Dogen

‘With one phrase that expresses the essence, a block of ice melts and a tile breaks. With one phrase a ditch is filled and a valley is dammed. Within this one phrase, all the buddhas of the three times and the six generations of Chinese ancestors are born in heaven and descend from heaven, enter a womb and emerge from a womb, accomplish the way, and turn the Dharma wheel. Therefore it is said, “The bright clarity of the ancestral teacher’s mind is the bright clarity of the hundred grasstips.” Although it is like this, today in the Koshoji assembly I have one phrase that has never been presented by buddhas or ancestors. Do you want to thoroughly discern it?
After a pause Dogen said: The bright clarity of the ancestral teacher’s mind is the bright clarity of the hundred grasstips.’ (Extensive Record, 9)

So Dogen is playing Lingzhao’s game. How does that sound today? Do you want to thoroughly discern it? Perhaps you need to find one phrase that expresses the essence. Quickly, quickly!

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One thought on “Dogen

  1. This is my poem/ comment on Joshu… On essence, like the tree, the fish leaping, the muddy water:

    Lying in bed late,
    Rain outside,
    Warm outspread hand
    Resting on warm belly
    Burnt nutty coffee taste lingers;
    I dream up extravagant/outrageous ways;

    In my attempt to manage this
    endless longing
    To be Torn Open..

    Like

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