Genjo Koan in always in front of you

1 of 1

Reflect on how Dogen's teachings in Genjo Koan relate to your practice; to zazen and practice.

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, that you are engaged with everything. If you can open up to that responsibility, courage – fact- then everything is a practice.

Dogen is 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.


Only Buddha and Buddha

Another 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 engagging, reading Only Buddha and Buddha may help you understand 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

There's a section that completes some of the ideas introduced in Genjo Koan.

There's been a saying since olden times. No one except a fish know a fishes heart

yet those who really under

You should know the fish always know one anothers' heart

Again, when a bird they can not ever imagine this hundreds of thousands

Those traces may be even more evident

Buddhas are like this. You may wonder how many all know their own traces;

Both Genjo Koan and Only Buddha and Buddha are found in Moon in the Dewdrop: Writings of Zen Master Dogen, edited by Kazuaki Tanahashi.

Click to purchase.