Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gudo Nishijima Roshi's 89th Birthday Lecture - What I Want To Do

My teacher, Gudo Nishijima, gave a talk in English at Dogen Sangha's Saturday zazen meeting in Tokyo yesterday. He doesn't give talks in English there so often now, but he agreed to give one yesterday as it coincided with his 89th birthday.

The theme of his talk was "What I Want to Do." He covered quite a few topics during the talk. Some of the things he spoke about were how Buddhism is different to idealism and materialism, his ideas about Western civilization and Buddhism, and whether Buddhism is a religion or not. He also talked about how he used to doubt if there really was something called "the truth", and how he thinks people should study the truth if they want to be happy. He also answered questions on Zazen practice and other topics for about 15 minutes at the end.

I recorded the talk on my digital recorder. Click here to download the audio file (about 22 Mb).

Btw, at the start of the lecture we recited "The Verse to Open the Sutras" in Japanese. That lasts about a minute. After that, Gudo Nishijima starts his talk in English.

And here’s a link to Nishijima Roshi's blog.

All the best,



  1. Thank you very much for sharing this, Peter!

    I just started downloading the Roshi's lecture. When I have time in the evening when kids are sleeping, I'll listen it.

    With palms together,

  2. Thank-you, Peter.



  3. Thank You! and a Thank you for recording the audio.

    Gassho, Dirk

  4. Thanks for the sharing.

    I think this is a wonderful and important practice on mindfulness, wisdom and compassion.

    With Metta

  5. Dear Peter,

    you are lucky that you could have been there. Thank you for recording.


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  7. Thanks for recording and posting the talk -- such a great thing for those of us who didn't have the ability to hear Nishijima's talk in person.

    Most appreciated!

  8. Thanks for your comments.

    I'll let Nishijima roshi know you enjoyed his talk, next time I see him.




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