‘That which allows one part of a buddha’s awesome presence is is entire universe, the entire earth, as well as the entirety of birth and death, coming and going, of innumerable lands and lotus blossoms. Each of these innumerable lands and lotus blossoms is one part.

Students may think that “the entire universe” refers to this southen Continent of Jambudvipa, or all the Four Continents. Some may think of it as China or Japan. Regarding “the entire earth,” they think it is one billion worlds, or simply one province or prefecture. When you examine “the entire earth” or “the entire universe,” investigate them three or five times without stopping, even though you already see them as vast.

Understanding these words [about the entire universe] is going beyond buddhas and ancestors by seeing that extremely large is small and extremely small is large. Although this seems like denying that there is any such thing as large or small, this [understanding] is the awesome presence of active buddhas.’ (Shobogenzo Gyobutsu Iigi)

Similarly to the last Dogen post, this passage may scramble your brain about large and small, and that is what it is designed to do, so that you don’t get stuck in your thinking – if you do that, you will never be an active buddha with awesome presence.

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