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Thread: SHOBOGENZO: 1. Bendowa 'On the endeavour of the way'

  1. #1

    SHOBOGENZO: 1. Bendowa 'On the endeavour of the way'

    Matt W and I both recently obtained a copy of the Tanahashi translation of Shobogenzo and thought it might be a good idea to work our way through together discussing each fascicle in turn. After asking Jundo's permission we are going to do that as a series of threads on here so that anyone else who wishes to do this can join in too.

    Hopefully it is needless to say we have no expert knowledge about this but are just wanting to share our thoughts and impressions. It would be lovely if others wanted to do the same.

    All buddha tathagatas, who directly transmit inconceivable dharma and actualize supreme, perfect enlightenment, have a wondrous way, unsurpassed and unconditioned. Only buddhas transmit it to buddhas without veering off; self-fulfilling samadhi is its standard. Sitting upright, practicing Zen, is the authentic gate to the unconfined realm of samadhi.

    Gassho
    Andy

  2. #2
    Friends of Treeleaf Taikyo's Avatar
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    I'd be very pleased to join you.

    Gassho

    David

  3. #3
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Can I join

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  4. #4
    Yes, have fun Dogenizing. Play the 'Genzo.

    For those folks new to jazzy Dogen's style, I point you to ...

    How to Read Dogen
    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-to-Read-Dogen

    ... which might also be called ... How to Dance-be Danced by-Dogen ...

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  5. #5
    Great idea Andy, I would enjoy being part of the adventure.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  6. #6
    Coool! Looking forward to it guys!

    Gassho

    Enkyo

  7. #7
    Does anybody know and can comment on the differences between the Tanahashi translation and the Nearman? I have a digital copy of the latter but would rather have a hard copy for ease of study, but a used copy is $499!! This rather shoots my vow of poverty in the foot.

    Gassho,
    Fugu

  8. #8
    I would love to join too. Is it ok if I use the Nishijima translation?

    Gassho

    Risho

  9. #9
    Treeleaf Engineer Seimyo's Avatar
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    Hi Fugu,
    I cannot help with the differences but I can say that the book has been reissued and it's actually less than the original volumes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Treasury-True-...=kaz+tanahashi

    Gassho.
    Seimyo

    明 Seimyō (Christhatischris)

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
    Does anybody know and can comment on the differences between the Tanahashi translation and the Nearman? I have a digital copy of the latter but would rather have a hard copy for ease of study, but a used copy is $499!! This rather shoots my vow of poverty in the foot.

    Gassho,
    Fugu
    Here is what I usually post on the various translations when it comes up ...

    ---------------

    Actually, there are now several complete and partial Shobogenzo available online, plus a wonderful new complete translation in print.

    Personally, I think the [Shasta Abbey/Rev. Nearman] translation you linked to needs to be taken with some caution (I will say why below), although all the translations have their strengths and weaknesses. In fact, when I have read or talked about Shobogenzo, I have often looked at two or more translations simultaneously to see how the various translators have approached Dogen's poetry and word play (he was a great word gamester). Looking at a couple of translations at once can help triangulate the many dimensions in his worlds and words.

    First, available online, the most complete list of the various Shobogenzo online is here ...

    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin..._Complete.html

    ... although Terebess also has some translations online not found even there ...

    http://www.terebess.hu/english/dogen2.html

    My teacher, Nishijima Roshi, and Taigu's Teacher, Chodo Cross, have a complete Shobogenzo now fully available online for download here ...

    http://www.bdkamerica.org/default.aspx?mpid=81

    The Soto Zen Text Project, a scholarly effort, will someday be complete, but has already accomplished much good work ... here:

    http://scbs.stanford.edu/sztp3/trans..._contents.html

    To my taste, the edition by Shasta Abbey can be too worshipful and "Biblical" in tone, often with the flavor of the Book of Common Prayer of King James filled with "Thou" and "Our Lord" references to Buddha in keeping with the rather Churchy flavor of the OBC Lineage. However, it is masterful too.
    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin..._Complete.html

    Okay, which is "best" or, better said, what are some of the strengths and weaknesses of each?

