Life Is Our Temple

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( Dogen's Instructions for the Cook - XXXI)

Right here, right now ... this is the time and place of realization  ... awakening and making it real ...


When I observed accomplished people in the past who held the position of cook, their personal qualities were naturally in accord with their official roles. The Great [Teacher Guishan Lingyou (771-853)] awakened to the way when he was a cook. Dongshan's [famous saying] "Three pounds of hemp" [in response to the question, "What is Buddha"] was also when he was a cook. If there is a matter that can be valued, you should value the matter of awakening to the way. If there is a time that can be valued, surely you should value the time of awakening to the way! The result of cherishing that matter and being addicted to the way is attested especially by the [story of] "grasping sand and making a jewel" [a traditional story with a meaning such as "whatever is available at hand can be turned into something wonderful]. We can often see the effect of making an image [of the Buddha] and worshipping [before it]. The position of cook is similar [in its karmic results], but even more so. Its name is the same [as in the past]. If the cook is someone who can transmit its character and its practice, how could its beauty and its fulfillment fail to appear?

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

Translated by T. Griffith Foulk

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

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