Nichi nichi kore kôjitsu
Every day is a good day

Master Unmon said to his disciples, “I do not ask anything about your spriritual condition before the fifteenth day of the month, but tell me something about it after the fifteenth day of the month.” Nobody answered. So Master Unmon geve the answer for us all: “Every day is a good day.”
On the fifteenth day of the month, according to the lunar calendar, there is a full moon, which implies clear enlightenment. “After the fifteenth day of the month” means after such realization.
As for “Every day is a good day”, many are deceived by “good” and think that good is the opposite of bad. Thus, many think that “good day” means happy, beautiful day. Unmon, however, did not mean it that way. Unmon’s “good day” is far more profound. He was pointing to right here, right now, unprecedented, unrepeatable, absolute day. A good Kôan for us all is: “What kind of day is this?”
I would like to add my own comment here. From the enlightened point of view, from the absolute point of view, every single moment is as it is, and cannot be otherwise; and every day is as it is, and cannot be otherwise. No matter how we perceive the day – as boring, rainy, awful, splendid, happy or sad a.s.o. – we cannot escape it’s suchness. To fully accept each moment, to fully accept each day as it is, this is the key to “every day is a good day”. Things are as they are, and so are the moments and the days. This “as they are”, or “as it is”, means in itself “good”, far beyond good or bad. Zen practice is the practice of radical acceptance.

The Master (Rinzai) addressed the monks, saying: “Followers of the Way, as to Buddha-Dharma, no artificial effort is necessary. Just be natural, don’t strive (*Buji).

Shitting, pissing, putting on clothes,
Eating food, and lying down when tired.
Fools may laugh at me, but the wise understand.

A man of old said:

If you seek something outside yourself,
you are a great fool.”

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*Buji: Nothing to do, to be free from contrivances, to be all done. He or she, who has nothing to do, is the noble human being.
From the translator’s notes:
Bu means no, or negation. JI is event, matter, action, phenomena, affair, or thing. Literally Buji means to negate all Ji.(…) When we completely realize the true nature of the universe, what seems to be Ji is, in fact, none other than Buji. There is nothing to do, no matter how hard we try. From a slightly different perspective, the closest English word to Buji is now, or as-it -is. Right now, can you improve now-ness, or as-it-is-ness? Of course not. At this moment, can you or your circumstances be otherwise? When you understand that the present moment is all there is, you have no choice but to come to a radical acceptance, and it is this radical acceptanc which is none other than true peace and composure. Buji means to be one with suchness, the unconditional nature of “let it be”, with nothing wanting, nothing superfluous.

Interviewer: Taikyu Sandy Kuhn Shimu
The interview got published in the book «Im Angesicht des Todes – und jetzt?» by Taikyu Sandy Kuhn Shimu.

When have you been confronted with death for the first time?

The first time when I was met with death I was about 6 or 7 years old. We used to keep small animals at home in cages, or fish in an aquarium, and one day they would lay or swim there without moving. My parents explained to me that they were dead. This seemed to me quite natural and I was not especially impressed.

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Why is it that the final existing creation and revelation (Samsara) is so mean and full of suffering?

Out of God’s will.

How can God want something like that?

This is unfathomable. To that power, no personal reason can be attributed; to that One, Endless, Omniscient, Almighty being, no wish, no aiming at a purpose can be ascribed. God remains untouched by actions that occur within his presence; you can compare this to the sun and what is happening on earth. It makes no sense to ascribe responsibility and reason to the One, before it became the many. But to regard the traced out course of things as God’s will is a good solution for the problem of the free will. When our mind is troubled because of a feeling of the imperfect and unsatisfying character of what is happening to us, or of what we did or did not do, then it is wise to let go of the feeling of responsibility and free will. And instead to regard oneself only as the chosen tool of the Omniscient and Almighty, and to act and to suffer as it pleases Him.  He carries all burdens – and gives us peace.

Commentary by Shôkan Ôsho Marcel Urech

Ramana Maharshi was an Indian Guru and Holy man (1879-1950) who was revered by many humans and who lived his life in strict poverty and humbleness on the Mount Arunachala. The dialogue cited here is taken from the book «Ramana Maharshi, Gespräche mit dem Weisen vom Berg Arunachala», Lotos Verlag, ISBN 978-3-7787-8189-0, translated from German into English by Shokan.

When we read what Ramana Maharshi here recommends to us, namely to let go of the feeling of responsibility and free will, we most likely react with being shocked and indignant. We then ask ourselves if we can act out all that comes to our mind not considering the results, without any feeling of responsibility. We ask ourselves what the sense of our life could be if we have no responsibility for ourselves, no free will, being only a tool of God. Here a fundamental mistake comes into play. The mistake is that we think of God as something outside ourselves. We think that this God exists somewhere, not to be grasped or localized, and that we, separated from Him, function as his tool. But in reality God is our source, the most inner core of our (true) being, the hub around which we turn as a wheel.

We, together with all beings and the whole creation, are manifestation, expression, or «face» of God. Success in becoming aware of our own divine core can only be gained by diving into our unconscious, putting aside the affairs of the conscious, of the outer world, with its ups and downs. This can happen willingly, e.g. by meditation, but can also be a result of outer conditions. Important for us is to know, that from the divine source, the stream of life runs through ourselves, that we are lived by the divine life. No one is able to come to life by her- or himself. The more we can trust and give ourselves to this divine life power, that brought us forth, the more we feel at home in life itself, and in all kinds of circumstances. Then the question whether we own a free will, or not, moves to the background. Where, if not only in our concepts and superficial thought constructs, would it play an important role whether we claim a free will of our own, or can let go of it?