Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 12 - Second Half - P 192 to End of Book

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39272

    Realizing Genjokoan - Chapter 12 - Second Half - P 192 to End of Book

    Dear All,

    We will complete Realizing Genjo Koan this time, with our thanks and appreciation to Rev. Okumura. (Some of you may also enjoy and benefit from Master Dogen's biography in Appendix 3, if you do not know the story). This time, we read from "Dogen and Original Englightenment" on page 192, to the end.

    By the way, for the next few weeks, we will be reading a few Koans (Nos. 86 - 90) in Rev. Shishin Wick's fine commentary to the "Book Of Serenity/Equanimity" Koan Collection. Rev. Wick always does an amazing job of explaining the Koans pretty clearly and making them relevant to modern life. I encourage everyone to add the book to their bookshelf at home, but I will also link to some online versions as best I can so everyone can follow along until doing so. After that, in late July, we will turn to our next book selection ... ZEN WOMEN by Grace Schireson (

    In the meantime, the weather is hot here ... time to fan it!

    (I do not believe that that old tune is exactly the kind of "fanning" the Master Dogen had in mind, but I could not resist. Great music.)

    In any case, we are already whole, perfect, pristine Buddha ... yet if we do not practice such, live as such, fan that flame ... it does not manifest. As Shunryu Suzuki famously said, "Each of you is perfect the way you are ... and you can use a little improvement."

    So, what does that mean to you at this point? Any final take homes from reading the book?

    Gassho, J

    Last edited by Jundo; 06-15-2020, 01:33 AM.
  • Tairin
    • Feb 2016
    • 2733

    What a wonderful book! I am really glad we read it and I can see it is a book I will revisit from time to time.

    When we begin to practice with the four bodhisattva vows, sooner or later we will see the incompleteness of our practice or notice that we have deviated from the bodhisattva path. Just as we return to our posture in zazen, we practice repentance by returning to the path of the bodhisattva vows. Whether in the zendo or going about our daily routine, moment by moment we simply return to awakening in genuine practice. We must do this over and over again; our practice is endless.
    I like this a lot. This neatly ties together Zazen, the Precepts, our Bodhisattva vows and the Verse of Atonement. In fact Okumura also spends time discussing the Heart Sutra here too. Pretty much this last section encapsulates everything we are doing in one neat little package.

    Ours is not a simple path. It can be demanding and sets a high bar for being. Nothing wrong with that as far as I am concerned.

    Thank you all for sharing this journey.

    Sat today and lah
    泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods


    • Heikyo
      • Dec 2014
      • 103

      I agree with Tairin - a good (but sometime challenging) book that I will need to come back to again and again. The appendix on life of Dogen was really useful as it put everything into context. For me, the take home is that it's all about the practice, and not philosophical musings, but actually living fully in ultimate reality - every day is an investigation into reality, whether through zazen or just 'living' - every day is an opportunity and should be grasped as such.

      Thanks everyone for helping me navigate the book. It's been tough but enjoyable.

      Sat today, LAH


      • Bokucho
        • Dec 2018
        • 264

        I very much enjoyed this book, it was the first I'd read by Okumura, and it inspired me to also read his "Mountains and Waters Sutra" commentary. They were both absolutely brilliant and gave me a perspective on Dōgen that I'd not had before. I enjoyed reading everyone's comments and takes on the passages. I look forward to more book clubs in the future!



        Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk


        • Meitou
          • Feb 2017
          • 1656

          Personally speaking this is not a book that I'm ever going to be done with - it's such a valuable resource, rich in detail, full of wisdom, an amazing teaching. This is my second reading of it, but for all that I got out of it this time around, it could well have been my first, there is always something new, a shift in perspective, small jewels hidden in the larger treasure chest of the text. I was particularly grateful for the appendices this time.
          Thanks to Jundo and all participants, and heartfelt gratitude to Reverend Shohaku Okumura for his dedication. Until we start on Grace Schirenson's book, I'm going to dip my toe in Okumura's commentary on The Mountains and Rivers Sutra.
          sattoday lah.
          命 Mei - life
          島 Tou - island


          • Kotei
            Treeleaf Unsui
            • Mar 2015
            • 3935

            Thank you for reading this together, adding thoughts and insights, everyone.
            Normally, I enjoy reading dharma literature in english. Being not my native language, there are less concepts already tied to the words and it allows a somehow 'fresh' view.
            For this book, I was reading the german translation in parallel to the english version which was a good idea regarding a better understanding.
            I am fascinated by Dogen's writings and this makes Genjokoan a lot better approachable.

            Meitou, I've had a dance with Okumura's commentary on The Mountains and Rivers Sutra, too and am still bending my mind around it from time to time.

            Kotei sat/lah today.
            Last edited by Kotei; 06-21-2020, 07:12 AM.

            義道 冴庭 / Gidō Kotei.
            Being a novice priest doesn't mean my writing about the Dharma is more substantial than yours. Actually, it might well be the other way round.


            • Heiso
              • Jan 2019
              • 824

              I'm late to the party but I also really enjoyed this book. It's the second (or third if you count Homeless Kodo) of Okumura Roshi's that I've read and it has really broadened my understanding of Dogen's writing. I look forward to returning to it again and again.

              Thank you Jundo for your guidance and to everyone else who joined us.





              • Tairin
                • Feb 2016
                • 2733

                This evening I finished reading the appendix that covered Dogen’s life. It was interesting to read and provided a lot of useful context and background to his writings.

                Sat today and lah
                泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods