5/7 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-18 to 5-23

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  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39453

    5/7 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-18 to 5-23


    I hope folks are caught up. This week, we will read 5-18 to 5-23.

    http://global.sotozen-net.or.jp/common_ ... 05-18.html

    Some very nice quotes this week from Master Dogen, on a variety of topics ...

    Do not think that you learn the buddha-dharma for the sake of some reward for practicing the Buddha-Way. Just practice the buddha-dharma for the sake of the buddha-dharma. Even if you study a thousand sutras and ten thousand commentaries on them, or even if you have sat zazen until your cushion is worn out, it is impossible to attain the Way of the buddhas and patriarchs if this attitude is lacking. Just casting body and mind into the buddha-dharma and, (practicing) along with others without holding onto previous views, you will be in accordance with the Way immediately.
    Dogen replied, “Even if you may seem to have some understanding while reading koans, such studies will lead you astray from the Way of the buddhas and patriarchs. To spend your time sitting upright with nothing to be gained and nothing to be realized is the Way of the patriarchs. Although the ancient masters encouraged both reading and shikan zazen, they promoted sitting wholeheartedly. Although there are some who have gained enlightenment hearing stories (of the masters), the attainment of enlightenment is due to the merit of sitting. True merit depends on sitting.”
    Gassho, J
  • Seishin the Elder
    • Oct 2009
    • 521

    Re: 4/23 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-18 to 5-23

    There must be "something" in the water that Abbots drink!!!As I read what Dogen taught, I cannot but relate them to the Rule of St. Benedict, which has been so close to my life. Both abbots came to a similar teaching of moderation, simplicity, order, humility and balance of one's life in order to develope. Each abbot set up a way for their disciples to live honestly and simply so as to forego, or at least to help them overcome, impatience, arrogance, self-will and avarice.

    I think they would have a lovely cup of tea together and part knowing they were brothers.


    ...ever the aspirant,

    Kyrill Seishin


    • Rimon
      • May 2010
      • 309

      Re: 4/23 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-18 to 5-23

      I find this "experiment" of joining together medieval Japan 13th century perspectives and our daily lives fascinating. I'll start reading the texts from former assignments to catch up with you.


      Rimon Barcelona, Spain
      "Practice and the goal of practice are identical." [i:auj57aui]John Daido Loori[/i:auj57aui]


      • BrianW
        • Oct 2008
        • 511

        Re: 4/23 - SHOBOGENZO-ZUIMONKI - 5-18 to 5-23


        As a monk who has left home, first you must depart from your ego as well as from [desire for] fame and profit. Unless you become free from these things, despite practicing the Way urgently as though extinguishing a fire enveloping your head, or devoting yourself to practice as diligently as the Buddha who stood on tiptoe 1 (for seven days), it will amount to nothing but meaningless trouble, having nothing to do with emancipation.
        Fame and profit still a problem today as so many people seem to be motivated to achieve them. Interesting how Dogen warns how these can even creep into our practice.

        However, since they still practice trying to improve themselves, they have not become free from their ego. They want to be admired by buddhas and bodhisattvas, and desire to attain buddhahood, and complete awareness.
        I have always like the following metaphor in describing how we should relate to the practice.
        An ancient master said, “At the top of a hundred foot pole, advance one step further.
        And it is by zazen do we learn to advance one step further. As stated in 5-23,

        The most vital concern in learning the Way is to practice zazen. In China, many people attained the Way entirely through the power of zazen. If one concentrates on practicing zazen continuously, even an ignorant person, who does not understand a single question, can be superior to an intelligent person who has been studying for a long time. Therefore, practitioners must practice shikantaza wholeheartedly without bothering to concern themselves with other things. The Way of the buddhas and patriarchs is nothing but zazen. Do not pursue anything else.