Nangaku & Baso

There is a story about two monks, Nangaku and Baso. Baso has been practising meditation for ten years. Nangaku comes along.

Nangaku: What is the use of meditation?

Baso: To make a Buddha!

Nangaku picks up a tile. He starts to rub the tile.

Baso: What are you doing?

Nangaku: Making a mirror.

Baso: You can't make a mirror by polishing a tile.

Nangaku: You can't make a Buddha by meditating.

Baso is enlightened. This is a very important story and it was dear to Dogen.

The story tells us that gradual study (polishing, meditating) is endless. It has no natural limit, like polishing a tile. You will never get to the point where it turns into a mirror. A tile cannot become a mirror. However, in Dogen's sense, the tile is a mirror, since it showed Baso to Baso. Therefore, the tile was a mirror already. The mirror is a mirror before it is polished and it is a mirror after it has been polished. The polishing is also a mirror. The polishing is a mirror when the tile turns into a mirror and also when the tile does not turn into a mirror. When the tile does not turn into a mirror, it mirrors not turning into a Buddha. Mirroring in this way it turns Baso into a Buddha. When Nangaku and Baso are both Buddhas they are the same. They are the same as mirrors, but there is nothing the same about these two mirrors. Baso become Baso. When Baso becomes Baso he forgets he is Baso. Forgetting he is Baso he becomes a mirror. This mirror, however, is still just a tile. Therefore, there is no need to polish the tile. On the other hand, the mirror can become a tile when Baso is enlightened. When Baso is enlightened, not only the tile, but rivers, mountains and trees all become Buddhas and Buddhas become rivers, mountains and trees.

Views: 66

ITZI Conference 2019

Subscribe to ITZI Conference Newsletter

* indicates required

Blog Posts

MY MEDICAL CONDITION

Posted by David Brazier on June 26, 2019 at 18:04 6 Comments

My medical condition continues to be a mystery. It is clear that I do not have any of the big nasty things - brain tumour, cracked skull, stroke, etc - as these have been ruled out by MRI investigation. Nonetheless I continue to have persistent, continuous head pain that varies in intensity and I become exhausted by the least effort so that I am functioning like an invalid incapable of doing very much. There is always a possibility that the whole syndrome is a…

Continue

Grace.

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on June 2, 2019 at 1:02 4 Comments

“Do we know what it means to be struck by grace? It does not mean that we suddenly believe that God exists, or that Jesus is the saviour, or that the Bible contains the truth. Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark Valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we loved, or from which we were estranged. It strikes us… Continue

Sit

Posted by Geeta Chari on April 26, 2019 at 22:13 3 Comments

This is a short video of a Buddhist monk and his family. 

It raised questions on parenting and Buddhism - does detachment (or perhaps quietism), as practiced here, lead to demotivation and disengagement with the world around one?

His children find the detachment practised by the monk disquieting. They appreciate the irony of detachment, which is supposed to…

Continue

Zero Limits

Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on April 20, 2019 at 14:13 0 Comments

 

 

 

I have recently been made aware of a practice known as Ho’ponopono. Ho’ponopono is an ancient Hawaiian healing practice, based on universal forgiveness, that was rediscovered and popularised in the 80s. A man called Joe Vitale(Hawaiian I think)  became enchanted by the practice after his daughter was healed from an…

Continue

© 2019   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service