From ‘The Dharma of Homeless Kodo.’

From a book written by Sawaki Kodo (1880 – 1965) . Master of Soto Zen.


People call me “Homeless” Kodo, but I don’t take it as an insult. They call me that because I have never had a temple or a house. Everyone is homeless. It is a mistake if you think that you have a fixed home.

Most people do things without any clear view of life. They just do things in a makeshift way, like plastering their shoulder when it feels stiff.

To be born as a human being is a rare thing, something to be grateful for. But being born as a human being is worthless if you spend your whole life in a mental hospital. It is worthless if you worry about not having money. It is worthless if you become neurotic because you cannot get a prestigious job. It is worthless if you weep because you lose your girlfriend.

You can’t exchange farts with anyone, right? Everyone has to live his own self. Who is good looking? Who is smart? You or I? There is no need to compare yourself with others.


Sit firmly in the place beyond any question of whether you are great or not.

Once a horse and a cat had a discussion about what happiness is. I hear that they could not reach a conclusion. Don’t believe the fortune tellers: how you need to live your life isn’t fixed!

To study originally meant to find out about one’s own life.
Today study just gets you a licence that gets you a job.

Mob psychology seems so strange to me. If people don’t know anything they’d better not say anything. People do things, say things, and hang on to others, without any convictions of their own. They don’t know themselves at all. This is ukiyo, the floating world.

Although you think you did a brave deed in trying circumstances, if you did it imitating others, it cannot be called a truely brave deed.

Do not lose your head in distracting circumstances. Don’t be intoxicated in an intoxicating atmosphere. This is the only true wisdom. Do not be won over to any idea, or “ism”, or any organization. Have nothing to do with the big fool called “human being.”

"But do not ask me where I am going, as I travel in this limitless world, where every step I take is my home." ~ Dogen

To do zazen is to look at the world anew after being in hibernation.

It is best not to do anything but zazen. If you do something else, maybe the devil made you do it.

What is the true self? It is brilliantly transparent, like a deep blue sky, and there is no gap between the true self and all sentient beings.

Some opinions are also past their prime. What parents teach their children are usually these outdated opinions. “What is good is good, what is bad is bad…”

When greens are going to seed, you can not eat them any more. The same is true for our ideas: We have to see things with fresh eyes!

Often people tell us: “This is important!” But what is really important? Nothing is really important. When you die, you have to let go of everything. Even those national treasures in Kyôto or Nara will not last forever. We might as well burn them down.

zazen. meditation spiritual reverence.

Take a look sometime at the face of a dog who’s just had sex. He just stares into space with strangely empty eyes. It’s exactly the same with people – in the beginning they work themselves up into a frenzy, and in the end there’s nothing at all.

A man who understands nothing marries a woman who understands nothing, and everyone says, “Congratulations!” Now that’s something I cannot understand.

A strange creature, the human being; groping in the dark with an intelligent look.

Human beings strive only to avoid boredom.

A lot of things in this world attract you. But once you do, or get them, they’re worthless.

There are people who never find their own way in life.

Religion means to be not fooled by anything, to live one’s life completely anew.

Imagine thinking of your life after your death. You see it didn’t matter.

Because they’re bored, in order to kill time, people are always agonizing , falling in love, drinking wine, reading novels, or watching sports; they are always doing things randomly and living from hand to mouth. For them this world is ukiyo (floating or transitory world). It is the place were people are always wobbling, window shopping, and going by detours.

Everywhere in this world, people feel bored, so they go to war brandishing deadly weapons as if they were children’s toys, saying, “Right Wing” or “Left Wing.” They do so because they think there must be something to it. But there isn’t. Only the grave waits for us.

Human beings boast that Man is the lord of creation, but in fact human beings don’t even know how to take care of themselves and watch sports or pursue other vapid forms of entertainment to avoid facing themselves and then justify it all by saying that they are just like everyone else.

When children nag about something, their parents scold them and tell them they are being unreasonable. These parents are also being unreasonable. This is Mumyo, ignorance of the true nature of existence, one of the twelve links in the chain of dependent origination.

Cute! Zen Tea Art Print by Freeminds

What are we so worried about all the time? If we don’t take care, we will be wasting our time trying to catch human delusions.

Humans are childish: They just want money, don’t want to become sick, want to be beautiful – and that is enough for them.

What have you ever thought about except eating and fucking?

We are always fooled by our bodies and minds, that is why we do not see clearly.

Extracts from


Generally just Being. Nothing in particular, no claims to fame. I like gardening and the sea, nature, art in all forms from poetry to films and everything in between, and being in the company of my family.

Posted in Buddhism, Uncategorized

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