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View Full Version : Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 9 - First Half, to End of P 135



Jundo
04-12-2020, 09:43 AM
https://youtu.be/Ef7UInZyAfc

Today, we will read the first 10 pages of Chapter 9 (stopping just before the section "The Moon As The Self.")

Often, in Zen, the moon represent emptiness or Buddha or reality, and the reflection of the moon in the water is judged a poor copy, an illusion, a false dream.

There is the famous expression that "words are just the finger pointing at the moon."

But Dogen had a bit different vision, and saw the moon in the water, shining in all things, in each dew drop or ripple, as the moon itself fully contained and expressed in each and all of the things of the world.

The finger is not merely pointing at the moon, but the moon is pointing at the finger, and shining brightly in each word and fingertip! As well, it is not a stagnant thing, but is all the movement of the world, like the changing ripples of the water, all that can be expressed, every action of a hand in human life.

Of course, when we realize this fact, the things, words and actions are not perceived or done in quite the same way as before this truth is know.

I believe that sums up more or less what Okumura Roshi is pointing too in this week's pages.

Gassho, J

STLah

PS - Dedicated to all our friends in Italy, where "the moon in the water" is storming a bit these days.

PaulinLondon
04-16-2020, 01:09 PM
From reading this, just thinking out loud, please correct me if I have misunderstood this (I'm a Dogen beginner!)...

Dogen used the moon reflecting in water to describe how the whole universe (the moon representing true reality) is found in or is connected to everything else (the water) in a dynamic way. This interconnection (zenki or 'total function') means it is impossible to say something inherently exists on its own. I personally imagine this as all of the energy and atoms in the universe in a constant state of flux with everything else, so that there is nothing that we can really call fixed or existing independently. However, to function in the world we still need to assign labels and concepts to these collections of energy and atoms (the 'conventional' way of thinking), so we need to see both sides at once - the interdependence and also the conventional way of seeing things, and this is the middle way.

Gassho
Paul
Sat today, LAH

Heiso
04-16-2020, 02:29 PM
I really enjoyed this section. I'd never heard of Tendai's three truths, they reminded my of Nishijima Roshi's three philosophies and one reality (possibly because I just finished his Handbook of Authentic Buddhism). I came to roughly the same conclusion as Paul - that we have the truth of expedience (or relative as we often say) and the truth of emptiness (or absolute) and we need to see both to walk the middle way.

I also liked the explanation that the moon in the water is an analogy of the formless dharma body of the Buddha. That although the dharma body has no form it manifests in each and every thing and so everything manifests the dharma body just like the jewels in the net of Indra - I'm also thinking aloud so that might not make any sense!

Gassho,

Heiso,

StLah

Tairin
04-19-2020, 01:18 AM
Personally while I appreciate Okumuraís explanation of Dogenís use of Chinese characters vs Japanese and the English rendering I find those sections hard to read. Maybe it is just something about how the section flows. I donít have much facility for language so while I found it hard to read I am fascinated by the subtlety of characters in these languages. Thank you Okumura for putting forward this effort

gassho2
Tairin
Sat today and lah

Ryoku
04-23-2020, 04:06 PM
Thank you Jundo for the comments on this first half of Ch 9. While I am familiar with Nagarjunaís teaching on the Middle Way, this was my first encounter with Zhiyiís three truths. There is so much to absorb here and it is tied together well by Okamura Roshi: The Middle Way as seeing reality both from the side of emptiness as well as temporal being. We are both empty and here, the result of causes and conditions (karma). Now to just live with this understanding....

Gassho,

Ryoku

STLah

Bokucho
04-26-2020, 02:07 PM
I started this book last week, and I'm hoping to be caught up after this weekend. I hope you all don't mind another person joining in the conversation! I look forward to it, I've read all the responses so far and I really appreciate what everyone can add to the discussion, it's bee great! I'll see you soon!

Gassho,

Joshua
SatToday

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Jundo
04-26-2020, 09:48 PM
I started this book last week, and I'm hoping to be caught up after this weekend. I hope you all don't mind another person joining in the conversation! I look forward to it, I've read all the responses so far and I really appreciate what everyone can add to the discussion, it's bee great! I'll see you soon!

Gassho,

Joshua
SatToday



:encouragement:

Bokucho
04-27-2020, 09:03 PM
I really enjoy the throwback to the first three lines of the Genjokoan, and how the three truths are expressed there in that way. It's not something I would have ever caught without Okumura's input.

On the three truths I always have to remember that all of our concepts are just in our head, and while all things are empty as well as created by causes and conditions, it's just our language that makes it so. We're the ones who put our own rules and definitions here, and Dogen is a master at revealing these concepts using the very words that we're attempting to let go of.

I've read a fair bit of Dogen unaided and it's beautiful, but I get lost so easily and fear that I'm getting the wrong impression, but Okumura really lends an appreciation to just how masterful Dogen was with words and language. I love the book thus far and I appreciate that you took the time to read my long winded thoughts on this section!

Gassho,

Joshua
SatToday/LaH

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