Zen Road
Zen Road
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If we study the body, we understand the mind, and vice versa.
by Taisen Deshimaru

Taisen Dashimaru in mondo


The kanji ki does not just mean energy. Whenever possible, let's not let the ki escape. Yesterday evening a great acupuncturist came to visit me and he told me about the three points of kikai tanden.

One is located below the navel and governs the sexual organs. This is the sei point, the true source of energy. The other is located under the sternum near the heart, where it supports the root of the left hand during kin hin. It’s the potential source, where ki develops before locating below the navel.

Taisen Deshimaru in mondo

The third point, shi, comes from the brain, the hypothalamus. From this point the mind arises. Doshin appears from this point and represents the old brain. Science certifies that it is the starting point of the mind.


For example, when building a house, different things are needed. First, we make a plan. This represents the mind. This is the starting point, as here with the hypothalamus. Then for the construction itself we use stones, cement, wood, fire, which represent the energy, the potential source, as with the point of ki beneath the breastbone.

Taisen Deshimaru in mondo

The third element is the work, the effort, the act of building itself. Without it, no home. Sei is the point below the navel. This is very important, but most people lose their energy and are all day chatting about sex, pornography. It is the disease of civilization. Animals do not behave this way.


Only humans are obsessed with sex. If you look at the sex of horses, for example, you will notice that its size is small, except when using it. It is very important to keep one’s energy. It is bodaishin. If our source is zenna, impure, everything becomes soiled.

Taisen Deshimaru in mondoTo purify the mind, we must act on shin, the hypothalamus, the ultimate source of energy. To purify the potential, we must act on the point under the sternum. To purify sexual energy, we must act on kikai tandem through the breathing.


Doshin, the spirit of the Way, and mushotoku are very important. One must not want to go too fast nor doubt. Otherwise doshin cannot be achieved. Just plow and cultivate without expecting the harvest, reduce desires, thoughts of no importance, listen only when necessary, eat less, talk less. All that tires the brain’s energy.


Whenever possible, do not let energy escape.

Taisen Deshimaru in mondo

Even if looking, not to see, if the ears are open, not to listen. Do not waste your energy. Close your mouth, sexual organ, and even the anus. When the intestines are strong, the anus closes exactly. If they are weak, it emits farts.


Knowing how to control one’s body and mind, that’s zazen. zazen restores calm. Don’t be overtaken by your work. People not concentrated are always very busy. When possible, avoid fatigue and places where everyone gathers, the cafes, pigalle or shibuya. This is the best method for preserving doshin, the true energy and regain good health at the level of body and mind.


Taisen Deshimaru in mondo

Hishiryo consciousness is located in the right brain. It is infinite. Our body results from the cosmic order. We can not stop our heart voluntarily. Some organs are difficult to lead by the will. If we go against the cosmic order, we become sick, if we follow it we heal. Modern civilization is sick.


So, how to use our true human body? This is very important. The authentic body itself is buddha and god, it is not the body of the demon.

When you practice zazen, sampai, when you sing the sutras and do simple actions, at that moment, your human body truly becomes the body of holiness, the body of the way. If you critisize that, you become the demons.


Taisen Deshimaru in mondo

Bonno soku bodai: The desires in themselves are the bodhi; the bonno become wisdom, the bonno become the energy of wisdom. Everybody loves bonno soku bodai. Bonno being bodai, we believe we can make love, and if our desirs are strong, we will become bodhisattva. That is gedo, not the way.

The opposite is true. It is when our passions become the energy of bodai that bonno soku bodai occurs. If the bonno become the energy for sex or labor, bonno soku porn, bonno soku business!


How to use our bonno to sublimate them? It's the true shinjin gakudo, the study of the way through the body-mind.


deshimaru 9




(1) Chi in Chinese. According to the Taoist conception, vital energy, life force, cosmic mind that permeates and animates all things. In Buddhism, Ki is a technical term for the mind capable of responding to the spiritual impulse.

(2) Ki, activity, energy. Kai, ocean. Tan, essence. Den, field. Also called Hara, center of spiritual energy and essential source of the human body, located three finger’s width below the navel.

(3) Do, way. Shin, mind. Desire and determination to achieve awakening.

(4) The Hypothalamus: The central brain, instinctive, primitive, which parallels the frontal brain, rational, intellectual. Located approximately at the back and bottom of the skull, slightly below the thalamus and just above the spine, the hypothalamus is the junction between body and mind, as it governs the senses and controls the homeostasis (the tendency of the internal physical environment to remain constant despite changes in external conditions).

(5) Mu, privative prefix indicating negation, non. Shotoku means to obtain or enjoy. "Nothing to get. Without purpose or spirit of profit. Mushotoku refers to the practice with no object, no goal, without purpose. Mushotoku expresses the philosophical essence of Soto Zen: not feed the hope of obtaining satori or becoming Buddha. The fact of giving freely.

(6) Shibuya is


Excerpts from the oral teachings of master deshimaru, complete edition, vol.11, the shinjin gakudo and the shukke kudoku of master dogen, translation and commentary by master Taisen Deshimaru (Daruma, Paris, 1993).