‘Seeing all things wisely, as “empty” of their “own-being,” the bodhisattva begins to live differently in the world. Based on the vision that this perspective enables, this new way of living absorbs energy from the surrounding world and transmits quantities of energy that can be absorbed by others. Wisdom empowers that ability, in part by offering “freedom from the ideas of pleasant and unpleasant” and from all static dichotomies that keep us isolated and closed.’ (The Six Perfections)
When I read this passage, I knew that it encapsulated the shift that I have been chewing over as part of my recent talks, both the classes on the Bodhisattva Vows and the talks I gave in England. This is where it is clear to me that Dale Wright is a practitioner and not just a scholar: he is echoing Dogen’s whole premise in the Bendowa (amazingly, I don’t seem to have used the whole quote I am thinking of thus far in this blog: ‘Grass, trees, and lands which are embraced by this teaching together radiate a great light and endlessly expound the inconceivable, profound dharma. Grass, trees, and walls bring forth the teaching for all beings, common people as well as sages. And they in accord extend this dharma for the sake of grass, trees, and walls.’) and how it manifests for us as we practise.
I shall certainly be using this book, and most likely this passage, when I give the talk at Zen Center on the 21st. You don’t even have to show up in person to hear it live, as it will be live-streamed.