‘All buddha tathagathas who individually transmit inconceivable dharma, actualizing unsurpassable, complete enlightnment, have a wondrous art, supreme and unconditioned. Receptive samadhi is its mark; only buddhas transmit it to buddhas without veering off. Sitting upright, practicing Zen, is the authentic gate to free yourself in the unconfined realm of this samadhi.
Although this inconceivable dharma is abundant in each person, it is not actualized without practice, and it is not experienced without realization. When you release it, it fills your hand – how could it be limited to one or many? When you speak it, it fills your mouth – it is not bounded by length or width.
All buddhas continuously abide in this dharma, and do not leave traces of consciousness about where they are. Sentient beings continuously move about in this dharma, but where they are is not clear in their consciousness.’ (Shobogenzo Bendowa – On the Endeavor of the Way).

I appear not to have my copy of the Bendowa in my bookcase right now. Since I also cannot find my copy of the Shobogenzo Zuimonki I hope that they are in a box that I have not unpacked since returning from Tassajara. In Kaz Tanahashi’s translation of the Shobogenzo, this stands as the first paragraph of the first chapter. It has always felt to me like a rousing manifesto, an opening salvo in Dogen’s decades-long encouragement of whole-hearted practice. Each time I open to this page, I feel freshly inspired.

One thought on “Dogen

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s