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People quit Tao Sangha/Tao Shiatsu, and when they leave they say, “You guys think Tao Shiatsu is the best, and you don’t accept any other method. But I know another method that is good too, so how can you say Tao Shiatsu is the best?” or “I want to be friends with everybody, so I cannot accept it. I’m leaving.”
There are some people who think like this.
How can I explain this?
I don’t care about Tao Shiatsu as a method; it’s nothing to do with method. Tao Shiatsu is not a method: it’s the heart of giving the best healing treatment to people in need.
The elements behind or beyond the method—the heart of Tao Shiatsu—appeared through practice.
There is no entity called “Tao Shiatsu.” So, what is Tao Shiatsu?
The best treatment appears if you want to give the best treatment to the patient. If you are clear about this motivation, if it’s clear that you want to give the best, most effective treatment, something will come from that and that is Tao Shiatsu.
Let’s say there’s someone who is moderate (hodo hodo) and there’s someone who wants to give their best—that’s the difference between them. [Hodo hodo means that something is “so-so” or “not so great.”]
If you don’t become dissatisfied when you’re not doing your best—that’s the attitude of “hodo hodo”: “I’m satisfied, even though it’s not my best. I’m good with it.” That is hodo hodo.
Whereas a person who thinks, “I can’t stand it if I’m not doing my best. I want to give the best treatment!”—this person’s attitude and the attitude of someone who is hodo hodo are very different.
If you are hodo hodo, you can’t do Tao Shiatsu.
If your attitude is hodo hodo, you’ll not fit with Tao Sangha anyway.
If someone thinks, “this is good, that is good, this other one is good too, and another one” … that person is not looking for the best solution.
If you found something that was truly the best, then why would you accept something else? Can you accept something that’s not really the best? Don’t you feel frustrated when you look at it?
You do. You look at it and you feel frustrated. Someone’s effort is “mediocre,” someone’s effort is “hodo hodo.”
Have I explained this well? Do you understand?
I’ll change the story: this an ego trap. This happens when you are “trapped by ego.” It’s what makes you unclear.
When you are trapped by your ego, you’ll become difficult to understand, because how can you say what is best?
Someone might ask you, “How do you know what is best?” and you’re not going to know that. Of course you don’t know what is best. Tao Shiatsu is always changing. That’s why we’re always searching for “the best.”
We don’t know, so we keep researching. Any time, any moment, it could change.
It’s the same with Nembutsu. Nembutsu changes all the time; it could change so that it’s not even Nembutsu.
Do it for your existence and that of others … make yourself and others absolutely shine!
Anything is good, if it has purpose.
What makes it difficult is when the best thing is “different.” It could be that what A thinks is best and what B thinks is best are different.
When this kind of thinking arises, you’ve already dropped into Hoben Syugi: “tool-ism.”
[HOBEN: Method of teaching. Tool. In different situations, different teachings are used as tools. Tools are chosen to fit the situation; hoben is used here to mean “teachings.”]
[HOBEN SYUGI: This occurs when someone chooses the story that his or her ego needs. This way of choosing a story makes it look like someone chose tools, so Ryokyu san called it “tool-ism.” In other words, it’s an excuse.]
It could be said that Hoben Syugi is the root of all bad things (Aku). Everyone ends up in confrontations because of Hoben (the way they teach; the way they present their point of view). They say to each other, “This way is best!” “No, this way is best!”
Generally, all religions argue about their tools.
Isn’t that so?
This makes things complicated.
Each person has a different level of best. Someone may say their way is best even when he or she feels it’s hodo hodo. Even if what the person chooses is not actually the best, the person thinks it’s the best, subconsciously.
What is really the best?
There’s no meaning to these levels. Throw your self away. The real “best” has no levels; its development is infinite.
When you are infinitely developing, so many complicated things are involved, right?
Each person says a different thing is best; they each have their own “wrong” impression. Or someone says that one particular tool is best.
“What is the best?” When people argue about what they think is the best, they are usually talking about tools.
It’s not about tools. It’s not about Hoben.
Honen Shonin had to search for answers to the questions “How can we, as human beings, be rescued?” “And what would be the best way?”
Honen Shonin spent 25 years finding out what is best for all human beings.
If you have that much passion, then all those tools are gone, they are blown away, you don’t care about them.
If you have this kind of attitude, this kind of mentality, everything is just blown away. And when it’s gone, you’re not gonna talk about “this might be the best, that could be the best” … those stupid stories.
When an idea goes wrong like this (when your image of what’s best goes fuzzy), it’s usually because it’s based on Hoben.
The cause of people falling into ego traps where they start to wonder whether this is right or whether that is right is that they become stuck on the tools.
Of course, Hokke Kyo said that “Hoben is truth.” And that means that the truth can’t be verbalized, in the same way that infinitely increasing development can’t be verbalized, it can’t be explained in words.
The truth can never be verbalized. The idea of levels is not important.
We now live on this planet, in this age, with Nembutsu available to us, and we can practise it to make everyone shine brightly.
