And ... we're off!
Welcome to our first set of readings in Master Dogen's SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI!!
'Shobogenzo' is often translated as 'Treasure House of the True Law', a rather imposing title!
But 'Zuimonki' might be translated, -very- loosely, as 'a bunch of random things that Dogen said which somebody wrote down' ...
... and that's what it is!
Now, the 'game' we will be playing will be to see how we might creatively apply many of these little talks ... meant for 13th century Japanese monks in a Zen monastery, samurai, noble ladies, peasants and others ... to our Zen practice and our day-to-day lives. Please be creative in finding any lessons and bits of wisdom.
So, for example, in 1-17, when Dogen complains ...
Men and women in secular society, both young and old, often pass the time talking about lewd things. They do so to amuse their minds and beguile themselves. It seems as though idle talk entertains their minds and diverts them from boredom for a while. Monks, however, should completely avoid such talk.
... you can think how much time you spend chatting on the internet (apart from Treeleaf, OF COURSE! :roll: ) or around the water cooler at the office. Or, you might think and comment about whether a little more silence each day might help in one's Zazen.
Got how the game goes?
Some readings, however, MAY NOT APPLY AT ALL, EVEN WITH A BIG STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION. So, don't feel that you have find a connection for everything.
There are also some topics covered that may surprise, or stimulate discussion ... such as comments Dogen makes this week on Buddha statues, the Precepts, meat eating and the like.
Also, DON'T FEEL YOU HAVE TO AGREE WITH DOGEN ABOUT EVERYTHING. Buddhist students typically feel that they must appreciate the wisdom of every little mumbling and musing that comes out of an ancient Zen teachers' mouth (I wish 'ol Jundo got half that much respect :wink: ). But, ya know, Dogen was just a man ... although a --very-- wise one and wondrous Zen teacher ... who lived a long time ago and could be a bit of a grumpy gus too. So, feel free to disagree with 'Old Dogen when your feel it.
Okay, I think that is it ... remember my comment about the funky footnotes in the online version here ....
THIS WEEK WE WILL COVER READINGS 1-1 through 1-5, available here:
http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/common_ ... 01-01.html
Length runs from a few paragraphs to just a couple of sentences per reading.
I might suggest you read maybe one section per day, kind of like a "Dose of Daily Dogen" ... Or you can read them all at once.
I also ask that all people participating in the book club post at least once or twice a week EVEN IF YOU FEEL YOU HAVE NOTHING MUCH TO SAY (typically, the effort itself will inspire you).
Have a good ZUIMONKI!