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Karma: Twelve Chains of Causation

July 1, 1980 Dharma Talk by Dainin Katagiri Roshi

Transcribed by Kikan Michael Howard

This transcript is still in rough draft form.

Listen: Original Recording | NaturalReader

(The online audio of this first talk is only about five minutes long: apparently the first side of the tape was blank. Very unfortunate. However, the talk from the following day appears after this one.)

… the words come up. And then, everyone, can people look at this form of circles(?). And then how do they agree with this existence of a form of circle, coming from a movement. How? Just words. Without words, we cannot get our agreement. Don’t you think so?

So what is agreement? Oh yes, it is a form of a circle. This is nothing but the agreement consists of the words. “Katagiri, you’re bad boy.” Yes. How can you agree? This agreement is just words. But this agreement is also important for us, okay? Don’t misunderstand. I don’t mean you should ignore agreement. Agreement is important. But you should know what component factor of agreement. Agreement is also, you accept your life completely, with total agreement. Even though you like or you dislike, you accept already. So, you should know what the component factor of agreement. Your body and your mind is what? Just words. We accept through words. What’s words? Five skandhas. There’s karma, and … mind. That is Buddhist Psychology. … It’s huge. It takes eight years to master it. If you don’t believe, I will show it. I will explain, but if you want to study it, you should go to San Francisco Zen Center. They teach Abhidharma. Huge. But interesting, very interesting.

Person 1: Are there any stories in the Abhidharma about the beginning of time and space and ignorance?

Katagiri: Beginning of time and space. I It’s already ignorance. [Laughter.] The beginning of time and space is already ignorance, coming from your consciousness, don’t you think so? If you say before, already there is after - don’t you think so? So already you think something, time and space, in the dualistic sense, before and after - separate. But what is beginning, before? What is that ‘after’? That is very interesting, huge, system. Buddhology(?) and the theology. So what is the first beginning of the world? Who he is? That’s interesting. Buddha …? Or before Shakyamuni Buddha, who are his teachers? Do you know that? Always we research, popular; investigate. So Buddha says, “Oh yes, I have.” So Buddha anyway, very straightforward, two thousand years before Buddha Shakyamuni was born in this world, already thousands of Buddhas exist. That is Maitreya Buddha… No, not Maitreya … forgot the Sanskrit name. Three thousands years ago, before Buddha was born, it’s already Buddha. And then he communicated with him and practiced under him. Then he became a Buddha. And then after that, in the future, how can the Buddha transmit his teachings? When the Buddhism completely destroyed? That is Maitreya Buddha. So that is really Buddhology. System(?) of times, before and after. But it’s important.

So before time and space is completely normal sense of ignorance. This is birth of the Buddhas. That is the truth, regardless of the Buddha … in this world, or he describes the forms, or not. Anyway, this is before time and space arises. Okay.

Next Talk: “Karma: Where Karma Originates”