Perhaps in the far off future or on another planet there could be completely different forms of living things, there could be a completely different Hoben. So, if you get bogged down in small details, then you’ll lose the root of it.
If you don’t understand that Tao Shiatsu is infinitely developing, then …
Tao Sangha is here so that you and others can shine. The method is here now, the words and tools (ki work, etc.) are here now. Hoben is the tool.
Why are we doing this? We are doing this to let all existence shine! We have the tools to enable you and others shine.
If there is no Hoben, you cannot do it. If there’s no tool, you cannot do it.
If you don’t have a clear feeling (motivation), you’ll stop when you encounter another tool and become stiff. You’ll falter.
When there is Hoben and a group or organization projects their ego onto each other, saying “This is right!” and “No, this is right!” then they are stuck on the tools; they are playing with ego (tools).
You can’t do that in Tao Sangha.
In Tao Sangha you cannot play around with ego or get stuck on the tools.
If a person becomes stuck on a tool, then ego gets frustrated and the person says, “There are good things in this other method and I know of another one too, and if Tao Shiatsu doesn’t include them, I’ll quit” or “OK, there are many ways to do this. I want to include other things too.” Then they leave Tao Shiatsu.
You are not practising Tao Shiatsu for yourself at all. There’s nothing to do for yourself here. If you let others shine, for sure you yourself will shine.
Conversely, if you do NOT let others shine, then you will NOT shine at all.
Why do we have names for things and people? You give something a name and recognize it, and then it becomes what that thing or person is called, right? There are many Bosatsu (Bodhisattva), and each of them has a different name. Each name has a meaning that symbolizes how the Bosatsu rescues people.
Let’s start with the simplest example, which is Fugen. It’s a shame that Fugen is used as the name for one of Japan’s nuclear power stations.
Fugen Bosatsu is the name of one of the Bodhisattvas. The meaning of Fugen is “to give wisdom to all existence.” The name Fugen Bodhisattva means “to make all wisdom and to let all others have wisdom.”
How is it possible to exist in this world? It depends on what you give to others: the state of your existence will be determined by what you are giving to others.
There are people who keep other people down because they are mainly concerned with themselves. But a person who keeps others’ energy up and helps others to shine might be called a great person. The main point is not that the person wants to be called a “great person,” but it’s because he or she does such wonderful things for others—that’s why the person gets called a “great person.”
People can’t become great without doing good things for others: what they do for others decides who they are. The kind of ki that people create and give to others decides who they are and what they get called.
Human beings often misunderstand who they are. How stupid people are! They misunderstand things about their existence. Human beings usually think they can exist individually.
That’s why you should be very careful with ki. This is the main thing: What type of ki are you creating for the field?
You create the ki in the field and the brighter you can make the ki in the field, the brighter your existence becomes. The ki of the field you exist in can show you what the future holds.
What I mean is that what happens in the future will be decided by the state of the ki in your field.
You can feel it now, if you are able to sense it. You can feel it as a bodily sensation.
What you feel now is the result of what you have given to others. If you change the way you treat others, what you do for others, immediately after that your present situation will change. Why don’t you change yourself right now, change yourself each moment?
I always think, “What are you doing?” “Why don’t you change?” If you have faith, you can do it. The change will be Soku (immediate). If you make others happy, of course you’ll become happy.
This occurs naturally.
Someone who doesn’t do things to make others happy might say, “I’m bored.”
However, if you create comfortable, positive ki, then phenomena will appear immediately and in the future.
I’m not trying to scare you, but after death it’s the same thing.
You don’t think about the action and reaction of ki because you don’t want to think about dying, you don’t want to think about the future, you don’t want to think about even the next moment.
But if you think about this, then the only choice is to make yourself and others shine. You could be so happy. You won’t worry about things, in any situation.
Please think about your death and what will happen after you die, because if you do, then you will be able to live in this very moment and make your life shine so much more.
You’ll never become lonely if you make other people feel enjoyment. Everyone needs to feel important. I invite you to make other people feel this way.
People don’t think about death. They think “How can I stay alive?” ”How can I get food?” “If I get into …” “I have to have insurance!” and they stay busy with those kinds of thoughts.
But if you are clear about the fact that some day you will die, isn’t it better to live each moment 100%—isn’t it better than always worrying about how to get food or how to survive?
So, burst yourself open and have fun! If you make ki like this, you create a comfortable ki field even when you are by yourself; if you are with others, then make the ki even more joyful: whatever you do, wherever you go, make it like this.
Anyway, you think there is “past, present, and then future,” but actually there is no past. It’s only in your mind. It exists only in your brain.
Then you think, “Is there present?” There is no present. What you see right now is not now— it’s already in the past.
There is no past or present; there is only a future that you can create. You can only go toward a shining future.
We are born to do this. The moment we are born we are asked how to create the future: this is the homework we are born with.
“How are you going to create a shining future for the world?”
That’s it for today’s Dharma talk at the Tokyo Centre.