Dogen

‘Zhaozhou was asked by a monk, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from India?”
Zhaozhou said, “The cypress tree in the garden.”
The monk said, “Reverend, please do not use an object to guide me.”
Zhaozhou said, “I am not using an object.”
The monk said, “What is the meaning of Bodhidharma’s coming from India?”
Zhaozhou said, “The cypress tree in the garden.”
Although this koan originated with Zhaozhou, all buddhas have in fact created it with their whole bodies. Who could own it?
What we should learn from this is that the cypress tree in the garden is not an object. Bodhidharma’s coming from India is not an object, and the cypress tree is not the self.’ (Shobogenzo Hakujushi)

I would add, how could the monk be guided? And what do the whole bodies of all the buddhas look like, if not a cypress tree?
But then, I don’t really know anything about all of this. Luckily, starting today, I will be at Zen Center studying this fascicle as part of the Genzo-e with the incomparable Shohaku Okumura. This is a real highlight of my year, and perhaps I will have a better answer at the end of the sesshin.

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