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  In the early days of the Meiji era there lived a well-known wrestler called O-nami, Great Waves. O-nami was immensely strong and knew the art of wrestling. In his private bouts he defeated even his teacher, but in public he was so bashful... continue...

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QUESTIONS
1. How has it [Zen] played a role on Japanese culture?
2. What is Karma and what is the Buddha-nature?

ANSWERS
1. How has it [Zen] played a role on Japanese culture?
Zen's influences on Japanese culture.
Zen has had a very strong influence on many ways of life of Japanese people, apparently in martial arts, painting, poetry, flower arrangement, tea-ceremony (cha-no-yu), archery, architecture, gardening, etc...

Basically, samurai and martial arts are just external kung-fu of physical body until when the people in those fields found that their strength in those fields were lacking something more than themselves which they did not know about it and they wanted to learn it form somewhere else. Then the Chinese martial arts went to Taoists to learn internal kung-fu which is the power generated when one's mind focusing attained at some measure inside his body. Especially, he trains his of "qi" or "prajna" i.e. breadth flowing in circulation from his nose through the field of elixir (under navel area), heart center to the top of the head. One who trains this kind of kung-fu will feel much better in his body and mind at first stage. At the next one, he could do something like a flying jump, lift a really heavy things which a ordinary man can not. More than that, his martial art improved a lot. He could help other people better with his capacity. He was called a "knight" in ancient China. But even so,if he feel it is not enough to him when he sees the suffering people endure around the world and then he'd like to see a Zen master for help. This time he learn Zen under the master. After training under a Zen master, when (if) he arrives at some state of no-mind, it is often that his well-versed styles of martial art now become non-styles, his steel sword is now dropped and his wisdom and compassion now is his new invisible sword, and if he'd like, he could use a blade of grass to help people in need. And when he help other people he wouldn't mind that he helps at all.

Samurai is a Japanese word for the class of warriors in Japan. They are somewhat similar to the Chinese knights. They often came to a Zen monastery or center to learn Zen, too. If anyone of them could reach the state of no-mind, he could help himself and other people in the similar way the Chinese knights did. Why did the people of samurai and martial arts liked to learn Zen? Because Zen would bring them back to their own original nature: wisdom and compassion which they did not realized it clearly before. Now they also realize that they already have both of them, they just use them in harmony in everyday activities. If one of them is absent that's not good enough, because if compassion is missing, wisdom may become cruelty; if wisdom is missing, compassion may become blindness. Other fields such as tea-ceremony (cha-no-yu), flower arrangement, archery, gardening, architecture... in Japan have been influenced by Zen. They have learned the way of Zen.

02/01/02

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2. What is Karma and what is the Buddha-nature?
Questioner: Whatever passed is over ----- cannot be changed any more * Whatever in the future is yet to come ------- no one knows what the hell it would be. * even the momentarily present seems so difficult to grasp ---- this is what meditation is all about ---- get hold of the present, forget the passed and don't expect the future. Karma theory is one of the truth of living thing and non living thing, it explain how things happens in every corner of the universe ----- that’s all about Karma.

If you'd like to know what you would reap in next life,
Just look at whatever you have done in your daily life.
If you'd like to know what you had done in your past life,
Just look at what you have reaped it in your everyday life.

And if you'd like to change your karma or your personality, try to practice what is said in the following verse:

Do not do anything bad to yourself and anyone else;
Do anything good to yourself and everyone;
Keep you mind clear and pure day and night.
This is what the Buddha teaches.

CT: Hello, there: (I do not know what your name is).
Unlike you, the d.o.m. does not have any concepts of time or past, present, and future at all. The Buddha-nature is really empty, open, vast, immense, and limitless. There is not a thing in there. How can there be a past, a present, or a future. These are only concepts created by mind thinking, therefore, they are not real things.

Unfortunately, in these days, there are several persons created a theory of the "present moment" and then invoked people try to cling to it. This looks like they put a pole in the space and call people watch it, grasp it as possible as they can. For me, it seems that their followers look like some kind of cows tied to the pole with the invisible ropes, and just see the pole only. How pity they are!

The Buddha-nature is really empty, open, vast, immense, and limitless. Why did they do that? Why they try to grasp the thing which is not real? I never try to grasp or release any thing, because there is not a thing in there.

Furthermore, apart from living beings in this world there is no Buddha dharmas. That's why I tried to say something to help anyone who are suffered by their own greed, anger, and ignorance. If the d.o.m.'s words work for them, he is really happy for them. If not, it will be fine, too. The two verses the d.o.m. gave to some lady in discussion (above) are not the d.o.m.'s. They are the teachings of the Buddha.

The Buddha, for living beings' sake, teaches them about karma in that way. This does not mean some thing can not be changed like you thought. For example, if you committed some crime in 5 years ago and now you got caught and found yourself in jail. This would be your karma. You could avoid it, if you did not do it at that time. If you wanted to avoid it, you got to stop your own greed, anger, and ignorance when they newly arose in you mind. Moreover, when your sentence was done you would be free again. This means a part of your karma was diminished. And after that, if you'd like to practice what the Buddha teaches in the two verse, you will see how it work for you. This is the way to change your karma or personality.

Otherwise, if, as you said, anything happened in the past can not be changed, it follows that there would be no one can attain Buddha-hood at all. I call this anti-Buddhism.

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