One Eye, Two Eyes ... A Six-Foot Body Of A Buddha ...

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( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XV)

Uchiyama Roshi translates this section in a very nice way ...

It is vital that we clarify and harmonize our lives with our work, and not lose sight of either the absolute or the practical. Handle even a single leaf of a green in such a way that it manifests the body of the Buddha. This in turn allows the Buddha to manifest through the leaf.


Harmonizing and purifying yourself in this manner, do not lose either the one eye [of transcendent wisdom] or the two eyes [of discriminating consciousness]. Lifting a single piece of vegetable, make [yourself into] a six-foot body [i.e. a buddha] and ask that six-foot body to prepare a single piece of vegetable. Those are [the cook's] spiritual penetrations and magical transformations, his buddha-work and benefiting of living beings.

Having prepared [everything] so that the preparations are finished, and cooked [everything] so that the cooking is done, look to "that side" and put things away on "this side". ** When the drum sounds or the bell rings, join the assembly [of monks in training] and attend the convocation [to hear the abbot's teachings]. "Morning and evening, seek and attend", without being remiss even once.

** [NOTE: A double-entendre. On the literal level, the meaning is simply that the cook should look all around and put things away where they belong. Figuratively, he is advised to look "there" (nahen -- the realm of the highest truth), while putting things to rest "here" (shahen -- the wordly realm)].

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen - Translated by Griffith Foulk

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

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