    The Shasta Abbey version by Rev. Hubert Nearman does not particularly ring my bell. I find it too flowery and reverential, possibly due to the flavor of that lineage. Others may find it suits their tastes however. Their founder was an incredible woman, but taken to inner voices and visions and speaking as an oracle of the Buddhas (much like Teresa of Avila). She also was trying to reconcile the Shasta Abbey practices with traditional Anglican ceremony (for example, their chants much resemble the Book of Common Prayer). Portions of the style and wording of their Shobogenzo are very "King James" in feel, which can be clearly felt in this translation. Of course, to each their own and it is a tremendous reference and accomplishment.

    Awhile back, I did ask the noted Dogen scholar, Steve Heine:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_b?...+dogen&x=0&y=0

    (1) of all the Shobogenzo translations out there, which is the most "accurate" from the point of view of Buddhist scholarship and translation (i.e., most faithful to what Dogen actually wrote)? (2) which is the most readable by the non-specialist, while still being as faithful as possible to Dogen? I told him not to be polite to my teacher, Nishijima Roshi, in answering.

    He said that,

    ... as far as Shobogenzo translations, Waddell/Abe, is perhaps the most "accurate" even though out of date in some ways (it is a reprint of renderings done in the 1970s). Tanahashi's several books are always very very good, and perhaps the most accessible to a non-scholar (at the intersection of literal accuracy and readability). He highly recommended those. Nishijima/Cross, he said, is the best of the complete translations, but it has many problems in grammar, typos and other small quirks (due to my teacher's limited English abilities and some peculiarities about Chodo Cross' style and Nishijima Roshi's personal philosophy) that it is best for serious students who can pick out the minor problems and see the underlying strength.

    The Soto Text project promises someday to be the best overall, but is coming out in small doses, still spotty and not quite living up to potential yet. Nishiyama/Stevens and Yokoi are to be avoided. Cleary, Masunaga, and Shasta all have some strengths, but are not nearly as good as the first sets above.
    That is from a Dogen scholar's point of view.

    I very much appreciate to read, for example, one of the other translations hand-in-hand with the "Soto Zen Text Project" version, when available. The reason is the wonderful work that has been done in tracing the history of the citations by Dogen which pepper the Shobogenzo.

    Now, recently Kazu Tanahashi issued a full translation of the Shobogenzo (he had issued bits and pieces in past decades) that we have discussed before, and which I think will become the most widely used English Shobogenzo in the Zen World because it is a lovely mix of style (very important to Dogen, the wordsmith) and scholarship and substance and readability, sacrificing not too much on each front, by a gifted poet and Dogen scholar in conjunction with other gifted writers, priests and Dogen scholars.

    ... although the price tag is a bit hefty (appropriate to the work that went into it) ...

    http://www.amazon.com/Treasury-True-...5919607&sr=8-2

    Here is an article about Kaz Tanahashi ...

    http://articles.sfgate.com/2010-10-2...dhist-teaching

    If you wish to pick up some Tanahashi, his excellent partial translations (of key portions of Shobogenzo) have been available for many years, less of a major investment ...

    Moon in a Dewdrop

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/086...pf_rd_i=507846

    Enlightenment Unfolds

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/157...pf_rd_i=507846

    Now, I have written a couple of things too on "How to Read Dogen" (if "read" is the best word for it ... hmmm) ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...-to-Read-Dogen

    Gassho, Jundo
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-11-2013 at 02:28 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  11. #11
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    I would like to join, I'm just a bit confused because I've never heard of this book, my library doesn't have it, and I have a lot of other expenses right now so I don't really have the funds to buy it.

    Jundo, is this all that I need right here, or is this just parts of the book? http://www.bdkamerica.org/digital/dB...enzo1_2009.pdf

    Gassho,
    Treena

  12. #12
    Hi Treena,

    That is all of Vol. 1 in the translation by my Teacher Nishijima Roshi with Chodo Cross (Taegu's Teacher). The other volumes are also available at the same site. Not as poetic perhaps as the Tanahashi versions, but very precise.

