Shohaku Okumura

‘The Lotus Sutra says that all buddhas appear in this world for only one reason: to show us the true reality of all beings and allow us to live in accordance with that reality. This means we don’t know the true reality of all beings; we only know the forms (namarupa) seen by human eyes. We only see the human water. We use that human water as water, but for buddhas and ancestors it is something else. This is what Dogen has been discussing: “What is the reality of water?”
Dogen is saying we should see water as a true reality of all beings. This means to see water just as it is. Then we need to ask if there is such a thing as “water as it is” before being seen by beings. Even if there is “water as it is,” how can we see it? How can we make certain that what we see is the true reality of water, instead of another, new namarupa? When we reach this point, all we can do is open the hand of thought and just sit.’ (The Mountains and Waters Sutra)

Shohaku is taking us by the hand and leading us very gently into the subtlest and deepest parts of Dogen’s way of seeing. I very grateful for it.


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