What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed May 26, 2010 7:18 pm

Lets take Dogens advice and try to examine the meaning of this:

It is not only that there is water in the world, but there is a world in water. It is not just in water. There is also a world of sentient beings in clouds. There is a world of sentient beings in the air. There is a world of sentient beings in fire. There is a world of sentient beings on earth. There is a world of sentient beings in the phenomenal world. There is a world of sentient beings in a blade of grass. There is a world of sentient beings in one staff.
Wherever there is a world of sentient beings, there is a world of buddha ancestors. You should thoroughly examine the meaning of this.


~ Dogen

Excerpted from Essential Zen by Kazuaki Tanahashi & Tehsho David Schneider.
Ride the horse in the direction its going.

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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Astus » Wed May 26, 2010 9:39 pm

A way to say the Tendai teaching of "three thousand worlds in a single thought", which is a way to state interdependence and interpenetration. Or to be less biased, a usual East Asian way of expressing dependent origination.

Or perhaps Dogen obtained a microscope from visiting aliens. :tongue:
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Dae Bi » Wed May 26, 2010 10:34 pm

I like Dogen. I also like Jesus. What I don't like, are their Fan Clubs.
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed May 26, 2010 11:05 pm

Dae Bi wrote:I like Dogen. I also like Jesus. What I don't like, are their Fan Clubs.


I like Dogen, you say you like Dogen too. Who is Dogens fan club except people who like Dogen?
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby m0rl0ck » Wed May 26, 2010 11:53 pm

Astus wrote:which is a way to state interdependence and interpenetration.


Thats part of it in a mere verbal sense. I was hoping we could get more at the experiential sense of it. Its a limited medium tho, might not be possible here.
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Dexing » Thu May 27, 2010 4:40 am

m0rl0ck wrote:Lets take Dogens advice and try to examine the meaning of this:

It is not only that there is water in the world, but there is a world in water. It is not just in water. There is also a world of sentient beings in clouds. There is a world of sentient beings in the air. There is a world of sentient beings in fire. There is a world of sentient beings on earth. There is a world of sentient beings in the phenomenal world. There is a world of sentient beings in a blade of grass. There is a world of sentient beings in one staff.
Wherever there is a world of sentient beings, there is a world of buddha ancestors. You should thoroughly examine the meaning of this.


~ Dogen

Excerpted from Essential Zen by Kazuaki Tanahashi & Tehsho David Schneider.


"Worlds" of sentient beings are also called the 18 Sense Realms. The entire "world" we assume to be external to us is actually only present within the limitations of our senses. That is what is meant by the world of sentient beings in all these phenomena, because these phenomena are only fabricated objects of the 18 Sense Realms.

"Wherever there is a world of sentient beings, there is a world of Buddha ancestors" means what is also a line from the Shurangama Sutra; "The Sages and the Ordinary People's path are not two."

That means; seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking. Ordinary people conceptualize and grasp at these experiences, creating falseness in reality. A Buddha does not follow their thinking, but just sees, just hears, just smells, etc..

So the Buddha says in the Avatamsaka Sutra; "I see that all living beings have the virtuous qualities of the Tathagata's wisdom, yet due to conceptualizing the unreal and grasping, they are unable to realize it."

As in Zen, Bodhidharma states in his Bloodstream Sermon; "Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha; whoever doesn't is a mortal."

:namaste:
nopalabhyate...
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Dexing » Thu May 27, 2010 4:45 am

To summerize;

Shurangama Sutra: Chapter 5 wrote:"Good indeed, Ananda! You wish to recognize your innate ignorance that causes you to turn on the wheel. The origin of the knot of birth and death is simply your six sense-organs and nothing else. You also want to understand unsurpassed Bodhi, so that you can quickly realize bliss, liberation, tranquility, and wonderful permanence. It, too, is your six sense-organs and nothing else."


:namaste:
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Ngawang Drolma » Thu May 27, 2010 4:47 am

Shurangama Sutra: Chapter 5 wrote:"Good indeed, Ananda! You wish to recognize your innate ignorance that causes you to turn on the wheel. The origin of the knot of birth and death is simply your six sense-organs and nothing else. You also want to understand unsurpassed Bodhi, so that you can quickly realize bliss, liberation, tranquility, and wonderful permanence. It, too, is your six sense-organs and nothing else."


What a lovely passage :bow:
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Huifeng » Thu May 27, 2010 8:33 am

m0rl0ck wrote:Lets take Dogens advice and try to examine the meaning of this:

It is not only that there is water in the world, but there is a world in water. It is not just in water. There is also a world of sentient beings in clouds. There is a world of sentient beings in the air. There is a world of sentient beings in fire. There is a world of sentient beings on earth. There is a world of sentient beings in the phenomenal world. There is a world of sentient beings in a blade of grass. There is a world of sentient beings in one staff.
Wherever there is a world of sentient beings, there is a world of buddha ancestors. You should thoroughly examine the meaning of this.


~ Dogen

Excerpted from Essential Zen by Kazuaki Tanahashi & Tehsho David Schneider.


If I could see what kanji characters he used, it would help immensely.

