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January 26, 2010


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Interesting. We should also keep in mind that the vast majority of Dogen followers where drop-outs from the Dharmua-shu.

The early days of Eihei-ji looked more like a hippie community turning sour.

Let’s imagine ourselves in the early 70’s, coming back from an intensive four years training in a Korean Zen/Son monastery, trying to teach Zen to an heteroclite group of pot smoking hippies who assumed that they knew everything about Zen and Buddhism because they had read a few book from Alan Watts and Jack Kerouac.

Dogen had to affirm his authority, arranging things to present a clear doctrine and a solid single practice.

Thanks for those quotes, Bielefeldt is better than I thought (how long will their Shobogenzo translation at Stanford take, hmm). There is an "addiction to zazen" quite obvious in the European sanghas that follow Dogen adepts. If you don't do zazen enough, they can't imagine you got some insight. Personally, I learned a lot from Dogen and like to translate him, although I don't subscribe to some of his teachings. I believe in some way he betrayed Chinese chan - and probably even his teacher.

First you mention that you are a practitioner of the rinzai tradtion (Lin-chi chan) and then you posit the question what bodhidharma was doing gazing at a wall for 9 years!? LOL!

I can understand that this blog with an intentional highly simplified version of the buddhadharma is essential after all. Reading comments like yours truly affirms that the american "zen" mind is swiftly heading towards the sad world of the movie "idiocracy" by Mike Judge.

The real "Bodhidharma" never stared at a physical wall. On the contrary he made amusing somersaults on the bony shoulders of a wide eyed zombie in a freezing cave in a certain mountain outside shao-lin.

Thanks for this post. As a practitioner in the Rinzai tradition, though, I would note that Hakuin, too, doesn't come with the Good Zenkeeping Seal of Approval either.

I don't think that's the point.

But to the point, perhaps you could say what you think Bodhidharma was doing gazing at the wall for 9 years?

Ultimately, though it's not about Dogen, it's not about Lin-chi, Hakuin, Ju-ching, or Yün-men, and it's certainly not about "we've got it right and they don't."

I would only add that these words of Dogen, Lin-Chi, Hakuin, and others find their correlates in the early sutras.

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