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Thread: Bendowa

  1. #1
    Member shogyo's Avatar
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    Bendowa

    JUNDO: I WILL PASTE THIS HERE, AS I DID WANT TO ANNOUNCE THAT I HAVE BEGUN A SERIES OF TALKS ON MASTER DOGEN'S SHOBOGENZO BENDOWA WHICH WILL GO ON FOR MANY WEEKS ... MIXED WITH SITTINGS ABOUT OTHER STUFF, AS USUAL. PLEASE SIT-A-LONG.

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... enlig.html



    Thank you for the first teaching on the Bendowa. Is there a recommended translation to work with?

    Gassho
    Brian

  2. #2

    Re: Bendowa

    Hi Brian,

    I always put up two different respected translations on the blog, finding that it helps to use two separate wordings to "triangulate" what Master Dogen was trying to point to (often it is still hard). So, I will continue to do that each day. In this case, I will be relying mostly on the Uchiyama-Taigen Leighton-Shohaku Okamura (some translation team there!!) version available in this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Wholehearted-Way- ... 922&sr=1-1

    and the Nishijima-Cross version.

    My Dharma Brother Michael has a very nice "modern" version here (although, like all things each teacher does, it has its own Michael flavor to it and is very much not literal at many points). It is a very nice read though.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=w ... 2tCmcxB7IQ

    Gassho, Jundo

  3. #3

    Re: Bendowa

    Just like to add that a copy of a translation of the complete Shobogenzo is available for free download from the Shasta Abbey site http://shastaabbey.org
    Daiku

  4. #4

    Re: Bendowa

    Hi.

    I find that having two translations of a text often helps to "transcend the words" and get a "deeper feel for the meaning behind".
    I also think there is no "better translation".
    Unless, maybe, there is one who takes up every possible inclination of every word, and then it would be almost unreadable.
    And even then, will it convey the "true" meaning of the text?

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

  5. #5

    Re: Bendowa

    Quote Originally Posted by Fugen
    Quote Originally Posted by Jundo
    Hi.

    I find that having two translations of a text often helps to "transcend the words" and get a "deeper feel for the meaning behind".
    I also think there is no "better translation".
    Unless, maybe, there is one who takes up every possible inclination of every word, and then it would be almost unreadable.
    And even then, will it convey the "true" meaning of the text?

    Mtfbwy
    Tb

    Yes yes yes. You are absolutely right Tb, and I said that badly.

    But, sometimes, it is better to have two fingers pointing to the moon instead of one! :wink:

  6. #6

    Re: Bendowa

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianP
    Just like to add that a copy of a translation of the complete Shobogenzo is available for free download from the Shasta Abbey site http://shastaabbey.org
    Daiku
    Hi Brian,

    Now, the following comment is not about "wrong" translation or "right" translation. It is music, and each plays the words/notes in their own way. It is not meant as a criticism.

    But I chose not to use the Shasta Abbey Shobogenzo for two reasons:

    (1) There are marked differences is content in Bendowa not present in other writers, or which I cannot see in the original Japanese text.

    (2) The Shasta Abbery version is, for me, a bit too worshipful and devotional to the sacred Buddhas as saviors, and those saving Buddhas' wondrous powers, than most other translations. Most translations are focused on the sitting of Zazen, not on the messengers or their implied "other-worldly" qualities. This is just a matter of my taste, but I prefer to teach about Zazen and about buddhas who are just "bozos on the bus" (like one of us), firmly grounded on this muddy planet (while not, of course, as we are not) ... and not so much gold dipped Buddhas floating up in the sky, like the picture on the Shasta Abbey webpage you cited.

    http://shastaabbey.org/

    The Shasta Version runs, for example,

    All Buddhas, without exception, confirm Their having realized the state of
    enlightenment by demonstrating Their ability to directly Transmit the wondrous
    Dharma. As embodiments of the Truth, They have employed an unsurpassed,
    inconceivably marvelous method which functions effortlessly. It is simply this
    method that Buddhas impart to Buddhas, without deviation or distortion, and Their
    meditative state of delight in the Truth is its standard and measure. As They take
    pleasure wherever They go to spiritually aid others while in such a state, They treat
    this method of Theirs
    —namely, the practice of seated meditation—as the proper
    and most straightforward Gate for entering the Way.
    It is not merely the capitalized "They/Their", but for example, the phrase "As They take pleasure wherever they go to spiritually aid others in such a state, They treat this method of Theirs ... "

    It simply is not there, at least in the wording or feeling of the original, where the focus is on the method in which we -all- can partake ...

    Uchiyama/Okumura/Leighton has:
    This wondrous dharma, which has been transmitted only from buddha to buddha without deviation, has as its criterion jijuyu zanmai. For disporting oneself freely in this samadhi, practicing zazen in an upright posture is the true gate.
    Nishijima-Cross has:

    the reason this [method] is transmitted only from buddha to buddha, without deviation, is that the samadhi of receiving and using the self is its standard. For enjoyment of this samadhi the practice of [Za]zen in the erect sitting posture, has been established as the authentic gate.
    But, like I said to Tb in my early posting ... these are all fingers pointing at the moon. No problem to have three pointing fingers!

    Gassho, Jundo

  7. #7

    Re: Bendowa

    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for the observations. Actually I suggested the Shasta version as at the present time I am a bit short of finance to order the version from Amazon :cry: but will get it soon. I will read the other versions and compare them. I agree with you about too much other-worldly stuff. :roll:

    Gassho
    Brian(Daiku)

  8. #8

    Re: Bendowa

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianP
    Hi Jundo,

    Thanks for the observations. Actually I suggested the Shasta version as at the present time I am a bit short of finance to order the version from Amazon :cry: but will get it soon. I will read the other versions and compare them. I agree with you about too much other-worldly stuff. :roll:

    Gassho
    Brian(Daiku)
    Not to plug the "Nishijima-Cross" version of Shobogenzo (cause it is not without its stylistic quirks and interpretations either!), but it is also available for free.

    http://www.numatacenter.com/default.aspx?MPID=81

    Gassho, Jundo

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