Three Philosophies And One Reality & Nhk Radio Talksby Gudo Wafu Nishijima
This book is a collection of ten shorts talks on Buddhism by Japanese Zen Master Gudo Nishijima. In the first part, Master Nishijima talks about his theory of three philosophies and one reality - his interpretation of Gautama Buddha's Four Noble Truths. Each talk is followed by a lively discussion and questions and answers. The second part contains translations of… See more details below
This book is a collection of ten shorts talks on Buddhism by Japanese Zen Master Gudo Nishijima. In the first part, Master Nishijima talks about his theory of three philosophies and one reality - his interpretation of Gautama Buddha's Four Noble Truths. Each talk is followed by a lively discussion and questions and answers. The second part contains translations of three talks given by Master Nishijima on NHK Radio in Japan in 1994. The talks are titled: Buddhism & Action, Action & Daily Life, and Buddhism & Zazen.
"...If we look at the many Sutras written about the Buddha's realization we can conclude that he reached that viewpoint or state because he revered action. Action cannot exist at any other time or place than the present moment here and now. Another way of looking at this is in terms of past, present and future: no matter what mistakes we have made in the past, although we may regret them, we can never return to the past to put things right. At the same time, although we want to attain our dream or reach some aim in the future, we can never go into the future to reach our dream or aim. But if we look at life as centered on acting, we see that we can only really exist in the present. We can never return to the past,and we cannot go into the future. This is the essence of what Gautama Buddha taught-real existence is the present moment..."
- Peter Rocca
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This is a somewhat abbreviated version of Mr. Nishijima’s longer book, ‘To Meet the Real Dragon’, covering many of the same ideas and philosophy. ‘Three Philosophies…’ is probably better suited to an individual just learning about Zen and zazen since it cuts to the core of Dogen’s philosophy and his ‘Shobogenzo’ (of which Mr. Nishijima is an expert). On the other hand, readers may finish ‘Four Philosophies…’ with more questions and wanting more depth in which case, ‘To Meet the Real Dragon’ is strongly recommended. Both books argue that Buddhism emphasizes action over philosophy, and the best type of action one can take to understand how things really are is zazen. Unfortunately, no explanation is given in ‘Four Philosophies…’ for how to actually do zazen (although a very detailed presentation is contained in ‘To Meet the Real Dragon’). What was most interesting to me was Mr. Nishijima’s interpretation of the Four Noble Truths, which is quite non-traditional but also quite logical. Persons interested in this aspect of the dharma should give this book a read; it’s only a hundred pages long (plus a few) so is not a big investment of time. And his three philosophy approach to the Four Noble Truths is quite intriguing.