It’s a really tough job to do a dharma talk at the moment because we’re at a turning point. We need to completely flip the concept upside down.
I want to talk about how to communicate with people and it’s really difficult, so I would prefer to say to people, “You just do whatever you want. No need to change or anything.”
It’s a challenge for me to change people’s attitude to be responsible to the field of Ki … whatever and wherever the field of Ki is: the field could be two people during a Tao Shiatsu treatment, a group doing Nembutsu or Kishindo, several people enjoying tea together, or communication among two or more people, and so on.
And clearly, the Ki will be totally different when someone takes responsibility and when they do not.
If a person doesn’t take responsibility for the field of Ki when doing Tao Shiatsu, it’s painful, it feels choked, there’s so much jaki. However, if the person takes responsibility during Tao Shiatsu, the Ki comes through so smoothly and clearly. This is the case during Nembutsu as well.
What does “taking responsibility” mean? Why describe it as “taking responsibility”? What’s interesting is, I recently met someone who doesn’t practice at Tao Sangha, but understands this meaning of “taking responsibility.”
The basic concept of Tao Shiatsu is “don’t look at the person’s body as material, but as spirit or as ‘heart.’”
What does this mean? With regard to the field of Ki, it means that one person’s meridian/Ki is reflecting to the other person’s heart. The Ki does not belong to anyone—it’s not personal, it belongs to the field—it’s the meridian of the field. The Ki in the field is energy.
[pointing at whiteboard picture] What is this field? This person’s in-nen (cause-effect relationship/karma/connection) appears in this field. You might understand this in your head. A very, very basic concept of Mahayana Buddhism is that “‘one’ includes the whole universe and ‘each existence’ affects all others.” One includes all, all include one, everything affects everything else all the time. This is basic in Buddhism, I’ve said so many times. That’s how the universe exists.
If you look at people based on this concept, it’s impossible to look only at yourself [circling the part of the field of Ki diagram on the whiteboard].
So what do you look at? You look at every person’s in-nen at the same time. You must feel every person and you must feel the field of Ki at the same time: what it means, how others feel about the expression on your face, how you are talking, what your attitude is like in the field—these things affect everything.
A basic concept of Buddhism is that one movement, any movement, affects the whole universe, both as a cause and as a result. Each of your movements causes the whole universe to move; everyone is included and each person affects all others.
Everything is cause and, at the same time, everything is effect. So, you should subconsciously understand that what you say and do in the field will affect the whole world and understand what will happen because of this. You can bring the field up and, of course, you can bring the field down, too.
You can fill the field with four things: chie ko [peace], dai ai [great love], kangi [pleasure], and hongan [Amida’s wish].
If you say “I didn’t bring the Ki down, I just didn’t put in any effort,” it doesn’t work, because there are only two ways for Ki to go: up or down. The truth of the universe is Jodo [Pure Land]. If you don’t make any effort to bring the Ki up, it means you bring it down. It has nothing to do with whether you like it or not. Why? The true nature, the true essence of existence is Jodo, pleasure, infinite happiness, and infinite development, increasing every moment, becoming richer and spreading more and more.
But, the human world doesn’t work like this.
The human world has limits and gets rotten. If you look at or think about Jodo with the common sense of the human world, it seems impossible. You can’t imagine that our existence is one of infinite pleasure and happiness, increasing each moment. But you might feel in your subconscious, or deep in your heart, that there is Jodo. If you can feel it with intuition, that maybe this kind of world, the Pure Land, infinite happiness, exists, you might be able to join this practice. But if you cannot feel it with intuition, sadly, you will never imagine that it exists, and you might not even try it or move toward it.
The reality is that if you don’t make any effort to bring the field of Ki up, whatever the situation—two people, a group, during Nembutsu, at anytime—and into creating Jodo (Pure Land) for all beings, you aren’t really practising, you aren’t feeling through Ki.
If you are not bringing the Ki up, you are bringing it down, and what effect will this have on the world? You are affecting everyone. So, it’s about time to open your heart. When you feel you are lowering the field of Ki, be sensitive and bring it back up.
You might think about it like this: “Who is creating the Ki in this field?” And you might answer yourself,
“Somebody. Someone. Not me.”
But, actually, it is you making the field of Ki! You are responsible for this Ki.
Remember: one is all—you are the center of the universe—the Ki is made by you! Each one of you is the center of the universe and each one of you is creating and affecting the field of universal Ki.
Therefore, you must take responsibility: “The Ki is made by me, so I take responsibility for what I make.” If you think it’s created by someone else, then you are giving that responsibility to someone else. If you let someone else take responsibility for the Ki in the field, it might be good, but it might not be. You need to take responsibility for it yourself.
If you aren’t responsible, you bring the energy down and then another person has to carry your low energy—you are letting the other person carry your lowered energy.
And it might be OK to let another person carry your responsibility, it might be good training for the other person’s Bodhisattva practice. The bad thing is when you don’t take responsibility, is it affecting the whole world? You don’t know.
The bigger problem is that you don’t know what to expect.
What we can surely say is that to be responsible you must have clear determination that you will walk alone, like a rhinoceros, like Nietzsche. To find out about this, you can watch and read the dharma talk “Just Walk Alone Like Nietzsche.”
If you feel that you are just one among many members of a group, then you haven’t taken responsibility.
But if you think, “I’m alone, I’m standing on my own,” then you take responsibility, don’t you? You take on the Ki of a Bodhisattva.
You can be responsible to the field only when you determine to walk alone. It will happen when you “walk alone.” This is what “faith” means. The attitude of being “just one among others” is fake “faith.” You must stand alone and take responsibility.
Therefore, because religions make you part of a group that relies on a leader, all religions are fake. Sorry to say it.
If you live with truth and depend only on yourself, then you have the attitude of “taking responsibility.” You need clear determination to walk alone, by yourself, and face Amida Buddha.
That is “one is all.”
“I am the center of the universe; what I do affects the whole universe.” If you become just one among others, this doesn’t happen. Living life with a group mentality will break the effect of ”the one is whole, the whole is one.” Actually, it’s OK to break it. But it’ll bring the Ki down a great deal. If you want to bring it down, that’s the way to do it, but I prefer you to bring it up.
To be just one among others and not be responsible doesn’t fit with Buddhist philosophy.
Not taking responsibility for the field means that you don’t feel the Ki of the field, you are not aware of how much you are affecting the field. You have to awaken to “the kind of Ki you are creating.” You have to be aware that the Ki is not created by anybody else: it’s made by you. You’ve got to make it clear, not escape from it. Receive it. This is “how to create your life,” “how to create your future.”
It’s no one else’s responsibility to create your future. If you don’t take responsibility, you will be caught up in a repetitious flow of karma of your own making.
Even the expression on your face—maybe it’s a smile—can change the Ki of the field. So, why don’t you think about what kind of field you want to create, and then speak about it, express it, and do it?
It’s not a matter of how you are—don’t think “how am I doing?”—think only about how the Ki in the field is.
Create the field of Ki. Create the happiness. Create the future.
You can create infinitely. Don’t limit yourself. Your inner Amida Buddha is there, so, anything is possible.