What is a true Buddhist? A true Buddhist might be one of those many thousands or millions of people in the world today who is searching for (or in some cases think they have found) the true meaning of Buddhism.
What then, really, is Buddhism? Buddhism is a concept which is most truly understood by non-buddha.
In total enjoyment of Sitting, non-buddha is not tainted by any kind of -ism. Non-buddha is especially not tainted by Buddhism.
Non-buddha eats and drinks the tea and toast of non-buddha, and shits the shit of non-buddha, but non-buddha does not look for any meaning in Buddhism -- because non-buddha knows that Buddhism is an utterly meaningless and bankrupt concept.
In the Nishijima-Cross translation of Shobogenzo you will find many uses of the words Buddhist and Buddhism. But you won't find any in my new translations -- unless one is carelessly included by mistake.
There is no word or compound in the whole of Shobogenzo that deserves to be mistranslated as Buddhist or Buddhism.
When BUTSU appears before a noun, as in BUTSU-E, there is no need to talk of the Buddhist robe. The kesa is the Buddha-robe, the robe of Gautama Buddha and all the buddhas.
BUKKYO, similarly, is the teaching of the Buddha, the teaching of all the buddhas, not a view, not an opinion, not anybody's Buddhism.
BUPPO, again, is the Buddha-Dharma, the Buddha's Truth of Sitting, the Method of Sitting of Gautama Buddha and all the buddhas. By calling it true Buddhism, real Buddhism, or any other kind of -ism, we slander it.
Twenty years ago when I translated BUPPO as "real Buddhism," I thought I was doing a favour to Gautama Buddha and all the Zen Patriarchs of India, China, and Japan. In fact I was just, in my youthful arrogance, trying to identify myself with the strongly-held opinions, and four-phased philosophical dogma, of Gudo Nishijima, who succeeded in convincing me, having succeeded in convincing himself, that he was the true world champion of real Buddhism.
But now I see that a person who considers himself to be a true Buddhist is just suffering from a delusion. The idea that Buddha and -ism might be compatible with each other, is completely misplaced. Any sentence prefaced by the words "We, true Buddhists...." can never be anything but a pack of lies, a heap of shit, pure falsehood.
So if any flock or herd of true Buddhists is reading this, I would like to vow to you, in all sincerity, as follows:
I, Mr Wrong, hereby vow that I will cross over you, True Buddhists, to the far shore of non-buddha, before I cross over myself.