Thursday, June 29, 2017 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.

Kodo Sawaki (1880 – 1965)


Considered by some to be the most important Japanese Zen master of the 20th century.
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Kodo Sawaki
I went to the Russo-Japanese War and killed people until I had enough of it. If you think about it soberly, this is a serious matter. Today the newspaper writes about the extermination of the enemy or how we clean them away with machine gun fire. That almost sounds like everyday household cleaning. They fire with machine guns and call it "cleaning away the remains of the enemy". Imagine that would happen in the midst of the ginza: people getting "cleaned away" as if you were shooting animals! It would be a serious affair. Compared with today the former war was old fashioned. We shot only one bullet at a time. That was not so gross like shooting your machine gun as if you were spreading water with a watering can, or throwing big bombs, or poison gas. I also once killed enemies at the battlefield of Baolisi, chasing them into a hole, and I was never punished for it. I even received monthly payments as a veteran after I came back from the war. That means that you do not always get punished for killing a person. It depends on the regulations of the time if you get punished or not. But these regulations are made by men.
Sawaki quotes
The asshole doesnít need to be ashamed of being the asshole. The feet donít have any reason to go on strike just because theyíre only feet. The head isnít the most important of all, and the navel doesnít need to imagine heís the father of all things. Itís strange though that people look at the prime minister as an especially important person. The nose canít replace the eyes, and the mouth canít replace the ears. Everything has its own identity, which is unsurpassable in the whole universe.
Sawaki
My sermons are criticized by certain audiences. They say that my sermons are hollow, not holy. I agree with them because I myself am not holy. The Buddha's teaching guides people to the place where there is nothing special... People often misunderstand faith as kind of ecstasy of intoxication... True faith is sobering up from such intoxication.




Sawaki Kodo quotes
We stop the one who can't cease from seeking things outside, and practice with our bodies with a posture that seeks absolutely nothing. This is zazen.
Sawaki Kodo
You canít even trade a single fart with the next guy. Each and every one of us has to live out his own life. Donít waste time thinking about whoís most talented.
Kodo Sawaki quotes
Hey! What are you looking at? Donít you see that itís about you?
Kodo Sawaki
Religion means living your own life, completely fresh and new, without being taken in by anyone.
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