Shohaku Okumura

‘Dogen’s purpose here is to confuse us, to deconstruct our ready-made fixed views. He’s not trying to offer another fixed view; he’s trying to destroy our views, our clinging to our conditioned narrow views. That’s how we become released from our fixed perspective. Still we can say this is merely Dogen’s view He doesn’t say his view is absolutely true. His view is his view; that is the only view he could see. But it is not necessarily true. That is his point. Nagarjuna is like this too. Both negate fixed ideas while affirming that these ideas are the way we see. This process of simultaneous negation and assertion is how we are liberated from grasping our views as the right way and not listening to other perspectives.’ (The Mountains and Waters Sutra)

Typing this out, I was thinking of how I was trying to communicate this in my recent class. I was thinking of how Dogen expresses it in Yuibutsu Yobutsu; often I boil it down to his common exhortation: investigate this further! I was also thinking how it usually requires another person to force us to see in this way, that it is hard for us to give up our own views without the prompt, just as it is hard for many of us to give up our phones and connectivity unless we go somewhere, like Wilbur or Tassajara, where it is not possible to be connected. And then we notice how nice it is to give up the way we usually do things.

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