Q on Dogen's Guidelines for Studying the Way

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  • Myoku
    Member
    • Jul 2010
    • 1487

    Q on Dogen's Guidelines for Studying the Way

    I stumbled above this on Gakudo Yojin-Shu (Guidelines for Studying the Way)

    "Do not practice buddha-dharma with the thought that it is to benefit others."

    Part 4, end of second paragraph, Brown/ Tanahashi translation.

    Isn't that contrary to our bodhisattva ideal ?
    _()_
    Peter
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39450

    #2
    Re: Q on Dogen's Guidelines for Studying the Way

    Originally posted by Peter Lin
    I stumbled above this on Gakudo Yojin-Shu (Guidelines for Studying the Way)

    "Do not practice buddha-dharma with the thought that it is to benefit others."

    Part 4, end of second paragraph, Brown/ Tanahashi translation.

    Isn't that contrary to our bodhisattva ideal ?
    _()_
    Peter
    Hi Peter,

    That passage is Dogen's view of "non-gaining" in Zazen ... do not seek anything in Zazen, to add or take away anything, to achieve anything ... even enlightenment. That's how one achieves the enlightenment that Dogen is writing about in the rest of that Guidelines ... by radically releasing the need to achieve. However, neither does that mean that one quits, is passive, does nothing. Same for "Saving All Sentient Beings" ... done (from one angle) by radically releasing the need to save, as well as the view of anyone in need of saving! Then (just like the insect and animal parents in the following passage, nurturing their offspring for ultimately no reward) ... we just do what needs to be done, compassion manifested without though of personal gain.

    So, the rest of the passage says in relevant part ...

    You should not practice Buddha’s teaching with the idea of gain.

    ... how should we proceed? Proceed with the mind which neither grasps nor rejects, the mind unconcerned with name or gain. Do not practice buddha-dharma with the thought that it is to benefit others.

    ...

    Clearly, buddha-dharma is not practiced for one’s own sake, and even less for the sake of fame and profit. Just for the sake of buddha-dharma you should practice it.

    All buddhas’ compassion and sympathy for sentient beings are neither for their own sake nor for others. It is just the nature of buddha-dharma. Isn’t it apparent that insects and animals nurture their offspring, exhausting themselves with painful labors, yet in the end have no reward when their offspring are grown? In this way the compassion of small creatures for their offspring naturally resembles the thought of all buddhas for sentient beings ...

    Students! Do not practice buddha-dharma for your own sake. Do not practice buddha-dharma for name and gain. Do not practice buddha-dharma to attain miraculous effects. Practice buddha-dharma solely for the sake of buddha-dharma. This is the way.
    http://www.terebess.hu/english/dogen3.html

    Gassho, J
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

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    • Myoku
      Member
      • Jul 2010
      • 1487

      #3
      Re: Q on Dogen's Guidelines for Studying the Way

      Thank you Jundo,
      I thought along the same line, but somewhat it was like a splinter in my mind,
      poping up again and again. Thanks for the clarification,
      _()_
      Peter

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