died: 820 82 years
| oshobob The Living Workshop
|Shodai, who was born in 738 in
China and died in
820, was a disciple of Sekito.
Shodai stayed at Mount Nangaku under Sekito for
three years, then went to Mount Shuko where he
saw Ma Tzu.
Ma Tzu asked, "What did you come here for?"
Shodai said, "I came here for Buddha's Jamuna
Ma Tzu said, "Buddha has no Jamuna darshan.
Jamuna darshan is the world of delusion. You are
from Mount Nangaku, but it seems that you have not
yet known that you need Sekito. So you should go
Hearing that, Shodai went to Sekito. On meeting the
master, Shodai asked Sekito, "What is buddha?"
Sekito replied, "There is no buddha nature in you."
Shodai asked, "What about all living beings?"
Sekito replied, "They have buddha nature."
Shodai asked, "Why don't I have it?"
Sekito said, "Because you don't accept it."
At this, Shodai decided to stay there.
Later, he lived in the Shodai-ji temple and did not go
outdoors for thirty years. Whenever a seeker came
to him, he would say, "Go away – you don't have
Shodai was not very inventive – that's what I call a
"normal" Zen master. He simply had one small
statement. Even that small statement helped many,
but could not help a really great number of people,
because those people who were coming to him were
not in the same state in which he was when he
asked Sekito. He had been meditating with Sekito for
years. He was just on the verge ... the last hit ....
I Celebrate Myself: God is No Where, Life is Now
Here, ch. 6