    Treena, expect the James Joyce or T.S. Eliot of Dharma! Not always a "straight read" but something to be felt in the marrow of the bones.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  13. #13
    http://www.amazon.com/Treasury-True-...mm_kin_title_0

    Treasury of the True Dharma Eye

    by Tanahashi

    $39.99 on kindle

    Gassho, John

  14. #14
    I can't afford the book now, but if I can follow using an online edition then I'm down for the practice. Unless there is a reason to do otherwise, I'll follow in the Nishijima/Cross translation.

    Peacing,
    Untei

  15. #15
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi Treena,

    That is all of Vol. 1 in the translation by my Teacher Nishijima Roshi with Chodo Cross (Taegu's Teacher). The other volumes are also available at the same site. Not as poetic perhaps as the Tanahashi versions, but very precise.

    Treena, expect the James Joyce or T.S. Eliot of Dharma! Not always a "straight read" but something to be felt in the marrow of the bones.

    Gassho, J
    Ok, thanks, Jundo. Then I guess I am in, and I will use this online edition. The T.S. Eliot of the dharma sounds very interesting!!

  16. #16
    Hi all

    I am going to mull over Bendowa today and hopefully post something later, although eldest daughter is home from school sick. Don't feel you have to wait for Matt or I to say anything, though, before weighing in with your own ideas.

    • What are you overall impressions of the fascicle?
    • Which lines particularly speak to you?
    • Are there any parts you struggle to understand?
    • How does Bendowa feed into your practice?


    Gassho
    Andy

  17. #17
    Senior Member Myosha's Avatar
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    ". . .self-fulfilling samahdi is its standard."

    That's a nice summation.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    Practice with humility, respect all beings, avoid attachments, give rise to prajña from your own awareness, put an end to delusions - Hui-neng

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by drocloce View Post
    ". . .self-fulfilling samahdi is its standard."

    That's a nice summation.


    Gassho,
    Edward
    I like this summation better:

    "Sitting upright, practicing Zen, is the authentic gate to free yourself in the unconfined realm of this samadhi."


    "When even for a moment you sit upright in samadhi expressing the buddha mudra [form] in the three activities [body, speech, and thought], the whole world of phenomena becomes the buddha mudra and the entire sky turns into enlightenment."


    Dogen, Zen Master (2013-02-05). Treasury of the True Dharma Eye: Zen Master Dogen's Shobo Genzo



    Gassho, John
    Last edited by Jishin; 07-12-2013 at 05:58 PM.

  19. #19
    "Sitting upright, practicing Zen, is the authentic gate to free yourself in the unconfined realm of this samadhi."
    Yes, and there is so much on just the first page of this. I like the way he tackles head on that having Buddha nature does not mean no practice: "Although the inconceivable dharma is abundant in each person, it is not actualized without practice, and it is not experienced without realization."

    The next two lines are a beautiful description of the feeling of being actualized by myriad dharmas:

    "When you release it, it fills your hand - how could it be limited to one or many? When you speak it, it fills your mouth - it is not bounded by length or width."

    The releasing theme is echoed further down the page when Dogen explains that the concentrated endeavour of the way involves going beyond in the path of letting go. The way is not about attaining but releasing and dropping away.


    Gassho
    Andy

  20. #20
    Jundo,

    WOW, I am blown away by the depth of your reply. MANY thanks for this. You even answered the questions I should have asked but was too dumb to. Unfortunately, $899 is over-budget for me, so I'll just follow the discussion, if I may.

    Gassho,
    Fugu

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Fugu View Post
    Jundo,

    WOW, I am blown away by the depth of your reply. MANY thanks for this. You even answered the questions I should have asked but was too dumb to. Unfortunately, $899 is over-budget for me, so I'll just follow the discussion, if I may.

