not true. What's not true dies, so we suffer. We wish to hang on to the self which we believe exists. The contents of what "I" means, or the pieces of the idea of the self are consistent, but when you sit you observe no substance in those pieces of self." 

"Sitting is the rediscovery of your basic strength and your clarity."

"Awakening, continuous awakening is nothing but our basic nature." 

"Sitting shikan taza does not depend on human intellect. It is not something you understand. It's indescribable."