View Full Version : Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 9 - P 136 to End

04-19-2020, 10:39 AM
We read the second half Chapter 9, from the top of page 136 (The Moon As The Self) to the end.

Dogen expresses the Mahayana wisdom that each drop of dew, not only "reflects" the whole moon, but contains ... is ... the whole moon fully embodied in the drop. Each drop thus is all reality, all time, all space, all other things fully. Dew drops means not only dew drops ...


... but everything ... kitchen appliances like toasters and refrigerators ...

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... and, of course, you and me too.

When Buddhlists like Dogen speak of "mind," they do not mean our ordinary day to day mind (although this too is one dewdrop which fully embodies the moon), nor necessarily some grand "cosmic consciousness" in a way we might related to. Nonetheless, you are precisely this, and this is totally you. We are like flowing drops of river water looking for the river.

Gassho, J

PS - l am not sure about Europeans, but many Americans are unfamiliar with the rabbit in the moon seen by Asian children ... Try to spot the bunny next full moon ...

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04-22-2020, 08:03 PM
Thank you Jundo gassho1
And thank you for the rabbit too gassho1


Shōnin Risa Bear
04-22-2020, 10:36 PM
What is this world like?
As a waterfowl shakes its bill,
On each drop of water,
The moon is reflected.

The version of this poem (I believe it is this one) that appeared in Dumoulin awoke me to Soto in, I think, 1967. But then I shilly-shallied about it for many years. Body, mouth and mind. _()_

shonin sat/lah today

04-23-2020, 02:44 PM
I was also really move by that poem and copied if down in my notebook.

I loved the description of one mind being all dharmas which is the reality that exists before we split everything into subject and object. And how in zazen, when we open the hand of thought and let go of discrimination, we manifest our interconnection with everything.




04-28-2020, 04:13 PM
Wow what a great ending to the chapter, I do very much love that poem as well. Thinking how each drop contains everything reminded me of an article I'd come across:


A summary is basically an idea that what we conceptualize as space-time is really made up of a fine foam of incredibly tiny bubbles, each one of which contains universe big-banging and collapsing away constantly. Trying to consider this makes my brain hurt and I go back to the cushion and just melt back into the universal self that I'm a part of, whatever that may be.

On one hand I'd love to know what makes the universe tick, but on the other I feel like I'm missing the entire point by trying to understand it. As Okumura says at the end of the chapter that we must endlessly go ever higher and deeper in our practice, and while my ego-centered curiosity wants to know, the truth is that the understanding is already here and now, and the only goal is to drop all goals and just be.



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04-30-2020, 07:11 AM
It's always so difficult to comment on this book without wanting to quote the entire book, because Okumura is so skillful at weaving the fabric of his commentary, every word counts, there's nothing superfluous, no padding, nothing anecdotal that isn't relevant.
I had never heard of the rabbit in the moon until I read this book; my immediate response was to feel so sorry for the rabbit - why couldn't he have been like naughty Peter Rabbit and stolen a few carrots or a lettuce?!
But how beautifully Okumura links this story to his own and to all our stories. He talks of his 'small, fragile impermanent body', and his 'deluded, self centered mind' being all that he too could offer - and this from one of our greatest living teachers! And this in turn, this small, fragile person, like all of us, is also a vital knot in the vast network of interdependent origination. I really loved this chapter, for me this teaching manages to embody everything about Mahayana Buddhism, just as Okumura sees the the same in Dogen's poem. And apart from all of that, if we can take nothing else from this chapter, it's a profound and moving lesson in humility.
Sattoday lah