    Gassho,
    Fugu
    You must mean for the now out of print hardcover set of Tanahashi Sensei's translations. There is a $60 Kindle, or you may just want to get one of his shorter books that contain key fascicles of the Shobogenzo (Like Moon in a Dewdrop or his new one here, although they do not contain more than the most "popular" fascicles) ...

    http://www.amazon.com/Essential-Doge...3671525&sr=1-1

    ... or use one of the other online translations, even though the phrasing and wording will be different, and you will sometimes have to figure out which line people are referring to.

    It is all good.

    Gassho, J

    PS - "Fascicle" is the word that people tend to use instead of "Chapters", because each talk and essay was meant as a stand alone independent work that were later collected together, not a chapter in a whole. However, in Zen, independent is dependent, and parts are whole of course!
    Last edited by Jundo; 07-12-2013 at 11:30 PM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    There is a $60 Kindle
    I think the price dropped to $39.99 for the Kindle version at amazon.

    Digital List Price: $100.00 What's this?
    Print List Price: $100.00
    Kindle Price: $39.99 includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
    You Save: $60.01 (60%)

    Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Treasury-True-...mm_kin_title_0

    Gassho, John

  23. #23
    I'm in. I bought the Kindle edition.

    Gassho, Richard

  24. #24
    Hi guys

    Great discussion and thank you for starting up this thread. I’m no scholar, so I think it’s cool to have a guided examination of these texts by some true scholastic minds here in our sangha.

    The reason the Bendowa comes first I think, is because the first sentences or paragraph is the whole of Dogen’s teaching. That ís Zen. After that, in the Shobogenzo, he explains ( in detail, up to how to go to the toilet correctly) how to live, how to act, how to think following the “criterion”. So not just sitting on your bum every now and then but living it! Acting as if wearing Rakusu or Kesaya the same way both in daily life ( as some of us know, I’m a big fan of that) and in the "zendo".

    The thing with many of Dogens texts is that the first paragraph contains the whole message without an attempt to explain or to simplify. Like Steven Hawking talking about the universe the way he would talk to himself. The first two sentences should not be stepped over lightly. It seems the more we study them, the more there appears to be in it.

    I think with the Shobogenzo, Dogen is saying something like: “Listen up you religious snobs! You want to know Buddha Dharma? You think you are Buddhist smart and have everything figured out using your brain? Here you go, have a bite of this Zazen I’m bringing to you now. Confused yet? GOOD! How about them apples! This is no joke, it’s huge, of epic significance and it is easily hard and hardly easy! You say I personally invented it? Nope, we can trace everything I say all the way down to the ancestors and Buddha himself. It’s origins cannot be disputed” Well, something like that and much more anyway.

    A few issues and questions that come to mind when reading this segment:

    “All Buddha-Tathagatas together” Well, just can’t fathom or estimate how huge that is. All of them, together!

    “Simply transmitting..” Simply? Transmitting? We can’t exchange anything between us. Every person is a world in itself and there cannot be any exchange or transmission between them. Can you carry the burden of illness or sorrow for someone else? Can we truly express or transmit feelings? Yet, it can be done when it comes to the wondrous dharma. It is subtle and wondrous! How to look at this? Something to sit with for a long time.

    “Actualizing annatura samyak sambodhi...” What is that? The dictionary says Supreme enlightenment, the ultimate awareness. Ehhhh, right, yes, ok? So, what is it really? I don’t know. These Tathagatas Dogen speaks of however, are not just talking about it, debating or discussing the possibility of an existence of this, no they are actualizing, making it so. How? By sitting!!!!!!!!!! Wait a minute….. You can sit and I can sit! That means…. WOW!!!!!! Something to sit with.

    “A wondrous method” initially sounds like there is some secret Buddha technique only known if obtained through a nonexistent transmission between Buddha tathagatas ( the highest Buddhas) that we could use. So that’s is the ultimate way of saying “forget it guys, no chance in a million years we can get that!” Still, we know Dogen does not mean that. Every moment is whole and complete and every person is whole and perfectly complete. Like our teachers keep telling us and explaining. Nothing to gain nothing to lose, each moment in itself is perfect. Nothing lacking. Wholeness! It’s not impossible, its already there! You already have that ability. You just don’t know it yet. WOW!!! Still Dogen speaks to us of something wondrous and mysterious it seems. Yes, every moment is perfect and yet, by practicing we move towards something huge and amazing, Buddha realization and it can ONLY be not-achieved by sitting shikantaza. Attaining without aiming. Getting there without going. Just by sitting!!!!! Something to sit with.

