SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan II

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One key to understanding the Genjo Koan (and thus, one key to Buddhist 'realization' as taught by Master Dogen) is in the word pairs below ...

In most commonly understood interpretations of Buddhist Teachings, we human being are 'deluded' and seek to attain 'realization' as delusion's cure. Accordingly, we must 'practice' so as to achieve that cure. Only then can 'ordinary beings' become (or realize our innate nature as) 'buddhas'. Thus, while ordinary beings live in a world of 'life' and 'death', as 'buddhas' we escape 'life' and 'death'.

But Master Dogen thought outside (and inside) that old box ...

(we'll discuss how he did so over the coming days)

When all things and phenomena exist as Buddhist teachings, then there are delusion and realization, practice and experience, life and death, buddhas and ordinary people. When millions of things and phenomena are all separate from ourselves, there are no delusion and no enlightenment, no buddhas and no ordinary people, no life and no death. Buddhism is originally transcendent over abundance and scarcity, and so [in reality] there is life and death, there is delusion and realization, there are people and buddhas. Though all this may be true, flowers fall even if we love them, and weeds grow even if we hate them, and that is all. [Nishijima]

As all things are buddha-dharma, there are delusion, realization, practice, birth and death, buddhas and sentient beings. As myriad things are without an abiding self, there is no delusion, no realization, no buddha, no sentient being, no birth and death. The buddha way, in essence, is leaping clear of abundance and lack; thus there are birth and death, delusion and realization, sentient beings and buddhas. Yet in attachment blossoms fall, and in aversion weeds spread. [Aitken & Tanahashi]


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