The sound of one hand clapping
Positive effects of the financial crisis
The financial crisis, which began in the United Sates and spilled over into the entire world, seems to have become a Great Depression. Financial ministers from various countries have been meeting in Washington, Paris, Geneva, Beijing and Sao Paulo etc. and have made a concerted effort to overcome the crisis. The financial crisis seems to have had not only a negative effect causing the world economic meltdown, but also a positive effect in accelerating borderless worldwide cooperation. If so, a time is coming earlier than expected, when all nations will become one world, transcending the Senkaku (Diaoyu)-islands, Takeshima (Dokdo)-island and Palestine issues etc.
Which voice to listen to, the flesh or the spirit?
Jesus, who had withdrawn to the Mount of Olives after visiting the temple in Jerusalem at the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles, appeared again in the temple courts early the next morning, and said to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees;
“Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God. I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!
I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John Chapter 8)
Jesus might have taught us, "You cannot hear what God says nor understand my preaching as long as you are of this world. You are unable to hear his voice unless you die once and be born again to discard your stinking pride and arrogance as Abraham's descendants. You must return to ‘the Self’, your intrinsic nature before Abraham was born, so that you can see the truth. Then the truth will set you free.”
Original Sin and the Power of the Primal Vow
These words, which Jesus spoke in the temple, are all based on the Old Testament and have shown us that the entire world is guilty before God under the Mosaic Law and that the purpose for Jesus appearing in this world was to use the power of the prayers of the faithful in order to let the grass, trees and all domains of all living things, attain Buddhahood. Paul explained this truth in his letter to the believers in Rome.
Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous— not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies. Snake venom drips from their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness. They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them. They don't know where to find peace. They have no fear of God at all.” Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.(Romans 3: 9-22)
The unity of spirit and flesh
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God's children. And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God's glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering. Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God's curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (Romans 8:14-24)
Dharmas (phenomena) are born of causes and conditions
Hakuin Ekaku (1686-1769), known as the ancestor who rejuvenated the Rinzai school in Japanese Zen Buddhism, taught us, "Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?" A clapping sound arises when one claps with both hands. However the sound vanishes in a twinkling of an eye and so does everything in this world. If one is seized by an instant phenomenon, which is a result of different factors that are either continually changing or being extinguished, he will be unable to see the truth. Only the one who can hear a sound before two hands clap, can see the truth. In other words, he who faces “the Self”, his intrinsic nature at a time before his parents were born, can see the truth.
The old landlady named Osan of a teashop in front of the temple, where Hakuin lived, insinuated itinerant priests who concentrated on the koan (subject which Zen-masters give each religious to learn and practice the doctrine of Buddhism) of "the sound of one hand clapping" during meditation in the temple, and said, "It would be better clapping both hands to sell goods rather than trying to hear the sound of a single hand". When Hakuin heard of this, he said, "If your business prospers by clapping your hands, you need not hear the sound of a single hand."
The discernment of the landlady, who proclaimed that doing one's business to get along in this world is the way for a single leap's entry to the kingdom of god, is incisive. Naagaarjuna (150?-250?) described this theory in his book "The Treatise on the Middle Way" and stated: "Dharmas (phenomena) are born of causes and conditions. I say they are thus empty. They are also called false and fictitious, and that is also the truth of the Middle Way." We can also find the same theory in the Heart Sutra as saying, "Form (phenomenon) is emptiness, emptiness is also form. Emptiness is no other than form, form is no other than emptiness"
All dharmas are emptiness
Nevertheless, even without the financial crisis, we still become nervous while we have to work sleeplessly every day, thinking, whether my lifestyle is worthy or whether God has sent me to do this kind of job. Therefore we meditate in temples or go to church.
To the Jews who believed in him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”(John 8:31-32)
A rosy youth in the morning may become crumbling bones in the evening. Life is too uncertain. Why do we endlessly suffer fears or obstacles? Because it is too difficult to grasp and hold onto the truth in this world. Therefore Jesus might have taught us that if one saw his suffering in this world as a 'Genjo-koan' (Subjects which Zen masters give their students in the meditation hall are called 'Kosoku-koan' and the current problems faced by the people in the real world are called 'Genjo-koan') given by God and resolving this koan was the divine mandate from Heaven, in other words, kept Jesus' teaching to take up his cross and followed Jesus, he would be the one who lived in heaven while staying in this world. (Eko-an Hensho-koji：2008/11/16)
What is "Baptism with The Holy Spirit"?
According to the dialectic of the Gospel of John,
【thesis】 "A man can possess eternal life through accepting testimony of the Son of man and being baptized by him." (John 5:24)
【anti-thesis】 But "The one who comes from the earth cannot accept the testimony by one from heaven."(John 3:32)
How then can a man possess eternal life?
【synthesis】 "If you want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit, you can just go back to the word which was with God in the beginning (John 1:1) and certify that God is truthful. (John 3:33)"
When he said, "You are Huichao," Zen Master Fayan thrusted vivid Self in Huichao in front of his eyes. (The Origin of Christianity P.171)
White bones (Hakkotsu)
"Therefore, we may have radiant faces in the morning, but in the evening be no more than white bones."
The sixteenth letter 'Hakkotsu' of go jo me (the fifth quire of sutra) of Ofumi which was selected by Rennyo (1415–1499), the eighth chief priest of Jodo Shinshu (the True Pure Land Sect of Buddhism) Hongan-ji Temple is especially famous in ofumi.
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