    “The criterion is Jijuyu zanmay” Again, say what? This criterion alone is a lifetime of study in that one little statement! No fair! I investigated this by reading several commentaries and pondering over it. Another translator notes Jijuyu zanmai to be something like “the self settling upon the self”. It is Zazen itself. It is our very practice in that one sentence. The self being only the self in the present that is only the present. We all know how hard it is to put into practice what is said in that simple statement. It is almost impossible IF you want to measure it in terms of this and that. Here is bad and there is better. Enlightened and deluded. Novice or advanced etc. The moment you think of sitting in these terms, then yes it is impossible. Even worse, without correct practice we can never reach that goalless goal, even if we sit 50 million years. So sitting with a goal is useless. Again, Something to sit with ( especially this one in my hopeless case).


    It is an amazing passage that often rings my bell!

    Gassho
    Enkyo

  25. #25
    Enkyo! Thank you for adding so much substance to the discussion. Yes there is so much there in the first paragraph and it is clear why this is presented as the first fascicle. Genjokoan is often considered to be a summation of Dogen's teachings but this seems to as well. I have only just started reading Shobogenzo, though, so maybe they all are!

    Anuttara Samyaksambodhi is indeed a mystery as is the wondrous art. The fact it is unconditioned is interesting as Shakyamuni says all things are conditioned. So what is this unconditioned art? If conditioned things all rest on other things this art must rest on nothing at all. To borrow from my previous tradition if I may:

    Consider space: what depends on what?
    Likewise, mahamudra: it doesn’t depend on anything.
    Don’t control. Let go and rest naturally.
    Let what binds you let go and freedom is not in doubt.


    -- Tilopa, Ganges Mahamudra

    Also, as you say, what is this transmission? Since we cannot share even a moment of our experience, how can anything be transmitted? The sentence 'only buddhas transmit it to buddhas without veering off' strikes me in two ways. Firstly, if only buddhas can receive it then how can it be transmitted to non-buddhas? Secondly, though, are we not all buddhas or potential buddhas? Or can we only receive it completely when we stop veering off? I have heard transmission described by analogy of a tuning fork in which the receptive Samadhi state of the teacher brings out a similar state in the receptive student.

    The last sentence at least gives us something we can work with. 'Sitting upright, practicing Zen, is the authentic gate to free yourself in the unconfined realm of this Samadhi. Hurrah, something we can understand! (well aside from the unconfined realm of this samadhi bit ;-) )

    Shall we sit then?

    Gassho
    Andy

  26. #26
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    Apologies, I've been rather quiet and absent from this discussion and the forum for the past week or so. Work and endless job interviews have taken priority over dharma study. I've only just picked up Shobogenzo this morning.

    I like this description of zazen or the "front gate for buddha dharma" as Dogen later explains:

    "This being so, the zazen of even one person at one moment imperceptibly accords with all things and fully resonates through all time. Thus in the past, future, and present of the limitless universe, this zazen carries on the buddha's transformation endlessly and timelessly. Each moment of zazen is equally the wholeness of practice, equally the wholeness of realization (p. 7)"

    On page 4 Master Dogen writes about what appears to be his expectation for "spreading the teachings & saving sentient beings". He then goes on to say "I have put aside the hope of having the teaching prevail everywhere until the time of surging opportunity". What do folks make of "surging opportunity"? There is mention of this in the index but it only quotes the Japanese (gekiyo no toki) Is it the same as when opportunity presents itself perhaps?

    Gassho
    Matt


    Quote Originally Posted by Karasu View Post
    Hi all

    I am going to mull over Bendowa today and hopefully post something later, although eldest daughter is home from school sick. Don't feel you have to wait for Matt or I to say anything, though, before weighing in with your own ideas.

