52 stages to Buddhahood #5

In the classical Buddhist teaching, there are 52 stages in the development of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva. That’s a lot of stages! Dogen in his subtle analysis however isn’t that interested in stages! He does not believe in what he sometimes calls “stepladder Zen”. This is because of his understanding of time and his … Continue reading 52 stages to Buddhahood #5

Dropping off Body and Mind #4

Dogen has a famous phrase: shinjin datsuraku, which is translated “dropping off body and mind.” This famous phrase needs to be understood in order to appreciate Dogen’s writing. There is a sentence in this fascicle, which refers to this phrase. It is a non-buddha simply because it goes beyond Buddha. We call it a ‘non-buddha’ … Continue reading Dropping off Body and Mind #4

Buddhas and non-buddhas #2

Is there such a thing as a “buddha” or a “self”? Our teaching says, and the physicists concur, that there is nothing solid, neither a person, nor a thing. We are all made up of molecules, moving parts and space. When the physicists look into an atom with their most subtle microscopes, they don’t find … Continue reading Buddhas and non-buddhas #2

The entire 10-direction world is One Bright Jewel #5

Seppo asks Gensha:  Who are you, this acsetic practitioner? Gensha replies, “I never deceive others?” What is the deception that we, as practitioners, are trying to uncover?  This deception is the misunderstanding of duality.  We compartmentalize life into opposites and these opposites only exist in our thoughts and language.  In actuality, the opposites of life … Continue reading The entire 10-direction world is One Bright Jewel #5

Gensha stubbed his toe #4

The next section of the primary story in One Bright Jewel is: Once Gensha was leaving the mountain carrying his traveling bag to visit masters widely in the various regions and thoroughly study the Way.  On his way, he stubbed his toe on a stone.  As it bled with terrible pain, he suddenly had a … Continue reading Gensha stubbed his toe #4