Grasses and Trees, Fences and Walls

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One of the great Ancestors of Soto (Caodong) Zen in Song Dynasty China, Hongzhi Zhengjue, wrote this in his Mozhao Ming (Inscription on Silent Illumination) ...

All the myriad things in the universe
emit radiance and speak the dharma [the Buddha's teachings].
They all attest to each other
and individually correspond in dialogue

Uchiyama Roshi writes as a commentary on today's section of Bendowa ...

The grass, trees, and the land, all things in Nature itself, are the reality of life that is at peace and ease beyond discrimination. To radiate a great light means to be at peace and ease within the self that is only the self. ... all the myriad dharmas [things] lie within the self. Therefore, the self allows everything to become enlightened, and everything allows the self to be enlightened. This is true self-awakening and awakening of others.

This is not some simple naturalism, but something much more profound ...


The grass, trees, and earth affected by this functioning radiate great brilliance together and endlessly expound the deep, wondrous Dharma. Grasses and trees, fences, and walls demonstrate and exalt it for the sake of living beings, both ordinary and sage; and in turn, living beings, both ordinary and sage, express and unfold it for the sake of grasses and trees, fences, and walls.The realm of self-awakening and awakening others is fundamentally endowed with the quality of enlightenment with nothing lacking, and allows the standard of enlightenment to be actualized ceaselessly.

From: Talk on the Wholehearted Practice of the Way - Kosho Uchiyama (with Shohaku Okumura, Taigen Daniel Leighton)

(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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