    • What are you overall impressions of the fascicle?
    • Which lines particularly speak to you?
    • Are there any parts you struggle to understand?
    • How does Bendowa feed into your practice?


    Gassho
    Andy
    Last edited by Genshin; 07-13-2013 at 01:55 PM.

  27. #27
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    Hi guys,

    While in Anyo in, an abandonned temple, a small hermitage and after having left Kennji and the capital Kyoto, Dogen writes in the form of a mondo, questions and answers, about the basic directions of his teaching. This text is an excellent choice as it is also the text I give my students to read first.

    Transmission. What does Dogen mean by transmission? transmission is threefold in our tradition. First and foremost, the Dharma is given by the whole reality itself to everyone and therefore can be received , second the Buddha mind seal (zazen)is transmitted not through paper, earth, or even water but through space, in other words sit and the whole reality sits with you, sit and the myriads things are sitting you too. Third, transmission is posible from teacher to student in denpo, shiho. I think Dogen talks about these three aspects of transmission here.

    Gassho

    Taigu
    Taigu, teacher at Treeleaf Sangha, was born in 1964, started Zazen early and received Shukke Tokudo in 1983 at age 18 from Rev. Mokusho Zeisler of the Deshimaru Lineage. Received Dharma Transmission from Chodo Cross in 2002. Now resides in Osaka, Japan.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Just a few uninformed observations from reading Bendowa.
    Firstly, the way Dogen introduces his approach to the Dharma of the Buddha is very much like the introduction of an academic text, whereby an author sets out his or her theory of practice and the background to their approach. He explains his reasons for the pure practice of zazen and what shikantaza is, and this seems to be aimed at his ideas about what reformations of the practice of Buddhadharma need to be and should be, after his trip to China.
    Secondly the QA format reminds me of the Prajnaparamita Sutra and provides a means in which he can address issues and arguments that may have arisen when discussing his reforming approach.
    Thirdly, he repeatedly describes zen as the ' samadhi of receiving and using the self', which I have thought of (probably not correctly so) as attaining a natural balance between inner and outer 'being' so there is only 'oneness'. In this he sees zazen as the only means that leads to realisation.
    Lastly, Dogen emphasises the fact that Buddhadharma is open to everyone, as 'everyone has the seeds of prajna', that no intellection is necessary. Realisations have occurred without wisdom, scripture, words or speech and all that is needed is right trust in the practice.
    Gassho.
    Last edited by Heisoku; 07-14-2013 at 01:39 PM.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  29. #29
    If there is no problem for us to hear the discussion, but not able to able buy the book, I'm interested.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

  30. #30
    Treeleaf Unsui/Engineer Kyonin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chicanobudista View Post
    If there is no problem for us to hear the discussion, but not able to able buy the book, I'm interested.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD
    Hola Erik!

    You don't need to buy it. It's online for free in sites like this:

    http://www.zenki.com/index.php?lang=en&page=bendo01

    Hope that helps.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Shuso and Ango leader for September 2014.

    Please remember I am only a priest in training. I could be wrong in everything I say. Slap me if needed.

    The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one. Mr. Spock

  31. #31
    Also, the whole book (Nearman translation, see Jundo's comments above) is available as a PDF:

    http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/Shobogenzo.pdf

    Various translations of different chapters at The Zen Site:

    http://www.thezensite.com/ZenTeachin..._Complete.html


    Gassho
    Andy

  32. #32
    Senior Member Genshin's Avatar
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    Hi Heisoku,

    I agree with your observations. This is my first trip into Shobogenzo. I've read Bendowa again this morning and each time I read it something else jumps out.

    Just to pick up on your last comment regarding "right trust". Trust/faith is mentioned several times throughout Bendowa.

    "if you practice with genuine trust, you will attain the way regardless of being sharp or dull." (p.21 Q18)

    "The realm of the buddhas is inconceivable. It cannot be reached by intellect, much less can those who have no trust or who lack wisdom know it. Only those who have the great capacity of genuine trust can enter this realm. Those who have no trust are unable to accept it, however much they hear it." (p.8 Q3)

    "When genuine trust arises, practice and study with a teacher. If it does not wait a while." (p.8 Q3)

    It's interesting, as I was thinking recently that attitude towards practice is very important. Food for thought.

