Yours by Kôdô Sawaki

- through Fabrice Groult

Published on

This book, produced thanks to the work of several Zen practitioners, brings together the best teachings of Kôdô Sawaki (1880-1965), nicknamed Kôdô without a home. The master of Taisen Deshimaru did not start his life auspiciously. Orphaned at a very young age, he entered the monastery where he began the practice of zazen. A wandering monk from the age of 19, he took part in the Russo-Japanese war, before entering the Academy of Buddhist Studies. He meditates in the mountains, travels around Japan on foot to teach zazen in temples, prisons, farms… A 55-year-old university professor, he disseminates his teaching until his death, at the age of 85.

His disciples retain his lectures with a sharp humour. "The bird does not sing in honor of the person sitting in zazen", he warns. It calls for taking leave of “group imbecility”, of our tendency to want to be like others.

“You must have fallen very low to say that you need money to live,” he asserts, criticizing the ordinary world where everything is a matter of gain or loss. “Even if you have achieved great things in your life, you will die naked”.

The advantage of zazen, according to him, is that we are not looking for a result, that it “is useless”. Disregarding convention, he goes so far as to accuse certain monks of spouting “nonsense on the teaching of the Buddha”. Do not practice Dharma out of pride. “It is not you who seek the Way, it is the Way which seeks you. »

“Even if you have achieved great things in your life, you will die naked. »

Questioning scientific progress by taking the example of the atomic bomb, he sees the modern world sinking into an impasse. Kôdô Sawaki manifests the reality of interdependence. Sky, earth, water, plants, animals, men… “All things give a little of themselves to others”, in order to survive. “What do I do with myself? is the crucial question. Kôdô Sawaki calls for a return to the essential: “Practicing the Way of the Buddha means living completely this present moment, our whole life”. “You have to hit the bullseye here and now. »

photo of author

Fabrice Groult

Fabrice Groult is an adventurer, photographer and Buddhist who has traveled the world since a young age. After studying Buddhism in India, he embarked on an eighteen-month journey through Asia that took him to the Himalayas, where he discovered his passion for photography. Since then, he has traveled the world capturing images of Buddhist beauty and wisdom. He was a guide for ten years, and is now a journalist with Buddhist News.

Leave comments