Mind here and now is Buddha, Part 2
What does the sentence “Mind here and now is Buddha” imply?
In the records of Master Daikan Eno the false or at least improper teachings are discussed – within the course of a dialogue with a traveling Buddhist monk. Master Daikan Eno was highly regarded by Dogen and was given the honorable title Great National Teacher Daisho.
In this context the traveller explains to the National Teacher that Dharma teachers of the South state “Mind here and now is Buddha” only refers to the consciousness, not to the body.
Thus mind and consciousness are being equated and perceived as being separate from the body.
According to the teachings in the South, the core feature of a consciousness of this kind are the representation of the essence of seeing, hearing, perceiving and knowledge and above all knowledge.
It governs all actions - especially the realm of thought - of a human being and is therefore called “true, all-encompassing knowledge”.
This all-encompassing knowledge represents the Great Buddha himself and there is nothing else beside it.
For this reason, according to the Srenikan doctrine, this all-embracing knowledge represents the supreme and the essence of the universe.
By comparison, everything else, such as matter and the body, are marginal and less important. The spirit and knowledge are immortal. After death, the spirit leaves the physical body, just like someone who abandons his burned, useless house, or like a snake, shedding its old skin and leaving it behind.
Hearing these explanations, the Great National Teacher Daisho found his opinion confirmed that, in the South, a false doctrine of the Buddha Dharma was common. He bemoaned the fact that students of so-called masters were taught in this way and therefore were headed in the completely wrong direction on the way to the Buddha Dharma.
For this reason the true Buddha Dharma was lost in the South.
The true teachings of the Buddha Dharma transcend knowledge, consciousness and sensory perception such as seeing, hearing, feeling etc.
We cannot go beyond the rigid limitations of thinking and reasoning relying just on the rational mind itself or on our sensory organs. We would not have access to the true Buddha Dharma.
That is why the doctrine of the South was its own dubious wishful thinking and the subjective, one-sided belief of the local masters. The great universal truth, taught by Gautama Buddha himself and the predecessors of Dharma, simply could not have been grasped and understood fully by the teachers of the South.
As mentioned, Nishijima Roshi regards the realm of thought and ideas as idealism and the realm of perception and sensory stimuli as materialism. Looking at them individually, both philosophies are not entirely wrong. But they cannot do justice to the wonderful diversity of life here and now, as they are one-sided and one-dimensional.
He, who aligns himself with one of the limited philosophies, won’t be able to escape the ongoing cycle of suffering and superficial pleasures. He will just be holding onto a straw, which is not reliable once you look at it closely. Therefore, Nishijima Roshi strongly advocates a third life philosophy, namely the philosophy of acting in the here and now, in the present moment. The fourth philosophy, in Buddhism regarded as the highest one, already contains the three philosophies previously mentioned. But it goes beyond them and is called awakening, enlightenment or emptiness. On this level, the highest of all, there is absolute unity and harmony in morality and universal laws.