Those characters which I am pretty sure he would have used can be read in some really rather interesting ways, far beyond that of the English given here. Not that the English would be wrong, just that translation drops various things out of the equation.

Particularly if those kanji are 眾生 and 界. But I'd first have to confirm that these are the terms he's using.
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Astus » Thu May 27, 2010 8:37 am

"I was hoping we could get more at the experiential sense of it"

It is a form of religious writing that Dogen uses, a kind of literature. This is a forum where what we can use are words. So the question is, what is an "experiential sense" style? Is it perhaps expressing the same thing in our own words? Or composing a short poem as they did in China (qv. koan collections)? Maybe come up with a Zen-style reaction? So many options.

Many lines of words
In a world of lies
Few pointless letters
Tell complete stories
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Astus » Thu May 27, 2010 9:14 am

Master Huifeng,

The quoted paragraph is T2582_.82.0066 b25-c06

(didn't copy-paste because it contains special characters)

world: 世界
sentient being: 有情
一莖草中ニモ有情世界アリ。- in a single blade of grass there is a world of sentient beings.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Huifeng » Thu May 27, 2010 11:25 am

Huayan = Kegon. Sums it up.
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Astus » Thu May 27, 2010 12:16 pm

Huifeng wrote:Huayan = Kegon. Sums it up.


Shortest answer so far. Maybe it's a bit cheating... 華嚴是華嚴 :geek:
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Indrajala » Thu May 27, 2010 12:25 pm

Astus wrote:
Huifeng wrote:Huayan = Kegon. Sums it up.


Shortest answer so far. Maybe it's a bit cheating... 華嚴是華嚴 :geek:


No no no!

華嚴是華

Gotta use Japanese kanji for "Kegon".
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Astus » Thu May 27, 2010 1:00 pm

Huseng wrote:Gotta use Japanese kanji for "Kegon".


Bummer. :toilet:
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby kirtu » Thu May 27, 2010 2:56 pm

It's a form of the standard Buddhist teaching that there are infinite beings occupying all of space just in different realms (or different ways).

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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby kirtu » Thu May 27, 2010 3:03 pm

Huifeng wrote:Huayan = Kegon. Sums it up.


So as Astus suggested it can be read as a metaphor for interpenetrating realities as expressed in the Avatamsaka Sutra?

The passage itself does not seem to deal with interdependence directly but expressed indirectly. By itself it just seems to refer to the infinite sentient beings and Buddha realms all around us (interestingly in Tibetan Buddhism the King of Prayers of Samantabhadra is taken from the Avatamsaka).

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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby Astus » Thu May 27, 2010 4:13 pm

Kirt,

The paragraph is from the "Mountains and Waters Sutra" (Sansuikyo, SBGZ 29). If you look into it for yourself you can see Dogen is not at all interested in miniature beings. A bit long but it's worth the time. Also then you can see Dogen's language in the Shobogenzo is not a normal one but what somebody called "koan language" (just searched on it, it's Hee-Jin Kim).

And as Master Huifeng pointed at it succinctly, this kind of interpretation and speaking is not uniquely Dogen but something peculiarly East Asian Buddhist. The Avatamsaka Sutra bred different views in China than in Tibet.
"There is no such thing as the real mind. Ridding yourself of delusion: that's the real mind."
(Sheng-yen: Getting the Buddha Mind, p 73)

“Don’t rashly seek the true Buddha;
True Buddha can’t be found.
Does marvelous nature and spirit
Need tempering or refinement?
Mind is this mind carefree;
This face, the face at birth."

(Nanyue Mingzan: Enjoying the Way, tr. Jeff Shore; T51n2076, p461b24-26)
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri May 28, 2010 4:42 am

Dexing wrote:
"Worlds" of sentient beings are also called the 18 Sense Realms. The entire "world" we assume to be external to us is actually only present within the limitations of our senses. That is what is meant by the world of sentient beings in all these phenomena, because these phenomena are only fabricated objects of the 18 Sense Realms.

"Wherever there is a world of sentient beings, there is a world of Buddha ancestors" means what is also a line from the Shurangama Sutra; "The Sages and the Ordinary People's path are not two."

That means; seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking. Ordinary people conceptualize and grasp at these experiences, creating falseness in reality. A Buddha does not follow their thinking, but just sees, just hears, just smells, etc..

So the Buddha says in the Avatamsaka Sutra; "I see that all living beings have the virtuous qualities of the Tathagata's wisdom, yet due to conceptualizing the unreal and grasping, they are unable to realize it."

As in Zen, Bodhidharma states in his Bloodstream Sermon; "Whoever sees his nature is a Buddha; whoever doesn't is a mortal."

:namaste:


Great stuff D, especially the first paragraph. :anjali:
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Re: What does this Dogen passage mean to you?

Postby m0rl0ck » Fri May 28, 2010 4:45 am

Huifeng wrote:
If I could see what kanji characters he used, it would help immensely.

Those characters which I am pretty sure he would have used can be read in some really rather interesting ways, far beyond that of the English given here. Not that the English would be wrong, just that translation drops various things out of the equation.

Particularly if those kanji are 眾生 and 界. But I'd first have to confirm that these are the terms he's using.


What is the sense of those in english and to which terms would they correspond in the Dogen passage?
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