Dream Conversations: On Buddhism and Zen

Muso Kokushi

Language: English

Pages: 54

ISBN: B013J975NI

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Publish Year note: First published in 1996
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Dream Conversations is a collection of a renowned Japanese master's written replies to questions about the true nature of Zen. In short, simply worded teachings, Muso Kokushi (1275-1351), also known as Muso Soseki, exposes common misconceptions with unprecedented clarity, offering psychological insights designed to lead the reader into the depths of authentic Zen experience.

These incisive teachings will be especially valuable for today's Zen students, as they struggle with their own confusion and misunderstandings about the true path of Zen.

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ultimate point was to learn the passages expounding the principle of mind in the literature of the various schools; they did not themselves realize the source of mind. People who go into Zen think this is all doctrinal talk and suppose that Zen practitioners shouldn’t study it. If you genuinely let go of both worldly illusions and transcendental teachings, and truly head for unexcelled enlightenment—this is what Zen encourages. It is a mistake, however, to avoid studying scriptures and just

eyes. Neither is it to be understood by mind and consciousness. Attaining enlightenment does not mean beatification and radiating an aura of light; it is like a drunken man coming to his senses. When confusion and delusion suddenly stop and you meet the fundamental directly, this is called seeing essence and realizing enlightenment. A great Zen master said, “Zen teachers with no eyes all make the mistake of pointing to the human mind, saying it is essence and claiming that this is getting people

the state of eternity, the ineffable, is none other than the original state. Sayings referring to present appearances as the Tao and to things themselves as reality also refer to this perspective. It is a big mistake to understand this to mean that you attain the knowledge and vision of Buddhas while still keeping the views of ordinary people. Why else would special religious disciplines be established? Distinctions in Buddhist Teaching In absolute reality there are no distinctions between

greater and lesser vehicles or between temporary and true teachings. Because of the differences in the intelligence of students, however, there are distinctions in the teachings they understand. The Lotus Sutra says, “Although the teaching of the Buddha is one, because the natures and inclinations of sentient beings differ, the avenues to truth they understand are also different. It is like one and the same rain falling from the sky being absorbed differently by the plants and trees according to

the defiled land in order to guide ignorant people, drawing a distinction between self-power and Other-power. They were not ignorant themselves; these teachings are compassionate expedients of enlightening beings. Among believers in Pure Land Buddhism, however, there are those who invoke the Buddha’s name with the notion that there is a Pure Land outside this defiled land. This cannot be called the Great Vehicle of Perfect Meaning. While there are incomplete teachings in the Buddha’s own

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