SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan VIII

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Before moving on in Genjo Koan, let's look at the specific words that Master Dogen uses in these first sentences. They arise from the question that originally sent a young Dogen on his search for an answer. He wrote ...

"As I study both the exoteric and the esoteric schools of Buddhism, they maintain that
human beings are endowed with Dharma-nature by birth.
If this is the case, why did the Buddhas of all ages - undoubtedly in possession of enlightenment -
find it necessary to seek enlightenment and engage in spiritual practice?"


In other words, though Buddhist teachings studied by Dogen maintained that we are already what we are searching for, why did they also hold it necessary to search for enlightenment and to Practice? Dogen found his answer in the countless "simultaneously true" perspectives we have seen so far ...


... that we are ordinary beings, deluded between our birth and death, who must Practice to find realization as buddhas beyond birth and death ...

... that there is no delusion, no realization, neither ordinary beings nor buddhas, no birth, no death ...

... that delusion is precisely delusion, realization just that, ordinary beings fully ordinary beings, buddhas completely buddhas, death death and birth birth ...

... that delusion is realization is ordinary beings is buddhas is death is birth ...

... that to realize all this, thus we must Practice ...

... that all is unfolded, fully embodied and authenticated in Practice, by a single instant of 'just sitting' Zazen:

Zazen
is the very finding of that which cannot be searched for.


__________________________

As all things are buddha-dharma (Jundo: "Dharma" = "Phenomena"), 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]

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]




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