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Entries in Dogen (4)


Altar Buddha

Statue of Buddha on the main altar at the Empty Hand Zen Center. There is a garland of dogwood flowers around the statue to commemorate Buddha's birthday (see Bathing the Buddha).  Something very comforting and calming about this statue, and it has played a major role in my practice over the last 8 years. It sits, abiding calmly, as I squirm.

To fully actualize the Buddha's golden body with the golden body - to arouse the way-seeking mind, practice, attain enlightenment, and enter nirvana - is nothing but being, nothing but time. 

Eihei Dogen
Uji: The Time Being
Kosho Monastery Period, 1233-1243 
Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shobo Genzo)


Buddha/Thief Nature

Am taking a Dōgen Study class which is looking at Chapter 22 of Shōbōgenzō on Busshō, or Buddha Nature (thx, Dennis). Am also about halfway through reading Shohaku Okamura's Realizing Genjōkōan: The Key to Dōgen's Shōbōgenzō for the second time. Thought the video was a perfect expression of the moment. Shows Shohaku Okamura talking at the Austin Zen Center about "Bu" (Butsu), or Budhha and "sshō" (shō), or nature. About how his teacher's teacher, Kodo Sawaki, said that we all also have "thief" nature:

"Buddha nature and thief nature are both a hundred percent; [we are not partly buddha and partly thief]. Depending on our activity as a practice, we manifest Buddha nature or manifest thief nature. "Thief nature" means we always want to get something and make it my own possession. That is thief nature".

We decide which one to manifest in any given moment.


One Bright Pearl

Beach stone, Suffolk County, Long Island, NY

"One bright pearl is able to express Reality without naming it, and we can recognize this pearl as its name. One bright pearl communicates directly through all time; being through all the past unexhausted, it arrives through all the present. While there is a body now, a mind now, they are one bright pearl. That stalk of grass, this tree, is not a stalk of grass, is not a tree; the mountains and rivers of this world are not the mountains and rivers of this world. They are one bright pearl".

Eihei Dōgen
Ikka Myōju, Shōbōgenzō, 1238

[NOTE: Spent the last three days camping/reflecting on the north shore of Long Island, NY. A lot of bright pearls]. 


Snow Day

Zen Master Baoche of Mt. Mayu was fanning himself. A monk approached and said, "Master, the nature of the wind is permanent and there is no place it does not reach. Why, then, do you fan yourself?"

"Although you understand that the nature of the wind is permanent," Baoche replied, "you do not understand the meaning of its reaching everywhere."

"What is the meaning of its reaching everywhere?" asked the monk again.  The master just kept fanning himself. The monk bowed deeply.

Eihei Dogen
Genjo Koan
Treasury of the True Dharma Eye (Shobogenzo)
1233 C.E.