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