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#2315 - Monday, November 14, 2005 - Editor: Gloria Lee

Do not think of studying Buddhism in order to gain some advantage as a reward for practicing Buddhism.


Illusion and enlightenment? Two sides of a coin.
Universals and particulars? No difference.
All day I read the wordless sutra;
All night not a thought of Zen practice.
An uguisu [nightingale] sings in the willows along the river bank,
Dogs in the village bay at the moon…
Ryokan, One Robe, One Bowl, Chinese Poems, translation John Stevens, page 59
New York: Weatherhill 1977

Ryokan's Hut (source: wikipedia)
    posted by Ben Hassine  

Moon in a Dewdrop - Dogen  

Gaining enlightenment is like the moon reflecting in the water.
The moon does not get wet, nor is the water disturbed.
Although its light is extensive and great…
The whole moon and the whole sky are reflected
in a dew-drop in the grass, in one drop of water.
Enlightenment does not disturb the person,
just as the moon does not disturb the water.
A person does not hinder enlightenment, just as a dewdrop
does not hinder the moon in the sky.
The depth of the drop is the height of the moon.
Actualization of the Koan
- Eihei Dogen

posted by Ben Hassine  

re: Moon in a Dewdrop - Dogen    

this quote reminded me of the following.
one day i was at a retreat with many wonderful
people. we took time to sit with a question.
for each person it was different. i was sitting
with a dear friend. the thought arose that "my
enlightenment is not as good as some of my
favorite enlightened ones". as i expressed this
i began to laugh and laugh and laugh. i realized
it was not my enlightenment nor had it been
ramana's or buddha's or anyone's. in the next
moment it was so clear, i laughed again that
i had ever thought there were different
enlightenments. i saw that what ramana saw,
what papaji saw, what my dear hearts have seen
is what is here now. it has never been anywhere
else. it has always been. this beautiful
stunning sheer radiant silence, in simplicity,
in clarity and in all ways, in all eyes.
it was like everyone had known but i just had
separated it and parceled it out in my mind
to certain others.

and it is so amazing
that when undefended, uncontrolled, this is
shining here and anyone, anyone just waits
to be recognized as this. truly it shines in
all eyes. it fills me beyond surrender to
look in each heart i meet, to see: yes, you
too. and the joy, as eyes shine back, seen.

yes, it shines all the time. in every eye,
reflected back from every eye. it is not
in the past or the future. it is present.

what i appreciate here is this simple space
to share this. often it is much simpler
to hold this in silence. but sometimes
it is so breathtaking to pause and gently
find wordholders to cradle this awareness.
to touch it, to word it tenderly, while
knowing nothing touches this even as i
am irrevocably touched by grace endlessly.
sometimes it just wells over into words.


A collection of Dogen's writings, moon in a dewdrop, begins with a short history of his life. Dogen lost his father when he was 3 and his mother when he was 8. We know him now as a great founder of Soto Zen, so I was surprised to learn how much opposition there was to him initially. He even had to leave Kyoto and pretty much lay low, waiting for "a rising tide" of interest in his teachings. After a decade with only a few monks, increasing criticism forced them to move to a province further north on the Japan Sea, a place of severely cold winters. After another decade or so there, Dogen became ill and died.  

"Although he is now considered one of the greatest thinkers Japan has produced, Dogen was not read outside his own school for nearly seven hundred years after his death in 1253. Even the Soto monks largely forgot him during the centuries between 1400 and 1800. The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye, his major work, was published by the Soto School for the first time in 1816."  

..."Dogen's writings remained obscure for most Soto monks. The great poet-monk Ryokan (1758-1831) wrote a poem about reading the Record of Eihei Dogen, an abridged collection of Dogen's lectures, poems, and other writings:  

Now when I take the Record of Eihei Dogen and examine it, the tone does not harmonize well with usual beliefs. Nobody has asked whether it is a jewel or a pebble. For five hundred years it's been covered with dust just because no one has had an eye for recognizing dharma. For whom was all his eloquence expounded? Longing for ancient times and grieving for the present, my heart is exhausted.  

It was not until 1958 that the first English translation of Dogen's writings appeared.  

posted by Gloria Lee  

when i became aware of this alive silence

when i became aware all is alive,
when i became aware life is always communicating,
when i became aware people are always speaking
without words and through the words and below the words,
when i became aware of this alive silence,
when i became aware of this silence in all places,

when i became aware this silence is always present,
when i became aware this silence is clarity,
when i became aware this silence is endless,
when i became aware this silence is available to all,

when i became aware this silence is freedom,
a freedom terrifying in its willingness to allow
everything to be as it is,
a freedom infinitely loving in its willingness
to allow everything to be as it is,
when i became aware this silence requires nothing,
when i became aware this silence is nothing,
when i became aware this silence is completely
utterly radiantly alive, unfolding,
when i became aware this silence is gentle
tender grace that dissolves everything,
when i became aware you are this silence,
and oh...
when i became aware silence is living me,
when i became aware, i became here.


  "True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm
commitment founded on reason.

Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not
change even if they behave negatively."
              ~His Holiness the Dalia Lama
From the website    

posted to Daily Dharma  


Always Meditate on Whatever is Unavoidable

We should constantly meditate on difficulties that we cannot escape. Towards people, for instance, who do us harm, who want to compete with us, who are at one moment friendly but who suddenly turn against us unprovoked, or towards people who for no apparent reason (due to our karma) we simply do not like, we should try to generate the Bodhicitta even more intensely, even when it is difficult.

We should serve and reverence our elders, parents, and teachers. As Guru Padmasambhava said, 'Do not be a sorrow to your elders; serve them with respect.' If we help them and those who are in need of help, we are treading the path of the Bodhisattvas. We should give up whatever is at variance with that attitude.

From Enlightened Courage, by Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.

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