    Gassho
    Matt


    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    Just a few uniformed observations from reading Bendowa.
    Firstly, the way Dogen introduces his approach to the Dharma of the Buddha is very much like the introduction of an academic text, whereby an author sets out his or her theory of practice and the background to their approach. He explains his reasons for the pure practice of zazen and what shikantaza is, and this seems to be aimed at his ideas about what reformations of the practice of Buddhadharma need to be and should be, after his trip to China.
    Secondly the QA format reminds me of the Prajnaparamita Sutra and provides a means in which he can address issues and arguments that may have arisen when discussing his reforming approach.
    Thirdly, he repeatedly describes zen as the ' samadhi of receiving and using the self', which I have thought of (probably not correctly so) as attaining a natural balance between inner and outer 'being' so there is only 'oneness'. In this he sees zazen as the only means that leads to realisation.
    Lastly, Dogen emphasises the fact that Buddhadharma is open to everyone, as 'everyone has the seeds of prajna', that no intellection is necessary. Realisations have occurred without wisdom, scripture, words or speech and all that is needed is right trust in the practice.
    Gassho.
    Last edited by Genshin; 07-14-2013 at 12:01 PM.

  33. #33
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    Hi Matt, I guess this 'trust' that Dogen refers to is both an exhortation to practice and reassurance that just the practice of zazen is all that is needed, except a true teacher. If I remember back that question 'what am I doing?' did pop up quite frequently. Nowadays it has been replaced by an understanding that could be construed as a genuine trust in the practice and the realisation that the mind theatre still has a hold, rather than true realisation of the one bright pearl. And so I keep sitting. Gassho.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Hola Erik!

    You don't need to buy it. It's online for free in sites like this:

    http://www.zenki.com/index.php?lang=en&page=bendo01

    Hope that helps.

    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    Awesome. Recorcholis!

    Sent from my HTC One using Tapatalk 2

  35. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Heisoku View Post
    Hi Matt, I guess this 'trust' that Dogen refers to is both an exhortation to practice and reassurance that just the practice of zazen is all that is needed, except a true teacher. If I remember back that question 'what am I doing?' did pop up quite frequently. Nowadays it has been replaced by an understanding that could be construed as a genuine trust in the practice and the realisation that the mind theatre still has a hold, rather than true realisation of the one bright pearl. And so I keep sitting. Gassho.
    delusions are endless we vow to cut thru them all. So practice never ends. I think the trust that dogen refers to is that practice is realization. Thanks for bringing this up and I understand what you are saying, just wanted to add my 2 cents.

  36. #36
    Senior Member Heisoku's Avatar
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    I like the way you are able cut to the chase Rich. Gassho.
    Heisoku
    平 息

  37. #37
    Senior Member Amelia's Avatar
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    I've been reading slowly through the Nishijima Roshi translation for a couple of years, so I'll be joining.

    迎 Geika

  38. #38
    Hello,

    I would like to join too, I will use the Nishijima translation.

    Thank you,


  39. #39
    I'm in. I was reading WHO IS ARGUING ABOUT THE CAT? So might as well read BENDOW again. One thing about Dogen Zenji is that it all ties in.
    I will contribute.

    In gassho,
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  40. #40
    Senior Member Nameless's Avatar
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    Hello my friends, I would love to read along and discuss this with you. I have the Nishijima translation. I'll get started reading Bendowa.

    Gassho, John

  41. #41
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyonin View Post
    Hola Erik!

    You don't need to buy it. It's online for free in sites like this:

    http://www.zenki.com/index.php?lang=en&page=bendo01


    Gassho,

    Kyonin
    so, I found another copy of it online http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/Shobogenzo.pdf Is one better than the other, or are they the same thing?

