Now you know, those people you’ve just been listening to, chanting the sutras on Poyason [sic]. Which is the sort of ultimate center retreat in our sanctuary of Japanese practice of budgeting on a monthly on a Buddhism. [They] are a bunch of boys, who are just like and they’re open college boys who play football. And they haven’t the faintest idea what they’re doing. Not today. They’re doing this because their fathers have sent them there. Their father’s own temples. And they’ve got to carry on their father’s tradition, because after all the family business has to go on. And they have no more idea what this is all about than the man in the moon. And you and I can sit here, and we could get swinging with this music, we could dance to it, and we could go very far out on it, which was what you were originally supposed to do. And for them it’s a chore, it’s a thing you have to get up for at five o’clock in the morning. And you have to memorize all this and you have to get it exactly right and do it. And they’ve completely forgotten what it was all about. But it was originally there.
It’s a funny thing how this happens you see, but you see how I was explaining to you this morning, how we have a rhythm, between remembering and not remembering. You remember long enough to know that you’re there. Because if you don’t remember, nothing makes any impression upon you, therefore we are not there. But then when memory gets too much, and you’re too much of there then you have to realize that all memory is an illusion, that there is nothing except the present moment. And that there is no future, as equally no past. And then you are liberated. But when you get liberated. You have to come back in and play memory again there’s a cleaning process. In other words, you wipe off the blackboard. And then you start writing again. And then you wipe it off, and then you start writing again, and this is the process whereby life is kept going. So in the same way with these people. They have come to a point in the historical development of their way of Life, where they remember too much, it’s not new to them. And all this therefore becomes. What we call going through the motions. And so this is the same paradox that I was talking about this morning. That the Echo, which is memory, is simultaneously what tells you exist, and what traps you. So in the sense that it tells you you exist, it’s an advantage to the extent that it traps, it’s a debt. You’re in debt you should be thankful somebody gave it to you. Ultimately, in the Judeo Christian tradition the law of God did it all for you and you should be thankful. And say, anything bad that I did this for me. Dear God, anything good that I did was from you. You see? What a marvelous mix up that is. But all I’m saying is this. There is a point in in in all of this development, where, you have to say to people please come off it. In other words, these boys here and call your son I was a king to know enough Japanese to say to them. ‘Do you realize what a great thing you have here.’ Couldn’t you possibly enjoy it for a few minutes, and let’s get together and all join hands around here and go through this again, these Sutras, and really make it.
So I’m talking, you see, about the same process of what has been called Flip-Flop ability. Whereby we switch from one attitude to another, one situation to another, and this pulse switch situation, is the very nature of existence that’s why your heart does that, that’s why all sounds all light everything is going bloop bloop bloop bloop bloop.See and so because of that bloop, you know you’re here. Well now, I’ve been trying to show how this game, has its own inner meaning. So finally, we we’ve got to come around to one form of Mahayana that I haven’t really discussed at all to complete the whole scene which is what is called the School of the Pure Land. And this is the most popular form of Mahayana Buddhism in the in the Far East. In China, in Japan everywhere the the multitudes go for this kind. And it’s all under the presiding image of the, one of those Johnny Buddhas, called Amitabha, whose name means boundless light, and who is a sort of subdivision or aspect of my How about O’Connor. Who is the great Sun Buddha. And who is therefore probably derived historically from a master. From Persia. The. Great Sun god of than Muzdans and it Pasis. But although that may have been what set it all off it has been greatly transformed. By being canonized through Buddhism. Now you have all seen. Photographs of the Buddha at chemical or the dye butz, that enormous bronze figure, that sits. In a beautiful park with pine trees. The Temple having long been demolished by a tidal wave. For which Thanks be to God, because if it hadn’t been for that tidal wave nobody would ever have really seen this figure. But there is a comic or a huge bronze figure it’s about forty two feet high. And here this creature sits, surrounded by a great business, thousands of schoolchildren are all the time on tours streaming by, photographers, people selling this that and the other souvenirs. Exhibitions of dwarf trees and everything are all going on around and here this thing sits and looks down forever. And nothing can hush it. I mean, let’s put it this way. It hushes everything. That no matter how much turmoil of children and cetera is going on in this park, this huge face presides over everything. And you cannot ignore it. It subdues you into peace. Without doing it in an authoritative way, it doesn’t say to you shut up. It just is so peaceful that you cannot help catching the infection of peace that comes from this figure. And this is the figure of Amida, Amitabha. Not the historical Sakyamuni, Guatama Buddha, Living in India but one of the Johnny Buddha, who is not manifested in the world.
