Play Ball!

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Continuing with Master Dogen's Bendowa ...


So, let's say "enlightenment" is like baseball ...

Dogen went around visiting a lot of baseball stadiums, meeting the players and coaches ... and here is what he learned about the playing of baseball:

Says Dogen, if you want to make baseball baseball ... ya don't just talk about baseball, you don't sit in the locker room. You don't just focus on the 9th inning and winning the game  ...

Baseball is made real by playing the game, getting on the field and playing baseball, pitch by pitch and inning by inning.

Someone who wants to truly know baseball, must grab a bat and glove and play baseball, swing at the ball and run the bases.

The finding of the truth, and the making of baseball, is in the playing.

This is true for both pros and amateurs, high schoolers and little leaguers .... finding the "truth" of the game is in playing the game, not in collecting trading cards or watching on TV.

Nor is baseball about "only winning the game" as much as "win or lose, it is the great game of 'Baseball pitch by pitch, catch by catch ... that is the true beauty of the game, victory made real, win or lose'

In fact, even a fully accomplished baseball player like Babe Ruth must keep playing the game if he wants to show what it means to be "Babe Ruth".

Something like that (I hope I did not 'strike out' with this analogy!) :-)  


Question Seven (Cont.):

... Moreover, as I saw with my own eyes in great Song China, the Zen monasteries of many districts had all built Zazen Halls accommodating five or six hundred, or even one or two thousand monks, who were encouraged to sit in zazen day and night. The leader of one such order7[my teacher, Tendo Nyojo] was a true master who had received the Buddha's mind-seal. When I asked him the great intent of the Buddha-Dharma, I was able to hear the principle that practice and [enlightenment] are never two stages. Therefore, in accordance with the teaching of the Buddhist patriarchs, and following the way of a true master, he encouraged [everyone] to pursue the truth in zazen; [he encouraged] not only the practitioners in his order but [all] noble friends who sought the Dharma, [all] people who hoped to find true reality in the Buddha-Dharma, without choosing between beginners and late learners, without distinction between common people and sacred people. Have you not heard the words of the ancestral Master {Nangaku Ejo} who said, "It is not that there is no practice-and-[enlightenment], but it cannot be tainted."Another [master] said, "Someone who sees the way practices the way.'"' Remember that even in the state of attainment of the truth, we should practice.

From: Bendowa - A Talk about Pursuing the Truth  - Nishijima-Cross [with some amendments according to Uchiyama]

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

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