  42. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Emmy View Post
    so, I found another copy of it online http://www.urbandharma.org/pdf/Shobogenzo.pdf Is one better than the other, or are they the same thing?
    Hi,

    That is the Shasta Abbey/Rev. Nearman translation. Please see my comments above in this thread ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post104665

    I would turn to other versions first, also available online, or read more than one.

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

  43. #43
    On the second page of Bendowa (p4 of 2010 Tanahashi translation) Dogen admits 'I came back to Japan with the vision of spreading the teaching and saving sentient beings - a heavy burden on my shoulders'. This seems to echo how Shakyamuni Buddha felt after awakening under the Bodhi tree. Legend has it that Shakyamuni considered not passing on what he had discovered but was persuaded to do so by Brahma. To my western mind this seems to be a symbolic retelling of Buddha's thoughts that must occur to each person who achieves awakening - whether to live peacefully and happily alone or teach to ease the sufferings of others. Despite their misgivings and burden of the Bodhisattva vow, both Dogen and Shakyamuni chose the same path of the teacher.

    Dogen records further down the page that it is his concern for the students who have no teacher or only access to lesser teachings that prompt him into this role. Further he can see that the number of students he can reach personally is limited so vows to 'record the standard of Zen monasteries that I personally saw in Great Song, as well as the profound principle that has been transmitted by my master.' His aim is 'I wish to leave for students of the way the authentic teaching of the buddha house.'

    Surely, all teachers teach for the same reason - to give students authentic teachings and carry on the lineage to future generations? It is for this reason we dedicate the recitation of sutras to the Buddha ancestors. Without each taking the same vow, we would not have the words of Buddha and Dogen to inform our practice millennia after each lived.

    Gassho
    Andy

  44. #44
    Senior Member Joyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo View Post
    Hi,

    That is the Shasta Abbey/Rev. Nearman translation. Please see my comments above in this thread ...

    http://www.treeleaf.org/forums/showt...l=1#post104665

    I would turn to other versions first, also available online, or read more than one.

    Gassho, J
    Oh thanks, Jundo. I read your comments and that is so not what I am looking for!!

    Gassho,
    Treena

  45. #45
    I got both the Nearman and Tanahashi (got a huge library 50 yards from my work station at a major university.) translations. To me they are equally effective. The work is so powerful it leaves me just there, letting all wash over me.
    Jundo mentions how reading Dogen zenji is like listening to jazz, can't try to think it through, more like just be there, take it in, or better, let it come to you..
    "Know that the practice of zazen is the complete path of buddha-dharma and nothing can be compared to it....it is not the practice of one or two buddhas but all the buddha ancestors practice this way."
    Dogen zenji in Bendowa






  46. #46
    Picked up the kindle version. Really looking forward to discussions! I have a tendency to get overwhelmed with my reading in Zen, especially Dogen, so a book group sounds amazing.

    Gassho.
    Mc.

  47. #47
    Just ordered it on the Kindle as well so I may jump in.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  48. #48
    I will be working from the Nishijima Roahi / Mike Cross version just as an FYI.

    Gassho
    Shingen

    Updated to reflect proper contribution to this version
    Last edited by Shingen; 07-23-2013 at 12:48 AM.
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

  49. #49
    Blue Mountain White Clouds Hermitage Priest Taigu's Avatar
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    If I may say, please don t call it the Nishijima version because it is mostly the work of Mike Cross who for years gave all his time and energy into turning Dogen into understandable English rushing between Nishijima s office and his own room. Nishijima onstructed and advised him, the donkey work was Mike's.

    Gassho


    Taigu

  50. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Taigu View Post
    If I may say, please don t call it the Nishijima version because it is mostly the work of Mike Cross who for years gave all his time and energy into turning Dogen into understandable English rushing between Nishijima s office and his own room. Nishijima onstructed and advised him, the donkey work was Mike's.

    Gassho


    Taigu
    My apologies Taigu, for sure I want to show my respect and deep gratitude to Mike Cross for all his work and dedication to this wonderful practice.

    Gassho
    Shingen
    倫道 真現

    As a trainee priest, please take any commentary by me on matters of the Dharma with a pinch of salt.

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