Dogen

‘At this time, while we continue aiming to arrive at freedom, as the ultimate treasure-object, this intention to arrive is itself real manifestation—and so, right in the moment of getting free there is expression of the truth, which is realized without expectation. It is beyond the power of the mind and beyond the power of the body, but there is naturally expression of the truth. When expression of the truth is already happening to us, it does not feel unusual or strange. At the same time, when we are able to express this expression of the truth, we leave unexpressed the nonexpression of the truth. Even if we have recognized expressing the truth as expressing the truth, if we have not experienced to the end the state of not expressing the truth as the state of not expressing the truth, ours are never the real features of a Buddhist patriarch nor the bones and marrow of a Buddhist patriarch.’ (Shobogenzo Dotoku)

With my recent class put to bed, I still found myself wanting to browse through the Shobogenzo. Having read a couple of fascicles in Kaz Tanahashi’s translation, I went to read them in the Nishijima and Cross version too, which was the first I read, many years ago. This is from the latter. What does this expression look like right now? How about the non-expression?

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