Hello everyone,

Reading through this chapter reminded me of a number of things at the same time.

Dogen's wise counsel to realise fully our delusions instead of being deluded about our realisations seems to shine through some of Aoyama Sensei's lines.

Our human tendency to create sterile notions of perfection in our hearts and minds is another theme IMHO.

Once we manage to create something which we, with our limited human minds deem "perfect", it is often the case that all we have created is an expression of our own limitations, which cannot rise up to the occasion to fully embrace EVERYTHING as it is.

Jundo often refers to things being perfectly the way they are, without necessarily being perfect in a limited conceptional sense.

All talk aside, I had to think of a scene in the American comedy City Slickers, where the Jack Palance character talks about a most precious moment in his life, where he basically meets his "dream woman". Following conventional ideas of perfection, a smile would have led to a kiss maybe and that to some wonderful fun "in the hay".

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But Jack Palance realises that the true wonder of his most precious moment is being open to the way things are…and that really attaining his fantasy would surely miss the mark - at least in comparison to the wonder of the openness that is life as it is for a Cowboy.

I myself was madly in love once as a late teenager…and my heart broke….and lo and behold, strange as it may seem, the fact that certain things did not change to accord with my puny ideas of perfection are what made all the past pain and joy perfect the way they were. Like a poem with a smudged character.

When our dualistic views crash with reality as it is, the crunching noise that this process makes points directly at the heart of things.

Question: Can you think of a moment in your life, where the lack of sterile perfection really made something/someone reveal itself to be real/truly authentic in the end?

Thank you for your troubles and practice.


Hans Chudo Mongen