Now the religion connected with this figure is called Pure Land. Jodo, In Japanese Shinsho. The the true sect of the Pure Land. It comes, again the origins are always in India. But the Japanese. Under the. Genius of them Honan and Shinran, who were medieval Buddhist Saints developed their own special variety of it. And this is a very strange religion. Because it takes its basis as follows. We are living now in the most decadent period of history. That’s what they say, and this comes back from the Hindu idea that this is the Kali Yuga. This is the end of time, where everything is completely fouled up. And this started in about three thousand B.C.. February the twenty third, three thousand and twenty three B.C. the Kali Yuga began and it’s got to last yet for five thousand years, and then everything will fall apart, the universe will disappear out of sheer failure. So that now, nobody can be virtuous, because everybody who tries to be virtuous in this part, this epoch of the world is merely showing off. It’s not really pure. It’s just pretending it works it’s a big act. In other words, so you give money to charity, not because you really love the people you’re giving money to, but because you are under a sense of guilt and you feel you ought to. And therefore, because of that inescapable bad motivation, nobody can possibly liberate themselves from the chains of karma. The more you try to get out of your karma that is to say your conditioning your bondage to your past, the more you simply get yourself involved in it. And therefore all human beings living in the end time of the Kali Yuga or what the Japanese call Mapol are just hopeless. Hopelessly selfish. So in this predicament, you cannot rely on JiRiki, that means your own power. To get out, to get liberated from Self. You have to rely on Tariki which is the power of something else altogether the new something quite different. So in the Jodo Shinsho sect. The Tariki, the other power is represented in the form of a me Tomba on. Japanese say Amida. This great beneficent Buddha figure, who everybody loves. And he’s so strangely different. From any kind of authoritarian God figure that we have in the West. Amida doesn’t bombinate. He sits there serenely. Quiet. He doesn’t preach. And all you have to do is to say his name. In the formula. Namu amida butz. Which means namu,l name. I mean upwards of a meter Buddha. Namu Amida Butz.. All you have to do is to say that formula. And after death you will be reborn in a special paradise call Sukhavati, which is Jodo, the Pure Land, where becoming enlightened is a cinch. It has none of the difficulties surrounding it that we have in our ordinary life today. Everybody born in the Pure Land is Born in the inside of a lotus. There’s a huge lotus pond in front of where a metre sits. With all his attendant. And the Lotus has come up and they go but the bug breaks and every time it goes up like there’s there’s a new little being in there who is somebody who said that formula Namu amida Butz. And those are human beings when our sitting on Lotus is like Buddhas.. And you should see you go to call your son and they have a great painting now in their museum of what it’s like to arrive there. They have a huge panorama of Amitabha, and all his attendants and especially the Absaroke and she looks at you lovely longing eyes. And so this is welcome to Amida’s paradise where you will also add on notices. And be Buddhas, without any difficulty but the point is all you have to do to get there, is to say Namu Amida Butz you don’t even have to believe that it works.
Now that is the religion, of most Japanese Buddhists, believe it or not. In other words if you eat if you if you of course if you really get this and the feel that that’s really going to happen to you you’ll be grateful and you’ll try to help other people and be able to stop that and so on and you know be generally helpful around the scene. But the whole idea is that you cannot do it by your own effort and if the moment you think you can do it by your own effort, you’re a phony. You have instead to go completely with the other, to disown your own power and capability of being virtuous, unselfish, etc,
So then, this kind of religion develops a peculiar kind of saint. And they call these people Miokonen. Mio means wonderful, ko in this fine in means man. Or person. That can be a woman you know konen is not sexually restricted to men. So in your konen there’s a very special kind of character. There are stories told about Miokonen. There is one for example a travelling man who comes to a temple during the course of the night. And walks in, and he takes the sacred cushions on which the priests sit, and arranges them right in front of the altar and goes to sleep. In the morning, the priest comes in and says what’s going on here. And the miokonen looks around and goes oh, you must be a stranger, you belong to the family. Another time, he had a great ability for doing calligraphy, beautiful writing. And people were always trying to get his calligraphy from it. And he was cagey about it. It wasn’t so easy to get it. So one day, a very very great man invited him for dinner. And again, left him alone in a reception room where there was stretched out on the floor some absolutely gorgeous paper. With ink and brushes just waiting there. And he got so fascinated. That he just couldn’t resist. You know, like a child, he simply couldn’t resist doing is calligraphy on that piece of paper and suddenly as he realized he had done it. That he had spoiled this god. Are just paper you know which was incredibly expensive the host walked in. And he apologized and said Really I don’t know what to do. So sorry I couldn’t resist the temptation to make some things on this beautiful paper. And the host said, Oh please don’t worry about that. Because he had now possessed himself of the priceless object of a this man’s work today Celts for thousands and thousands of dollars. So this is the spirit I’m trying I’m telling these anecdotes to try and illustrate the spirit of what’s called a miokonen. Somebody in the swing of realizing that all the very great thing in life is not your own doing. That it comes from the side of things, the flip, in other words, of experience, that you call other. There are some people who believe it comes from the split in experience you call yourself that’s the jariki people the tariki people believe it comes from the other. But now what happens is this. When you penetrate deeply into the doctrines of the Pure Land school, the simple people believe that there really is Amitabha Buddha, sitting on his golden Lotus, surrounded by all those apps ours. Exactly that from Japan one hundred eight thousand miles to the west there is a paradise where all those people sit and where you will be reborn you die. And the simple priests of the sect in the country villages today still insist that that’s what you should believe. But the sophisticated priests don’t believe that at all. They know that Amitabha is in you, only it is that side of you which you don’t define is you who. When you say, I have a body. You know instead of saying I am a body. That’s because you feel that your body happens to you. That it’s something you got mixed up with. That was given to you by your parents you don’t say I beat my heart on purpose. You feel that your heart is something that happens to you.
So all that side of things that you experience as a passive recipient of it is tariki. But in all this who are you? Who is the recipient of these gifts? Don’t you see that Self and Other go together? That you don’t need to cling to yourself because you have everything you called other and that’s you too. That if you, but you only realize this if you explore it. If you go to an extreme. So you can go to the extreme by pursuing the idea of total courage. Of letting go of everything being a true Zen monk, and abandoning all your property and living in a barn, and sitting in the middle of the night. In the cold and eating rice and pickles and so on, and you can explore liberation that way. That’s going to an extreme.
But eventually, you will come around to the same point as the person who goes to the other extreme. Which is, no effort whatsoever. It comes of itself. Only, he gets in a kind of bind too. Because when am I making no effort, even if I say Namu Armida Butz I’m doing something about it now I gotta stop. Doing saying this now my meter but not saying this Namu Amida Butz, this is so easy. But it’s still a little bit work. And I mustn’t do any work at all! How could you get to the point where you don’t do any work at all? You just mustn’t do anything. And you find yourself that that is death as difficult as the other situation was, you see to do nothing really do nothing, with perfection is as difficult, as to do everything.