Some wonderful opinions and teachings this week by Teacher Dogen ... on opinions and teachings, teachers and how to hear them ...
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Students of the Way, you should not cling to your own views. Even if you have some understanding, you should practice self-reflection; there must be something lacking to your understanding and there might be a more profound understanding for you. Visit various teachers far and wide and investigate the sayings of our predecessors. Yet do not cling too firmly even to the words of those of former times. Nevertheless, thinking that your views might be mistaken, even though you believe them to be true, if there is something superior you should follow it..... the boy could be a teacher of the emperor .... From this we understand that we should not necessarily rely on the words of the ancients but we should grasp just true reality. Although having doubt is not good, it is also bad to attach ourselves to what we shouldn’t take for granted or to refrain from questioning what we should question.Gassho, JPonder the fact that someone realized the Way by hearing the sound of bamboo; that another clarified the Mind at the sight of peach blossoms9. ... Stones often strike bamboo yet not everyone who hears the sound clarifies the Way. Only through the virtue of long study and continuous practice, with the assistance of diligent effort in the Way, does one realize the Way or clarify the Mind.
... Although the color of peach blossoms is beautiful, they do not bloom of themselves; they open with the help of the spring breeze.
Practicing the Way is also like this. This Way is inherent in each of us; still our gaining the Way depends upon the help of co-practitioners. Though each person is brilliant, our practicing the Way still needs the power of other people [in the sangha]. Therefore, while unifying your mind and concentrating your aspiration, practice and seek the Way together. A jewel becomes a vessel with polishing; a human being becomes benevolent and wise with refining. What jewel glitters from its inception? Who is brilliant from the outset? You must polish and refine. ... .