SIT-A-LONG with JUNDO: Genjo Koan IX

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In this section of Genjo Koan, Master Dogen offers a most subtle 'how to' and 'how not to' practice Buddhism.

The first sentences outline the gap between seeking to understand and master the world by forcing our separate 'self' upon it, resisting and judging it by the thoughts and standards of the self ...


... the open, non-resisting, accepting tone which allows the world to sweep up, enliven and merge with ourselves.


To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion. That myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening. Those who have great realization of delusion are buddhas; those who are greatly deluded about realization are sentient beings. Further, there are those who continue realizing beyond realization, who are in delusion throughout delusion. When buddhas are truly buddhas, they do not necessarily notice that they are buddhas. However, they are actualized buddhas, who go on actualizing buddha. [Aitken & Tanahashi]

Driving ourselves to practice and experience millions of things and phenomena is delusion. When millions of things and phenomena actively practice and experience ourselves, that is realization. Those who totally realize delusion are buddhas. Those who are totally deluded about realization are ordinary people. There are people who attain further realization on the basis of realization. There are people who increase their delusion in the midst of delusion. When buddhas are really buddhas, they do not need to recognize themselves as buddhas. Nevertheless, they experience the state of buddha, and they go on experiencing the state of buddha.

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