Monday, August 18, 2008

Dogen on the words and behavior of the Ancestors

"…abandon contemplation in your own mind of the doctrines you have originally learned, and just gradually shift your mind over to the words and behavior of the Patriarchal teachers which you are now reading. If you do so, your wisdom will advance and your understanding open up.
~Dogen - Shobogenzo-Zuimonki, 2:4 (Record of Things Heard, Thomas Cleary)


Ted Biringer

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At August 20, 2008, Blogger Harry said...

Hi, Ted.

Do you find that quoting Dogen outside of the totality of his teaching can be quite misleading?

I often think its good to balance a statement like this with one of his comments on spontaneity or the legitimacy and primacy of our own real practice.

Its easy to 'get him to say things' when we focus in like that.



At August 20, 2008, Blogger Ted Biringer said...

Hello Harry,

Thank you for your comment.

Yes, you are right. I should add a balancing point here. I think the reason I often don't is because most of my Dogen quotes are attempts to indicate balance--it seems that most posts, quotes, citings, etc. concerning Dogen's teachings tend to emphasize the "dewdrops dripping on lotus leaves" aspects. So little seems to be said about his insistence on an extensive approach to practice-realization that the majority of those I have met online seem to have a notion that all Dogen taught was "just sitting"...

I will post something with a better balance soon.

Thank you for calling me out on that.

Ted Biringer

At August 21, 2008, Blogger Harry said...

I think you could make some very good points better in this way, Ted.

I look forward to reading them.




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