The term Genjo Koan — actualizing
the fundamental point —only appears twice in the Genjo
Koan in always in front of you
Reflect on how Dogen's teachings in Genjo
Koan relate to your practice; to zazen
Genjo Koan is, to a large extent, a kind of song
— an expression of confidence and faith. It’s
not an expression of confidence and faith that you
can grab on to. It’s
something that’s beyond that. When you are
engaged with everything, then everything
is a practice.
talking about an attitude receptivity and activity
in each moment. It’s about participating
with things in a real way. It’s not about “If
only I had this set of conditions I could practice” or “If
only this were happening things would be really good.” Setting
up conditions can certainly be useful — not
because the conditions are useful, but rather because
we’re clarifying our minds and opening
to meeting things.
The Genjo Koan is always before you. It's always,
"Aha!" And can you meet it?
Buddha and Buddha
fascicle of Dogen's Shonbogenzo, "Only
Buddha and Buddha" (Yuibutsu
yobutsu), has many of the same elements — birds
and fishes, time and ash, the seasons... — as
the Genjo Koan. If you found the Genjo Koan engaging,
what Dogen is after.
When you realize buddha-dharma,
you do not think, "This is realization
just as I expected.". Even if you
think so, realization invariably differs
from your expectation. Realization is not
like your conception of it.
There's a section that completes some
of the ideas introduced in Genjo Koan:
Both Genjo Koan and Only Buddha
and Buddha are found in Moon in the Dewdrop: Writings
of Zen Master Dogen, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi.
Michael Wenger is Dean of Studies of San Farncisco
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