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August 18, 2011


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Azanshi; I wish you well on your path.

The Clydeinator wrote;

"Azanshi; What is your spiritual practice? What do you recommend to others?"

My practise is unworldly. Don ´t bother to ask how and where. It´s way over your head.

You know, Java Junkies hilarious comments about your deplorable lack of wisdom are quite entertaining. Sure made me laugh. Anyone who tries to distort the dharma as much as you do, Clyde-boy, is surely dumb. I mean dumb as the guy, who after having purchased a gun at the nearest shop, tried to shoot his shadow for pointing a gun at him! Now if that is not real dogen-zen, what is?

Imperishable light, the poem by Zen master Ch’ing-yüan Wei-shin is:

“Before I had studied Zen for thirty years, I saw mountains as mountains, and waters as waters. When I arrived at a more intimate knowledge, I came to the point where I saw that mountains are not mountains, and waters are not waters. But now that I have got its very substance I am at rest. For it’s just that I see mountains once again as mountains, and waters once again as waters.”

Until one gets the very substance they can't grasp the third.

The Shobogenzo is not easy to understand. The guy you quoted arbitrarily defines what is the "Japanese character" and then deduces that Dogen, since Japanese, had to be like that, too. It's a joke.

The first step to understand Master Dogen's ideas is to make distinctions between "three steps":

- mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers;

- mountains are not mountains, rivers are not rivers;

- mountains are again mountains, rivers are again rivers.

Different Dogen's chapters reveal different facets of the Buddha-Dharma.

Zennist stresses only the "mountains are not mountains; rivers are not rivers" part, ad nauesam. Now, it's not bad that he does it, because it's PRECISELY what is missing in Western pop Buddhism.

But that position, too, is not the ultimate one. The ultimate is the "traceless Enlightenment", the "mountains being again mountains", or "Mind being nothing else than mountains and rivers". - This is the hardest to achieve. As Kodo Sawaki puts it: "No sickness is more difficult to cure than satori." - That is to say, people who can't forget their own "enlightenment" or their own transcendent experiences.

It is not that in Dogen, we don't find the Mind doctrine or transcendent claims. Far from it, anyone who spent 10 seconds with the Shobogenzo should see that. But that Dogen speaks from the perspective of transcending both "phenomena" and "that which is beyond phenomena".

All this is not Dogen's invention but rooted in Zen tradition.

Azanshi; What is your spiritual practice? What do you recommend to others?

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