Two young priests in training once arrived at a river which had risen because of rain.
A young woman traveler was troubled at the river bank,
and one of the priests said to the woman,
"We can carry you to the other side."

The priests took off their kimonos and the first carried the woman
and the other the kimono over his shoulder.
Then, they crossed the river.

The woman gave thanks deeply to the priests and continued on her way.
And the priests put on their kimonos and began to walk again.

The priest who carried the kimonos on his shoulder had doubt in his heart after a few minutes.
"I doubt our act of a while ago was virtuous.
Though we avoid various vices for severe ascetic training every day, we sinned,”
he thought to himself.

The doubting priest asked the other priest who had carried the woman.
"Though you are a priest, are not you ashamed of having contacted a woman?"
The priest asked once again but received only this in answer:

"Say, are you still on that river bank...?"

 

《 About Hannya-Shingyou 》


Hannya-Shingyou is read by not only most of the Buddhism sect but also Shugendo(Japanese Mountaineering Asceticism) and the part of Shintoism in Japan.
This sutra is the essence of Buddhism philosophy.
Each sect have their own outlook. In Zen sect, Hannya-Shingyou is the draft of our mind.

The origin of Hannya-Shingyou was written in about 2-3 century AD. But most famous Hannya-Shingyou is translated by Genjo Sanzo Houshi(Xuanzang). He spent 15years for travel to India. In India, he studied about Buddhism and he brought 657volumes of sutra to China. I think so many Buddhist monks tried to cross the Silk Road. But so many Buddhist Monks were dead on the way to India.
Also, Japanese monks crossed the dangerous sea for getting these sutra. Therefore when I pray with Hannya-Shingyou, I always thanks to these martyrs.

 

Xuanzang


Xuanzang was a famous Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator that brought up the interaction between China and India in the early Tang period. When he was 27 years old(629AD), he determined to go to India for studying Buddhism more deeply, however traveling to foreign country was prohibited at that time. After he studied Buddhism in India for 5 years, he returned to China in 645AD. He brought volume of 657 sutra. He started to translate these sutra at the Tang capital. He translated The Heart of Perfect Wisdom Sutra or Heart Sutra or Essence of Wisdom Sutra perfectly. He died in 664AD.

 

「Ichinen Mugen」
If we feel up the ideal method of the heart of this moment now, it becomes one ahead of the discrimination of the oneself and others and thinks that we can open in the whole space limitlessly.

「Zengo Saidan」
We prepare for "the future that does not yet come" by "knowledge and the experience that passed" every day. However, we live "now" only at this moment. We really completely use all of five senses and will not be kept in an unchangeable past and the unknown future? And we feel up this moment seriously now and will live?

【 FUDOMYOO 】

The Sanskrit name of FUDOMYOO is "Acalanatha" which means " The god of steadfast".
In short, it's means steadfast practice, and another name of Shiva, Hiduism.

Sanskrit name of MYOO is "Vidyaraja" which means powerful Buddhism esoteric word.

If you chant the Buddhism esoteric word, you will release from the darkness of agonizing and doubts.
MYOO, Vidyaraja is strong Buddhism esoteric word, above all,
it is assumed that FUDOMYOO is the strongest.

FUDOMYOO appeared with a look of the anger for exorcising evil.
FUDOMYOO was ordered from Dainichi-Nyorai (Mahaavairocana) to confront the enemy which spoil Buddhism.

Because of great dignity in his looks, he is believed what own the power to break all of evil.
Also, he is believed as God from the trainee who does intense training.

This FUDOMYOO is the guardian of my family.
This photo is taken when the ceremony in which the
hstatue of FUDOMYOO was given spirit at the temple.

I would like to propose some advice to the person who want to try Zen. These advices are just my experience. I hope these advices are just for your little hints for Zen.
Kanji "Kyo(経)" means "sutra" is originally means "verticalness". In short, it means unchangeable truth through all times. On the other hand, "horizomtality" means the all things in nature.

 

Famous Zen Priests in Japan

【 Ikkyu Sojun 】 1394 - 1481

According to the another view, the Ikkyu attracts the blood relationship of the imperial family. At night with 1420, he heard the cawing of crow and realized it, but the license from his master declined it. He was close to the Emperor, but he was loved to the people at the same time. He was famous by saying strange appearance and an strange behavior. There is the story that he said that "I do not want to die." at the time of end.

【 Takuan Soho 】 1573 - 1646

Takuan wrote a book about the intention of the martial artist and gave it for YAGYU, Munenori of the Samurai with his close friend. That is "FUDOCHI-SHINMYOROKU" Takuan knew a lot about tea ceremony and a poetry sentence, a painting and calligraphic work.However, he tried to be a simple Zen priest throughout the life and can deny it by 3days even if appointed by the chief priest of the big temple of Kyoto.Therefore it was respected by Tokugawa 3rd Shogun Iemitsu and many Samurais.

【 Hakuin Ekaku 】 1686 - 1769

HAKUIN reorganized study of Rinzai sect and revived it and spread Zen more. Many samurai and people who travel to Kyoto, Osaka and Edo(Tokyo) stopped his temple and listened his lectures. At that time, HAKUIN lived in the temple where located by TOKAIDO, main road between Kyoto, Osaka and Edo(Tokyo). One of the most famous conundrum of Zen is "Clap by on hand". His philosophy is written to "HAKUIN ZENJI WASAN" intelligibly.


【 Ryokan Taigu 】 1758 - 1831

He was born in Echigo (Niigata pref.). He became monk when he was 18 years old. After few years, he traveled for his practices. He was extremely unselfish person. He never owned a temple and he never lived in a temple. He didn't like difficult preach for people. He was only showing his very simple life style for people and he used the proverb which is easy to understand to people for his preach. He is superior in a song and poetry and handwriting and leaves many works and is well known for what was loved by many people..