Bendowa

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  • shogyo
    Member
    • Aug 2008
    • 44

    Bendowa

    JUNDO: I WILL PASTE THIS HERE, AS I DID WANT TO ANNOUNCE THAT I HAVE BEGUN A SERIES OF TALKS ON MASTER DOGEN'S SHOBOGENZO BENDOWA WHICH WILL GO ON FOR MANY WEEKS ... MIXED WITH SITTINGS ABOUT OTHER STUFF, AS USUAL. PLEASE SIT-A-LONG.

    http://blog.beliefnet.com/treeleafzen/2 ... enlig.html



    Thank you for the first teaching on the Bendowa. Is there a recommended translation to work with?

    Gassho
    Brian
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39221

    #2
    Re: Bendowa

    Hi Brian,

    I always put up two different respected translations on the blog, finding that it helps to use two separate wordings to "triangulate" what Master Dogen was trying to point to (often it is still hard). So, I will continue to do that each day. In this case, I will be relying mostly on the Uchiyama-Taigen Leighton-Shohaku Okamura (some translation team there!!) version available in this book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Wholehearted-Way- ... 922&sr=1-1

    and the Nishijima-Cross version.

    My Dharma Brother Michael has a very nice "modern" version here (although, like all things each teacher does, it has its own Michael flavor to it and is very much not literal at many points). It is a very nice read though.

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=w ... 2tCmcxB7IQ

    Gassho, Jundo
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • BrianP
      Member
      • Jun 2008
      • 83

      #3
      Re: Bendowa

      Just like to add that a copy of a translation of the complete Shobogenzo is available for free download from the Shasta Abbey site http://shastaabbey.org
      Daiku

      Comment

      • Tb
        Member
        • Jan 2008
        • 3186

        #4
        Re: Bendowa

        Hi.

        I find that having two translations of a text often helps to "transcend the words" and get a "deeper feel for the meaning behind".
        I also think there is no "better translation".
        Unless, maybe, there is one who takes up every possible inclination of every word, and then it would be almost unreadable.
        And even then, will it convey the "true" meaning of the text?

        Mtfbwy
        Tb
        Life is our temple and its all good practice
        Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

        Comment

        • Jundo
          Treeleaf Founder and Priest
          • Apr 2006
          • 39221

          #5
          Re: Bendowa

          Originally posted by Fugen
          Originally posted by Jundo
          Hi.

          I find that having two translations of a text often helps to "transcend the words" and get a "deeper feel for the meaning behind".
          I also think there is no "better translation".
          Unless, maybe, there is one who takes up every possible inclination of every word, and then it would be almost unreadable.
          And even then, will it convey the "true" meaning of the text?

          Mtfbwy
          Tb

          Yes yes yes. You are absolutely right Tb, and I said that badly.

          But, sometimes, it is better to have two fingers pointing to the moon instead of one! :wink:
          ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

          Comment

          • Jundo
            Treeleaf Founder and Priest
            • Apr 2006
            • 39221

            #6
            Re: Bendowa

            Originally posted by BrianP
            Just like to add that a copy of a translation of the complete Shobogenzo is available for free download from the Shasta Abbey site http://shastaabbey.org
            Daiku
            Hi Brian,

            Now, the following comment is not about "wrong" translation or "right" translation. It is music, and each plays the words/notes in their own way. It is not meant as a criticism.

            But I chose not to use the Shasta Abbey Shobogenzo for two reasons:

            (1) There are marked differences is content in Bendowa not present in other writers, or which I cannot see in the original Japanese text.

            (2) The Shasta Abbery version is, for me, a bit too worshipful and devotional to the sacred Buddhas as saviors, and those saving Buddhas' wondrous powers, than most other translations. Most translations are focused on the sitting of Zazen, not on the messengers or their implied "other-worldly" qualities. This is just a matter of my taste, but I prefer to teach about Zazen and about buddhas who are just "bozos on the bus" (like one of us), firmly grounded on this muddy planet (while not, of course, as we are not) ... and not so much gold dipped Buddhas floating up in the sky, like the picture on the Shasta Abbey webpage you cited.

            http://shastaabbey.org/

            The Shasta Version runs, for example,

            All Buddhas, without exception, confirm Their having realized the state of
            enlightenment by demonstrating Their ability to directly Transmit the wondrous
            Dharma. As embodiments of the Truth, They have employed an unsurpassed,
            inconceivably marvelous method which functions effortlessly. It is simply this
            method that Buddhas impart to Buddhas, without deviation or distortion, and Their
            meditative state of delight in the Truth is its standard and measure. As They take
            pleasure wherever They go to spiritually aid others while in such a state, They treat
            this method of Theirs
            —namely, the practice of seated meditation—as the proper
            and most straightforward Gate for entering the Way.
            It is not merely the capitalized "They/Their", but for example, the phrase "As They take pleasure wherever they go to spiritually aid others in such a state, They treat this method of Theirs ... "

            It simply is not there, at least in the wording or feeling of the original, where the focus is on the method in which we -all- can partake ...

            Uchiyama/Okumura/Leighton has:
            This wondrous dharma, which has been transmitted only from buddha to buddha without deviation, has as its criterion jijuyu zanmai. For disporting oneself freely in this samadhi, practicing zazen in an upright posture is the true gate.
            Nishijima-Cross has:

            the reason this [method] is transmitted only from buddha to buddha, without deviation, is that the samadhi of receiving and using the self is its standard. For enjoyment of this samadhi the practice of [Za]zen in the erect sitting posture, has been established as the authentic gate.
            But, like I said to Tb in my early posting ... these are all fingers pointing at the moon. No problem to have three pointing fingers!

            Gassho, Jundo
            ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

            Comment

            • BrianP
              Member
              • Jun 2008
              • 83

              #7
              Re: Bendowa

              Hi Jundo,

              Thanks for the observations. Actually I suggested the Shasta version as at the present time I am a bit short of finance to order the version from Amazon :cry: but will get it soon. I will read the other versions and compare them. I agree with you about too much other-worldly stuff. :roll:

              Gassho
              Brian(Daiku)

              Comment

              • Jundo
                Treeleaf Founder and Priest
                • Apr 2006
                • 39221

                #8
                Re: Bendowa

                Originally posted by BrianP
                Hi Jundo,

                Thanks for the observations. Actually I suggested the Shasta version as at the present time I am a bit short of finance to order the version from Amazon :cry: but will get it soon. I will read the other versions and compare them. I agree with you about too much other-worldly stuff. :roll:

                Gassho
                Brian(Daiku)
                Not to plug the "Nishijima-Cross" version of Shobogenzo (cause it is not without its stylistic quirks and interpretations either!), but it is also available for free.

                http://www.numatacenter.com/default.aspx?MPID=81

                Gassho, Jundo
                ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

                Comment

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